The Duke of Cambridge spent Father’s Day with his two eldest children today as they helped him kick off a half marathon event on the Queen‘s Sandringham Estate.
Dressed casually in a pale blue shirt and a pair of navy chinos, the proud dad addressed runners and then held the microphone down to the two children so that they could count down to the start of the race together.
The royal trio were then seen waving as enthusiastic competitors passed them by at the beginning of their 13.1 mile circuit.
Prince William appeared smiling and relaxed today, despite reports he ‘threw Prince Harry out’ of their joint household at Kensington Palace following a blistering row between the brothers. The clash has been detailed by historian and biographer Robert Lacey, in his book Battle of Brothers which is being serialised in The Times.
The Duke of Cambridge spent Father’s Day with his two eldest children today as they helped him kick off a half marathon event on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate
Prince William, who turns 39 tomorrow, was joined by Prince George, seven, and Princess Charlotte, six, at the beginning of the event in Sandringham, Norfolk
Dressed casually in a pale blue shirt and a pair of navy chinos, the proud dad held the microphone down to the two children so that they could count down to the start of the race together
Prince George echoed his father’s style today, dressed in a smart pair of blue chino shorts and a check shirt with navy trainers. Meanwhile Charlotte wore a pair of denim shorts with bright pink trainers, completing her look with a baby pink Ralph Lauren jumper.
The princess wore her long hair in a half up-do, with the sides taken back in two plaits which combined into a small ponytail.
As they left the event, Prince William affectionately held his eldest son’s hand while led away by a steward.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, and the couple’s youngest son Prince Louis, three, were not photographed at the event.
Earlier today the Cambridges shared a series of photos as part of a video collage to mark Father’s Day – the Royal Family’s first without Prince Philip, who passed away on April 9 aged 99.
One showed a young Prince William with his father and Prince Harry lounging on the grass in 1990. In the childhood snap, Charles sported a kilt with a matching burgundy jumper while the boys embraced him.
Another showed Kate Middleton with her father Michael Middleton on her wedding day in 2011.
In a touching tribute to his late grandfather, the Duke of Cambridge also shared a snap of his children sitting on a sofa with their grandparents and cousins Mia and Lena Tindall, and Savannah and Isla Phillips.
One last picture showed William being cuddled by Prince George, seven, and Princess Charlotte, six, while wearing his military uniform. He cradled his youngest son, Prince Louis in the adorable snap to celebrate the day.
The argument betweent the princes was reportedly sparked by Harry’s wife Meghan Markle being accused of bullying her staff at the palace. When William was informed about the ‘dossier of distress’ that had been compiled in relation to her behaviour, he was concerned and had to speak with his brother face to face, resulting in a bitter row which left both princes unhappy with each other and led William to take the decision to split their household.
The newspaper revealed in March how Jason Knauf, communications secretary to the Cambridges and Sussexes, claimed in October 2018 that Meghan had been bullying members of staff. Lawyers for the Sussexes have denied the allegations.
After William heard the bullying allegations, he rang Harry, according to Lacey. The conversation was heated and Harry ‘shut off his phone angrily’ so William went to speak to him personally.
Lacey writes: ‘The Prince was horrified by what he had just been told about Meghan’s alleged behaviour, and he wanted to hear what Harry had to say. The showdown between the brothers was fierce and bitter.’
The brothers had established a joint household at Kensington Palace in 2009 but this all came to an end in October 2018 – ahead of the Sussexes’ Australian tour in contrast to what Harry has said.
In his explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex claims that jealously was behind the rift after family members observed how well Meghan had carried out her duties while touring Australia.
But, according to Lacey, the brothers were already not on speaking terms when the couple set off for their trip. William was disturbed by the reports he received from PR man Jason Knauf who had emailed the Duke his concerns.
Knauf had compiled a dossier of complaints from Kensington Palace staff members who alleged bullying behaviour by Meghan.
After reading the email, the Duke of Cambridge tried to speak with Harry on the phone and, when Harry hung up in anger, William went to speak to him face to face.
Lacey says the ensuing confrontation between the brothers was ‘fierce and bitter’ and left William feeling ‘hurt and betrayed’ while Harry was ‘furious’.
According to Lacey, some sources have claimed that Harry accused someone in the family of ‘concepts that were racist’ but Lacey stresses neither brother has ever confirmed the word racist was used.
As reported in the Times, the argument left William certain that Meghan had to be removed from the household as Lacey states he ‘simply did not want Harry or Meghan around anymore’Citing a friend of the Duke of Cambridge, Lacey says he was told: ‘William threw Harry out.’
Separately, The Mail on Sunday has been told there have been other, equally intense clashes. None more so, according to a source, than on the eve of Harry’s wedding. Details are sketchy but this row was said to have been particularly ferocious.
The Princes had already fallen out before Harry and Meghan’s engagement after William had expressed doubts about the speed at which their relationship was progressing.
Lacey writes that William believed Meghan was following an ‘agenda’ and Kate, too, according to a friend, was wary of her from the outset.
The author quotes one Kensington Palace staffer as saying: ‘Meghan portrayed herself as the victim, but she was the bully. People felt run over by her.
They thought she was a complete narcissist and sociopath – basically unhinged.’
According to the book, jealousy is at the heart of the brothers’ rift. Or at least that is how Harry sees it. The Duke views his triumphant October 2018 return with Meghan from their Australian tour as a defining moment in their deteriorating relationship.
William, of course, would reject any notion that he and his wife resented the Diana-like popularity Meghan enjoyed at the time. In any case, the book says, the brothers were no longer on speaking terms before the Sussexes set off for Australia, owing to William’s anger over the bullying allegations.
PR man Knauf, 34, was concerned by stories of mistreatment brought to him by colleagues and resolved to set down the facts, as he saw them, for the record.
In an email to William’s private secretary, Knauf wrote: ‘I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year.’
His office had received ‘report after report’, he wrote, from people who had witnessed ‘unacceptable behaviour’ by Meghan towards this member of staff.
As early as 2017, around the time of the couple’s engagement, according to a report in The Times, a senior aide had spoken to the couple about the difficulties caused by their treatment of staff. ‘It’s not my job to coddle people,’ Meghan was said to have replied.
It is significant that it was Knauf – whose PR expertise Meghan valued and who was one of her most senior advisers – that raised the issue. Until this point, Lacey says Texas-born Knauf had taken ‘considerable stick from some of his non-royal contacts’ who criticised him for being overly protective of the Duchess.
But numerous colleagues were bringing stories of what they said they had suffered at Meghan’s hands, including emotional cruelty and manipulation, and he could not remain silent.
The Times reported that several people maintained they had been ‘humiliated’ by the Duchess, and that criticism also extended to Harry.