Prince Harry skipped royal wedding to avoid ‘awkward’ encounter with estranged brother Prince William?

Prince William and wife Kate Middleton’s strained relationship with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stems back to 2020, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as royals.

Prince Harry has avoided yet another run-in with estranged brother Prince William.

On Friday, the Prince of Wales attended the wedding of Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, and Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral in northern England. While the Duke of Sussex was invited to attend, Harry regretfully declined in an effort to avoid an “awkward” encounter with William, a royal expert told Fox News Digital.

Prince Harry split with Prince William

Prince Harry, left, and Prince William’s strained relationship stems back to 2020.  (Getty Images)

“Hugh is extremely amiable and diplomatic. He has managed to maintain a friendship with both Prince William and Prince Harry,” British royals expert Hilary Fordwich said. “He had a phone call with Prince Harry, who had been invited, but they decided it would be too awkward for him to attend. Prince William is an usher, and it would have been more than awkward for him to have ushered Harry to his seat.”

Additionally, both brothers wanted to avoid taking the attention away from the newlyweds on their special day.

Prince William serves as usher at royal wedding

Prince William served as an usher at the royal wedding.  (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

“Even if Harry showed up and slunk into the back row, there would be enough press coverage and general hysteria over the two brothers being in the same room to overshadow the wedding entirely,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News Digital.

“Harry’s presence would have turned the whole affair into a media circus, and he didn’t want to do that to his friend,” he added. “If he learned that Harry had accepted the invitation, it’s likely that William would have backed out. Harry knows this.”

Prince Harry looks serious as he walks in a dark suit and tie

Prince Harry declined the royal wedding invite so as not to overshadow the newlyweds. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency)

“This is the future, I’m afraid,” he concluded. “There is no sign at the moment that William is willing to give an inch.”

Representatives for the Duke of Sussex did not return Fox News Digital’s immediate request for comment.

The ongoing rift between the brothers has stemmed from Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s royal exit in 2020.

The couple’s exit was cited for what they described as the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle smile as senior royals

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle currently live in Montecito, California. (Chris Jackson)

Since moving to Montecito, California, the couple has sat for a two-hour TV interview with Oprah Winfrey and launched a six-part Netflix docuseries about their life together, while Harry also released his best-selling memoir “Spare.”

During the king’s coronation in May, the brothers — who sat separately — were never seen speaking or even acknowledging each other.

King Charles coronation

Prince Harry and Prince William were not seen speaking at their father’s coronation. (Getty Images)

Harry flew to the U.K. to visit Charles after the monarch’s cancer diagnosis in February.

However, Fordwich told Fox News Digital at the time that Harry was reportedly not allowed to stay at any of the royal homes and did not have a reunion with William.

Last month, Harry arrived in London to participate in a panel for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. While the event celebrated the 39-year-old’s own cause, royal watchers told Fox News Digital at the time that Harry’s visit to the U.K. would not spark a reconciliation with his family.

“There was just too much drama between the brothers and their wives, and there is lingering bitterness on everyone’s part,” Andersen told Fox News Digital. “So, the chances of even a meeting between Harry and the rest of the royal family, much less some sort of reconciliation, seem extremely slim.”

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