Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe shared memories of Prince Harry and William as kids growing up in the palace (Image: PA)

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Prince William always played "second fiddle" to his brother because Harry was "very popular", Princess Diana's former bodyguard has claimed.

In an interview with OK! Magazine, Ken Wharfe, who was Princess Diana's protection officer between 1988 and 1993, recollected memories from when William and Harry where boys.

He said the Duke of Cambridge, 38, who is second-in-line to the throne, was "better than Harry at certain things", but the Duke of Sussex was a "natural listener and a fun person".

Harry, 36 and who now lives in the US with his wife Meghan Markle and their two-year-old son Archie and newborn daughter Lilibet, wasn't "embarrassed or shy".

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Harry wasn't 'embarrassed' , the bodyguard said, while William was more 'reserved'
(Image: Alamy Stock Photo)

William, however, was "more reserved" and due to his character, rather than because he knew he could one day be king, the author of Guarding Diana said.

"William was helpful to his little brother to an extent, but if he saw him getting more attention, he didn't like it," Mr Wharfe said.

"I think William often played second fiddle to his brother, simply because Harry was very popular and that was very difficult for him."

The revelations come at a time when relations between the once-close brothers are tense.

Mr Wharfe said William played 'second fiddle' to Harry as a child and that wasn't easy for him
(Image: PA)

An rift between the brothers is thought to have worsened when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dramatically announced they would be quitting their lives as senior royals last year.

The relationship was then exacerbated by the couple's tell-all bombshell interview in March this year with US chat star Oprah Winfrey.

During the interview, the couple accused the royal family of racism as they claimed a senior member had raised concerns over how dark their son Archie's skin tone would be.

Mr Wharfe was Diana's protection officer from 1988 and 1993

Oprah later followed up on the remarks to clarify the royal in question was neither the Queen or Prince Philip.

The couple also accused The Firm of failing to help Meghan when she felt suicidal while pregnant with Archie.

The interview, watched by tens of millions all over the world, was followed by a string of podcast and docuseries Harry took part in to raise awareness about mental health.

He made the headlines when he compared his royal life to "a mix between The Truman Show and living in a zoo".

He also accused his family of "total neglect " when it came to protecting him and his wife from online abuse.

The brothers seem to have grown more distant since Harry moved to the US with wife Meghan Markle
(Image: EMPICS Entertainment)

Buckingham Palace only replied to accusations in the first Oprah interview saying the family was "saddened" to hear the full extent to which Harry and Meghan were unhappy.

They said "concerning" allegations would be addressed privately, while calling the Sussexes "much-loved members of the family".

The only time Harry has returned to the UK since the interviews has been for the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip in April.

It is, however, unclear if and to what extent the brothers and other senior family members engaged in "clear-the-air" talks.

Harry and Meghan's recent decision, however, to name their daughter Lilibet Diana to honour both the Queen and Diana was largely seen as a "peace offering".

Kate Middleton has since said she "can't wait" to meet her niece, who was born on June 4.

Harry and William are expected to come together for the unveiling of their mum Diana's statue in July to commemorate her on what would've been her 60th birthday.