British royals Prince William and Prince Harry grew up in the spotlight and were thrust even more into it after the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. The two brothers seem to have weathered the attention by supporting each other.
In a 2005 BBC interview, Harry said it’s “amazing how close” he and William have become.
“Ever since our mother died, obviously we were close, but he is the one person on this earth who I can actually really … we can talk about anything,” he said. “We understand each other and we give each other support.”
Here’s a photographic highlight of the royal brothers’ sweet relationship over the years.
Prince William Is Born
Prince William was born on June 21, 1982, just under a year after his parents — Prince Charles and Princess Diana — wed in the wedding of the decade on July 29, 1981.
Prince Harry Is Born
Prince William was born June 21, 1982, and his brother, Harry, followed on Sept. 15, 1984. In this photo, William is leaving the hospital with his nanny after meeting his new baby brother for the first time. How sweet!
Prince Willaim Hams It Up
In this photo, the elder prince hams it up for the British royal family on Dec. 21, 1984, as they prepare to take photos in honor of 3-month-old Harry’s christening.
The photo was taken at Windsor Castle, with Queen Elizabeth II seated next to Princess Diana, baby Harry and Prince Charles. The queen mother, Elizabeth’s mom, sits to her right.
The royal brothers have taken many trips together, but this one in May 1985 was one of their early jaunts. The two brothers are shown reunited with their parents on the Royal Yacht Brittania in Venice, Italy, after a couple weeks of separation. William can be seen waving to onlookers and the press from the boat.
During an Oct. 4, 1985, photo session at their Kensington Palace home, William and Harry mimicked playing the piano in an adorable moment caught on film.(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
In a 2007 BBC interview to promote the Concert for Diana, a charity event marking the 10th anniversary of their mother’s death, Harry and William joked about the music they liked.
“It’s a lot better than his rubbish,” Harry said of his older brother’s musical tastes.
William, for his part, said that as teens, the two brothers would each try and drown out the other with his music from their respective rooms. “Before you know it, our father would come upstairs and tell us to shut the hell up,” he said while laughing.
A Helping Hand
William took the duty of brother’s keeper seriously in this Oct. 22, 1985 photo. Here the elder boy helps the younger one take some of his first steps. The photo was taken in the boys’ Kensington Palace playroom with the boys wearing matching shirts.
“I genuinely think she got satisfaction out of dressing myself and William up in the most bizarre outfits, normally matching,” Harry recalled of his late mother in a 2017 HBO documentary, “Diana, Our Mother.” “It was weird shorts and, like, shiny shoes with the old clip-ons. And looking back at the photos, it just makes me laugh. I just think, ‘How could you do that to us?!’”
Visiting Famous Friends
The British royal family paid a visit to the Spanish royal family, as captured in this 1986 photo. Prince William looks relaxed on the lap of King Juan Carlos of Spain at the Marivent Palace on the island of Majorca.
First Day Of School
In this photo, William is shown along with his little brother and parents for Harry’s first day at Mrs. Mynor’s nursery school in London on Sept. 16, 1987. The two boys are again wearing coordinated outfits.
“Funny enough, we got to the age when William would turn around and go, ‘This is ridiculous, I’m the older brother, why do I have to be dressed the same as him?'” Harry said in “Diana, Our Mother.” “And I’m sort of sitting there going, ‘Hang on a second, if you’re going to dress differently, I’m not going to be the only person dressed like this. This is just ridiculous.'”
The beauty of having a sibling is that you’ve got a built-in playmate. The two princes seemed to play well together under the watchful eye of their mother, Diana, in this July 18, 1986, photo. It was taken in the garden of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, a two-hour drive west of London. William and Harry wore matching Parachute Regiment of the British Army uniforms.
Princess Diana took her sons to a Christmas concert at their school, Wetherby School, in London, on Dec. 13, 1989.
In “Diana, Our Mother,” Harry looked at their mother’s personal photo book with William. Of a school photo of them both, he said with humor, “I was thinking, ‘I’ve got my older brother at school, he’ll be looking look out for me’ — when in fact, you just ignored me.”(Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
Harry Looks Up To His Big Brother
Clearly Prince Harry has looked up to his big brother since he was a little tyke. This photo captured his adoring eyes on Harry’s first day of school.
