'William has always watched out for his younger brother.'
"The brothers don’t hate each other as has been reported," a royal source tells ET, adding that "they do talk."
The source goes on to reference the fact that back in March, Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, split households with William and his wife, Kate Middleton. The move was largely expected, as William was always meant to have a separate household to help him prepare to take the throne.
"The separate households that were created improved the relationship so they weren’t having to talk about business," the source says. "The brothers have different futures with very important institutional roles and that created a complicated relationship. Once the households separated, things improved."
"But that’s not to say William and other members of the family weren’t disappointed when Harry and Meghan announced they were no longer choosing to be senior royal members," the source adds of Harry and Meghan's recent announcement that they'll split their time between the U.K. and North America.
According to the source, Harry and Meghan caused "an initial feeling in the family of being blindsided when [they] released their proposal publicly after they were asked to hold off."
"But ultimately everyone wanted Harry and Meghan to be happy," the source adds, noting that "William has always expressed concern for Harry. Since they were children, William has always watched out for his younger brother."
Following Harry and Meghan's announcement, William and Harry, through their spokespeople, released a joint statement denying a rift.
"Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge," the statement read. "For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful."
A second source close to both Harry and Meghan tells ET that this situation "wasn’t an easy decision for Harry," adding "he loves his family."
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