Why Meghan and Harry Reportedly Didn't Attend Kate's Birthday Celebrations

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton celebrated her 37th birthday earlier this month, but her brother- and sister-in-law Prince Harry and Meghan Markle weren't in attendance. Find out why here.

The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day
(Image credit: Mark Cuthbert)

Kate Middleton celebrated her 37th birthday earlier this month, but her brother- and sister-in-law Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly didn't attend (opens in new tab) the birthday festivities. Don't worry, though—it has nothing to do with the reported "tension" (opens in new tab) and "feud rumors" (opens in new tab) between Kate and Meghan the media has been talking about for months.

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Every year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge typically celebrate Kate's birthday with close friends (opens in new tab) at their Norfolk home near the Queen's Sandringham estate (where the whole royal family spends Christmas together (opens in new tab)). Think: people like Will's old friend Thomas van Straubenzee and Kate's best friend Sophie Carter (opens in new tab), who attended Harry and Meghan's wedding last May (and also used to date, FYI). Kate and William invite them to "take part in a shoot and also attend church on Sunday with the Queen."

"It wasn't a case of any rift. Just that, oftentimes, William and Kate spend time with their friends and certainly, Harry has not attended every birthday celebration," a royal source told Entertainment Tonight (opens in new tab). "Kate and William have a close group of friends called the 'Turnip Toffs' based nearby their Anmer Hall home and they spend as much time there when their work in London allows."

So, no, there are no underlying issues between the Fab Four that caused Harry and Meg not to celebrate the day with the Cambridge's—just a simple case of Kate wanting to spend her birthday with friends. Even Wills had to be away from his wife (opens in new tab) for part of the day.

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Rachel Epstein is a former editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.