Queen Elizabeth II's Death Will Hopefully Lead to Princes Harry & William Repairing Relationship: Royal Expert

Her Majesty died on Thursday amid a rift between the two royal brothers.

The sudden death of Queen Elizabeth II may open the door for Prince Harry and Prince William to make amends and repair their years-long rift. At least that's the hope, royal expert Katie Nicholl tells ET.

"We know that this is a rift between the royal brothers that runs deep," Nicholl says. "We know it is a rift that caused the queen a great deal of pain, and the brothers will be together at Balmoral. This is the first time they have been together, really, since the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral nearly 18 months ago."

Yes, they were both there, but there was still a lot of tension.

"I think there is every hope that this will hopefully trigger some sort of reconciliation between these two brothers, who for the past 18 months have really been brothers at war," Nicholl adds.

Elizabeth died on Thursday in Scotland surrounded by family. Newly named King Charles III, who became the reigning monarch following his mother's death, his wife, Camilla, and sister, Princess Anne, arrived at Balmoral early Thursday. Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex arrived at the Scotland establishment around 5:00 p.m. local time. 

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While Prince Harry was seen arriving at Balmoral, he arrived solo and without his wife, Meghan Markle. Nicholl told ET that an invitation to join the family at the estate was not extended to Meghan.

“It's understood that the family wanted Prince Harry to be there, even though he was unable to get to Balmoral in time to see his grandmother,” Nicholl says.

Harry’s plane landed shortly after the news of the queen’s death was made public. The Duke of Sussex was seen arriving at the estate in a black SUV, with his hand covering a portion of his face.  

"But Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was not, we understand, invited to join the family," Nicholl adds. "She has said she will go to Balmoral another time. But I think it is quite significant that Prince Harry traveled to Balmoral on his own without his wife.” 

Meghan is at the root of the discord between Harry and his royal family, which began when they decided to step away from the royal life in 2020. Just recently, a source told ET that the "royal family is disappointed by Meghan Markle's latest comments in The Cut magazine and on her podcast. They are distressed that after stepping back from the royal family -- claiming a need for privacy -- she continues to publicize family matters in the public."

The source added that there is a “loss of trust” with Meghan.  

Harry's memoir, due out in late 2022, has also caused a rift between him and the family. In the book, he'll share for the first time "the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses and life lessons that have helped shape him."

"Family members are still concerned about speaking candidly. Even a year after the Oprah Winfrey interview, there is still hurt and disappointment," a source told ET earlier this year. William and Kate Middleton also have a "lack of trust" with Harry and Meghan. 

Through all of the ups and downs, and when you remove their royal titles, at the end of all of this you have a family that's reeling from a tremendous loss.

"This is a family in mourning now, and of course, the queen was a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother," Nicholl said.

For updates on Queen Elizabeth's death, visit ET's ongoing coverage here.