Things may be awkward in the royal family thanks to tension between the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, who, despite once being close, have been warring over the past few years.
While they were close for years, even acting as Best Men for one another at their respective weddings, the brothers have been separated by a rift that is said to have begun four years ago.
In March 2019, William reportedly threw Harry and Meghan out of Kensington Palace over the alleged bullying of staff, which has been denied, with the Sussexes breaking up their joint foundation and setting up a new office at Buckingham Palace.
In his bombshell biography Spare, Prince Harry claimed his older brother physically attacked him when he was still living in Nottingham Cottage within the grounds of Kensington Palace.
But wider high society is also struggling with the rift, as it was revealed this week Harry is not invited to his friend’s Hugh Grovesnor’s wedding.
William and Harry (pictured in July 2021) have been feuding since 2019
The Duke of Westminster, one of the richest men in Britain and a godfather to both Prince George and Archie, is said to want to avoid tension by bringing the warring siblings together.
But going to school together and running in the same circles means the brothers have dozens of overlapping friends.
So which pals they once partied with are loyal to the Crown? And which are team Harry?
Here FEMAIL reveals the friends who are firmly part of William’s posh posse – Harry’s loyal band of brothers – and who is stuck in the middle.
Duke of Westminster
Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, is said to have decided against inviting the Sussexes to avoid clashes on his big day amid soaring tensions following the release of Omid Scobie ‘s new book. Pictured: With fiancée Olivia Henson
To rub salt in the wound, it is thought Prince William is in the running to be Grosvenor’s best man. Pictured: William with Grosvenor in 2004
Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, is said to have picked the Prince and Princess of Wales over the Sussexes to avoid clashes that would overshadow his big day. Pictured: Prince William (right) and Hugh Grosvenor (second from left) during the official handover of the newly built Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in 2018
In a shock snub, Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, has decided not to invite Harry and Meghan to his society wedding to avoid ‘drama’.
One of Prince Harry’s closest friends and godfather to his son Archie, he is believed to have been keen to invite the Sussexes before deciding not to so his nuptials wouldn’t be overshadowed by royal tensions.
William and Kate and the King and the Queen are all invited, with the Prince of Wales even thought to be in the running to be best man.
Known as Hughie to this friends, the billionaire Duke is also godfather to William’s son Prince George, ten, and Archie, 3.
A life-long friend for each of the brothers, he is thought to be the only pal both chose to mentor their children.
One of Britain’s richest men, 32, the billionaire aristocrat proposed to fiancee Olivia Henson at his family seat, Eaton Hall in Cheshire. They are set to get married at Chester Cathedral on June 7 in the wedding of the year.
Hugh Grosvenor attends the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle with Charlie van Straubenzee at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018
Grosvenor, who is thought to own more land than the King, has an estimated net worth of £9.42 billion and has a long history with the royal family – with his late father Gerald acting as King Charles’ own godfather. Pictured: With his mother in 2018
‘It’s incredibly sad it has come to this,’ a friend of William and Harry’s told The Sunday Times.
‘Hugh is one of very few close friends of William and Harry’s who has maintained strong bonds and a line of communication with both. He wishes they could put their heads together and patch things up, but realises it’s unlikely to happen before the wedding.’
‘He wanted to avoid anything overshadowing the day, especially for Olivia, and doesn’t want any awkwardness.’
A spokesman for the Duke said: ‘We are not in a position to comment on the guest list.’ Buckingham Palace also declined to comment.
Archie’s other godparents have not been named publicly by his parents – but include Tiggy Pettifer, Harry and William’s former nanny, Mark Dyer, his minder, and his school friend Charlie van Straubenzee.
William Van Cutsem
William van Cutsem is a close friend of Prince William’s, and is one of Prince George’s godparents
William Van Cutsem is an old friend of Prince William, and another of George’s godparents.
He lives just 24 miles away from late Queen’s Sandringham estate, making him a stalwart of the Royals’ ‘Turnip Toff’ social set.
Mr Van Cutsem’s father Hugh, a friend of Prince Charles, was a banker and a passionate conservationist who died in 2013.
Prince William is a regular visitor to the Hilborough estate, which has won awards for its conservation work and is regarded as one of the leading wild-bird shoots.
In 2013, he married Rosie Ruck Keene, and William served as an usher.
