Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle had 'row' over young bridesmaids' tights ahead of royal wedding

Hannah Furness
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding

The Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex had a “row” over whether the young bridesmaids at the royal wedding should wear tights, it has been claimed, as Tatler magazine publishes a profile of “Catherine the Great”.

The society magazine, which claims to have spoken to numerous friends of the Duchess of Cambridge, has described an “incident” ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in which the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have been left in tears.

"Then there was an incident at the wedding rehearsal,” a source named only as a ‘friend’ told the magazine.

“It was a hot day and apparently there was a row over whether the bridesmaids should wear tights or not.

“Kate, following protocol, felt that they should. Meghan didn't want them to.”

Photographs from the 2018 Sussex wedding, (below, top) appear to show the bridesmaids with bare legs, while those from the Cambridge wedding in 2011 (below, bottom) show even the youngest members of the party wearing tights.

The bridesmaids at Meghan and Harry's wedding
Bridesmaids at the Cambridge's wedding

A Kensington Palace last night issued a rebuttal to the cover story, which included descriptions of the Duchess's feelings about her increased workload.

 “This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication," a spokesperson said. 

The article will fuel the ongoing narrative of Duchess vs Duchess which sources - pointing out that it is possible to praise one without disparaging the other - have previously criticised as sexist.

The Tatler account offers more detail of an incident which has become part of the narrative of the Royal Family’s recent troubles, but has previously been reported without detail.

In November 2018, the Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey wrote that she had “spoken to two separate sources who claim Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte”.

“Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional,” said one insider at the time.

The Tatler profile, the cover of its July/August issue, claims to have spoken to numerous unnamed friends of the Cambridges who have given a spirited account of her virtues and recent trials.

One - whose account has been subsequently denied - is quoted as saying she feels “exhausted and trapped” by royal duties, now the Sussexes have left the family and the Cambridges are having to be more visible to fill the gap.

"Meghan and Harry have been so selfish,” said one. “William and Catherine really wanted to be hands-on parents and the Sussexes have effectively thrown their three children under a bus.

“There goes their morning school runs as the responsibilities on them now are enormous."

Another added: “Kate is furious about the larger workload. Of course she's smiling and dressing appropriately but she doesn't want this. She feels exhausted and trapped.

“She's working as hard as a top CEO, who has to be wheeled out all the time, without the benefits of boundaries and plenty of holidays.”

Speaking to the Telegraph, a source familiar with the Duchess's work emphatically denied that she feels "exhausted and trapped" by her duties, saying the description was inaccurate and offensive.

They added: “Like many people across the country, the Duchess is juggling home schooling and work. But she's not also having to juggle being a front line worker. She is of course cognisant of that.

"That's who she would much prefer the attention to be on."

The Sussexes are currently beginning a new life in Los Angeles, conducting numerous video calls to patronages and for charities from a temporary home owned by Tyler Perry.

The Duke and Duchess have been seen delivering food to those in lockdown, while Archie starred in a first birthday video linked with a Save the Children campaign.

They have previously suggested they had not wanted to leave the working Royal Family entirely, but were left with "no other option" after "so many years of challenges" in the UK.

"The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity, while not drawing on the Sovereign Grant," they said in a statement in January. 

The Cambridges are working from home at Anmer Hall, homeschooling Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis while holding royal engagements over Zoom.

Along with the rest of the Royal Family, they have changed the focus of their work to helping the country through the coronavirus crisis, paying particular attention to mental health. The children have joined in the "clap for our carers" movement, and delivered homemade pasta to their isolated neighbours. 

The Duchess of Cambridge's recent work has focused on early years development. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, she has launched photography exhibition Hold Still, and taken part in video calls to schools, hospitals and maternity services, as well as playing bingo with pensioners to highlight social care (as shown above)

The full feature is published in the July/August issue of Tatler, out in print and digital editions on Thursday, May 28th.