Prince William confessed to Prince Harry he was “frustrated” due to a decision made for him by the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Sussex has claimed. In his autobiography titled Spare, Harry recalled the day the now Prince and Princess of Wales tied the knot in April 2011.
During the ceremony and the following carriage drive, the groom appeared happy and besotted to the millions of people who tuned in to watch the nuptials of the future King and Queen Consort.
However, Harry said only a few hours earlier his brother had seemed to him as if he “hadn’t slept a wink”, showing a gaunt face and red eyes.
The Duke of Sussex said he wondered whether this downcast look had been caused by the Queen’s decision to reject William’s request over what to wear on his big day.
In his book, Harry claimed: “He’d asked Granny if he could wear his Household Cavalry kit and she’d turned him down.
“As the Heir, he must wear the Number One Ceremonial, she decreed.
“Willy was glum at having so little say in what he wore to get married, at having his autonomy taken from him on such an occasion. He’d told me several times that he felt frustrated.”
Harry added he had tried to make William feel better telling him he looked “bloody smart in the Harp of Ireland”, but the comment didn’t seem to “make an impression” on his elder brother.
This isn’t the only episode during which the late Queen asked Prince William to make a change about his physical appearance, Harry has claimed.
Speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby in an interview released last Sunday evening as part of his efforts to promote the book, Harry said the late monarch had allowed him to keep his beard when he tied the knot with Meghan Markle in May 2018.
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However, she had previously told William to shave off his own, Harry claimed.
In Spare, Harry claimed William ordered him to just get rid of his beard, despite he had regularly sported it since 2015.
Explaining the episode to Mr Bradby, Harry said: “I refer to it as heir/spare but also older brother/younger brother, right, there’s a level of competition there.
“And again, writing this, I remembered that William had a beard himself and that granny and other people, the ones to tell – told him that he had to shave it off.”
Harry carried on saying that he finds wearing a beard not a simple aesthetic choice but almost a shield against anxiety.
He continued: “The difference for me, if there was a difference, but the difference for me was, as I explained to my grandmother, that this beard I’m still – that I’m still wearing, felt to me at the time like the new Harry. Right?
“As almost like a shield to my anxiety. That was – that was the time of my life when I grew my beard.
“And I think William found it hard that other people told him to shave it off, and yet here I was on my wedding day wearing military uniform, no longer in the military but thinking as though I, believing as though I should shave it off before my wedding day.
“And I said, ‘Well I don’t believe that Meghan’s going to recognise me if she comes up the aisle and sees me beardless’.
“I would feel very, very different without my beard, and that’s hard for people to understand who’ve never grown a beard, um, but hopefully those beard people out there will go ‘Yeah, no, I fully get that, I can understand’.”
In his memoir, Harry claimed the argument with William over his beard at his 2018 wedding went on for a week.