For a while rumors have spread that Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex don’t get along at all. Publicly, the two women have kept quiet about any potential feud, but their distance from each other at high profile photographed events has been unmistakable. And now a journalist has reported some fresh claims about what’s apparently been going on behind the palace doors.
It was all the way back in October 2016 that the media first began speculating that Kate was jealous of Meghan. At that point, they probably most likely hadn’t even met each other, but the newspapers were fascinated by Prince Harry’s glamorous new girlfriend. Unfortunately, there were other factors at play.
You see, as early as November 2016 Harry released a statement condemning the media’s alleged treatment of Meghan. It condemned the “wave of abuse and harassment” from newspapers and went on, “Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
However, the relationship appeared to have the full support of Prince William. After speculation emerged that the first in line to the throne was unhappy about his brother going so public with a relationship, Kensington Palace released a statement saying, “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him.”
And at the same time an unnamed “royal source” told The Daily Telegraph newspaper, “[The princes] don’t issue statements like that without talking to each other, and they talked about the Meghan Markle statement extensively in advance of it being put out. The Duke was as alarmed as anyone about what was happening with Meghan.”
In fact, it wasn’t until January 2017 that Kate finally met Meghan, according to more royal insiders. And one of them told The Sun newspaper, “Kate was really looking forward to meeting Meghan and she knew how important it was to Harry. They are very close and he really values her [Kate’s] opinion on girlfriends.”
The insider went on to the tabloid, “Obviously Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died when he was very young so Kate really fulfils that older sister/maternal role. It went really well and Meghan was very excited about meeting her.” What’s more, the actress had even brought a birthday gift for Kate, the source claimed.
They said, “Harry and Meghan went over to Kate’s apartment in Kensington Palace. William was also there and she got to play with Charlotte who she just adored. Meg had bought Kate a small birthday present – a very smart leather-bound ‘dream diary’ for her thoughts and ideas which Kate loved.”
As Meghan got closer to the royal family, it started to seem like she and Kate could well end up best friends. Furthermore, media reports claimed that they spoke most days, and that Meghan was helping Kate through her third pregnancy. And when the official announcement arrived that Meghan and Harry were to wed, Kate stated her delight.
After the 2018 wedding which made Meghan an official member of the royal family, newspapers continued to report that she and Kate were friends. You see, they showed up to events in coordinated outfits and even went to Wimbledon together. And when news hit that Meghan was pregnant, Kate offered her congratulations. But then it seemed things started to turn sour.
For you see, in November 2018 it was announced that Harry and Meghan were moving away from Kate and William’s residence. And an insider told The Sun, “The initial plan was for Harry and Meghan to move out of their cottage in the ground of Kensington Palace and into one of the main apartments. But there has been a bit of tension between the brothers. Now Harry and Meghan don’t want to live next to William and Kate and want to strike out on their own.”
Furthermore, two unnamed sources spoke to The Daily Telegraph that month and dropped a small bombshell about an incident involving the duchesses. According to them, Meghan had actually made Kate cry during a bridesmaid dress fitting for the duchess’ daughter Charlotte. One said, “Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional.”
Then came another tale of royal discord. According to a source who spoke to The Sun in December, Kate and Meghan had fallen out after the actress was allegedly rude to palace staff. And Kate had apparently told her fellow duchess, “That’s unacceptable, they’re my staff and I speak to them.”
At this point, the Palace actually denied the claim, and released a short but pointed statement reading simply, “This never happened.” Yet the story refused to go away – and then William and Harry were brought into it as well. You see, rumors started spreading that the two princes, once so close, had fallen out.
As more attention was put onto a potential William-Harry feud, the heat seemed to be off Kate and Meghan for a while. Actually, in January a source told Us Weekly magazine that the pair were talking over any disagreements. This included that Kate had reportedly, “opened up about feeling like Meghan had used her to climb the royal ladder.”
And two months later a source told Vanity Fair magazine, “They might not have a huge amount in common, but Kate has no issue with Meghan. She wants them to get along, not just for Harry’s sake but because two royal sisters-in-law at loggerheads wouldn’t be good, and Kate knows that. For Kate, it’s about keeping their relationship professional and putting on a show of togetherness.”
Later on in March 2019, royal expert Katie Nicholl spoke to Glamour magazine about the apparent feud. She said, “I think this idea of there being a catfight between the two duchesses has made tantalizing headlines, but I don’t believe that. I’ve never heard from my sources that there has ever been a feud or a falling-out. I had heard about an upset over the dress fitting for Princess Charlotte.”
Nicholl went on, “And I had heard that while Harry was very keen for the two of them to become best friends, there was never that sort of a friendship. They quite quickly realized they were two pretty mature women – quite different women – and really the only thing they had in common was they’d married princes. Not just Prince Harry, I think probably the world wanted them to become best friends.”
And Nicholl wasn’t the only person to claim there had never been a feud. According to a source who spoke to Hello magazine in July, “Kate was a great source of support to Meghan in the days leading up to Archie’s birth. Despite reports of a rift, they are family and have a really lovely friendship.”
However, after Meghan gave an emotional interview to ITV’s Tom Bradby in October, reporters began looking into whether Kate was involved. And royal expert Phil Dampier claimed to the Daily Express newspaper, “Behind the scenes, I’m told Kate is doing her best to bring everyone together and help Meghan.”
