Prince William Is 'Most Upset' by Prince Harry's Book, While King Charles Is Eager for Things to 'Calm Down'

Prince William "needs time to calm down" in the wake of his younger brother's memoir release, says a source

Prince Harry's memoir has been met publicly with silence from his family, but there are strong reactions behind the scenes.

A source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story that Prince William is "most upset" by the allegations made in his younger brother's book. In Spare, released last month, Prince Harry referred to Prince William as his "arch nemesis" and claimed that William physically attacked him.

"William is the one who is most upset and needs time to calm down," says the source. "He has been painted as hotheaded and unsympathetic. But I don't think he will back down — it's whether they can move beyond it and accept that they view things differently."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry
Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Royal correspondent Valentine Low, author of Courtiers, adds that William "will be furious about the betrayals of confidences."

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry. Daniel Leavl-Olivas-Pool Getty Images

Meanwhile, King Charles III is eager for the situation to "calm down" in time for his May 6 coronation.

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Says the source close to the royal household: "It is such a momentous occasion for Charles, and he would want his son to be at the coronation to witness it. He would like to have Harry back in the family. If they don't sort it out, it will always be part of the King's reign and how he has left his family disjointed. He has had a reputation as a distant parent, and it would be awful for him for that to continue."

Britain's King Charles III (L) walks with his son Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex as they arrive at St George's Chapel inside Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022, ahead of the Committal Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
King Charles and Prince Harry. DAVID ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty

There is talk that the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who married Harry and Meghan and will officiate the coronation service, was tapped to help bridge the two sides. Reports that Charles had already asked him to reach out to the Sussexes have been downplayed, but Welby is close to the couple, and, as a close source points out, "If he could reconcile the family members, that is what he would want to do."

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Royal historian Robert Lacey notes that "quite apart from [Charles'] paternal hope to reunite with his son, one of the jobs of the royal family is showing how to cope with the problems we all have in a human and thoughtful way. What will be a success for the family in the future is not reconciliation necessarily, but mutual acceptance of different ideas and priorities."

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