Under-fire Prince Harry is today facing an extraordinary and growing backlash among ‘appalled’ royal experts and ‘cringeing’ TV personalities after leaked copies of his ‘spiteful’ bombshell memoir revealed a string of fresh, jaw-dropping attacks on members of his own family.
In his controversial tell-all book Spare, which was put on sale early in Spain ahead of publication next week, the Duke of Sussex lobbed a barrage of new ‘truth bombs’ at the Royal Family – including accusations that William assaulted him in a row over Meghan and claims that William and their father Charles confronted him after Prince Philip‘s funeral ‘looking for a fight’.
The prince, who quit as a working royal and moved to California with Meghan in a quest for greater privacy, casts his brother as his ‘arch-nemesis’ and Charles as an emotionally stunted and ineffectual ‘old man’, wrote that he feared Queen Consort Camilla would become a ‘wicked stepmother’ and revealed the King still carries around his favourite teddy bear.
Reacting to reports of the contents of the leaked book, ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly admitted her ‘toes will never be uncurled’ after the Duke revealed that he lost his virginity to a cougar in a field when he was 17 – while Kate Garraway branded Harry ‘petty’.
And author Kehinde Andrews, who appeared on the Sussexes’ Netflix series, called Harry and Meghan ‘celebrities’ and compared the feud within the family to soap opera EastEnders – he called for an end to the monarchy in Britain.
Elsewhere, the late Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter called the book ‘spiteful’ and ‘a load of balderdash’.
Harry walking his dog alone in a torrential rainstorm by a quiet California beach this week
The late Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter (left) called Harry’s autobiography ‘a load of balderdash’ and ‘spiteful’. The BBC’s royal reporter Nicholas Witchell (right) also tore the book apart
Lorraine said: ‘If they [the royals] don’t manage to heal this, their children will have no family on their Dad’s side and very few on their Mum’s side. I think it’s very sad.’
And on Good Morning Britain, Kate Garraway ridiculed Harry’s pettiness as she expressed disbelief he used his memoir to grind axes over the size of his childhood bedroom.
Kate – who has won two NTA awards – sounded exasperated as she pointed out many were worried about surviving on their wages while Harry complained about his stately home bed chambers.
Co-host Ben Shephard appeared utterly bemused as he pointed out the Duke’s gripe about the older brother getting the biggest room was common in families across the world.
Calling the memoir ‘the gospel according to Saint Harry’, Mr Arbiter told BBC Newsnight: ‘Quite frankly. a lot of it is questionable. We had Netflix, six hours of it. We had the Oprah Winfrey interview, an hour of it. There were a lot of untruths in that.
‘Buckingham Palace even came out to say that ‘recollections may vary’. And I think this book, over 500 pages long, I think recollections may vary in that too.’
He added: ‘I think it’s a load of balderdash, quite frankly. Royal households don’t brief journos. The journos openly admit that their lives would be much easier if Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace did brief them.
‘Briefing against individual members of the Royal Family is absolute nonsense and Harry, really, this whole exercise of his is revenge. It’s spiteful.
‘And he knows full well that the rest of the family are not going to come forward and respond to his narrative. That’s the last thing they should do. They should invite silence, and not let the narrative run away with itself.’
The BBC’s royal reporter Nicholas Witchell told the broadcaster that Harry’s memoir failed to address sensational claims of racism in the Royal Family that were made in his and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.
He said: ‘There are, after all, no, as it were irrecoverable lines that we’re aware of on racially inappropriate language or behaviour. Think back to the Oprah Winfrey interview, that was the big issue that emerged there. I’m not aware that that has been taken forward in this book.’
Expert Richard Fitzwilliams called the claims made in Harry’s book ‘awful’ and ‘fantastical’.
And former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown, a biographer of Princess Diana, said: ‘Harry’s turned into a human hand grenade. It’s raining down on the House of Windsor just at the start of his father’s reign.’ Royal expert Jack Royston said: ‘William will be furious and I cannot see William wanting Harry at the Coronation after everything that’s been said.
‘I think it’s a decision that will be made jointly after discussion. Charles is obviously the King and the Prince of Wales does not trump the King. But William is Charles’s son, Charles and Camilla are both mentioned as well, I think this will be discussed by the three of them together and probably Kate as well. William’s voice does count within that conversation, it doesn’t trump the King but his voice counts.