Mr Van Cutsem’s niece Grace was affectionately dubbed the ‘grumpy bridesmaid’ for covering her ears on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Another niece, Florence, was a bridesmaid at Prince Harry’s wedding.
Harry, 38, is one of Prince William’s closest friends, having attended Ludgrove Prep School and Eton with him
Harry, 38, is one of Prince William’s closest friends, having attended Ludgrove Prep School and Eton with him.
The Prince and Princess of Wales attended Harry’s wedding to Louise Stourton in January 2011, just four months before the couple’s own nuptials.
Prince William was an usher at the ceremony, held at Aldborough Parish Church in Boroughbridge, West Yorkshire.
Harry is the youngest son of Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, 8th Baronet and Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.
His similarly blue-blooded wife, who also attended Prince Louis’ christening, is the eldest daughter of Edward Stourton, the 24th Baron Stourton, 28th Baron Segrave, 27th Baron Mowbray.
Harry Aubrey-Fletcher made headlines in 2013 for playfully tugging on Prince William’s ear during that year’s Cheltenham Festival.
He was also one of the main guests at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle.
Godfather of Prince George, Oli Baker and his blonde wife Mel (nee Nicholson) were a St Andrews couple, just like William and Kate
Godfather of Prince George, Oli Baker and his wife Mel (nee Nicholson) were a St Andrews couple, just like William and Kate.
Oli, with another friend, Alastair Coutts-Wood, shared the farmhouse that William and Kate lived in for their last two years there.
After university and before marriage, Oli’s wife Mel shared the Middleton family flat in Chelsea with Kate.
Described as ‘a real rugger bugger’ who played the sport with William at University, his discretion earned him the soubriquet ‘Zipper Lips Baker’.
Educated at King’s Canterbury in Kent, Baker is now a grand-sounding strategic sourcing manager for Barclays Capital, where a colleague said he had ‘never, ever mentioned his friendship with William and Kate’ in years.
Former royal aide Mark Dyer is often referred to as Harry’s ‘second dad’ and is another of Archie’s godfather’s
Prince Harry has remained close to Mark Dyer, former equerry to King Charles in the 1990s, since the death of his mother Princess Diana.
Mark Dyer, 55, is a long-time mentor and is often referred to as the Duke’s ‘second dad’.
The former Welsh Guards officer, known to friends as Marko, served as an equerry to King Charles during the 1990s, and has remained close with Harry ever since.
It is said that, after the death of Princess Diana, Mark stepped up and was a strong presence in the lives of both Prince Harry and Prince William.
When Harry admitted to smoking cannabis as a teenager and Prince Charles insisted he spend a day at a residential centre for drug users in Peckham, South London, meeting recovering cocaine and heroin addicts, it was Dyer who escorted him along with his royal protection officers.
However, after his spell as an employee to the Prince ended he remained a mentor to Harry.
Mark is seen accompanying William and Harry to Wattisham Airfield In Suffolk in the early 2000s
Mark Dyer and his mother arrive to his wedding to Amanda Kline
He was reportedly fond of the Prince’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy and sneaked her out to the ranch where Harry was staying in Argentina during his gap year before starting his Army training at Sandhurst.
Royal biographer Penny Junor once described Mark as one of the ‘few people who talks some sense into [Harry]’.
Dyer enjoyed a brief romance with ex-royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke but wed Texan heiress Amanda Kline in 2010.
Prince Harry was an usher at the ceremony at St Edmund’s Church at Crickhowell, in Powys, Wales.
The pair are so close, Harry and Meghan even decided to name Mark as Archie’s Godfather – with Harry holding the same responsibility for Mark’s own son Jasper.
These days, Mark runs a chain of bars and restaurants in west London, and he is also a trustee of Harry’s Sentebale charity.
It is thought Harry and Meghan had secret dates at Mark’s establishments when they first met.
Charlie van Straubenzee
Harry made annual summer visits to the Straubenzee family home in Cornwall while he was growing up and remains very close to Charlie
Prince William met Thomas and Charlie Van Straubenzee’s when he attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire, where George, Charlotte and Louis are now attending.
Thomas’ younger brother, Charlie is very close with Prince Harry and is another godfather to his son Archie.
The families have been friends for decades, with their uncle, William van Straubenzee, a close friend of their mother Princess Diana.