The two princes caught a ride on a police motorbike while visiting Windsor as kids. Looks like fun!
Fun With Mum
Of their “mum,” Diana, William has said, “She was very informal and really enjoyed the laughter and the fun, but she understood there was a real life outside palace walls and she wanted us to see it for a very young age.”
Here, the three are all smiles while on a skiing holiday in Austria in March 1993.
No ‘Ordinary’ Mum
Here the two princes and their mother visit Thorpe Park amusement park near London on April 13, 1993. Princess Diana was known for taking the boys to “ordinary” places like fast food restaurants, movies and along on some of her charity work.
Sending Prince William Off To Eton
The family was all smiles in 1995 on Prince William’s first day of high school at Eton, the exclusive boarding school that both boys attended. Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorced the following year.
Hiking Around Balmoral With Dad
The two princes spent some time with their dad, Prince Charles, at Balmoral in August 1997 — just a couple weeks before Diana’s tragic death.
Losing Their Mother
When Diana died in a car crash in 1997, William was 15 years old and Harry was 12. The two brothers mourned largely in private. But they did walk side-by-side behind her coffin at her funeral procession on Sept. 6, 1997. Here the solemn-faced princes can be seen outside Westminster Abbey where Diana’s funeral took place. William looks as if he is checking on his little brother in a brief glance.(Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Hanging With Dad
William and Harry have grown closer to their father, Charles, over the years, particularly after their mother’s passing. The trio seems to have a warm banter between them when interviewed together.
Here, the next in line to the British throne and his two sons are pictured in the Swiss Alps in March 2002 during an annual ski holiday together.
Celebrating Grandma’s Birthday
The princes are seen here in a June 14, 2003 photo taken during the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London. The annual event is for Elizabeth’s official birthday. The pair have made many public appearances at the parade over the years.
Co-Pilots And Roomies
Both of the princes have served in the military. At one point, they were doing military helicopter training together in 2009 at RAF Shawbury, and they lived together during that period as well.
In an interview at the time, William jokingly complained that Harry let him do all the cooking and still left behind dirty dishes in the sink. For his part, Harry said it would be “the first and last time living together” (as adults) in the same quarters.(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The princes have shared charity efforts together over the years. During a trip to Africa in 2010, the brothers visited charities they supported in Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa.
In this photo, an African rock python snakes its way between the pair at one of those charities, the Mokolodi Education Centre in Gaborone, Botswana.
Not only did Harry sign off on William using their mother’s engagement ring for William’s future wife, Kate Middleton, Harry also backed him up as his best man at the pair’s 2011 wedding. The choice to have a best man broke with royal precedent, as normally male royals only have “supporters.”
Here, the groom and his best man talk before the April 29 wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey.(Photo by Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Even the royals are Harry Potter fans. In this fun photo, Harry, Duchess Kate and William, wave wands on the Harry Potter Diagon Alley set in London. The occasion was the opening of the Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, on April 26, 2013.(Photo by Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Spending Time With Stepmum
Camilla Parker-Bowles, William and Harry’s stepmother, has at times been demonized in the press and by the public for contributing to the breakup of Charles and Diana’s marriage. But the princes apparently get along great with her today.
In a 2005 BBC interview, Prince Harry said the Duchess of Cornwall was “a wonderful woman and she’s made our father very, very happy, which is the most important thing … William and I love her to bits. To be honest with you, she’s always been very close to me and William … but no, she’s not the wicked stepmother. I’ll say that right now.”
The boys, their father and the Duchess of Cornwall, are seen here sharing a laugh at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Invictus games in London.(Photo by Luke MacGregor/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William and Harry are avid polo players along with their father, Charles. They also frequently tease each other about their athletic prowess. During a 2012 London Olympics TV interview, Harry reminded the interviewer that, “At least I can play sports. William really generally has nothing behind him.”
In this July 14, 2013, photo, the brothers smile after a polo match at Cirencester Park Polo Club, which is a few hours outside of London.
In July 2014, while visiting the Coach Core project at Gorbals Leisure Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, the brothers played five-a-side football (soccer). They’ve previously shared that they support different football teams, with Prince Harry backing Arsenal and Prince William supporting Aston Villa.(Photo by Jamie Simpson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“They are very competitive,” Charles said in 2006, recalling playing on the same team as his two sons. “Silly old father, get on with it,” he recalled jokingly of the young princes’ urging on of their more seasoned father. (That game ended in a hospital visit for Charles, who fell from his horse trying to keep up.)
