Meghan Markle felt ‘rebuffed’ by Kate Middleton after hopes of being ‘besties’ dashed
Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry will return to the UK in September. According to a spokesperson for the couple, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “delighted” to be visiting the prince’s home country to work with “charities close to their hearts”. They will start their trip with a stop in Manchester for The One Young World Manchester Summit, before jetting off to Germany for the Invictus Games Düsseldorf One Year To Go ceremony the next day.
The pair will then return to the UK for the WellChild Awards 2022 in London.
It is believed that Meghan and Harry will stay in Frogmore Cottage during their trip, putting them just a stone’s throw away from Queen Elizabeth II, who resides in Windsor Castle.
The Sussexes will also be a short distance away from Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, who, according to reports, will have moved to their new home on the Windsor estate by the time of Meghan and Harry’s visit.
William and Kate are set to relocate from Kensington Palace to Adelaide Cottage, a four-bedroom property just a few minutes’ walk away from the Sussexes’ former royal residence.
However, it is understood that there are currently no plans for Meghan and Harry to meet the Cambridges during their stay.
It comes as the ongoing rift between the so-called “Fab Four” shows no sign of healing.
When Meghan first entered the Royal Family, many hoped that the new royal would become quick friends with her sister-in-law.
And, according to a royal commentator, the Duchess of Sussex shared these expectations but soon felt “rebuffed” by Kate.
Emily Andrews, the former royal editor of the Mail on Sunday, appeared on the 2021 Channel 5 documentary ‘Meghan at 40’ and described how the relationship between the two Duchesses progressed.
She said: “Here were two women, both outsiders, marrying into the Royal Family, living on the same complex at Kensington Palace — of course, they’d be besties.
“And actually, that’s what Meghan felt. She confided in a number of her friends that she hoped Kate would help her adjust to royal life, but the cracks started to show pretty early on.
“Behind the scenes, Meghan was feeling a bit rebuffed. I’m not sure whether Kate ever realised.
“William had said to Harry before they got engaged: ‘No need to rush this. You’ve got all the time in the world. You don’t know her that well,’ and I think that set the seeds.”
By 2018, rumours of tension between the two Duchesses, and the princes, began to swirl.
Author Tom Quinn said: “Meghan and Kate initially got on very well but they are very, very different.
“Kate wants to do things quietly, she wants to obey the rules, she takes advice — Meghan is a much more strident character who wanted to do things her way, so this caused a rift.”
When it came to Meghan and Harry’s wedding, in May 2018, the rift had only grown, with reports emerging later that suggested Meghan had left Kate in tears in a row over flower girl dresses.
However, three years later, the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that it was, in fact, the other way around and she was reduced to “tears” by a comment Kate made in the lead-up to her wedding
Meghan claimed during her infamous interview with Oprah that the Palace knew the reports were inaccurate.
She said: “The issue was correct about flower-girl dresses, and it made me cry and it really hurt my feelings, and I thought in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing what everyone else was doing, which was try to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.”
She added: “I don’t think it’s fair to [Kate] to get into the details of that because she apologised and I’ve forgiven her.”
Meghan later said: “Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true. I am not sharing that piece about Kate to be in any way disparaging about her. I would hope that she would want that to be corrected.”
By October 2018, the Cambridges and the Sussexes split their households, with Meghan and Harry moving from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage and their staff relocating to Buckingham Palace.
A year later, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex set up their own charitable foundation after leaving the Royal Foundation which they had been a part of with Kate and William.
In early 2020, the couple announced that they were stepping down from their senior positions within the Royal Family and moving across the pond.
Since then, the Cambridges and the Sussexes have only reunited a handful of times, most recently at the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
In June, Meghan and Harry returned to the UK with their two children — Archie and Lilibet — for the first time.
However, the atmosphere between the two couples appeared to still be frosty.