When Meghan Markle began dating Prince Harry, she was snubbed by her future sister-in-law Kate Middleton and contemptuously referred to as “Harry’s showgirl” by a senior royal, according to bombshell revelations in a new book.
In “Finding Freedom,” journalists Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie paint a sympathetic picture of Markle, who was shunned by palace staff and Harry’s older brother William, who once advised Harry to take his time “to get to know this girl.”
“In those last two words, ‘this girl,’ Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world,” write Duran and Scobie in the second of three excerpts in the Times of London. “During his 10-year career in the military, outside the royal bubble, he had learnt not to make snap judgments about people based on their accent, education, ethnicity, class or profession.”
A source told the authors that “Harry was pissed off. Pissed off that his brother would ask such a thing.”
In the months after that conversation, the brothers hardly spoke, and Harry’s invitations to visit his niece Princess Charlotte and nephew Prince George began to dry up, the book claims.
Kate Middleton did little to help bridge the gap and rarely reached out to Markle to help her navigate the experience of being ushered into the royal fold.
“Flowers for her birthday were nice, but Meghan would far rather have had Kate check in on her during the most difficult times with the press,” the authors say, describing “awkward moments” between the two women. In one instance, after Meghan and Harry had started dating, both went shopping to the same street. But Kate went in her own Land Rover, seeming to shun Meghan.
“Meghan was disappointed that she and Kate hadn’t bonded over the position they shared, but she wasn’t losing sleep over it,” the book says.
The friction between the two continued in the lead up to the May 2018 wedding when Middleton went to a fitting for dresses for the wedding party. There were reports that Meghan had left Kate in tears following a bridesmaid fitting for Princess Charlotte.
“Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional,” a source told the authors. Another source who was at the fitting said stories about tears were “puzzling” to those who were actually in attendance. The biggest problem came from the children in the royal wedding party who refused to stand still for the fittings, the source said.
At the time, a Kensington Palace aide publicly said that both women, who were both hurt by the accusations, were “very different people.”
Those close to Harry and Meghan began to wonder if rumors were being spread in the press to make Markle look bad, the authors say.
One story had her demanding to spray air freshener in musty St. George’s Chapel before their wedding day. The authors say that the truth was that the Chapel regularly used Diptyque air diffusers, which had been approved by everyone involved in the ceremony.
But the ongoing contretemps continued between the young royals, and was behind the reason that Harry decided to base his family in Windsor, away from his brother and his own family at Kensington Palace, a source told the authors.
“He wanted to get away from the goldfish bowl that was Kensington Palace,” the source said. “Everywhere you turn, you’re surrounded by staff and family. He was at a point in his life where he was working with his brother, doing the foundation with his brother and living by his brother. It was too much.”
But the change in address did little to end the “competitive” and “miserable” atmosphere that permeated the royal households. There was still deep mistrust about Markle, with one royal telling an aide “she comes with a lot of baggage,” and another high-ranking courtier overheard telling a colleague, “There’s something about her I don’t trust.”
New Forever 21 CEO plots post-bankruptcy comeback with physical stores
The New Laws Trying to Take the Anxiety Out of Shopping
Shop Prime Day savings before Black Friday