Much has been made of Prince Harry and Prince William‘s frayed relationship in recent months. The pair’s rift was in the works for years, but came to a head when Harry and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their senior royal roles, observers say. Now, they must repair their breach quickly, or risk making it permanent, historian Robert Lacey tells Newsweek.

The Battle of Brothers author says that the situation must be resolved by the end of the 12-month review of Harry and Meghan’s new arrangement, which is set for March.

He told Newsweek: “Meghan's style, the way she swept into the palace, the way she brought her own American advisers with her, rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way. So there was that personal animus in those negotiations and I fear there remains to this day an obstacle to reconciliation.”

Lacey continued: “The palace establishment, the courtier establishment, remains reluctant to adapt or bend in any way to accommodate what Harry and Meghan stand for or want to pursue. I no longer rate highly the chances of reconciliation. I think whatever gets decided in March has pretty well got to be for the foreseeable future.”

One major bone of contention is Harry’s desire to retain his post as Captain General of the Royal Marines. He stepped down when he left his senior role, but he was hoping to win it back. Rumors have swirled that William will instead retain it. If so, it will likely be the last straw for Harry.

Lacey told Newsweek: “The Royal Marines position is in abeyance until the end of the review period. There have been stories that it's going to be assigned to William. Were that to be the case, that would be the end of it.”

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