DAN WOOTTON: Prince William ‘ends his 20-year friendship’ with ITV’s Tom Bradby over him siding with his brother Harry and becoming a ‘mouthpiece’ for his and Meghan’s ‘gripes about the Royals’
- Two-decades long friendship between Prince William and Tom Bradby is now over, say senior royal sources
- Duke of Cambridge has been left annoyed that the high-profile presenter has sided with his brother Harry
- Communications between Duke of Sussex in California and Bradby in London have become commonplace
- But in contrast, William is said to no longer trust the high profile journalist who was once a close confidante
They were once the most unlikely of close pals – a future king of England and the dogged ITV newsman.
But the two-decades long friendship between Prince William and Tom Bradby is now over, according to senior royal sources.
The Duke of Cambridge has been left annoyed that the high-profile presenter – host of ITV’s News at Ten – has sided with his brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan in the increasingly bitter transatlantic war of the Windsors.
While phone calls and communication between the Duke of Sussex in California and Bradby in London have become commonplace, William, in contrast, is said to no longer trust the high profile journalist who was once a close confidante.
A royal insider revealed: ‘The friendship between William and Tom is very much over. The Duke feels let down by Bradby and the way he’s acted over the past few months.
The Duke of Cambridge was once so close with Tom Bradby that he was chosen to conduct the November 2010 engagement exclusive interview with him and Kate Middleton
‘William is a sensitive soul and believes it’s in times of crisis when you find out who your true friends are. It would be fair to say Bradby hasn’t been one of them.’
Among senior royal aides, there is growing anger at the way Bradby and ITV News seem to have become a mouthpiece for Harry and Meghan’s gripes about the Royal Family.
Bradby, 54, was host of an ITV documentary filmed in South Africa in 2019 when Meghan, in a swipe at her new family, moaned: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m okay. It’s a very real thing to go through behind the scenes…it has really been a struggle.’
Harry also used Bradby’s documentary to publicly confirm a feud with his brother, admitting that he and William were ‘on different paths at the moment’.
More recently, Bradby is believed to have been central to ITV being granted the rights to broadcast Oprah Winfrey’s incendiary interview with the pair, where they lobbed a number of grenade-like allegations at the monarchy, including claims a senior royal had made racist comments about their future child’s skin colour.
Bradby hosted an ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019 which Harry used to publicly confirm a feud with his brother
The royal source said: ‘Some staff at the Palaces are even angrier about Bradby and the tone of his reporting at ITV News, which they consider to be pro-Harry and Meghan.
‘It’s well-known Bradby personally communicates with Harry on a regular basis and that is pretty obvious to royal aides who know how things work.
‘But it’s been very difficult to accept given the long history between Bradby and William.’
William was once so close with Bradby that he was chosen to conduct the November 2010 engagement exclusive interview with him and Kate. Bradby went on to attend the nuptials at Westminster Abbey as a guest.
A spokesman for William at the time said: ‘The couple asked to record this interview specifically with Mr Bradby, whom they have both known for some time.’
Bradby’s ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019 also saw Meghan Markle tell him: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m okay’
But Bradby was equally close with Harry, attending his Windsor wedding to Meghan, alongside other media figures including Oprah and James Corden.
The friendship with both brothers was solidified during Bradby’s time as ITV’s royal correspondent.
He travelled with Harry to Lesotho in Africa to make a 2004 documentary.
Bradby’s closeness to the brothers then exploded into the public domain as part of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, when details of a call between him and a royal staff member was published in the Sunday newspaper.
Like Harry, Bradby has been publicly open about his mental health issues, revealing he had to take lengthy time off from hosting News at Ten in 2018 after suffering the ‘mental health equivalent of a heart attack’.
The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this month that Bradby has ‘significant sway’ over how Meghan is portrayed more widely on ITV.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview which first aired on March 7
They reported he may have been involved in pointing the Duchess ‘in the right direction’ over how to complain about Piers Morgan’s criticism of her on Good Morning Britain, which resulted in him quitting the show.
A source told the newspaper: ‘Tom Bradby has a certain caché at ITV as their news man. He is also the man with the golden goose in the bosses’ eyes as he has a hotline to Prince Harry.’
But don’t expect to see Bradby securing another interview with William again.
Our royal source added: ‘The Duke will, of course, remain cordial and professional in his relations with senior media figures, but that special relationship he once had with Bradby is no more. William no longer sees him as a friend.’
Kensington Palace declined to comment. A spokeswoman for ITV News said: ‘Unfortunately at this moment we won’t be in a position to comment.’