Kate 'tried to be the peacemaker' between William and Harry

KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 25: (L-R) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive to attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2018 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
A royal author has said that Kate tried to play peacemaker between her husband William and her brother-in-law Harry. (Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales has tried to play peacemaker between Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry, an author and royal correspondent has said.

The relationship between the two brothers has been confirmed by Harry to have broken down in recent years as the Sussexes stepped back from the Royal Family.

"She brings a reassurance to that relationship," Valentine Low, author of Courtiers, said. "She was often the peacemaker, or tried to be the peacemaker, with Harry. You saw that after Philip's funeral, when she kind of brought the brothers together."

Prince Philip died in April 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his socially distanced funeral saw both Harry and William walk in the funeral cortege – separated by their cousin Peter Phillips – before sitting apart during the service.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 17: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence follow Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's coffin (draped in his Royal Standard Flag and bearing his Royal Navy cap, sword and a bouquet of lilies, white roses, freesia and sweet peas) as it is carried on a specially designed Land Rover Defender hearse during his funeral procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born 10 June 1921, in Greece. He served in the British Royal Navy and fought in WWII. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King VI. He served as Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth II until his death on April 9 2021, months short of his 100th birthday. His funeral takes place today at Windsor Castle with only 30 guests invited due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)
At Prince Philip's funeral the two brothers were initially separated by their eldest cousin Peter Philips. (Getty Images)

Once the service was complete, Kate was seen engaging Harry in conversation, who the Sunday Times reported at the time, "seemed to visibly relax, no longer alone".

The pair were joined shortly afterwards by William, which continued for at least the portion of the walk back to Windsor Castle that was caught on camera, with Kate eventually dropping back to leave them to it.

Philip's funeral came weeks after Meghan and Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that laid bare their grievances with the royal "institution" and the media, offering some explanation about their motivations for leaving life as working royals behind.

Low – speaking on the Scandal Mongers Podcast – also touched on new revelations from the new paperback edition of his book Courtiers, which claimed Kate was the member of the family most keen to use the now-infamous phrase "some recollections may vary" in the Royal Family's response to the Sussexes' interview with Oprah.

The Duchess of Cambridge sits in the Quire during the funeral service of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. - Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99 just weeks after a month-long stay in hospital for treatment to a heart condition and an infection. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Philip's funeral was socially distanced, because the pandemic was ongoing at the time. (Getty Images)

"A lot of authors have been claimed for that phrase, obviously it wasn't the Queen's own phrase [...] It turns out that was William's private secretary, Jean-Christophe Gray, he came up with it. He only started in the job three weeks earlier, he was incredibly new to it when this whole Oprah Winfrey crisis came along."

Low also said that while the Queen was waiting to respond until she had watched the interview broadcast in full, aides had prepared a draft response, which "challenged the truth of what Harry and Meghan had to say" which included the "recollections may vary" phrase.

"There was a debate about it amongst all the courtiers and the various royal households and some people in other households were a bit nervous, they didn't think they should include it because they were worried that it would unnecessarily antagonise Harry and Meghan.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Kate is said to have been keen to 'lay a marker' so Harry and Meghan's version of events wasn't accepted as the truth. (Getty Images)

"But, the person who was adamant that it should stay in was Kate [...] because she made the argument that 'we've got to lay down a marker to say that we challenge some of this narrative because otherwise it's going to be accepted as true and we've got the future reputation of the Royal Family to think about'.

"It shows a side of Kate that's not always appreciated – that she's far steelier... she's thinking about the longer term."

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