Skip to main content

Prince Harry discovered Prince William had referred to them as “separate entities” at a critical moment. The Duke of Sussex learned his brother wouldn’t put his “arm” around him in January 2020, days after he and Meghan Markle announced their exit from royal life. Ahead, the comment from the Prince of Wales and why he’d reportedly been eager to “open up” about Harry. 

William described he and Harry as ‘separate entities’ in 2019 

Harry learned of William’s “separate entities” in early 2020. However, the meeting where the quote was made happened in October 2019. 

William discussed the poor state of his and Harry’s relationship with Martin Ivens, who was then the editor of The Sunday Times, over beer at a South London, England, pub (via Newsweek). 

William and Ivens met on Oct. 11, 2019, after Harry had already described the two as being on “different paths” in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, ahead of its release.  

“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives, and I can’t do that anymore. We’re separate entities,” William said. 

​​”I’m sad about that,” he added. “All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the team.”

Ivens later reflected on his pub chat with William, saying in a Bloomberg article he had “steel.” 

“That steel was in evidence when his brother, for so long a comrade-in-arms after the death of their mother, Diana, appeared to go off the reservation and embarked upon a war against the press.”

“William, in that oblique way the royals speak, told me he couldn’t ‘put his arms around his brother’s shoulder’ any more. Not long after, Prince Harry was off on his American travels.”

Harry found out about William’s ‘separate entities’ comment on his way to the ‘Sandringham Summit’

On Jan. 13, 2020, the day of the so-called Sandringham Summit, is when Harry first heard about William’s “separate entities” remark. That day, Harry met with his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, as well as his father, King Charles III, and brother to discuss the terms of his and Meghan’s exit. 

Harry wrote in Spare, his 2023 memoir, that he didn’t just find out the same day but on his way to the Sandringham Summit. 

“On my way there I got a text […] about a story in The Times,” he recalled. “Willy was declaring that he and I were now ‘separate entities.’”

Meaning, that while William made the comment three months earlier, in October 2019, it didn’t go public until the Sandringham Summit. 

According to Spare, William’s final messages to Harry in October 2019, after a three-day argument via text, were of love. 

“Willy wrote that he loved me. That he cared for me deeply,” Harry recalled. “That he would do whatever is needed to help me. He told me to never feel any other way.”

William didn’t wait long to ‘open up’ about Harry because of 2019 ‘problem’ documentary

Related Harry and Meghan’s Website Update Is Missing Key Element, Commentator Says: Needs ‘Details’

Harry and Meghan’s Website Update Is Missing Key Element, Commentator Says: Needs ‘Details’

In Omid Scobie’s November 2023 book, Endgame, the author delved deeper into the details surrounding William’s comment. He claimed the 41-year-old had been “tipped off” about Harry’s Africa documentary.

Particularly Harry’s discussion about the “different paths” he and William were now on. For that reason, Scobie claimed, William was primed to “open up.” 

“After a contact had tipped him off, William was aware that Harry had also discussed their ‘tensions’ and ‘different paths’ with journalist Tom Bradby,” he wrote.

“Both William and his private secretary Simon Case felt that Harry’s candid confessions were going to be ‘a problem,’” Scobie continued. “So, by the time William sat down with Ivens at the pub, it didn’t take long for him to open up about Harry.”