‘It would have to be a long road because public opinion swings so slowly and one thing we’ve seen is every time they go for the royals, every time they take a swing at them, it damages their reputation in Britain’.
In other astonishing revelations, Harry:
- Admits lying about taking cocaine as a teenager and recounts how he smoked joints in a bathroom at Eton;
- Claims he killed 25 Taliban insurgents on military service in Afghanistan;
- Discusses rumours that James Hewitt is his real father;
- Describes in eye-popping detail losing his virginity to an older woman who liked ‘macho horses’ and treated him ‘like a young stallion’ in a field behind a pub;
- Describes a bust-up with William when Meghan said Kate had ‘baby brain because of her hormones’.
ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly admitted her ‘toes will never be uncurled’ after the Duke revealed that he lost his virginity to an older woman in a field outside a pub when he was 17
Spare was supposed to be published on Tuesday amid a huge secrecy operation by its publisher, Penguin Random House. But in a highly embarrassing blunder copies were put on sale in bookshops across Spain yesterday despite signs on the boxes reading ‘not to be opened until January 10’.
Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace declined to comment.
One source who knew Elizabeth II well said last night that they felt ‘almost comforted’ that she wasn’t alive to see what her grandson had done.
‘Her Majesty would have been devastated,’ they said. Harry’s much-anticipated memoir is even more explosive than Buckingham Palace insiders had feared.
He admitted regularly taking cocaine at 17 and boasted about getting the Palace to lie about it to a journalist.
The prince also claimed he was innocent of accusations of racism when he was caught on video using the word ‘P***’ to describe an Asian fellow Sandhurst cadet, saying he wasn’t aware that it was a slur and thought it was like calling an American a ‘Yankee’.
But it is his discussion of relationships with family members that is most damaging. The book covers every aspect of his life, charting the disconnect with his elder sibling – whom he calls ‘Willy’ – that started from the moment he was born, when Charles allegedly declared that his duty was done.
He accused William, 40, of being immersed in his position as future heir to the throne, claimed he ignored him when they were pupils at Eton College, and says he repeatedly put him in his place.
In one paragraph Harry, who is affectionately called ‘Harold’ by his family, described himself as feeling like he was born to be the ‘spare kidney’ for his elder brother.
Harry also accused William of being the aggressor during ‘Megxit’, claiming their relationship had become so strained and damaged that his sibling would only ‘scowl’ at him. He described several particularly awkward meetings between himself, Meghan, William and Kate, saying his brother and sister-in-law appeared uncomfortable at being hugged by his future wife.
He also appeared to accuse the Princess of Wales of over-reacting by demanding an apology from Meghan after she fell out with Kate over wedding plans.
Kate was apparently offended that Meghan attributed forgetfulness to ‘baby brain’ after the birth of Prince Louis.
Harry also revealed that the two couples even rowed over seating plans and whether William and Kate should be put together.
He says when William confronted Meghan and defended his wife, Meghan snapped back at the prince, ‘take your finger out of my face’. While Charles is spared more pain than many had expected, Harry recalled how his father wasn’t even able to hug him when telling him of his mother’s death in a car crash.
He said that when he confided in Charles about suffering panic attacks as a grown man, the prince looked at his plate sadly and said he had failed him.
However, in what are sure to be distressing passages for the King, Harry described how when he returned to the UK to attend Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021, a clearly distressed Charles wailed at his warring sons not to make his ‘final years a misery’.
Harry claimed that he and William had an explosive row about Meghan, which resulted in his brother grabbing him by the collar, breaking his necklace and knocking him to the ground, breaking and injuring himself on a dog bowl. Afterwards he first called not his wife, but his therapist, he said.
And William, he claimed, is his ‘arch-nemesis’ and ‘polar opposite’.
As for the Queen Consort, who comes off relatively lightly in the book, Harry said he and William begged their father not to marry the ‘other woman’, fearing she would be their ‘wicked stepmother’ but added that they eventually came to tolerate her.
The fifth in line to the throne did, however, accuse Camilla of leaking stories about him through a palace spin doctor.
The loss of his mother, Princess Diana, is also a central theme of the memoir, to which Harry returns repeatedly.
