There is absolutely nothing more gripping to British tabloids than a royal rivalry, and the Fab Four are the perfect recipe for drama — whether it’s invented or not. Whispers of a feud between Prince William and Prince Harry and their spouses Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have been dominating headlines since Kensington Palace inadvertently confirmed Harry’s relationship to the American actress in 2016. Cue: Harry and Meghan moving out of Kensington Palace and the royal rift is a fire that just can’t be put out.
Part of the tabloid’s constant speculation stems from the couples’ intense differences. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been together since college, and considering Wills is second heir to the throne, they have a more intense pressure to follow royal protocol. On the other hand, Prince Harry made headlines for his hard-partying ways and PR disasters, and that was before he linked up with Meghan, who isn’t afraid to put her own spin on what it means to be a modern day princess. Needless to say, Wills and Kate do occasionally clash with Harry and Meghan. They admitted so themselves, but it doesn’t seem like anything a cheeky Nandos can’t solve.
These are all the times William and Kate allegedly disapproved of Harry and Meghan (though, if you ask the Palace, that’s probably not the case).
William and Kate were wary of Harry’s whirlwind romance
If you believe the tabloids, the Sussexes’ relationship hit the ground running when it came to royal disapproval. According to The Sun, Wills believed the pair — who got engaged in 16 months — was moving too fast. He allegedly staged a sort of intervention where he told Harry they know « nothing about [Meghan’s] background, her intentions » and « what she was really like. » Harry reportedly went « mental » and accused his brother of trying to « wreck » his relationship. Honestly, it’s not really clear how Wills thought that conversation would go.
Harry and Meghan’s love story might be the stuff of literal Lifetime movies, but it’s also unprecedented. It’s not everyday an American divorcee (and outspoken feminist) becomes part of the monarchy, let alone after a blind date. Archie might even become the first British royal with dual US-UK citizenship, which has huge political implications. It’s not surprising that Kate and Wills would urge Harry to proceed with caution. In the documentary William & Harry: Princes at War? (via The Sun), royal expert Ingrid Seward claimed the pair just wanted what’s best for Harry.
« It was all so quick that William and Kate didn’t have a moment to get to know Meghan because Harry hardly knew Meghan, » Seward said. « And of course William and Kate would have quite naturally thought ‘oh she’s been married before, she’s older than Harry, I hope she’s going to make him happy’. Anyone would think that. »
Does royal protocol mean anything?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are modern royalty who throw tradition to the wind. After her estranged father sold staged paparazzi photos to the tabloids, Meghan walked herself down the aisle at her wedding. She also had the audacity to go barefoot at the beach and show off her bare legs — scandalous. On the flip side, Kate is arguably the only reason nude pantyhose are a thing in 2019. The Sussexes’ penchant for snubbing protocol reportedly doesn’t sit well with the Cambridges, who are painted like sticklers for the monarchy’s age-old traditions in the tabloids (though, even Kate closes her own car door once in a while).
According to royal expert Ingrid Seward, who appeared in Channel 5’s documentary William & Harry: Princes At War? (via Express), William « may » be bothered by his younger brother’s departure from royal tradition. Apparently, having a private christening and wearing dark nail polish is « potentially harming » to the monarchy. In the words of Taylor Swift, you need to calm down.
Apparently there was a christening controversy
Kate Middleton achieved the incredible feat of emerging from the hospital like a Disney princess in heels and full makeup mere hours after giving birth to pose for photos — and she didn’t just do it once. She did it three times. That’s some serious commitment to royal tradition, one Meghan Markle reportedly felt « sorry » for, according to Page Six.
Harry and Meghan have taken a completely different approach to raising their kids. As one of the most public families in the world, the Sussexes have tried their best to maintain some sort of privacy. Unlike William and Kate, they did not take postpartum photos. Even Archie’s christening was kept largely under wraps, which was apparently a point of contention for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
According to Us Weekly, William and Kate « weren’t happy » about Harry and Meghan’s decision to keep the baptism private. An anonymous royal insider claimed, « Will thinks his brother is going overboard keeping Archie out of the spotlight. » He apparently blamed the former Suits actress because isn’t it always Meghan’s fault in the tabloids? It’s still unclear why the Cambridges would even bat an eyelash at an intimate ceremony, a veritable breath of fresh air considering the sheer amount of cameras constantly shoved in their faces. It doesn’t even actually break royal protocol, according to Harper’s Bazaar, but nonetheless, they allegedly turned up their noses.
