There’s been such a weird vibe around all of the royal reporting for months, really. It’s obviously gotten much, much weirder since King Charles and the Princess of Wales’s dual health crises, and the fact that Kate hasn’t been seen since Christmas Day is still unsettling. Also unsettling: Prince William was largely MIA for weeks before popping up on Wednesday, looking and acting sh-tfaced at an investiture ceremony right after his office announced that he would disappear for another couple of months. Add to all of that the fact that William’s office seemed insanely reactionary to Prince Harry’s sudden visit to the UK once Buckingham Palace announced King Charles’s cancer diagnosis. What was a simple story about a son flying to see his ill father in person was invaded by Prince William’s very obvious wall-to-wall briefings about how much he despises his brother and would never meet with him. As always, the Daily Beast’s Tom Sykes spoke to “friends of William” about all of the latest developments. Even Sykes sounds a bit bored with William’s mindnumbing tantrums at this point. Some highlights:

The briefing war between the palaces about Harry’s visit: While the meeting with Charles undoubtedly represents an important step in repairing their relationship, the chances of fraternal reconciliation seem close to zero. One friend of Prince William told The Daily Beast that William “never” wanted to see Harry again. Another added that Harry’s hop to the U.K. went against the royal family’s tendency to put institutional calm above “personal impulses,” and accused Harry of using the king’s diagnosis to “cast himself as the dutiful, concerned son” despite openly trashing his father and other family members in his book, Spare. However, staffers at Buckingham Palace, seeking perhaps to calm the waters, have let it be known that the king welcomed his son’s visit, and one former courtier pointed out it would have been easy for Charles to ask Harry to come at a later date, had he so wished.

William still hasn’t seen his father: William has still not seen his father in person since the diagnosis, The Daily Beast understands, content with supportive calls and messages. Reports that Princess Beatrice made a special visit to London to visit her uncle are wide of the mark too—she has for many years lived in an apartment in St James’ Palace, which is part of the same compound as Clarence House. Princess Anne is thought to have seen Charles at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday morning.

Harry’s trip to the UK added drama! One friend who has known the family for decades told The Daily Beast, “To announce on Monday that he (Harry) was flying home immediately after (Charles’ diagnosis) was made public added unnecessary drama to an already febrile situation. It had people speculating that Charles was at death’s door, when in fact, his cancer is eminently treatable and, as the prime minister subsequently said, has been caught early.” The family friend was unwilling to criticize Charles for agreeing to see Harry at such short notice, saying, “Any father would do the same thing.” They added: “I don’t think Harry should have put him in the position by asking, quite frankly. It created panic at the worst possible moment.”

The king wasn’t trying to snub Harry: The Times of London reported sources close to Charles were “eager to stress that the brevity of the visit was not a slight to his younger son, but merely an indication of the 75-year-old King’s fatigue after the previous day’s hospital procedure.”

William hated that Harry visited their father: A friend of Prince William gave a fascinating insight into the depth of anger still felt toward Harry by many in the family and their circle, telling The Daily Beast: “The king announcing he had cancer was totally unprecedented and incredibly brave—but suddenly the focus was on what Harry was doing. He seems to have this knack of making it all about him. Some people think it’s a bit late to cast himself as the dutiful, concerned son after all the unforgivable things he said about his father, and brother, and their wives in his book.”

Harry acted like a teenager! Asked if Harry’s trip, and Charles agreeing to see him, was not a clear sign of a wish to build bridges at least on his father’s side, the friend of William told The Daily Beast: “Of course, but members of the royal family generally don’t behave like a teenager in a reality show expressing their personal impulses. It fuels speculation and panic. They keep calm and carry on.”

William briefed that Harry wanted to see him so that William could brief that he would never see Harry: Another friend of William scoffed at Harry’s reported willingness to meet William during the trip after his camp told the Daily Mail, “The duke’s primary reason to travel to the U.K. is to visit his father. If the opportunity were to arise to see the Prince of Wales then the duke would have gladly accepted it.” The friend said: “William never wants to see him again.”

Buckingham Palace is tamping down William’s rageaholic briefings: One former courtier told The Daily Beast: “I don’t think it’s fair to blame Harry for coming over. Charles could have easily suggested a later date. Overall, I think the situation has turned out pretty well for everyone. Getting those two in a room together for half an hour is actually a remarkable achievement, and it sends all the right messages of forgiveness and reconciliation without rolling out the red carpet. If William wants to carry on being bad cop forever, that’s up to him.”

[From The Daily Beast]

The same “former courtier” also said that Harry’s visit shows that he and Charles can clearly replicate that again in the future, and that Harry will likely stay in hotels if he comes again because it’s less complicated. While people close to Charles clearly briefed Robert Jobson following Harry’s visit, it’s also clear that BP is not officially or unofficially displeased with Harry’s visit. BP’s message is: thanks for visiting, Harry, it was a bit melodramatic but your dad appreciated the effort. The message from William/KP is: CODE RED EMERGENCY Harry visited and William is vomiting with rage and throwing a hissy fit about how much he hates Harry! This unsubtle shade too: “If William wants to carry on being bad cop forever, that’s up to him.” BP’s message to Peg: Put on your big girl panties and STFU, you child.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.