You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family – and you definitely can’t choose your in-laws. So, it’s no surprise, and also no secret, that Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton have struggled to find common ground in the past. Indeed, rumours of tension between the duchesses have circulated ever since Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding in 2018.
But since the height of the hostilities earlier this year, tensions have eased. And with rumours circulating last week that Kate may be pregnant again, plus reports that the Sussexes are planning to return to the UK later this month, insiders tell us Meghan is reaching out to her sister-in-law and laying down the groundwork for a peaceful reunion.
“This is a pivotal time for Meghan,” says an insider close to the Duchess, who’s believed to be accompanying Harry on a flying visit back to the UK – her first time back on British soil in 18 months – alongside their two-year-old son Archie and three-month-old daughter Lilibet.
“She’s standing by everything that she’s said, but she also wants to move on. She’s been making lots of transatlantic calls to Kate and they’re certainly in a much better place than they were six months ago.”
CHECK OUT Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's love story from the start
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
Last week, Kate made her first public appearance in 60 days – sparking whispers that baby number four could be on the way. The Duchess has a habit of staying out of the public eye during the early stages of pregnancy, as she suffers from severe morning sickness. Her fashion choice of an oversized blazer, and with a handbag (which she rarely carries) strategically held in front of her, only fuelled the rumours that she’s expecting again. And with family on their mind, both Kate and William are said to be keen to be on better terms with the Sussexes, especially before their imminent trip to the UK.
Reports of a rift between the two couples peaked back in March, when Meghan and Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey and accused “The Firm” of “perpetuating falsehoods” against them. During the interview, Meghan referred to a story that originally circulated in 2018, that she’d made Kate cry during a bridesmaid’s dress fitting, arguing that it had actually been the reverse.
She added that, while Kate was “a good person” and had apologised, “the narrative” surrounding the incident was “really, really difficult”. This only aggravated rumours of bad blood between them.
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Meanwhile, the Sussexes have done little to ease tensions with the palace – and Harry is believed to have upset Prince William and Prince Charles with his continued outbursts, culminating in his soon-to-be-published memoir. Last week, they reportedly ruffled feathers again after being named by TIME as one of the magazine’s 100 most influential people – and appearing on its front cover – just six months after that Oprah chat. In their bio, close friend José Andrés commended them for “running towards the struggle” and giving a “voice to the voiceless”.
But according to our source, the brothers and their respective wives are slowly but surely repairing their relationship, with Meghan leading the way. After all, for all their criticisms, being part of the royals is a vital part of the Sussexes’ brand. And thankfully we’re told that the Cambridges are in a forgiving mood.
“Their conversations have mostly covered light topics and focused on the kids,” we’re told. “They’ve also spoken about the Queen, their charity work, and trivial things like lifestyle and travel. Kate is pleased that Meghan has reached out and she ultimately supports her and Harry’s choice to pursue their own life abroad. But her stance remains that there’s no need to criticise the monarchy, and it’s everyone’s duty to apologise for any misunderstandings and move forward.”
Read more in the latest issue of heat magazine – OUT NOW.