Kate wasn’t thrilled about Meghan’s first Christmas
Most of us imagine a royal Christmas to be the kind of prim and proper affair where Christmas pudding is served on a silver platter and eaten with tiny, ornate cutlery rather than slapped onto a paper plate after you’ve wrestled your cousin for the last piece. The royals have much more civilized rows, especially when they’re feuding with the Queen. In 2018, Meghan reportedly caused a small tiff between the Duchess of Cambridge and her grandmother-in-law when the prize in her Christmas cracker seemed to be preferential treatment.
According to Life & Style, Kate was livid when the Queen invited Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland to spend the holidays at Sandringham House. Kate’s family has reportedly never been asked to spend the holidays with the Queen, and, as a result, the duchess has always been forced to shuffle her kids back and forth between the two families.
« Kate accused the queen of giving Meghan special treatment and sees this as a huge snub to her side of the family, » an alleged royal insider told Life & Style. « She understands that most of Meghan’s family is estranged from her, and that this was a kind gesture, but it still hasn’t stopped her from thinking that Prince Harry’s wife has got it easy! »
Kate didn’t like how Meghan allegedly treated the help
The tabloids have clung onto the idea of a feud between Kate and Meghan since the moment Harry went public with his relationship. It’s the perfect storm of gossip: two sister-in-laws with wildly different public personas vying for a crown (or at least a chance to wear the crown jewels). It’s almost too good to pass up. As a result, we’ve heard about a myriad of (probably made up) scuffles between the pair, one of which involved Meghan’s alleged disgraceful behavior towards Kate’s staff.
According to a royal insider who spoke to The Sun, Meghan « has very high standards and is used to working in a Hollywood environment. » Presumably, this means Meghan is a diva, despite being the kind of royal who shuts her own car door. Somewhere along the line Meghan reportedly « b*****ked » a member of Kate’s team at Kensington Palace (whatever that means), and the Duchess of Cambridge issued a stern warning. She allegedly told the former Suits actress, « That’s unacceptable, they’re my staff, and I speak to them.' »
So, here we’ve got a Hollywood actress-slash-American divorcee being a total, privileged nightmare. The tabloids really need to try a little harder. That story practically wrote itself.
Wills was furious about Harry’s Vegas incident
Before Harry met Meghan, he was the royal family’s resident PR nightmare. As sixth in line to the throne, there’s not a whole lot to lose. This wasn’t just limited to that time he donned a Nazi uniform to a costume party, either. In 2012, the former military man reportedly disappointed his older brother after tabloids caught him having a hedonistic night out in Vegas. What’s Sin City without a little nudity and alcohol?
Carrie Reichert, a British-born blonde who allegedly partied with Harry during his now-infamous Vegas excursion, divulged the supposed details of their scandalous night to Mirror. The pair reportedly played strip billiards along with some of Harry’s friends before it got steamy. « We kissed, he was naked at the time, and pretty open. It was a drunken fumble. It wasn’t romantic, just fun, » Reichert told Mirror. « He was a gentleman, but he was so wasted. The alcohol affected him. I was there for 15 to 20 minutes. »
When you’re a royal, what happens in Vegas stays in the tabloids. TMZ somehow got a hold of a photo of the Prince’s bare butt as he had his arms wrapped around a naked woman. According to The Sun, Wills was was « furious, » but it sure beats seeing Criss Angel MINDFREAK for the hundredth time.
Wills gave Harry some side-eye for leaving dishes in the sink
Wills and Harry don’t see eye to eye in the most brotherly of ways. The pair has been known to poke fun at who’s the most bald and argue about the washing up. Yes, apparently the royals occasionally do their own dishes, and Will didn’t seem thrilled about Harry’s lazy approach to chores when they were sharing a living space in the military.
In a 2009 Associated Press interview, Harry admitted it would be the « first and last time » they’d ever live together, but it seems like Wills was the one who got the short end of the stick. The eldest royal brother admitted that sharing a home with Harry was a « very emotional experience, » and he cooked for his younger brother « basically every day. » Harry, he claimed, couldn’t even properly wash the dishes.
« He does do a bit of the washing up, but then he leaves most of it in the sink, and then he comes back in the morning, and I have to wash it up, » Wills told the Associated Press. We’re hoping Harry has since purchased a dishwasher, if only for Meghan Markle’s sanity.
