- An increasing volume of reports are emerging about alleged disputes between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Prince William and Kate Middleton.
- Harry and Meghan announced this week that they will move out of Kensington Palace, which they share with William and Kate.
- A slew of separate leaks by palace insiders followed, reported by respected and established outlets in the UK.
- They include claims that Meghan made Kate cry in the run-up to her wedding in May, that Harry and William argued about Meghan joining the family, and that the Queen had to step in
A bitter rift is reportedly emerging in the British royal family, and threatens to fracture the harmonious family image the young royals have thus far presented to the world.
According to a series of reports in respected UK outlets, rivalry and tensions emerged behind the scenes as Meghan Markle was integrated into the royal household.
They say that changes at Kensington Palace – the branch of the royal household to which Prince Harry, Prince William, and their families belong – put the two brothers and their wives at odds, sometimes spilling over into anger.
A potential public sign of the tensions came last weekend, when officials announced that Harry and Meghan would stop living in Kensington Palace, in a cottage a few minutes from William and Kate.
Instead they would move 18 miles away to the grounds of Windsor Castle, where they married in May.
According to accounts published in the media, tensions started to boil over in the run-up to the wedding.
This week, The Daily Telegraph, citing two sources, said that Meghan left Kate in tears weeks before the ceremony in a dispute over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid’s dress. It said the run-in came while Kate was still “quite emotional” after giving birth to Prince Louise.
In the same article, the Telegraph alleges that Meghan has upset staff by calling them at 5 a.m. and subjecting them to “bombardments” of emails.
Another account, published this week by Vanity Fair magazine, said that there is tension between the Princes as well.
An unnamed royal source said: “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. Any issues are between the brothers.”
It also reported on a separate alleged falling-out dating to Christmas 2017, when Harry reported berated William for doing too little to welcome Meghan to the family.
A separate source said: “Harry felt William wasn’t rolling out the red carpet for Meghan and told him so. They had a bit of a fall out which was only resolved when [Prince] Charles stepped in and asked William to make an effort.”
A further report suggested that the tensions had escalated as far as Queen Elizabeth II.
The Sun newspaper reported that Meghan angered Her Majesty by insisting on wearing an emerald-studded tiara for her wedding, rather than the diamond-and-platinum piece which she ultimately wore.
It said that the emerald piece wasn’t suitable because it wasn’t clear how it came to be in the royal collection – a potential source of embarrassment should it have been worn publicly.
The Queen, according to The Sun, told Meghan that she needed to respect royal staff, and put up with what she was given. A source cited by the newspaper said “Meghan can be difficult.”
Meghan has already given a different account of the tiara choosing process, in audio material for an exhibit on at Windsor Castle about her wedding. Meghan said she was given a choice of several tiaras, and chose her one because she liked it best.
Gossip about disputes within the royal family are not uncommon, and usually have little impact. But the character of this reporting changes things.
For a variety of sources to brief different reporters, using different examples, but all point to an identical narrative – the royal rift – suggests that this has more credibility than idle talk.
According a report from last month in The Sunday Times newspaper, the princes may ultimately divide their offices and staff, which would be an unmistakable symbol that the two had grown apart.
INSIDER contacted Kensington Palace to ask about the reported splits, but officials declined to comment.