Warring brothers Prince William and Prince Harry, and their wives Kate and Meghan, reunited on Saturday to view floral tributes to Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
The two couples, all dressed in mourning black, put on a united front as they looked at the banks of flowers left since the queen’s death on Thursday aged 96.
It was William and Kate’s first outing as the new Prince and Princess of Wales, a title once held by William and Harry’s father and mother — the new King Charles III and his first wife, princess Diana.
The sight of the two couples together — even if they separated to speak and shake hands with different sides of the cheering crowds — will likely spark rumours of a reconciliation.
An unnamed royal source was quoted by British media saying that William “invited the Duke and Duchess (of Sussex — Harry and Meghan) to join him and the Princess of Wales earlier”.
Quoting royal sources, Meghan and Harry’s friend and journalist Omid Scobie said the decision to invite the Sussexes was made in the eleventh hour. “It is, without a doubt, a significant moment in the history of the relationship between the two brothers,” he said.
Scobie said, “Just as we saw after the death of Prince Philip and at his funeral, these are the moments when members of the royal family can put differences to one side to focus on the loss that has brought them together. Today’s public reunion was a show of the utmost respect to the Queen.”
Charles also offered what has been interpreted as a clear olive branch to Harry and Meghan, who quit royal life in early 2020 and moved to the United States.
In his first speech as king on Friday, Charles, 73, spoke of his love for his second son and daughter-in-law.
William, Harry, Kate and Meghan were once dubbed “the fab four”, with hopes they could together secure the monarchy’s appeal to younger generations.
But relations between them reportedly soured soon after former British Army captain Harry’s wedding to Meghan, a mixed-race American television actress, at Windsor in 2018.
Harry, 37, the following year admitted publicly that he and his brother were “on different paths” in the clearest indication the rumours were true.