Wills didn’t want his younger brother to nab this role
In April 2018, the Queen appointed Prince Harry a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador ahead of his wedding. This was a major honor considering 60 percent of the Commonwealth’s 2.4 billion citizens are under the age of 29. While Meghan joined him in his role and proved to be a major support (she’s since been named Vice President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust), not all of the royals were happy.
According to The Sun, Wills was a bit jealous of his younger brother. He was reportedly hoping his grandmother would bestow him with the « plum job » instead. This allegedly caused him to drag his feet anytime he had to do work for the Commonwealth, though it should be noted that the Cambridges are frequently criticized for not doing enough, so take it with a grain of salt.
Even if Prince William does disapprove of his brother’s appointment, he did not use his alleged veto power to have him booted from the gig. According to The Sun, Wills let his brother hold onto the role because he didn’t want to raise tension before the Harry’s wedding. As it seems, he’d rather seethe in silent anger (if any of this even happened at all).
The Fab Four clashed over their charity work
Working with family isn’t easy. That goes for everyone, including the royals. In 2018, the Fab Four appeared for the first time on stage together to talk about their Royal Foundation charitable work, and it seemed like they hadn’t yet smoothed out the kinks in their working relationships. According to The Sun, Harry admitted that the four sometimes clashed. Their arguments reportedly « come so thick and fast, » so it’s not really surprising that the Sussexes decided to split from William and Kate’s charity in order to start their own endeavor.
According to Express, Harry and Meghan left following a « review » into the charity’s structure, but an alleged insider who spoke to Us Weekly claimed Kensington Palace wasn’t telling the entire truth by painting their departure as a « natural progression. » It was a veritable breakup bred from conflict. Apparently, Meghan and Kate couldn’t see « eye to eye » in how they wanted to run the charity. Meghan wanted to be « more involved — create initiatives and be in the trenches, » while Kate preferred a hands-off role (she is, after all, busy raising three children).
Instead of pushing for William and Kate’s approval and finding some common ground, the Sussexes allegedly chose to jump ship. The charity has since been renamed the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which may or may not be a snub depending on how you look at it.
Did Kate and William fly commercial as a clapback?
If the tabloids are to be believed, William and Kate are the masters of the subtle clapback, and we’re wondering if Meghan and Harry can see the shade from their private jet. In the summer of 2019, Harry was accused of taking a dig at the Cambridges by saying he’d only have a maximum of two children because of environmental concerns. As we all know, William and Kate are proud parents to three kids, so that sure seems like a snub if we’ve ever heard one.
The Sussexes were later lambasted as hypocrites for their frequent use of private jets. In its estimate of the royals’ private jet carbon footprint, the BBC was careful to note that while there is « some scientific uncertainty about how exactly to calculate this, » just adding up the carbon expenditure of two of their 2019 private flights, they created « more than six times an average Briton’s yearly emissions. » According to TMZ, Harry claimed he occasionally has to fly private to keep his family safe. It seems like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge don’t exactly share the same point of view.
In the midst of Harry’s private plane drama, Kate and Wills took a budget flight to Scotland. According to The Daily Mail, tickets for the FlyBe flight were just £73 per person (or around $90 USD). Clearly, the only reason the Cambridges would ever endure a budget flight is out of spite, which has been known to make cramped economy seats feel just a tiny bit bigger.
Meghan isn’t in Vogue
It’s already been established that the long-running feud between Kate and Meghan might actually be a feud between William and Harry, but nonetheless, the two duchesses don’t always see eye-to-eye. Kate almost always follows along with the royal tradition, or at least does her best to follow in the footsteps of her mother-in-law Princess Diana. She does, after all, have Diana’s engagement ring. In 2016, Kate ended up carrying Diana’s Vogue torch when she appeared on the cover of the UK edition, an honor Diana achieved four times throughout the ’80s and ’90s. According to Business Insider, Kate’s 10-page spread was the only magazine shoot she’s ever done.
Unlike her sister-in-law, Meghan turned down the opportunity to be a Vogue cover girl. It’s unclear if her reasoning was a call-out, but the tabloids certainly read it that way. According to the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful (via INSIDER), the former Suits star thought it’d be « boastful » to appear on the cover (even if Kate did it three years prior and Meghan has a ton of other magazine covers under her belt).
As the first ever guest editor of the British Vogue‘s September issue, Meghan chose to feature 15 influential women. As Enniful put it, the star wanted to « focus on women she admires. » None of these women were her sister-in-law. Though it’s not clear if Kate feels snubbed, would you really blame her if she did?