The claim was made by a source who alleged the brothers “have turned a new page” after the unveiling of a statue honoring their late mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday.
“William and Harry spent the morning before the statue unveiling looking through old keepsakes, notes from Diana and bonding,” the insider alleged to Us Weekly on Wednesday.
“They have absolutely turned a new page in their relationship and have started the healing,” the source claimed. “Everyone around them was thrilled to see how close they were on the day of the statue unveiling.”
Prince William and Prince Harry at Princess Diana’s statue unveiling. (Getty Images)
The brothers put on a united front for the private ceremony in the Sunken Garden at London’s Kensington Palace, a place the princess once found solace. It was only the second time that the siblings have appeared in public since Harry, 36, stepped aside from royal duties over a year ago.
The statue, which shows a larger-than-life Diana surrounded by three children, was commissioned by the brothers in 2017. The style of her dress is meant to evoke the final period of her life when she gained confidence in her humanitarian work.
Diana passed away in 1997 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. She was 36.
“Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” William, 39, and Harry said in a joint statement leading up to the unveiling. “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”
Video released after the event showed the brothers entering the garden together before talking with family members and then pulling two ropes to remove the cover from the statue.
Britain’s Prince William, left and Prince Harry unveil a statue they commissioned of their mother Princess Diana, on what woud have been her 60th birthday, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, Thursday July 1, 2021. (Dominic Lipinski /Pool Photo via AP)
In their only other recent appearance together the pair seemed to chat amiably after the funeral for their grandfather, Prince Philip. But later reports indicated there was little progress in easing the rift.
Links between the brothers have been painfully strained in recent months, with William defending the royal family from allegations of racism and insensitivity made by Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, from their new home in Southern California.
Harry stepped back from royal duties last year and moved his family to the U.S. in search of a more peaceful existence that he could better control. William has pressed on with royal life and the never-ending demands that accompany his role as second-in-line to the throne.
The relationship became tenser in March when Harry and Markle, 39, gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey in March that was viewed by nearly 50 million people globally.
This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, from left, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (AP)
Harry confirmed rumors that he and his brother had been growing apart, saying “the relationship is ‘space’ at the moment” — though he added that “time heals all things, hopefully.” Harry also told Winfrey, 67, that his father, Prince Charles, didn’t accept his calls for a time.
The couple revealed that before the birth of their first child, an unidentified member of the royal family had expressed concern about how dark his skin might be. Days after the broadcast, William responded to questions called out by reporters, stating that “we are very much not a racist family.”
Pearce, who worked with Margaret Thatcher and the Royal Shakespeare Company before he befriended the Princess of Wales, has recently written a book about their work together titled “Diana The Voice of Change.” It explores her life principles and how she became “a force of liberation” as a member of the British royal family.
Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. – Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP/Getty Images)
Despite rumors of an alleged feud between the brothers, Pearce insisted that “there is no rift.”
“Two brothers have had a disagreement – this is not a rift, a feud or a battle,” said Pearce. “Brothers disagree… They’re muscling up to their own power. And people are outrage that the British heritage is changing. Well, of course, it needs to change.”
“They’re removing themselves from the private mystique that the royal family has always upheld,” he continued. “It’s unfortunate that it’s being projected in a certain way, that we’re hearing more from distant royal observers. But I believe there’s something that needs to be healed and they’re moving into that territory.”
Markle, a former American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.
According to multiple reports, Prince Harry is now back in California with his wife Meghan Markle and their two children. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
On June 4, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.