Prince William's staff reportedly planted stories about the mental health of his younger brother Prince Harry, after the latter publicly admitted having differences between them.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave the first hint of their differences with the rest of the British royal family in an ITV documentary released at the end of their tour of South Africa in October 2019. Speaking to journalist Tom Bradby, Meghan voiced her struggles in adjusting to royal life, while Harry spoke of being on "different paths" with his only sibling.
"We are certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me. We don't see each other as much as we used to but I love him dearly and the majority of stuff is created out of nothing. As brothers, you have good days, you have bad days," the Duke of Sussex had said.
Omid Scobie, the co-author of "Finding Freedom," a biography detailing Harry and Meghan's exit as working royals, has claimed that it was "no coincidence" that a briefing campaign was started against Harry the same day he appeared to confirm the feud. According to the journalist, reports saying William was "worried about Harry's mental health" were also deliberately planted by his staff, and further drove a wedge between the brothers, reports Mail Online.
"I would say that it was no coincidence that it was shortly after that aired, even the next day, there were source quotes that came from a senior aide at Kensington Palace saying that William was worried about his brother's mental health," Scobie said in "Harry & William: What Went Wrong?"- ITV's new documentary about the brothers' feud.
"That fed off such an ugly thing for Harry and it did not go unnoticed. Now whether William directed that or not, no one will ever know, but it came from his household that he is the boss of," Scobie added.
However, the journalist's claims about William's aides planting stories against Harry were cut from the ITV documentary at the last minute, reportedly after Kensington Palace approached the producers with concerns that the allegations were defamatory while citing the Duke of Cambridge's work towards mental health. After "carefully considering" the palace's request, ITV chose to remove any reference to mental health from the programme, though they retained Scobie's comment about an alleged briefing from Kensington Palace relating to Harry.