For the last six months, the growing divide between House Cambridge and House Sussex has been front page news. Now that they’ve formally separated households and social media accounts, PEOPLE is even getting in on it. This is noteworthy because PEOPLE is typically royal-friendly, so as to protect their royal access and relationship to their royal sources. The story has gotten so big, however, that they obviously can’t ignore it any longer.
What’s different about the angle that PEOPLE is taking is that they’re putting the focus on the royal brothers, William and Harry, instead of on their wives, Catherine and Meghan. Which is where it should have been all along. If there’s been any manipulation and politicking, William and Harry would have the influence and the power, since they’re the ones who came from the system. The UK tabloids, as we’ve seen, have primarily focused on the women, leaning into the catfight trope, for the most part glossing over the fact that the power rests with the heirs. PEOPLE however is centering the princes, the words “ROYAL RIFT” ominously printed in black between them, and teasing the “painful tensions” that have pushed them apart.
The story online though isn’t all that scandalous.
Despite the royal brothers’ very different roles — William, 36, is preparing to be the future king while Harry, 34, prepares for first-time fatherhood — longtime palace staffers had the “homogeneous idea” of the two princes working in tandem. However, it’s now clear that with the additions of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle — and their growing families — a united foursome wasn’t feasible.
“It was only going to work until they married — and it went on a while longer than perhaps was originally thought,” one palace courtier tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
“It’s a shame,” says the household source. “There was power in that unity and great strength in the foursome, but I see why it is happening. There is always that tension: trying to do the PR thing and then realizing that they are just real people. They want their own place and their own things.”
“There is never any doubt that they will be there for each other 100 percent and support each other when it matters,” according to one insider.
“Maybe they’ll come back together a little later,” says the source close to the royal household. “It’s another stage in the growing up. Sometimes you have to break away in order to come back.”
Seems perfectly reasonable, right? It’s not uncommon to not hang out with your sibling all the time, especially when you already work together. And on top of that, it’s clear that William and Harry’s work styles are different. It’s like the “Love Language” thing. People also have different work languages. I’m amazed that no one’s capitalised on that for a book idea. “What is Your Work Language? 10 ways to improve your career!”
What’s interesting here, though, with this PEOPLE story is how it relates to a previous issue of the magazine, published a few weeks ago, with five of Meghan Markle’s close (anonymous) friends defending her against the sh-t that they keep throwing at her in the British media. Does that help to legitimise this new story about Will and Harry’s relationship? Again, the cover is way more provocative than the actual reporting inside the pages. Inside the pages, though the two brothers are in the spotlight rather than their wives, no one comes out looking like the bad guy, no blame is placed on either, which means this story shouldn’t displease either side too much – or, perhaps more critically, please one side more than the other. It reads, then, like a strategic rebalance, a counter, you might say, to what some might consider to be the biased reporting that has come before it. Which is totally on brand for PEOPLE. And a redirect for House Cambridge? Given PEOPLE’s reach and profile, putting a story like this out there could also be a distraction from the Turnip drama. Us Weekly seems to be taking that a step further with their cover this week:
The focus is here is Kate, House Cambridge instead of Sussex, and a reminder that she’s the higher ranking duchess. They did her dirty though by using that picture. Like it looks like they actually gave her fillers. And, of course, Us too is staying away from the Turnip tiff. Will that put an end to it?
You know what will make everybody forget about the turnips? A baby can get rid of the turnips. Baby Sussex could bury the turnip situation. Jayden Sussex isn’t even born yet and already he has his first job.