Meghan Markle has been stirring headlines in recent weeks for allegedly feuding with Kate Middleton, her new sister in law. Royal experts consulted by Fox News believe the reports may be true — to a certain extent.
The first signs of distress came in November, when The Telegraph reported that Markle, 37, made Middleton, 36, cry over an argument involving bridesmaid dresses for the former “Suits” star’s wedding to Britain’s Prince Harry, 34. The American actress said “I do” to Harry in a televised wedding ceremony in May of this year.
The alleged tension between the two duchesses has been widely rumored as the reason behind the announcement of Markle and Harry moving out of London’s Kensington Palace, where Middleton resides with her husband and Harry’s older brother, Prince William, 36.
Royal expert Leslie Carroll, who recently published a book titled “American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry,” told Fox News that while she doesn’t believe there is an ongoing war between Markle and Middleton, she isn’t surprised that the two women may clash at times.
“I think they’re very different women,” said Carroll. “They seem to get along very well as professionals, as two duchesses who are going to be working together on charitable things. But they do have very different personalities. Kate is obviously very British. She’s very reserved and quiet. She’s going to be the future queen, so she’s doing everything she’s supposed to do. And in comes this whirlwind of an American who is ambitious and has a social conscience.”
Carroll pointed out that at the time of the purported bridesmaid dresses incident, Middleton was still recovering from giving birth to her third child, Prince Louis, on April 23. Therefore, she would have naturally been in a more emotional state while Markle was attempting to navigate her new life leading up to the royal wedding.
“Kate was postpartum at that time,” said Carroll. “She’s hormonal and sensitive. And the first thing anyone has ever said about Meghan was how kind she was. Her sorority sisters, her former teachers — the first word that came to anyone’s mind was ‘kind.’ So the fact that Meghan was not kind implies other things were going on… She had so much on her plate, it wouldn’t have been surprising if she did snap.”
Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, has been covering the royal family since 1980s and has written over 20 books on the subject. Her latest one, “My Husband and I,” analyzes the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. She said she agrees with Carroll’s analysis.
“People forget Meghan is an LA girl,” explained Seward. “It’s very different for her to suddenly come here and marry into the royal family. It’s very, very difficult. I think Meghan thought she had an ally in Kate. But everything happened so quickly. Kate was pregnant and unwell. And then she had a new baby. So she couldn’t give Meghan the attention she expected. And I think that’s when things started to sour.”
“I’m afraid there is [some] truth in these stories,” added Seward. “I don’t think it’s so much of a rivalry as much as these are two very different women that just don’t have to be the best of friends. Why should they?”
Both experts agree that Markle and Harry’s plans to live in Frogmore Cottage also has nothing to do with a so-called feud rocking the monarchy. They shared Harry has always yearned to leave London for quieter, more private pastures.
“I don’t think Harry moving out has anything to do about a fallout with his brother,” said Seward. “Kensington Palace is a huge enclave. It’s like a village. And Harry always felt very restrictive living there. He has said as much. And I think he wanted to be away from Kensington Palace and the royals there. Maybe he wasn’t getting on with his brother as he used to, but families are like that. You don’t have to get on with your sibling all the time.”
Carroll said the move makes perfect sense for Markle and Harry, who are expecting their first child due in the spring.
“They really want to be outside of the public,” said Carroll. “Harry has always felt that he couldn’t protect his mother Princess Diana from the paparazzi so he’s trying to do that for Meghan.”
The intense scrutiny surrounding Markle, both royal experts say, is partly due to her father’s side of the family frequently speaking out to the press. Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle, in particular, has publicly criticized her famous sibling on social media, insisting the royal has made zero attempts in reaching out to their father.
Carroll shared that while the palace is known for ignoring tabloids, this won’t stop Markle’s family from speaking out.
“I think it would be nice if Meghan did reach out to her father and have a quiet sit-down somewhere that’s not the palace and introduce him to his grandchild,” Samantha Markle said recently.
Seward said that the lack of communication between Markle and her father, 74-year-old Thomas Markle, who was noticeably absent on her wedding day, has only fueled more speculation, backfiring any attempts made by the palace to stay quiet.
“I think it’s sad for Meghan,” she said. “And I think the British people find it very difficult to understand that she doesn’t have any contact with her father. I think they also find it difficult to understand that she and Harry didn’t even go to meet the father before they got engaged. I think the trouble goes back there. Before any of these problems surfaced, why didn’t they go over there or get him to come over here, make him feel welcome, as you would with any in-law? Especially when it reflects badly on Meghan and Harry. No one comes out a winner in this situation.
“Remember, the father didn’t speak to the media initially. He kept very quiet… So he was not at fault. Had they made the effort to go visit him, these problems may not have risen. He’s never met Harry, which is quite odd. I don’t understand it,” said Seward.
Despite the negative publicity Markle has been receiving, Carroll noted she does have an ally in Prince Charles, Harry’s father. The 70-year-old, who is next in line to the throne, walked Markle down the aisle on her wedding day after her own father wasn’t able to make it after he reportedly needed heart surgery.
“Prince Charles said Meghan was the best thing that ever happened to Harry,” said Carroll. “Who would have thought Charles had this warm and fuzzy side to him? He’s got a framed photographed of him walking Meghan down the aisle. Obviously, he appreciates strong women. That’s the Camilla factor, the strong woman in his life.”
Both royal experts said the current reports of a rivalry between Markle and Middleton will eventually fade as the press focuses on the next hot gossip. However, both warn the intense scrutiny surrounding Markle will only intensify once she gives birth next year.
“The reason why we are obsessed with the royal family is that it is a 1,000-year-old soap opera,” said Carroll.