Royal expert Kate Nicholl notes that William and Kate seemed to get an extra-warm reception at a royal engagement in Bradford last week amid news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will step back from their senior royal duties, become financially independent of the crown and split their time between the U.S. and North America.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also seemed noticeably jovial when they arrived at Buckingham Palace Monday for their first major royal event without Williams’ brother.
“The warm reception William and Kate received has given them a huge boost,” Nicholl told OK! (via the Daily Mail). “They’ve stuck to the tried-and-tested approach, promoting a united royal family and it’s a success.”
While the Cambridges may be feeling a boost from the historic royal shakeup, Nicholl notes the decision likely has put Harry in some personal turmoil.
“He might be putting a brave face on but I suspect Harry’s heartbroken. He’s a sensitive soul and he’s a sweetheart,” she explained.
This has likely been a trying week for Harry as he met with Queen Elizabeth and other senior royals to work out a deal that will see him and Markle relinquish their “royal highness” titles and pay back $3.1 million used to renovate their Frogmore Cottage residence. Harry capped things off by finally arriving in Canada where he and his wife will live part-time and raise 8-month-old Archie.
As for William, Nicholl explained that not having his brother by his side may make for a lonely stretch ahead.
“The past week must have been incredibly hard. With William busy performing royal duties, he’s not got his brother by his side right now and his father, Prince Charles, has returned to Scotland.”
In a speech given at a dinner for supporters of the Sentebale charity in London, Prince Harry addressed why he and Markle chose to relinquish their “royal highness” titles and move part-time to Canada.
“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” the prince said. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option. What I want to make clear is, we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.”