He dedicated the book to her, Meghan and their two children.
He repeatedly dreams his mother might come back, and once turned to a woman with ‘powers’ who passed him a message from Diana saying that he was ‘living the life she couldn’t’.
The prince also wrote about drinking his first cocktail with the Queen Mother and teaching her to do an impression of TV character Ali G.
In interviews set up to promote the memoir – further trailers of which have also been released – an emotional Harry refuses to say whether he will go to his father’s Coronation this spring but denies invading William and Charles’s privacy by revealing intimate details in his book.
Goading the royals, Harry says ‘the ball is in their court’ to resolve the fallout if he is to attend the event on May 6.
What’s REALLY behind Meghan and Kate’s long-standing feud: Prince Harry’s memoir claims fallings out over bridesmaids dresses, Easter gifts and lip gloss drove them apart (but ‘recollections may vary’)
The Duke of Sussex would once refer to her as the ‘sister he never had’.
However in his new book Spare, which was released yesterday in Spain, Prince Harry offers new intimate and explosive new insight into the fall-out between his wife Meghan, 41, and Kate, 40.
He writes in extraordinary detail about how the women were both left in tears during the infamous bridesmaid dress row, while also detailing a disagreement over a shared lip gloss – and how Kate was left hurt by Meghan’s comments about her ‘baby brain’ while pregnant.
Meanwhile he reveals how the Waleses were left annoyed when the Sussexes didn’t buy their family Easter gifts.
While Prince Harry would once refer to Kate as the ‘sister he never had’, he exposed explosive new details about her relationship with Meghan in his new book Spare (pictured together at Wimbledon in 2019)
AN AWKWARD FIRST MEETING (2017)
Prince Harry reportedly introduced Kate to his girlfriend of six months, Meghan, in January 2017.
The then-Suits actress had already met Prince William two months prior, while the Princess of Wales was in Norfolk with her family.
The new couple had just returned from their first romantic holiday together in Norway, where they reportedly watched the Northern Lights.
A source told The Sun that Kate was ‘really looking forward’ to meeting Meghan.
The insider said: ‘They are very close and he really values her opinion on girlfriends.
‘Obviously Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died when he was very young so Kate really fulfils that older sister/maternal role.’
Prince Harry reportedly introduced Kate to his girlfriend of six months, Meghan, in January 2017 – and the two made their first joint appearance that December
At the time it was reported the meeting had gone ‘really well’ and it had been ‘important’ to the duke that the princess liked his new partner.
However despite the reports, Meghan recounted in the couple’s Netflix series Harry & Meghan that the introduction had been awkward.
The Duchess of Sussex revealed she was ‘barefoot’ and wearing ripped jeans when she first met Kate.
Discussing the meeting , she said she did not know the ‘formality’ continues behind closed doors and that she is a ‘hugger’ – which she did not realise was ‘jarring for some Brits’.
She admitted she was ‘surprised’ there is a ‘forward-facing way of being and then you close the door’.
She said: ‘Even when Will and Kate came over and I was meeting her for the first time I remember I was in ripped jeans, I was barefoot. Like I was a hugger, I have always been a hugger I didn’t realise that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.’
‘I started to understand that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside, that there is a forward facing way of being and then you close the door and think ‘OK we can relax now’.
‘But that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me.’
When the engagement was announced, Meghan had also paid tribute to Kate for welcoming her into the family.
‘Catherine has been absolutely amazing, as has William as well, you know, fantastic support,’ Meghan said in an interview to mark her engagement to Harry.
TENSIONS AHEAD OF THE WEDDING
In his new book, Prince Harry writes how there were signs of conflict early on in the relationship. He details how Meghan asked to borrow a lip-gloss from Kate ahead of their appearance at the first Royal Foundation forum summit in 2018
The summit was William, Kate, Harry and Meghan’s joint venture, and was intended to harness the star power of the four high-profile royals
As Meghan was introduced into royal life, Prince Harry penned there were signs of discord between his future wife and his sister-in-law.
In his book, he detailed how Meghan asked to borrow a lip-gloss from Kate ahead of their appearance at the first Royal Foundation forum summit in 2018.
He writes that Kate was surprised, but rummaged around in her bag before offering it to Meghan.
