Princess Diana's Former Butler Weighs in on Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle

Amidst reports of big changes for Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry, there's bound to be speculation about their relationship. British media experts, including Princess Diana's former butler, got together for a TLC special Kate vs. Meghan: Princesses At War? to discuss coverage of the royals.

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(Image credit: Karwai Tang )

Amid reports of big changes for the British royal family, especially the Fab Four (Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry), there's bound to be speculation about their relationship. British media experts, including journalists, historians, and even Princess Diana's former butler (who's weighed in (opens in new tab) on Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton in the past), got together for a TLC special Kate vs. Meghan: Princesses At War? to discuss coverage of the royals and debate what was really going on between the two princesses (opens in new tab).

The experts didn't definitely settle on whether there was a feud or not; some said it was just speculation and media gossip, others said there was something really there according to actual (anonymous) royal sources. But as usual, Paul Burrell had some interesting insight about the environment in the palace and Meghan's experience.

"Buckingham Palace is like Downton on speed," he said in the special, reported in E! News. "I know that Meghan will not be popular with everyone. They like things to stay the same."

He added that the "diva" reputation Meghan has gotten is unfair. "She's a mature woman. She knows what she wants, and she's out to get it."

Kate and Meghan have, in their public appearance, been sure to squash rumors again (opens in new tab) and again (opens in new tab) about any reports that there might be a feud between them, raving about each other and being kind and demonstrative (opens in new tab).

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(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein )

Burrell did admit that the royal dynamics might be challenging to someone who hasn't been a part of it before. "Kate will always be in front, this is going to be alien to Meghan, having to curtsy to her sister-in-law in public," Burrell said (opens in new tab).

"She's a strong, independent woman whose views will be difficult to change and that's where she's going to clash with members of the royal family and the royal household, if she doesn’t conform and do as she’s told."

But, ultimately, Burrell said he didn't think there was much truth to "manufactured (opens in new tab)" rumors other than it's alluring to think and talk about a potential rift. "It’s just too good a story," he explained. That's a relief! I love hearing that the rumors of a feud (opens in new tab) are just that: a rumor.

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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.