William 'is burning but won't retaliate' as King Charles pictured smiling in midst of Harry's bombshells

8 January 2023, 14:52 | Updated: 9 January 2023, 05:37

Charles smiled as he went to church while William is unlikely to hit back at Harry
Charles smiled as he went to church while William is unlikely to hit back at Harry. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

William has not returned fire on Harry's accusations because "he's dignified and unbelievably loyal", friends of the heir to the throne say - as King Charles was pictured smiling on a walkabout.

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Harry's memoir Spare takes aim directly at his brother, featuring two accounts of William getting physical with him during rows.

The Duke of Sussex, writing in his bombshell memoir Spare, has claimed he was floored in a 2019 encounter at Nottingham Cottage and grabbed in another during 2021 peace talks in Windsor after Prince Philip's funeral.

The King was pictured smiling during his trip to St Lawrence's Church in Norfolk on Sunday.

Read more: 'I swear on Mummy's life!': William 'grabbed at Harry' in furious row after Prince Philip's funeral

But the Palace has remained silent, as has William – despite the latter clearly taking the brunt of Harry's ire.

"He won’t retaliate, he never would, because he's dignified and unbelievably loyal. William is a sitting duck because Harry knows he isn’t going to retaliate," a close friend of the brothers told The Times.

"How many shots can you take at a sitting duck?

Charles was smiling on his visit to church
Charles was smiling on his visit to church. Picture: Alamy

"It's cruel, cowardly and so sad for William to keep taking the punches. He's keeping quiet for the good of his family and the country."

The friend added that William is anxious and sad and "he's handling it so well on the outside — inside he's burning".

The monarchy has largely kept quiet since Harry began firing over accusations in the aftermath of his and Meghan's departure as full time royals.

Read more: No more happy families: Prince Harry 'written out of King Charles's coronation'

While Queen Elizabeth put out a statement that "recollections may vary" after race claims were made in the Sussexes' Oprah interview, the King and the rest of his family have chosen against directly and publicly responding to them.

When Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary was released, it was reported the Palace would only wade in and fire back if there were serious claims that needed challenging.

Charles cut an upbeat figure
Charles cut an upbeat figure. Picture: Alamy

A friend of the royals said: "William is tough, the family can play the long game in the way Harry and Meghan can't.

"They can channel their inner Queen Elizabeth: show, don't tell, demonstrate this is the role you've taken on with courage and decency. That's a very powerful counterpoint to all this."

Another friend said William "is staunchly protective of his own family, and he’s not just going to roll over".

Spare is due out on January 10, but it was accidentally sold early in Spain.

Reported extracts have taken aim at William and Charles, while other portions contain intimate details about Harry's own life.

Harry said William pushed him to the floor during the 2019 row, in which he was said to have called Meghan rude before apologising to Harry.

He was said to have grabbed Harry and told him he wanted the best for him in the 2021 row, when Charles was present.

Harry was sharply criticised by both ex-military personnel and the Taliban for revealing his kill count in Afghanistan.

And in another section, he revealed he lost his virginity in a field to an older woman.

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