Royal watchers far and wide received a figurative avalanche of images and videos when Princes Harry and William and their wives Meghan and Kate made a surprising appearance together in Windsor shortly after the Queen’s death on September 7.
It was a momentous moment for obvious reasons: In another life (2018, to be exact) the famous two couples were dubbed the “Fab Four”, having teamed up together under the Kensington Palace umbrella to work together on various social causes. But everything changed in 2020 when Harry and Meghan chose to step back from their royal roles and move to California, USA.
Since then, appearances from the Fab Four has been few and far between—with a whole two years passing before the Queen’s death brought them together again, and as it turns out, the emotional reunion was extremely deliberate. The group of four was originally supposed to consist of only two—the newly painted Prince and Princess of Wales, Kate and William.
According to royal sources, the public appearance was preceded by a long discussion whereby William and Kate actually asked Meghan and Harry to join them.
Labelled an “11th hour olive branch,” The Times reported that the appearance was delayed by 45-minutes while the Wales’ and the Sussexes rearranged their plans to step out together.
“The Prince of Wales invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join him and the Princess of Wales earlier. The Prince of Wales thought it was an important show of unity for the Queen at an incredibly difficult time for the family,” a source told the publication.
Unity, they certainly showed. But less than four months later, a different story is surfacing. Below, we look at where the “fab four” currently stand.
What is the relationship between William, Kate, Harry and Meghan actually like?
While Royal experts said that William, Kate, Harry and Megan’s collaborative show of unity in the wake of the Queen’s death suggested the two couples are building bridges and repairing their relationship after two years of tension, the new Netflix documentary featuring the Sussexes, and its unexpected promotion appears to tell another story.
In the first two trailers for Harry & Meghan, the six-part docuseries promises to tell the “real” story—and at the centre of the sneak peeks are William and Kate, who appear to be key players in the disintegration of the Sussexes ties to The Firm.
At one point, Harry alleges that there were even people within the Palace walls that would “plant” stories about the pair.
“There’s a hierarchy of the family,” the Prince says. “There’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories. It’s a dirty game.”
He adds, “No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth.”
Their previous interviews have also alluded to trouble within the Palace. Meghan unpacked this so-called hierarchy with The Cut.
“Just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy. So we go, ‘Okay fine, let’s get out of here. Happy to,'” Markle explained. But she said the idea was quickly shut down.
“That, for whatever reason, is not something we were allowed to do, even though several other members of the royal family do that exact thing,” she said.
It’s also been said that Harry had “lost” his father in the process of moving away from his royal role, with Charles (who succeeds his mother as King of England) allegedly refusing to answer his calls, according to the couple.
Of course, after the death of Queen Elizabeth, it seemed Harry was beginning to resolve any bad blood he had with the family, particularly with Prince William.
“It is, without a doubt, a significant moment in the history of the relationship between the two brothers,” respected royal reporter Omid Scobie shared on Twitter following their appearance together at Windsor in September.
But whether that was a fleeting moment or the start of a long journey to healing remains to be seen.
The first three episodes of Harry & Meghan will drop on Netflix at 7pm AEDT on December 8. Log in or sign up here.