Did Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Ever Have a Good Relationship?

Many royal fans recall the last time we saw Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry in the same building. They were all on hand for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020. The event also happened to be the Sussexes’ last day of official royal duties and the interactions between the couples were brief and a bit awkward.

Royal fans noted that while William exchanged pleasantries with Harry and Meghan that day, Kate did not even make eye contact with her brother-in-law and sister-in-law. The Duchess of Cambridge was once very close with Prince Harry but not much is known about if she ever bonded with Meghan and there have been conflicting reports on whether the duchesses have spoken since Megxit. Here’s what we do know about Meghan and Kate’s relationship.

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton seated next to each other
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton seated next to each other at event | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan’s birthday gift to Kate was deemed ‘inappropriate’

Things between Meghan and Kate didn’t exactly get off to a promising start. The women met around the Duchess of Cambridge’s 35th birthday in 2017 so Meghan thought it would be a nice gesture to give her a birthday gift. In the book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand revealed that the Suits actor gave Kate a leather-bound dream journal.

The problem with the gift is that it was deemed as something “inappropriate” to give a future queen by a number of royal watchers. Vanity Fair writers Josh Duboff and Julie Miller discussed the gift during their In the Limelight podcast and said that a dream journal seemed more like something Meghan would purchase for herself since she used to run a blog.

The Daily Mirror’s Polly Hudson also disagreed with Meghan giving Kate such a gift because of how much work logging a dream journal requires. “Dreams are just the worst,” Hudson said. “The only way (the gift) could be more dull is if she had to document other people’s dreams because there’s nothing on earth more boring.” Hudson added that Meghan’s present which is intended to give one a “better understanding your waking life emotions, stresses, victories, and mental well-being,” was “passive-aggressive.”

One of them ended up in tears during a dress fitting

Oprah Winfrey interviewing Meghan Markle for CBS Primetime Special
Oprah Winfrey interviewing Meghan Markle for CBS Primetime Special | Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images

It’s not known whether or not Kate ever used the journal but what is known is that just before Harry and Meghan tied the knot, any tensions between the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex boiled over and one of them ended up in tears. When the story broke it was reported that Meghan made Prince William’s wife cry during a Princess Charlotte’s flower girl dress fitting. However, during her primetime special with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan claimed that it was actually Kate who made her cry.

“The reverse happened,” Harry’s wife told the former talk show host. “And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone… It was a really hard week of the wedding and she was upset about something but she owned it and she apologized and she bought me flowers, and a note apologizing.”

Camilla Tominey, who is the associate editor for The Telegraph, is the person who broke the story. After Meghan gave her version of what happened, Tominey said she was still standing by her original story. She insisted that two trusted royal insiders gave her the information she reported which was that Kate was the one crying, not Meghan. 

Meghan claimed that ‘nothing is as it appears’ in the royal family

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle in the Royal Box on Centre Court during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle in the Royal Box on Centre Court during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships | Karwai Tang/Getty Images

According to the Finding Freedom authors, Meghan was “disappointed” she and her sister-in-law never connected over their unique experience of marrying into the royal family. “Their relationship hadn’t progressed much since she was Harry’s girlfriend,” Scobie and Durand wrote. “Meghan envisioned Kate would reach out and help her understand everything an outsider to the Firm needed to know. That didn’t happen. Meghan was disappointed that she and Kate hadn’t bonded over the position they shared, but she wasn’t losing sleep over it.”

Over the course of Meghan’s time as a senior royal, we did she flashes that she and Kate had what appeared to be a good relationship but the Duchess of Sussex herself confessed that it was all an illusion.

Oprah asked Meghan about the countless photos of her and Kate looking happy and smiling alongside each other. That’s when Meghan admitted that the ladies did not have a close relationship like it appeared. “My understanding and my experience for the past four years is that it’s nothing like what it looks like.” The duchess then emphasized that in the royal family: “It’s nothing like what it looks like.”

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