Harry made annual summer visits to the Straubenzee family home in Cornwall while he was growing up.
The friends have been pictured together in the past attending events such as the Rugby World Cup in 2015, where they watched England play Australia.
Charlie and Harry were known as perpetual bachelors, and when Charlie’s relationship with Daisy got serious in 2016, a mutual friend told the Daily Mail: ‘This means Harry really does have to find a girlfriend.’ Luckily this was around the time he began his relationship with Meghan.
Both brothers were ushers at the Sussexes’ wedding in 2018 and Charlie even gave a speech at the reception.
In his wedding speech, Charlie allegedly made reference to the prince’s ‘ginger locks’ and teased Harry about his days as a dormitory monitor at their school.
‘All I wanted was a cuddle from my mummy,’ he said. ‘Instead Harry nicked my teddy bear and chucked it out onto the roof. Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you, how can you put someone in charge of a dorm when that someone is worse behaved than the whole dorm combined?’
The Duke of Sussex acted as Charlie’s best man at his wedding to Daisy, a society wedding and party videographer who runs a company with her sister Kitty, on August 4 later that year in Frensham, Surrey.
Princess Eugenie and her now-husband Jack Brooksbank also attended the nuptials.
Meanwhile Prince Harry is believed to be godfather to Charlie’s daughter Clover, whom he welcomed in 2020.
The Princes also knew Charlie and Thomas’s late brother Henry, who died in a car crash aged 18 in 2002.
The funeral was attended by members of the Royal Family, and a memorial fund was set up in his name in 2007, with Princes William and Harry as patrons. The charity helps schools in Uganda.
Every year a Christmas carol concert is held at St Luke’s Church in Chelsea, organised by the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund to boost funds for its projects.
In 2020, Harry honoured his late friend Henry van Straubenzee with a Christmas donation to the charity fund set up in his name.
Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip (pictured with Harry in 2013 at a wedding in King’s Lynn) is one of Prince Harry’s oldest friends, but reportedly fell out with the Duke after advising him to take things slow with Meghan when the pair first began dating
Tom, also known as ‘Skippy’, is one of Prince Harry’s oldest friends, having met the Duke of Sussex when they were classmates at Eton College.
‘Skippy’ and sister Victoria — ‘Tor’ to her friends — have known Princes William and Harry since childhood.
Tom Inskip’s father is Owen Inskip, a field-master of Prince Charles’s favourite hunt, The Beaufort, who has made a fortune over the years from a number of businesses, including ‘managing’ thousands of council homes for local authorities and upmarket estates.
The Inskips were regulars at Club H, the ‘nightclub’ Harry set up in the basement of Highgrove.
Mr Inskip was with Harry on his ill-fated trip to Croatia in August 2011, when they got drunk on vodka, whisky, beer and tequila, and were photographed jumping into a pool fully-clothed at a nightclub on the party island of Hvar.
He was also with him on a skiing trip to Verbier in November 2012 when they amused themselves by childishly hurling snowballs at unsuspecting passers-by from a balcony.
He was with him at a party in 2010 when Harry was seen inhaling ‘hippy crack’ — also known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas — a recreational drug which, although perfectly legal, has been associated with a number of fatalities.
And he was with Harry during his infamous trip to Las Vegas in 2012, when the prince was photographed naked during a game of ‘strip billiards’.
But he’s been leading a more settled life since marrying flame-haired literary agent the Hon Lara Hughes-Young in Jamaica in 2017.
The groom and his bride, the daughter of Lord St Helens, hired out the super exclusive Round Hill Hotel and Villas, a private 110-acre plantation style resort first built as a colony of cottages for the rich, famous and glamorous of the 1950s.
It was one of the first events to which Harry took Meghan, and he was one of the ushers.
However the two apparently fell out after Tom warning Harry against marrying Meghan.
According to the 2020 book Finding Freedom, Tom expressed doubts about how quickly the relationship was moving and decided to warn his friend Harry.
He is believed to have advised Harry and Meghan to live together before ‘doing anything more serious.’
A source close to Duke and Duchess of Sussex told the book’s authors that although his advice ‘came from a good place,’ Prince Harry ‘didn’t totally see it that way’.
As a result, Mr Inskip and his wife Lara were reportedly ‘punished’ by being excluded from Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding party at Frogmore House.
However they have since made up.
