Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2019

Prince William vs Harry feud: How Harry was just a ‘decoy’ for William’s bad behaviour | Royal | News

One day, in the far distant future, Prince William will sit on the throne as he is crowned King. The coronation will no doubt be an extravagant affair and millions will tune in to watch the festivities. Prince William is popular among royal fans and the British public alike, so the jubilant occasion is likely to be met with celebration. But it seems there were times his behaviour fell short of that expected of a King – and Prince Harry was forced to take the flack.

Whether you’re a royalist or a republican, you’re likely to have heard of the phenomenon of having “an heir and a spare” – the principle of having a second son as a ‘reserve’ King, should anything tragically happen to the first.

In principle, the ‘spare’ is still expected to behave in a manner befitting of a future ruler.

But they are also seen as something else – something lesser.

And it is this phenomenon that saw a feud break out between Prince William and his younger brother Harry during their teenage years.

While their upbringing was far from difficult, the pair had a turbulent transition into teenage life after the mother Princess Diana was killed in a car crash.

Although the pair have still grown up into well-respected and well-rounded individuals, championing the same charities and causes which were close to their late-mother’s heart, her death likely saw them struggle to come into their own in their formative years.

Simon Vigar, speaking on the Princes At War documentary, revealed how Harry served as a useful took for his older brother.

He said: “Harry has obviously got into some scrapes which have landed him on the front pages of the newspapers.

“But at plenty of those parties, particularly the teenage parties, William was there, Harry served as a really useful decoy.”

Author Katie Nicholl added the brothers had a real fall out during their younger years, as Harry was fed up of being seen as the troublesome one.

She said: “That was the first time the brothers really fell out because Harry resented the fact that he had taken all the blame but of course William was the hei.

“Harry took the flack and Harry was very cross about that. He refused to speak to his brother or forgive him for some time.”

The ‘heir and a spare’ phenomenon may not affect Harry so much in later life, however.

Now sixth in line to the throne, there is no real risk of Harry becoming King any time soon.

And with his new wife Meghan Markle helping him carve his own path within the royal family, with baby Archie Harrison at their side, it seems Prince Harry may have finally found his place after all.

Jonathan Spangler, Senior Lecturer in History, Manchester Metropolitan University, wrote in The Conversation: “The position of the spare became unbearable.

“He was required to behave in a manner that was impeccably “princely” and yet if he looked too strong and too confident, he was seen as a threat.

“These unresolvable contradictions led several second sons into open rebellion against their older brothers and many ended their lives physically exhausted, their reputations in tatters.”

But he added these may longer be of issue to Harry, saying: “In the modern British monarchy, Prince Harry does not need to compete with his brother for political power.

“And he no longer realistically needs to be prepared to take on the duties associated with sitting on the throne.

“With Prince Harry, the history of the second son may be taking a new turn.

“A more dedicated “dynastic public relations” specialist, Harry appears to be using his position of inherited privilege not just to support the ongoing power and influence of the dynasty but also to impact favourably the world around him.”

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