As Dampier went on to explain, “None of them want to let the Queen down so Kate is trying to patch things up in private. I’m told she has reached out to Meghan and spoken to her on the phone. Kate feels sorry for her and knows that Meghan is struggling.” In the same ITV interview as Meghan, Harry admitted that he’d become distant from William.
And then suddenly in January 2020 the royal family found themselves plunged into a crisis. Yes, Harry and Meghan, came the announcement, would be stepping down from royal duties. The pair posted on their Instagram, “We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
Interestingly, Harry and Meghan made their announcement the day before Kate’s birthday. But she wasn’t about to let that stop her from celebrating. Indeed, the Duchess of Cambridge posted a relaxed-looking photo of herself on January 9, not commenting whatsoever on the story. But as for her husband William, sources claimed that he was furious.
A source told Us Weekly, “Harry and Meghan rubbed salt into the wounds by making the huge announcement a day before Kate’s birthday. It hasn’t gone down well with William.” A few weeks later the same magazine reported that Kate had been “having bouts of anxiety” after the announcement and royal crisis.
After that, stories of particular Meghan-Kate arguments persisted. You see, in May 2020 writer Tom Quinn released a book titled Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir From Queen Mary to Meghan Markle. And in its pages he reiterated the claim that Meghan had been rude to some of Kate’s palace staffers.
In the book, one of Quinn’s sources claimed, “Kate was horrified when Meghan shouted at a member of Kate’s staff – that was definitely the beginning of discussions about leaving Kensington Palace. Like many people not used to dealing with servants, Meghan overdoes the imperiousness; so on the one hand she wants to be like Diana, a people’s princess, and on the other she wants people to stand to attention when she clicks her fingers.”
And not long after that, the magazine Tatler unveiled Kate as its cover star for July-August 2020. More importantly, it accompanied that with a detailed piece appearing to confirm some of the rumors regarding the feud. Writer Anna Pasternak wrote, “Not everyone is pro Kate. It’s no secret that the royal sisters-in-law never got on.”
A source named only as a “friend” of those involved, told the magazine regarding Kate, “I don’t think that she ever pulled Meghan under her wing and said, ‘I’ll show you the ropes.’ Catherine and William were very circumspect from the beginning about Meghan, which hurt and incensed Harry.”
The unnamed person went on to Tatler , “William rightly cautioned Harry to slow the relationship down. That’s why they all fell out. As the rift got deeper between the brothers, Kate, who used to be so close to Harry, tried to pacify things. But her loyalty will always be to William.” And that wasn’t all.
You see, another source dubbed a friend of the Cambridges’ told the magazine, “Then there was an incident at the wedding rehearsal. It was a hot day and apparently there was a row over whether the bridesmaids should wear tights or not. Kate, following protocol, felt that they should. Meghan didn’t want them to.”
If you didn’t already know, there is some royal protocol surrounding ladies’ tights. Generally, female members of the royal family are supposed to wear tights under their skirts – although on occasion both Kate and Meghan have been spotted going without them. But during Meghan and Harry’s wedding, the young bridesmaids indeed weren’t wearing tights.
Tatler then mentioned the reported incident regarding the staff. The magazine said, “Kate, who has impeccable manners, sought the opportunity to put Meghan in her place, reprimanding her for speaking imperiously to her Kensington Palace staff.” A “royal insider” commented, “In the palace, you hear numerous stories of the staff saying so-and-so is a nightmare and behaves badly but you never hear that about Kate.”
However, the magazine did mention some less-than-flattering things about Kate’s mother, Carole. The writer talked about her “aspirations of grandeur” and said she “puts people’s backs up in a way Kate does not.” Another insider was quoted as saying Carole was a “terrible snob” and the “masterminding force” behind her daughter.
What’s more, it was claimed that William still wasn’t taking his brother and sister-in-law’s exit from the royal family very well. Another insider said, “William is absolutely incandescent about Megxit. Every time the Sussexes issue a statement, it hits everyone like a fresh bombshell. The Cambridges are left reeling like everyone else.”
But what did Kate think? Not only had two members of the royal family essentially left but other members were embroiled in serious scandals. A friend of the duchess’s told Tatler, “Kate is furious about the larger workload. Of course she’s smiling and dressing appropriately but she doesn’t want this.”
The same person went on, “She feels exhausted and trapped. She’s working as hard as a top CEO [chief executive], who has to be wheeled out all the time, without the benefits of boundaries and plenty of holidays.” But another friend of hers told the magazine, “Kate knows what the country needs and wants.”
Surprisingly, Kensington Palace reacted quite strongly to the Tatler article. Yes, it released a statement basically claiming that much of it wasn’t true. The statement read, “This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication.”
But Tatler refused to accept this. A spokesperson for the magazine informed Entertainment Tonight, “Tatler’s editor-in-chief Richard Dennen stands behind the reporting of Anna Pasternak and her sources. Kensington Palace knew we were running the ‘Catherine the Great’ cover months ago and we asked them to work together on it. The fact they are denying they ever knew is categorically false.”
In fact, Kate even began to take legal action against Tatler via her lawyers – quite a serious step. Katie Nicholl spoke to the website Business Insider in June and said, “The suggestion that Kate is exhausted and feels trapped and is unhappy about her workload is at the nub of the complaint. She is working harder than ever at her request, so the idea she resents the workload isn’t the case.”
And this all means, of course, that the situation between Kate and Meghan is no clearer than before. Unless one or both of them comes out and tells the story in person, the world may simply never know. But fans of the royal family must surely be hoping that one day Kate, Meghan, William and Harry will all be good friends again.