Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021

Prince William handled rift with Harry and ‘problem’ of Andrew ‘very well’ ‒ expert

Prince William once bought Kate binoculars for her birthday

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The Duke of Cambridge, 39, is married to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, also 39, and the couple have three children together: Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three. William and Kate had a packed schedule last week after a relaxed summer in which the family holidayed with the Queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Back on royal duties last week, the couple enjoyed a red-carpet appearance at the premiere of new James Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’ in London.

They also visited Northern Ireland where they spoke with young people about recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.

A book about the Earthshot environmental award William launched last year also hit the shelves last week.

‘Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet’ features an intro by William, as well as contributions by other famous faces, including David Attenborough.

As well as drawing plaudits for his public work, William has also received praise for his response to royal controversies.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams applauded the way the Duke – and also Kate – had handled the relationship with Harry and the sexual assault allegation against Andrew.

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Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “He’s handled matters very, very well, of course there is a problem of the rift with the Sussexes, there is the problem of Andrew.

“It’s not an easy time for the Royal Family but the Cambridges have done superbly.”

Harry dramatically left the Royal Family last year with his wife Meghan Markle and the couple moved to the US.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex parted ways with the Firm against a backdrop of reports they had feuded with several senior royals, including William.

The Queen confirmed in February of this year that the Sussexes would not return as working royals.

The couple then gave an earth-shattering tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey in March for CBS in which they spoke about their royal exit.

In it, Harry addressed the reports of his rift with William, saying that he and his brother were on “different paths” but that he loved him “to bits”.

Meanwhile, Andrew is facing a lawsuit from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

The Duke of York vehemently denies the allegation.

He told Newsnight in 2019: “It didn’t happen ‒ I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.

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“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

The claim dates back to the Duke of York’s controversial friendship with disgraced US financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell in 2019.

Ms Giuffre claimed the alleged assaults took place in London at the property of Mr Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell, as well as at Mr Epstein’s homes in New York City and the US Virgin Islands.

As well as praising his handling of Harry and Andrew, Mr Fitzwilliams also claimed that William had demonstrated skill in his job as a helicopter pilot, and at managing his own family’s public appearances.

He added: “William’s been perfection in the job that he has at the moment and in the way he’s handled it.

“In the experience he gained as a pilot and an ambulance pilot, based in Wales of course initially. Subsequently it was East Anglian Air Ambulance.

“At that time, as I say, he gave his family as they were then as much privacy as he could.

“He’s managed to keep a very, very good work-life balance, certainly as far as we can see.”

‘Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet’ was written by Colin Butfield and Jonnie Hughes and published by John Murray Press. It is available here.
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