On the subject of dealing with difficulties between people, Prince William said, “It’s sometimes trying to get people to understand that’s it’s okay to have these challenges"

By Tim McGovern and Simon Perry
January 15, 2020 05:04 PM
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In a week when his family has struggled to contain the fallout from royal rivalry, Prince William recognized that it is always better for people to come together.

Talking about community relations, William, 37, said that it is better to deal with difficulties between people and “move forward.”

Meeting leaders from various different faith and community groups at the Khidmat Centre in Bradford, Yorkshire, William said, “It’s sometimes trying to get people to understand that’s it’s okay to have these challenges. We just need to deal with them and we need to move forward rather than just be stuck in paralysis.”

Some observers took it to be reference to his falling out with his brother Harry, 35, and the decision he and wife Meghan Markle had made to step back from their senior royal roles. It was the first official outing for William and wife Kate Middleton since the unprecedented family meeting at Sandringham on Monday when Queen Elizabeth acceded to Harry and Meghan’s wish to take a change in direction.

William made the comments as he and Kate, 38, were sitting around a small conference table at the center as they took part in a workshop run by Near Neighbours, an initiative to bring together communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse, so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community that they live in.

Prince William
| Credit: Charlotte Graham - WPA Pool/Getty

A huge role in their decision to step down as senior royals was Meghan and Harry‘s desire to have a normal family life.

A palace source tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story that by the time that Archie was born, Meghan and Harry “knew they were going to hit the nuclear button.”

While tensions developed between Prince Harry and Prince William, which originated from a discussion where William warned Harry against things moving too fast with Meghan, many imagined the siblings working “shoulder-to-shoulder” as they got older, according to a source. However, that relationship proved to be more complicated.

“When Meghan came around and she was interested in making changes, he welcomed it,” says a friend. When Archie was born, the couple’s focus shifted even more to “doing what’s right for their family,” adds another friend.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
| Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty

Harry and Meghan’s decision includes splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada, where Meghan lived while shooting Suits and where the family of three vacationed at the end of 2019.

During the couple’s visit to London’s Canada House last week, Meghan said that Archie was in awe of the natural beauty of Canada.

While Meghan returned to Canada to reunite with Archie, Prince Harry stayed in the U.K. this week to meet with grandmother Queen Elizabeth, father Prince Charles and brother Prince William to discuss next steps.