Harry goes on to claim that Meg applied a little gloss to her finger, and rubbed it across her lips, before Kate made a ‘disgusted’ face.
The summit was William, Kate, Harry and Meghan’s joint venture and was intended to harness the star power of the four high-profile royals.
At the time, Harry said ‘working as family does have its challenges’, but insisted ‘we’re stuck together for the rest of our lives’.
Harry was quick to clarify they were ‘healthy disagreements’ and joked they ‘come so thick and fast’ when asked what the last thing they quarrelled on was.
William continued the banter, quipping: ‘Is it resolved? We don’t know!’
Meanwhile the duke also revealed new details about Kate and Meghan’s disagreement over Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress
But Harry steered the topic back towards the serious message, adding: ‘I think it’s really good we have got four different personalities and we all have that same passion to make a difference.
‘We have different opinions and they work really well [together]. Working as family does have its challenges; of course it does. [I think] the fact that everybody is laughing shows they know ‘exactly’ what’s it like. But we are stuck together for the rest of our lives.’
Bridesmaid dress-gate! How reports of Kate and Meghan arguing ahead of wedding unfolded
May 2018 – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot in St George’s Chapel in Windsor
The bridesmaids, including Jessica Mulroney’s daughter Ivy and Princess Charlotte, have bare legs
November 2018 – The Telegraph’s royal editor Camilla Tominey wrote she had ‘spoken to two separate sources who claim Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte’.
May 2020 – Tatler reports the two argued over protocol around young bridesmaids’ tights
March 2021 – Meghan confirms there was a disagreement in her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview but says the Duchess of Cambridge actually made her cry.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl says Kate ‘never wanted’ reports of a rift to come out in the press and has found the situation ‘mortifying’
January 2023: Harry’s memoirs reveals new rifts between the Sussexes and the Wales’
There were reports that Kate and Meghan clashed over bridesmaid dresses ahead of the wedding in 2018.
It was claimed Meghan had made Kate cry during a row over the outfits.
One unnamed friend claims Kate wanted to follow ‘protocol’, with the bridesmaids, including Charlotte, then three, wearing tights – but Meghan disagreed.
In his book Revenge, Tom Bower claimed unnamed sources told him the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex disagreed over the length of Princess Charlotte’s hemline and the fit of her dress.
He also claimed Meghan’s ‘insistence’ was ‘supported’ by bridesmaid Jessica Mulroney, adding: ‘Some would say that Meghan compared Ivy [Mulroney’s daughter] favourably against Charlotte’.
The Duchess of Sussex later disagreed in her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, claiming it was the other way around and adding: ‘She [Kate] was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she brought me flowers’.
Meghan also said: ‘It wasn’t a confrontation, and I actually think it’s… I don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.
‘What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do but that happened to me.
‘And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: ‘I know this didn’t happen. I don’t have to tell them what actually happened’.’
At the time, royal expert Katie Nicholl said Kate ‘never wanted’ reports of a rift to come out in the Press and had found the situation ‘mortifying’.
‘From what I hear, there are different versions of the bridesmaid story, not just the one Meghan discussed,’ the royal expert told the publication.
‘Kate felt it was all sorted, so to have it brought up again was mortifying. Kate is not in a position to respond and Meghan and Harry know that.
The royal expert went on to claim that Kate was left ‘saddened, disappointed and hurt’ in the wake of Meghan and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview.
He said Kate messaged Meghan days before the wedding stating there was a problem with the bridesmaid dresses – specifically, Charlotte’s dress
However, rather than put the whole issue to bed, Prince Harry revisited the argument in his book – offering new explosive detail.
He said Kate messaged Meghan days before the wedding stating there was a problem with the bridesmaid dresses – specifically, Charlotte’s.
He claims Meghan tried to send Kate to the tailor at the Palace to have it fixed.
According to Harry, Meghan found an hour to chat to Kate, who said Charlotte’s dress was too big for her, and she had cried when she tried it on.
The duke also wrote that it wasn’t the only issue Kate had with the planning of the wedding, mentioning an issue with the page boys, but didn’t go into further detail.
After the discussion, Harry said he returned home to find Meghan sobbing on the floor of the kitchen, overcome with stress and worry.
He added that Kate arrived at the house the next day with a card and apology flowers.
Meghan described the episode as a ‘turning point’ in her relationship with Kate.