At a different match, pictured here, Harry played for team Royal Salute and William played for team Piaget at a charity polo event at the Beaufort Polo Club on June 14, 2015, in Tetbury, England.(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Gigaset Mobile)
William and Harry toured a building site as part of the BBC TV series “DIY SOS” in September 2015. The brothers helped renovate homes for former service members as part of the show. Harry, in particular, has championed veterans through his Invictus Games and other efforts.(Photo by Phil Noble – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Sometimes you just need to call your brother out in a duel. A lightsaber duel, that is. The princes toured the England set of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on April 19, 2016, met cast and crew members and got to try out some of the props. Not only that, the duo actually served as extras in the movie, appearing as Stormtroopers.(Photo by Adrian Dennis-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William and Harry greeted children at a World Mental Health Day celebration with Heads Together at the London Eye on Oct. 10, 2016.
Harry, who now has two nephews and one niece via his brother, William, and sister-in-law, Kate, made a humorous comment in September 2014 when the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting her second child.
In a BBC Radio 1 interview in April 2017, William talked about a recent footrace between himself, Harry and Kate.
“We’d all agreed, we’re just going to do like a show run,” William said. “Then I turn around and I see the glint in my brother’s eye. And I see the grin that my wife’s got. And then I’m like, ‘All right, it’s on.'”
For the record, Harry won that race at the Team Heads Together London Marathon Training Day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Feb. 5, 2017, in London.(Photo by Alastair Grant-Pool/Getty Images)
Supporting Each Other
“My brother was a huge blessing,” Harry said in an April 2017 Telegraph interview about William’s support of his younger brother seeking grief counseling years after their mother’s death.
“He kept saying ‘This is not right, this is not normal — you need to talk about stuff. It’s not normal to think that nothing’s affected you.'” Harry said. “All of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront.”
Here, the princes visit the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace near the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, on Aug. 30, 2017. The garden has been dedicated to their mother’s memory.
(Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth- WPA Pool/Getty Images)
On The Red Carpet
Being a royal clearly has its perks and the brothers took advantage of them in December 2017, when they attended the European premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” They even got to meet the feisty little droid BB-8 on the red carpet!(Photo by Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“He’s definitely got more brains than me. I think we’ve established that from school,” Harry said in a June 2009 interview about helicopter pilot training the two did at the same time. “But when it comes to all that, I’m much better hands on.”
William chimed in, “I’ve got more looks as well, so …” To which Harry batted back: “Baldness.”
“That’s pretty rich coming from a ginger,” William replied, commenting on his brother’s red hair, not willing to give him the last word.
Speaking of jovial jousting, the two princes exchanged looks during the April 26, 2018, opening of the Greenhouse Sports Centre in London, not too long before Harry married Meghan Markle.(Photo by Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Greeting The Public
“We’re very excited, delighted for them both. We’re wishing them all the happiness in this very exciting time,” William said, before getting in a little brotherly ribbing. “For me personally, I hope it means he stays out of my fridge and will stop scrounging my food, which he’s done for the last few years!”
William was at Harry’s side when he did a surprise walkabout to greet well-wishers in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the wedding.(Photo by Jonathan Brady – Pool/Getty Images)
Standing Together At Harry’s Wedding
Harry asked William to be the best man at his wedding, just as William had asked Harry to be his in 2011. And, at the May 19, 2018, royal wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, the princes wore matching outfits once again. They are seen in almost identical Blues and Royals frock coat uniforms. Mom certainly would have approved.(Photo by Owen Humphreys – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Now both married, Harry and William looked happy coupled off together at the Royal Air Force centenary celebrations on July 10, 2018, at Buckingham Palace. Now that he’s married, Harry and his wife, Meghan, are known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. William and Kate, meanwhile, became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they wed.(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
This Sept. 11, 2014, image of the two brother princes captures their true bond. It was taken at the Invictus Games in London that year. The games bring wounded warriors from various countries together in sports. Harry came up with the idea for the event after attending a similar one in the U.S.(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)