A palace source said Prince Harry was "way off the mark" with his comments about Prince William – who respects "duty and service".
Tensions have long existed between the brothers, and are thought to have worsened during the Megxit fallout.
In his March interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry said his father and brother – Prince Charles and Prince William – were “trapped” in their royal roles.
“They don't get to leave,” he said, “and I have huge compassion for that."
But that accusation was angrily dismissed by a close friend of William’s, who told the Sunday Times that Harry’s interpretation of the two future kings’ roles was “way off the mark”.
“[William] has a path set for him and he’s completely accepting of his role," they said.
"He is very much his grandmother’s grandson in that respect of duty and service.”
And now, adding to the growing distance between the two brothers, a palace source has told The Sun: “The pandemic, coupled with what Harry is doing, has actually given William a renewed sense of purpose.
“He can now really see the difference between being a celebrity and leading a life of proper public service.
“In times of crisis the royals provide the public with reassurance, which isn’t something celebrities can do.”
William has said in the past that he doesn’t “lie awake waiting or hoping” to be King, explaining: “If you’re not careful, duty can weigh you down an awful lot at an early age.”
But he has clearly settled into his path as a loyal member of “The Firm” and stands ready to defend the monarchy against all its critics.
And that includes the brother with whom he was once so close.
It comes just a week after William blasted the BBC for its handling of the 1995 Panorama interview between Martin Bashir and his mum, Princess Diana.
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