But the tension didn’t stop there – Harry also writes that Meghan and he were upset that Will and Kate switched place cards to rearrange their table at the royal wedding.
He says that the Cambridges later insisted it was not them, but it had been another guest.
CONFLICT IN KENSINGTON PALACE
According to Harry, after he and Meghan returned from their honeymoon, the Prince and Princess of Wales invited Harry and Meghan to their flat at Kensington Palace after the rows
According to Harry, after he and Meghan returned from their honeymoon, the Prince and Princess of Wales invited Harry and Meghan to their flat at Kensington Palace.
But the chat over tea and biscuits in June 2018 descended into further conflict.
Harry laid out in extraordinary detail the meeting with William and Kate when an attempt to mend the growing rift between the Sussexes and the Waleses failed.
But both couples would end up sharing more gripes rather than patching things up.
He described arriving at their Kensington Palace flat and said that Meghan’s mouth was open because of the décor, priceless art on the walls, books and furniture, saying ‘wow’ repeatedly.
Harry said that they had been thinking to themselves that their neighbouring flat had Ikea lamps and furniture ‘we’d recently bought on sale with Meg’s credit card on sofa.com’.
They then sat down for a cup of tea and some biscuits where they asked after the Wales’ children, and they had been asked about their honeymoon.
But after that Meghan decided to raise the question of their relationship and tensions going back to when she started dating Harry.
She suggested there had been crossed wires when Kate thought Meghan wanted to use her connections in the fashion industry – but in fact she already had her own.
Meghan suggested that these problems had been magnified by the wedding preparations and the discussions over bridesmaids dresses.
Harry wrote that there were further issues – including William and Kate feeling disgruntled they hadn’t received a gift for Easter.
Harry then claims that Kate became upset and demanded an apology from Meghan for offending her when she mentioned her hormones after giving birth and suggesting it had affected her memory.
Meghan initially said she couldn’t remember but then added she could remember what the disagreement was about.
Harry claimed Meghan said Kate had forgotten something, and she had told her it didn’t matter because it was probably because of the hormones.
Harry said Kate then said the two were not close enough for Meghan to talk about her hormones.
Meghan then said she spoke to all her friends that way.
Meanwhile he also recounts another awkward moment, which saw the family celebrating Trooping the Colour, and said Meghan had quipped about the ‘colours’ leaving a ‘deathly silence’
William then called Meghan ‘rude’ to her face and ‘pointed a finger at her’ and explained: ‘These things are not done here’.
In an excerpt, which lays bare the rift between the Sussexes and the Waleses, Meghan then told William: ‘If you don’t mind, keep your finger out of my face’.
Defending his wife, Harry wrote: ‘Meg said that she had never intentionally done anything to offend Kate and that if she had, she begged her to let her know so she could avoid a reoccurrence’.
The Duchess of Sussex is then said to have declared that she had not wanted to offend Kate.
They all hugged and left, Harry said, because they thought it best to head home rather than row further.
Meanwhile he also recounts another awkward moment, which saw the family celebrating Trooping the Colour.
He said the mood was lively before Kate asked Meghan what she thought of the first parade of regimental colours, to which Meghan quipped ‘colourful’.
Harry calls the silence which followed ‘deathly’ and said it ‘threatened to engulf us all.’
Speculation of a falling out between the then-Cambridges and the Sussexes began to grow after the announcement that Harry and Meghan would be moving away from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage.
A source told Vanity Fair that ‘Kate and Meghan are very different people and they don’t have a lot in common but they have made an effort to get along.’
However speaking to members of the public outside Leicester University during her visit to the city with William in November 2018, Kate was asked about sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex’s pregnancy.
Asked if she were excited for ‘Meghan and her new baby’, Kate said: ‘Yes absolutely, no it’s such a special time to have all kiddies.
She added: ‘And a cousin for George and Charlotte as well, and Louis. So it will be really special.’
Speculation of a feud reignited in December when rumours circulated that William and Kate would not be hosting the Sussexes at Anmer Hall over Christmas, after a ‘ghastly row’ the previous year.
Sources claimed that Kate had a quiet word with Meghan for reprimanding one of her staff, leading to the Duchess of Sussex complaining to Harry that she’d been ‘told off’.
