An explosive new royal biography has claimed the relationship between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle was distant and 'awkward' rather than frosty.
In a new extract from Finding Freedom published in The Times, authors and royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand said the two Duchesses 'were not at war with each other' and having a feud as was widely claimed by the tabloid press at the time. Rather there were 'awkward moments'.
'In one encounter the duchesses happened to cross paths at Kensington Palace (in early 2017, when Harry and Meghan were still only dating), and although both were heading out to go shopping — in the same street — Kate went in her own Range Rover. The truth was that Meghan and Kate just didn’t know each other that well,' the extract revealed.
As Meghan's relationship with Harry developed and she started having a difficult time with the press, the now Duchess of Sussex hoped Kate would reach out to her and although, according to Vanity Fair, Kate did try to repair their friendship by sending flowers, it wasn’t enough.
The book claims the Duchesses, 'struggled to move past distance politeness and had nothing in common other than the fact they both lived at Kensington Palace'.
The extract continues, 'Though it was not necessarily her responsibility, Kate did little to bridge the divide. She was fiercely loyal to her husband and his family.'
Meghan and Harry have distanced themselves from the book, saying they 'did not contribute', with a statement from the Sussexes adding: 'This book is based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting'.
Even so, many see the book as an insider look at what led to Harry and Meghan stepping down as senior royals in March, from their perspective, because many people close to the couple are said to have spoken to Scobie and Durand.
In another extract, the lack of any friendship between the Royal Foursome seems to have been cemented with the Sussexes move – firstly to Windsor and then most recently to the States. It was a 'far cry from how Harry had envisioned his future. The younger prince once told a friend that he had an image of getting married and spending time with William and Kate, the two couples together, their children best friends'.
According to the book’s authors, Meghan was hurt that the palace press office refused to correct some of the tabloid stories about the 'duelling duchesses,' including reports that Meghan made Kate cry at a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte. According to a source in the book, 'Kate and Meghan were stressed but total professionals - there were no tears from anyone and the fitting was fine.'
The book will be published on 11 August and aims to lift the lid on the Sussexes exit from the royal family, but Palace sources fear it will only make their relationship with the rest of the royals even worse.
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