Harry and William were ‘lost souls’ before meeting wives, author says

Prince Harry and Prince William shared the same upbringing and trauma growing up, which resulted in the pair being “lost souls” by the time they reached their late teens, a royal commentator has claimed. Despite the Duke of Sussex and the Prince of Wales having married very different women, author Tom Quinn explained both brothers found in their wives the support they needed.

The author of the newly-released book Gilded Youth, which looked into the upbringing given to royals over the past decades, told “I think actually, in a strange way, the two boys, William and Harry, need their partners in a very similar way.”

Mr Quinn argued the fact that both the princes were brought up by paid staff, in line with the upbringing that used to be given to aristocrats and royals, had an impact on Harry and William, as the hired nannies “could leave anytime”.

Unlike previous generations of members of the Firm, however, who would spend as little as half an hour a day with their parents, Harry and William were more in contact with both King Charles and Princess Diana, Mr Quinn added.

After describing the late Princess of Wales as “perhaps more modern and loving” than her former husband, the author said: “So when they when their mother died, they had that terrible thing on top of the insecurity of being brought up by paid staff.

“I think by the time they reached adulthood, they both needed a woman who was either in the case of William level-headed and strong in that quiet, solid, secure way Kate has or, in the case of Harry, someone like Meghan who was going to grab him by the scruff of the neck and say ‘this is the way to live’.

“But the end result was the same because the symptoms were the same. I think by the time Harry and William reached their late teens they were lost souls.”

Prince Harry himself recently acknowledged Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, had a major impact on his personal growth.

Appearing in a livestream conversation with author Dr Gabor Maté in early March, the Duke said: “People have said that my wife saved me. I was stuck in this world, and she was from a different world and helped draw me out of that.”

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However, Harry added, he was the one who made the change in his own life possible. He explained: “None of the elements of my life would have been possible without me seeing it for myself.

“It’s almost impossible to change other people, you’ve got to start with changing yourself and allow that growth to happen.”

The fifth-in-line to the throne continued to say his wife is an “exceptional human being” to which he is “eternally grateful” for the wisdom and space she has given him.

While William hasn’t been so publicly open about the support he has received from Kate, he is believed to find support and inspiration not just in his wife but also in her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.

Royal commentator Rachael Andrew told OK! magazine last November: “We’ve seen over the past few years that he gets on really well with them.

“He admires the way that Carole and Michael brought up Catherine, Pippa and James and that seems to be reflected in the way William is a down-to-earth father now.

“He, of course, lost Diana when he was very young and probably looks up to Carole because he’s lacked a mother figure for so much of his life.

“With Carole and Michael he’s got people to confide in who are removed from the monarchy.”

Gilded Youth by Tom Quinn, published by Biteback, is available in hardback (£15).

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