Duchess Kate and Meghan Markle’s complex relationship started off on the right foot, with the two aligning themselves together in a fast friendship after meeting in January 2017. However, rumors of a growing rift between the two soon begun to plague the royal family.
Before she tied the knot with Prince Harry in May 2018, the Suits alum got some expert pointers from her soon-to-be sister-in-law. A source told Us Weekly at the time that Kate told Meghan “that if she ever needed anything, she shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch, even if it’s just to get a crash course on her new collection of aides.” The Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the California native as “a breath of fresh air,” and the positive feelings were mutual.
“[Meghan] really admires how Kate has carved out her own space when it comes to humanitarian work alongside being an amazing mother,” the insider continued.
Though they often put on a united front with their royal spouses, didn’t take long for whispers of competition between the two women to spread. Reports of a heated interaction before Meghan and Harry’s wedding emerged in 2018, claiming that the Tig founder left Kate in tears over Princess Charlotte‘s bridesmaid dress. Nearly three years later, Meghan addressed the alleged incident.
“The reverse of that happened,” she said in her first major televised interview with Harry since their step down from their senior royal duties was made permanent in February 2021. “A few days before the wedding, she was upset about flower girl dresses and it made me cry. It really hurt my feelings.”
While Meghan admitted that it was “hard to get over” the damaging “narrative” that was being told, she was able to forgive Prince William‘s wife. “She was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized,” Meghan recalled at the time. “She brought me flowers and a note, apologizing. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone — to just take accountability for it.”
Throughout her time as a working royal, Meghan faced severe scrutiny from the British tabloids, who she said “really seemed to want a narrative of a hero and a villain.” Despite the way she and Kate were painted in the public eye, the philanthropist doesn’t think they need to be pitted against each other.
“I think so much of what I have seen play out is this idea of polarity, where if you love me, you don’t have to hate her,” Meghan said during the interview, which aired in March 2021. “And if you love her, you don’t need to hate me.”
Scroll down for an in-depth look at Meghan and Kate’s relationship through the years.