Arthur Landon (pictured) himself comes from royalty, as the son of Austro-Hungarian Princess Katalina Esterhazy de Galantha
Another friend of Harry’s who dates back to his school days, Arthur Landon is a royal himself.
He is the son of Austro-Hungarian Princess Katalina Esterhazy de Galantha and Tim Landon, but mainly works as a filmmaker.
When his father passed away in 2007, Arthur inherited his fortunes and soon became one of the wealthiest young men in the UK.
A friend to both Prince Harry and Prince William, Arthur was a guest at both their weddings.
He was also present on a now-infamous trip to Las Vegas in 2012, from which photos of a half-naked Prince Harry emerged.
However, Arthur managed to go unnoticed on the trip and was not pictured in any photos.
Stockbroker Adam Bidwell has been along for the Prince Harry ride from his teenage years, and was thought to be in Las Vegas when the teenage Duke’s partying made global headlines. The financier remains a close friend of Prince Harry’s and is an ambassador for his Sentebale charity (Pictured right at the Cartier Queens Cup in 2013)
Moneyman Bidwell once dated mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins but the affair didn’t last long
Long since part of the inner circle, stockbroker Adam Bidwell – who hit the headlines in 2013 after a romance with singer Katherine Jenkins – featured on the far left of the suited and booted band of brothers snap.
Long before Harry met Meghan, Bidwell was frequently around for the Prince’s solo adventures, and was even thought to be present on that notorious trip to Las Vegas, along with Harry’s other close pal Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip.
In May 2018, Bidwell was an usher at the couple’s wedding, and by 2019 was very much still part of the couple’s life; he attended a polo match with the Duchess of Sussex in July 2019, with the Princess of Wales also in attendance.
In the same year, the financier travelled with Harry on a charity trip to Lesotho, where the Prince opened a dining hall at the Phelisanong Children’s Home.
His close friend also remains an ambassador for Sentebale, Harry’s charity, which he founded in honour of his mother Princess Diana.
Charles Crespigny Hussey Vivian, aka 7th Baron Vivian, is a global player in PR, and spends several months of the year in Africa. It’s thought he’s advised Prince Harry on some of his African charity trips over the years
A major player in the world of PR, Lord Vivian – full title Lord Charles Crespigny Hussey Vivian, aka 7th Baron Vivian – appeared second from left on the wedding party photo, and is thought to have helped the Prince set up several of his charity trips to Africa.
Lord Vivian and the Prince were introduced by mutual friend Mark Dyer, Harry’s long-term mentor, who’s also pictured on the far right on the band of brothers image.
Lord Vivian already spends several months a year in Africa due to his role as director of Tavistock PR, and is thought to be close enough to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to have attended Archie’s christening.
Prince Harry draped his arm over his close friend Wago’s shoulder on his wedding night. The car fanatic runs a specialist classic car storage unit
Nicknamed ‘Wago’, Henry Warhurst, a car collector who runs his own storage company called Henry’s Car Barn, stands directly to the right of Harry in the photograph.
Warhurst is married to Tamara Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, who is the niece of Tiggy Legge-Bourke – Prince Harry’s former nanny. The pair wed in April 2016 in Wales.
It’s thought that the Duchess of Sussex and Wago’s wife Tamara are also good friends, having bonded while at the wedding of Harry’s Eton pal Charlie van Straubenzee to bride Daisy Jenks in 2019.
Close friend: The Duke of Sussex first became pals with Jack Mann during their time together at Sandhurst. Right: However the Prince wasn’t at Mann’s wedding to osteopath Isabella Clark in Suffolk over the weekend
Polo buddies: the two former servicemen continued to be close after their days at Sandhurst (Pictured at Coworth Park, Ascot in 2015)
Prince Harry befriended Jack Mann at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
He is the son of Simon Mann, a SAS officer turned mercenary, who was jailed for five years for allegedly trying to overthrow the government in Equatorial Guinea in 2004.
Harry’s friend served with the British Army for tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
After leaving the army he worked in Libya as a country manager for a UK security company called Aegis Defence Services. He went on to create his own private security company in 2015 called Alma Risk.
This weekend, Mann, 40, exchanged vows with osteopath Isabella Clark at St Peter’s church in Stutton, Suffolk, where guests included Harry’s friend Thomas van Straubenzee, godfather of Princess Charlotte.