However, a Kensington Palace spokesman shot down the story saying: ‘This never happened.’
On Christmas Day, Kate and Meghan put on a united front as they chatted and smiled on the way to church.
On Christmas Day in 2018, Kate and Meghan put on a united front as they chatted and smiled on the way to church. Meanwhile, reports began to emerge Meghan was ‘very sensitive’ about being ‘number two’ to Kate
Meanwhile, reports began to emerge Meghan was ‘very sensitive’ about being ‘number two’ to Kate.
Royal author Tom Quinn has claimed that during her time in the Firm, Meghan rowed with Kensington Palace staff over ‘getting the sort of attention she deserved’.
Speaking to the Daily Star Online, Mr Quinn said Meghan argued with Kate’s staff after they turned down her royal requests, revealing: ‘It was almost as if in that one encounter, it encapsulated for Meghan the problem that she had, that she’s a princess and she’s number two.’
Mr Quinn, who wrote Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir From Queen Mary To Meghan Markle, claimed the incident took place while Harry and Meghan were living at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
The royal author said he had spoken to ‘someone who was there’ and was left ‘really uncomfortable’ after Meghan rowed with a member of Kate’s staff.
He said the duchess had asked the staff member to do something, but they told her: ‘I’m really sorry I can’t do that because I work for Kate’.
Tom claimed Meghan ‘really felt she had been put in her place’ and said that, as a ‘princess’, she had ‘assumed that when you ask staff to do something, they are going to do it.’
Tom claimed Meghan went on to row with the member of staff, leaving Kate ‘horrified’.
He said the duchess had been so upset by the staff’s behaviour because she feels conscious about being treated with the same respect as Kate.
He added: ‘She’s very sensitive about not being treated with the same respect that she feels Kate is, so can react badly and doesn’t take it lying down.’
The royal author went on to say that the ‘alien environment’ where ‘people behave towards you’ on the status of who will be the monarch next was ‘alien’ to Meghan.
‘DISTANT POLITENESS’ IN PUBLIC
Prince William and Kate attended Archie’s Christening and posed for a group photo. However, a source told Us Weekly that the couple ‘weren’t happy’ about the Sussexes’ decision to keep the celebration private
At the start of 2019, Kate missed Meghan’s baby shower in New York, instead opting instead for a secret family skiing trip.
Weeks later, reports began emerging that the larger conflict was actually between Harry and William – not Meghan and Kate.
Prince Harry attended an Easter service at St George’s Chapel in 2019 – without Meghan because she was heavily pregnant – and chatted with Kate, but not William.
Afterwards, Kate allegedly advised Harry to offer William ‘an olive branch’ to repair their fractured relationship and the ‘complete and utter breakdown of communication’ between them, the Daily Mirror reported.
It was her suggestion that led the Sussexes to invite the Waleses to Frogmore Cottage, where they had tea and chatted for half an hour.
But by June, Meghan and Harry officially split from The Royal Foundation – the joint charity they shared with William and Kate.
Prince William and Kate attended Archie’s Christening that month and posed for a group photo. However, a source told Us Weekly that the Waleses ‘weren’t happy’ about the Sussexes’ decision to keep the celebration private.
By June, Meghan and Harry officially split from The Royal Foundation – the joint charity they shared with William and Kate
In July 2019, Kate and Meghan attended a charity polo match to watch their husbands play.
Kate and Meghan were supporting William and Harry, who were pictured competing in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day for the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham.
They were each pictured playing with their children, but barely interacted as they watched the match.
In his biography, Finding Freedom, Omid Scobie detailed: ‘The two duchesses’ relationship had struggled to move past the distant politeness of when they first met.
‘Their cordial but distant rapport was apparent when the pair appeared alongside each other at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day the previous summer.
In July 2019, Kate and Meghan attended a charity polo match to watch their husbands play. Omid later said they ‘barely exchanged a word’ at the event
‘While the doting mothers were photographed next to each other with their children, the two appeared to barely exchange a word.’
Days later, Kate and Meghan made a second joint public appearance with one another, attending the Wimbledon women’s final.
The two seemed to be getting on famously as they chatted and smiled in the Royal Box, after taking their seats to watch Meghan’s good friend Serena Williams, who was beaten two sets to nil by Romania’s Simona Halep in the Ladies’ Singles Final.
