Meghan Markle hasn’t said much about her experience being a working royal along with her sister-in-law, the now-Princess of Wales Kate Middleton, but Prince Harry has no qualms sharing his tackle the dynamic. In his forthcoming memoir Spare, he discusses how he perceived Kate’s feelings about Meghan joining the royal family—and recounts one particularly “awkward” incident between Kate and Meghan at their first joint royal event that claims lots about Kate’s headspace during that point.
While Harry writes in Spare that each Kate and Prince William were allegedly “religious” Suits watchers and in disbelief that he was dating her, when Meghan became his fiancée and joined their then-Fab 4, things took a turn.
Before their first event together on the Royal Foundation forum in February 2018, Harry detailed one exchange, via Page Six: Kate didn’t exactly give Meghan the warmest reception in the course of the starting of their working relationship. Meghan had asked to borrow Kate’s lip gloss because she forgot hers, an “American thing,” as Harry described it.
“Kate, greatly surprised, went into her handbag and reluctantly pulled out a small tube,” Harry continued. “Meg squeezed some onto her finger and applied it to her lips. Kate grimaced.” He believed Meghan, William, Kate, and him “should’ve been capable of laugh about [the moment],” however the press “sensed [it was] something larger.” Harry speculated that Kate was likely “on edge,” understanding that she was now “going to be in comparison with, and compelled to compete with, Meg.” Kate indeed was by tabloids, although she received way more favorable coverage than Meghan by those publications.
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton during their first joint event on the Royal Foundation Forum on Feb. 28, 2028.
Chris Jackson//Getty Images
Meghan talked about comparisons to her and Kate during her March 2021 Oprah interview. “She’s a great person, and I believe a lot of what I actually have seen play out [publicly] was this concept of polarity where if you happen to love me you don’t should hate her, and if you happen to love her, you don’t must hate me,” Meghan said.
Oprah went on to ask Meghan in regards to the tabloids criticizing Meghan while praising Kate once they did the identical things, like cradling their baby bumps while pregnant. Oprah cited several headlines, and Meghan replied, “That’s a extremely loaded piece of toast.”
The Duchess of Sussex added that she wasn’t sure why the tabloids had, in Oprah’s words, “a typical for Kate” that was different from the usual for her.
“I can see now what layers were at play there, and again, they really appear to desire a narrative of a hero and a villain,” Meghan admitted.
Harry would go on to disclose within the couple’s Netflix docuseries that got here out in December 2022 that Kate and William’s press office planted negative stories about him and Meghan to tabloids. He also alleged that the royals were threatened by Meghan’s popularity.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring Latest York City.