Was Meghan Markle’s First Present to Kate Middleton an Inappropriate Gift?

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex officially stepped down as senior royals in March and have been residing in California ever since. Now, a new book is putting the spotlight back on what their lives were like in the royal family as well as their relationships with everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Prince William to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The relationship, or lack thereof, between Harry’s wife and William’s wife interest a lot of fans since it appears that the two women never really bonded. Here’s more on why that is and if the first gift Meghan gave her Kate was appropriate.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle | UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images

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What Meghan Markle gave Kate Middleton for her birthday?

Prince Harry introduced his then-girlfriend to Kate at her and William’s Kensington Palace apartment in January 2017, a few months after Meghan met Harry’s brother. The future-Duke and Duchess of Sussex described getting together with the Cambridges during their post-engagement interview.

“William was longing to meet her and so was Catherine, so you know being our neighbors we managed to get that in a couple of — well, quite a few times now,” Harry said. Meghan then injected and described Kate as “wonderful.”

“Amazing, as has William as well, you know, fantastic support,” Harry added.

But behind the scenes, all may not have been well between the princes. According to multiple reports, William voiced concerns about Harry moving too quickly in his relationship with Meghan. When William’s wife met Meghan biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write in the book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, that the Suits star gave Kate a leather-bound dream journal.

Was that gift inappropriate?

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan decided to give Kate a present since they met right around her 35th birthday. A number of royal watchers deemed the gift inappropriate to give the future queen consort.

Vanity Fair writers Josh Duboff and Julie Miller opined on their In the Limelight podcast, that the gift was questionable and seemed more like something Meghan would purchase for herself since she enjoys writing and ran a blog. The hosts called the present “bohemian.”

The Daily Mirror’s Polly Hudson also disagreed with Meghan giving Kate such a gift because of how much work logging a dream journal can be.

“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 than them.” She 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.”

Why the duchesses never bonded?

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle | Michael Steele/Getty Images

Whether or not Kate ever used the gift isn’t known but it’s clear to most that the duchesses never really bonded. Finding Freedom confirms that and claims that Meghan was “disappointed” she and sister-in-law didn’t connect over their unique experience of marrying into the royal family.

“Their relationship hadn’t progressed much since she was Harry’s girlfriend. Meghan envisioned Kate would reach out and help her understand everything an outsider to the Firm needed to know,” Scobie and Durand wrote as noted in an excerpt published by The Times. “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.”

Some royal fans have concluded that since the Sussexes are friendly with Scobie and Durand that a majority of the information in the book comes directly from the couple and that it will read like their “tell-all.” However, a spokesperson for the pair denied that they had any involvement.

Finding Freedom is slated to be released on Aug. 11.