Everything We Know About Kate and Meghan's Complex Relationship

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Duchess Kate and Duchess Meghan’s complex relationship started off on the right foot, with the two aligning themselves together in a fast friendship after meeting in January 2017, but rumors of a growing rift between the two had begun to plague the royal family by November 2018.

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Scroll through to find out what’s fact about their rumored feud, what’s fiction and where the powerful women’s relationship stands now!

When Meghan Met Kate

Prince Harry introduced his then-girlfriend to his sister-in-law and his niece, Princess Charlotte, in January 2017. “Meghan’s so happy she’s getting to know more of Harry’s nearest and dearest,” a source told Us Weekly of the meeting, which “went well.” A separate insider close to Meghan later told Us that her friend had come prepared, gifting Kate, whose birthday is January 9, with a Smythson planner. “Kate was touched by the little birthday present. It was a brief meeting. But as far as introductions go, it was a success.”

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Kate (née Middleton) reacted to news of Harry and Meghan (née Markle)’s engagement in a positive manner. “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan,” she said in a joint statement with her husband, Prince William, on November 27, 2017. She later told reporters, “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together. William and I are absolutely thrilled. It’s such exciting news. It’s a really happy time for any couple and we wish them all the best and hope they enjoy this happy moment.”


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New Home for the Holidays

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted the new royal couple at their Anmer Hall home in Norfolk, England. “[Harry and Meghan will] be William and Kate’s guests and travel back and forth with them,” a source told Us at the time. 


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The Fab Four

The Fab Four was born following Christmas 2017 after making their first appearance as a group at the royal family’s annual Christmas church service at Sandringham on December 25.


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A Helping Hand

With Kate seven months pregnant with her third child, Prince Louis, in February 2017, a royal insider told Us that the former actress was a big help, visiting her in-law from her then-home at Nottingham Cottage for tea and advice. “She shares tips she’s read about healthy eating,” a source dished to Us of Meghan. 

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Laughter Abounds

The two women shared many a laugh during their first joint royal engagement, “Making a Difference Together,” on February 28 with their respective spouses, William and Harry, for the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum in London. Harry spoke on the foursome’s close relationship at the time: “I think it’s really good that we’ve got four different personalities,” he said. “You know, we’ve all got that same passion to want to make a difference. But [we have] different opinions, and I think those opinions work really, really well [together]. Working as a family does have its challenges. Of course it does. …  But we’re stuck together for the rest of our lives.” Added Meghan, “Togetherness at its finest.”


Blossoming Friendship

Early on, Kate made it clear that she would be a resource for Meghan as she integrated herself into royal life. She told the Suits alum “that if she ever needed anything, she shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch,” a pal of Meghan’s told Us. “Even if it’s just to get a crash course on her new collection of aides.” Meghan, in turn, worked extra hard to win Kate over. “She really admires how Kate has carved out her own space when it comes to humanitarian work alongside being an amazing mother,” an insider revealed. Kate, meanwhile, found the L.A. native to be “such a breath of fresh air.” By March 2018, their relationship had blossomed into what a source called a “firmly established wonderful friendship.” 


First Signs of Trouble

Meghan became a royal after marrying Prince Harry at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing – the bride was reportedly at odds with her new sister-in-law after a dress fitting for Charlotte, who served as the couple’s bridesmaid, left Kate in tears. 


Girls’ Club

The two women made their first solo appearance together at Wimbledon in London on July 14, where they appeared to have a great time, wearing matching smiles as they sat side by side in support of Meghan’s pal, Serena Williams

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Supportive Sister-in-Law

Kate was supportive of news in October 2018 that Meghan and Harry were expecting a baby. “William and Kate are very excited for Harry and Meghan,” a source exclusively told Us at the time. “They’re old pros at ‘the parenting thing’ and want to help them in any way they need over the months ahead.” The Duchess of Cambridge also gushed to fans over the newest royal in Leicester, England, on November 27, 2018, while honoring late football club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. “It’s such a special time to have all kiddies and a cousin for George and Charlotte as well, and Louis, so it’ll be really special.”

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Double Date Nights

The Fab Four double dated at both a Remembrance Day ceremony on November 10 and the annual Royal Foundation Dinner at Victoria House in London on November 15. 

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The Rumor Mill Churns

Feud speculation began to swirl after it was announced in November that the Deal or No Deal alum and the Invictus Games founder would soon be moving to a larger home in Windsor, England – roughly 30 miles away from Kate and William. “The ‘feud’ is definitely being played up,” a source told Us at the time. “Are they the best of friends? No. Do they speak every waking second? No. Do they hate each other? Absolutely not.” The insider explained, “They are two women under serious amounts of pressure, stress and under a huge spotlight that no one can relate to – they will always have a bond that no one can break. 

A separate source told Us that the group was even on a group text chain: “There is no fighting going on between Kate and Meghan,” the source said.

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Playing Things Up for the Camera

After months of feud rumors, both duchesses attended a pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace on December 19 before spending Christmas Day at St. Mary Magdalene at Sandringham for mass, where they exhibited close body language. Meghan, in particular, placed her hand on Kate’s back at one point, which body language expert Bianca Cobb told Us was a sign of her maternal tendencies. “It’s a gesture that signals comfort, provides reassurance and brings them closer,” she explained to Us. “By standing slightly behind Kate, Meghan is silently saying that she’s got her back. Exactly what you’d expect from sisters-in-law.”


A source later told Us, “It was obvious Kate and Meghan made an effort to show their warmth on camera.” 

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All’s Well That Ends Well

Being under the same roof at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England, for the holidays meant that Meghan and Kate “couldn’t avoid each other,” a source told Us. Luckily, they were able to work through the issues they did have and air their prior grievances. The royal insider revealed that “Meghan made it clear she that felt snubbed by Kate,” while “Kate opened up about feeling like Meghan had used her to climb the royal ladder.”

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Royal Comparisons

“Meghan feels that there is a standard set very high by” Duchess Kate, an insider told Us in August 2019. “It’s discouraging that the British public holds her up to that. Meghan has this sense of isolation being in the U.K., subject to cruel British media. Her hands are tied and she isn’t allowed to defend herself. It has been very difficult.”

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