Kate made her way to the grounds ahead of Meghan, to attend a lunch for club members and former champions in her role as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club before the game.
The two women appeared chatty and jovial as they watched the match – putting to bed any feud rumours.
However, Meghan would later pour cold water on the outing. In her 2021 Oprah interview, she was also asked about a memorable joint-outing to Wimbledon, where the pair put on a united front and were pictured laughing together.
Referring to a day the pair spent together at Wimbledon at 2019, she asked: ‘Did you feel welcomed by everyone? It seemed like you and Kate at the Wimbledon game where you were going to watch a friend play tennis?’
‘Was it what it looked like? You are two sisters-in-law out there in the world, getting to know each other. Was she helping you, embracing you into the family, helping you?’
However Meghan appeared to dodge the question, saying: ‘My understanding and my experience of the past four years is it’s nothing like what it looks like.
Days later, Kate and Meghan made a second joint public appearance with one another, attending the Wimbledon women’s final. The Duchess of Sussex later said it was ‘not what it looked like’
‘It’s nothing like what it looks like. And I remember so often people within the Firm would say, ‘Well, you can’t do this because it’ll look like that. You can’t’ so, even, ‘Can I go and have lunch with my friends?’. No, no, no. You’re oversaturated. You’re everywhere. It would be best for you to not go out to lunch with your friends.’
By that autumn, in her documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Meghan said ‘not many people had asked if she was okay’.
A source told Us Weekly that Kate hated seeing Meghan and Harry ‘so miserable’ and hoped ‘William and Harry will eventually heal the rift and let bygones be bygones.
‘The way she sees it, life’s too short to make enemies — especially with loved ones. She’s very levelheaded like that. Kate’s a family girl.’
At the couple’s final royal engagement, The Commonwealth Day service – Meghan and Harry’s final official engagement – was ‘not exactly the warm reunion we were hoping for’, according to body language expert Judi James
In January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced they were quitting as senior members of the Royal Family, which ‘blindsided’ William, according to an Us Weekly source.
A royal source told The Sun that, following the official Sandringham summit, Kate and Meghan, who was in Canada, did join in with some of the talks on more than one occasion – which is another sign of a real thaw in their relationship. Things are better.’
At the couple’s final royal engagement, The Commonwealth Day service –Meghan and Harry’s final official engagement –was ‘not exactly the warm reunion we were hoping for’, according to body language expert Judi James.
Meghan was seen to mouth ‘hi’ and give a small wave to William and Kate, followed by a ‘hello’, as the then-Cambridges took their seat in the High Altar in the row in front of the Sussexes.
Meanwhile, Mr Scobie claimed Meghan was ‘disappointed’ that Kate didn’t offer a ‘stronger shoulder of support’.
Speaking on The Heirpod podcast, the co-author of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell biography Finding Freedom, claimed the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge were ‘never at war’ – but their relationship lacked any ‘depth’.
‘They were never at war and never the duelling duchesses. They were just two women who had this very surface level friendship,’ he said on his podcast.
Omid Scobie claimed Meghan was ‘disappointed’ that Kate didn’t offer a ‘stronger shoulder of support’
‘They were able to connect and bond to trips to Wimbledon – we saw them there a couple of times. ‘
‘But certainly where more depth was required or perhaps a stronger shoulder of support from the Duchess of Cambridge’s side, we saw that that didn’t happen, over and over again.’
He continued: ‘And it was one of the things that really left Meghan a bit disappointed in that friendship… as there were times that she really would’ve appreciated that extra support internally.’
The author suggested that the then-Duchess of Cambridge might’ve been too busy to help the Duchess of Sussex.
‘People have asked why Kate may have not been there in that situation and I really don’t know but it’s clear at the time her priorities weren’t there,’ Mr Scobie said.
‘We do see her as an incredibly dedicated wife, mother and member of the Royal family and maybe that’s a lot for one person to juggle.’
In September last year, Kate, William and Harry were joined by Meghan for a surprise joint walkabout following the death of the Queen – but barely interacted
Since then, there has been little public interaction between the two women – and very few joint appearances.
In fact, in November 2020, royal biographer Sean Smith told The Sun Harry and Meghan ‘didn’t have much contact with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’.
