By now we’re all aware that the relationship between the Princes William and Harry is on precarious ground, but the latest rumored wrinkle in their relationship begs a more intriguing question: what, exactly, does the royal family think “fame” is? Because from most of our points of view, the mainline members of ye ol’ House of Windsor are just born directly into being among the most famous beings on Earth. Apparently, they might not see it that way.
According to the latest gossip from an unnamed royal source who spoke to Us Weekly, William’s position is now, essentially, that Harry has become little more than a fame chaser.
“The conversation Harry and William had after the big interview didn’t end well,” the source said. “William feels that Harry has gotten too big for his boots since moving to California—that success and Hollywood have gone to his head. He’s already accused [his brother] of putting fame over family after the big interview.”
It’s an interesting take for two men whose births instantly became headline news around the world. Of course, it’s very possible the royals don’t view themselves as “famous” in any sort of traditional sense. Their notoriety, after all, is intertwined with both family and royal function. Major politicians, for example, can achieve worldwide notoriety above and beyond any Kardashian or Oscar winner, but we don’t describe them firstly as “famous,” do we? The royals also can’t completely divorce their personal lives from their public images (as the mega-coverage this feud between brothers has evidenced) even in the way some celebrities and politicians can.
Of course, there’s another “F” involved here beyond fame, family, and function: freedom. In his joint Oprah interview with wife Meghan Markle, Prince Harry claimed that his brother and father are essentially “trapped” in their role as royals and can’t get out. Harry and Meghan decided to leave once they realized how taxing that life can be.
If the royals view their status as being intrinsically linked with duty and some sort of higher fate (which, well, we guess it is), they could see notoriety with more freedom and no constitutional duty as little more than some sort of silly celebrity status. We’ve heard stories that Prince Philip likes to curse with the best of them behind closed doors, so maybe the only real “f-word” banned in the family is “fame.” Then again, judging from Harry and Meghan’s candid disclosure of their mental health and battles with the English paparazzi, it is hard to figure they merely persisted “Megxit” as merely a play for a different kind of fame alone.