Rumors of a “feud” between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton have been brewing for months. Granted, Kensington Palace shut them down in December with a rare statement, but little tidbits keep coming out suggesting there’s at least tension between the duchesses. There was that story in November about Middleton reportedly leaving Princess Charlotte’s dress fitting for Markle’s wedding “in tears.” The chatter is so incessant, in fact, that TLC released a full documentary last month outlining Markle and Middleton’s relationship.
So what is the truth? Is there really a feud, or is this all rubbish? The answer, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl, lies somewhere in the middle. “I think this idea of there being a catfight between the two duchesses has made tantalizing headlines, but I don’t think believe that,” Nicholl, a royals correspondent for Vanity Fair and The Daily Mail, tells Glamour. “I’ve never heard from my sources that there has ever been a feud or a falling out. I had heard about an upset over the dress fitting for Princess Charlotte. And I had heard that while Harry was very keen for the two of them to become best friends, there was never that sort of a friendship.”
She continues, “They quite quickly realized they were two pretty mature women—quite different women—and really the only thing they had in common was they’d married princes. Not just Prince Harry, I think probably the world wanted them to become best friends.”
These rumors originated somewhere, though, and Nicholl says there’s never smoke without fire. “I do think there is some truth to there having been some tension—not just between the duchesses but between the dukes, as well,” she explains. “As we all know, things can gather momentum pretty quickly. So while I think there’s been tension, I don’t believe there has been some feud.”
That being said, it’s Nicholl’s understanding Markle and Middleton mutually decided at some point to put on a united front. “I do know that Meghan and Kate have come to an agreement to get along, to make an effort, to be amiable and warm towards each other in public,” she says. “They both realize it’s in neither of their interests to have these catfight headlines. It’s not what either of them want.”
It’s unclear if the duchesses reached this resolution after having a one-on-one conversation. They have, of course, spent solo time together together in the past, but when that last happened is a mystery. “I know in the early days, Kate invited Meghan over to apartment 1A for tea,” Nicholl says. “Obviously, she took her on that high-profile trip to Wimbledon, so they have spent time together. But what I think hasn’t happened is—they haven’t become best friends out of all of it. That’s not to say they hate each other. I don’t believe that to be the case at all.”
There you have it, people. It seems like Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are just your standard sisters-in-law: not besties, but not enemies, either.
If you want more tea on the royals, pick up Katie Nicholl’s book Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love, out April 9.
Christopher Rosa is Glamour’s entertainment writer. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisrosa92.