Despite that, in March 2022, experts said Kate would ‘not forget’ how Meghan Markle treated her but won’t prolong their feud into the New Year.
According to Ingrid Seward, the mother-of-three was poised be ‘cordial’ with Meghan at the Platinum Jubilee in June, telling The Mirror: ‘She will be sure to be photographed kissing or hugging her…She knows there is no point in prolonging a feud that has the opportunity of being repaired.’
Meanwhile Ingrid said if the women were to reunite at the event, the Duchess of Cambridge will put her own feelings to one side.
She said: ‘She has to – that is part of her job. Her private feelings have to remain just that.’
The two women have appeared in public together on very few occasions since 2020 – although they did come together for the Queen’s funeral events in 2022
The two did not appear together during the Queen’s Jubilee celebration and the then-Cambridges reportedly did not attend Lilibet’s first birthday at Windsor.
In September 2022, Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry were joined by Meghan for a surprise joint walkabout following the death of the Queen.
It was Meghan and Kate’s first joint appearance together since the Commonwealth Day service.
However throughout the walkabout, which is believed to have lasted some 30 minutes, Prince William and Kate, and Meghan and Harry, appeared to stick to their two couples – perhaps instructed to by their aides – and barely interacted during the sombre occasion.
At times during the walkabout, all four split up, to greet and speak with members of the public individually.
Months later, Prince Harry and Meghan went on to share their explosive Netflix series, in which they discussed their time in the Royal Family in depth.
Despite standing together with Camilla at the Queen’s funeral, Kate and Meghan appeared to have no interaction
Harry took an apparent swipe at the choice of wives by his male relatives that has been viewed as an attack on his father and other senior royals, perhaps even his brother William.
In the episodes, Harry also added: ‘For so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould, as opposed to somebody who you are perhaps destined to be with.
‘The difference between making decisions with your head or your heart. My mom certainly made most of her decisions if not all of them from her heart, and I am my mother’s son.’
Meanwhile Meghan appeared to take a swipe at Kate in the third episode of her and Prince Harry’s documentary, Harry & Meghan.
She said she tried to ‘tone down’ her outfits by wearing beige and white to ensure she didn’t overshadow anyone.
‘Most of the time I was in the UK, I rarely wore colour. I wore a lot of muted tones, but it was so I could just blend in. Like I’m not trying to stand out here,’ she explained.
After Meghan told Netflix viewers that she was told she ‘shouldn’t be wearing the same color as one of the other, more senior members of the family’, Kate stepped out at her carol concert wearing a tone of burgundy
Sister Pippa Middleton and Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall wore alike-colored ensembles at the Together at Christmas concert
The duchess also said she was told she ‘shouldn’t be wearing the same colour as one of the other, more senior members of the family.’
‘To my understanding, you can’t ever wear the same color as Her Majesty if there’s a group event,’ she continued.
‘You also shouldn’t be wearing the same color as one of the other more senior members of the family.’
She reiterated the statement in episode five: ‘Until that last week in the UK, I rarely wore color and I never wanted to upstage or ruffle any feathers, so I just tried to blend in.’
The following day, Kate was joined by a number of other members of the Royal Family wearing a shade of burgundy at her carol concert.
Kate, 40, who hosted the service, opted for a maroon, buttoned-up, ankle-length pea coat and matching heels. She paired the look with a similar-coloured clutch.
In addition, her seven-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte; sister Pippa Middleton, 39; and Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, 41, all wore alike-colored ensembles.
Upon seeing the matching outfits, many social media users wondered if it was a message to Meghan.
Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith responded to the Sussexes’ six-part Netflix series in explosive fashion.
He said: ‘I think Catherine and William will be feeling deeply wounded. They love Harry, they miss him. He is family and, despite this attack, I believe they’d still welcome him and Meghan back.
‘There’s nothing Catherine would want more than for the brothers to be reconciled because that’s the real love story here. Two brothers who love each other but have been torn apart.
‘No one wants Prince Harry to be unhappy. No one wants to see Meghan so depressed she felt like taking her life, but is this really the best way to go about repairing relationships?
‘To me, the series felt not only scripted and inauthentic, but unfair, self-interested, unreasonable and untrue — especially when done in the knowledge that William and Catherine could never answer back.’