Palace insiders are revealing that, while there are still "a lot of unresolved issues" between Prince William and Prince Harry, there is very little actual competition between their wives, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, despite what's being reported in certain tabloids.
The reasoning for things settling down between the duchesses? They're both content with their own responsibilities and roles within the royal family.
"Meghan is very aware that Kate will be Queen; their roles are very clear," a source told People this week, before adding that there's not much for them to bond over. "Meghan doesn’t fit the mold, while Kate was groomed for this."
While the former "Suits" actress was steadfast in her beliefs, desires and identity before even getting engaged to Prince Harry (or, as the source said, she was a "fully formed person" already), that doesn't mean that she hasn't struggled. In fact, she's been open about her struggles with the media attention since entering the royal family, most memorably opening up about that struggle in the a recent documentary.
The most "challenging" aspect of the media's unrelenting coverage, however, has been the insistence on pitting Meghan and Kate against one another, creating a false narrative of what's going on behind closed doors.
"What’s challenging is when they are pitted against each other," the insider said. "That’s been challenging to both of them. Meghan has her life, Kate has hers."
While the duchesses' relationship appears to have hit a cordial stride, Harry and William have yet to smooth over their fractured relationship since Meghan entered their lives.
"There is a lot of hurt and a lot of unresolved issues between the boys, and no one to help mediate," another friend of the family told People, noting that the 2017 departure of Queen Elizabeth's longtime private secretary Christopher Geidt was a particularly big blow for them. "Petty grievances can become huge conflicts between all the different royal offices if they aren’t managed correctly, and that’s exactly what’s happening now."
Royals historian Robert Lacey told the outlet that, while the brothers were able to be there for one another as they dealt with the tragic death of their mother, Princess Diana, they've since (inevitably) grown apart.
"After the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997, the two brothers were thrown together by the tragedy of their childhood," Lacey said. "But it’s inevitable, as they grow up and develop different personalities, that synchronicity won’t apply anymore."
"As is often the case in any family, when one of your siblings gets married, there’s always a period of readjustment,” another source added. "People have new priorities and different focuses."
Also coming between them is the reality of their diverging levels of responsibility between William and Harry: While Prince William's path is fairly laid of for him as the future King of England, Harry's is much less clear, leaving the direction that he takes his career up to him and his new wife.
"William is the future King. There is going to be some competitiveness between him and Harry," a source claimed. "That already puts a rock in the relationship."
And, according to insiders, their wildly different futures are beginning to affect their current behaviors more and more.
"William and Kate toe the line, maybe because they have to, but Harry and Meghan are saying no—no to releasing the names of Archie’s godparents, no to saying where Meghan gave birth," a family friend told People. "They are trying to carve out a different sort of public life and reset the rules."