Prince Harry and Prince William walked side by side at the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
The decision wasn’t a PR stunt, according to King Charles’ former butler Grant Harrold.
Harrold said the brothers showed they were “a united family” leading up to the funeral.
Harry and William walked side by side in the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday. It was a contrasting image to Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, where their cousin Peter Phillips stood in between the brothers.
It’s unclear whether the brothers have reconciled following reports of a rift that dates back to 2018. The Guardian reports that William and Harry made no eye contact and kept a physical distance apart during the funeral.
Harrold was employed by the royal household from 2004 until 2011 and worked closely with Charles, Harry, and William. He said he doesn’t believe Harry and William’s joint appearance would have been a PR stunt, but rather a decision that was made naturally.
“Things don’t just happen. They are always planned. But I don’t think this was intentionally planned,” Harrold said.
Harrold said the brothers already previously showed they were “a united family” when they had a walkabout with their wives at Windsor Castle to view tributes to the Queen a couple of days after she died.
“It could be short-lived, but the Queen’s death brought them together,” Harrold said.
William invited Meghan Markle and Harry to join them for the walkabout, a Kensington Palace spokesperson previously told The Times of London.
“The Prince of Wales thought it was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family,” the spokesperson said, according to The Times.
Harrold added that Harry’s relationship with the king could be improving as well. The monarch mentioned his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas” in his first speech as king on September 9.
“The fact that Charles said that, it was him extending an olive branch,” Harrold said.
“He acknowledged their new life in California, but made clear they are part of the family. This was his first major statement as king, and he made it clear that even if people don’t like Meghan, she is part of the family,” he added.
Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, and representatives for the Duke of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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