Kate Middleton Will Be a "Key Player" in "Making Peace" With the Sussexes This Year, Royal Expert Says

She's used to building bridges.

The Queen Attends A Service At Westminster Abbey Marking The Centenary Of WW1 Armistice
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Tensions have been high between the U.S.-based Sussexes and U.K.-based Cambridges, since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left royal life and moved to California.

These tensions aren't great PR for the Royal Family, but they obviously must also be pretty upsetting for everyone involved—especially Princes William and Harry, who were always very close.

As the Queen's Platinum Jubilee approaches and as the royals prepare for the June celebrations, it's more important than ever that the family finds common ground and rallies around their matriarch.

"It’s already been a crisis year for the royal family, with all that’s going on with Prince Andrew," royal expert Katie Nicholl tells Closer. "And it couldn’t be worse timing. I know the Queen was really keen to put on a united front and to celebrate the royal family this year, for the Jubilee. But it’s proving very hard to do that with all that’s gone on."

The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day

(Image credit: Stephen Pond)

For the Sussexes to reunite with the family could make a huge difference. "Having the Sussexes back in the fold, in whatever capacity, even just for the attendance, would be really positive for the royals," Nicholl says. "Not only for the image, but for the family itself. While I hear that tensions are still very high between Harry and Meghan and the royals, I think there are discussions about how to soften things this year."

The Duke of Cambridge has reportedly been especially hurt since his brother and sister-in-law's Oprah interview aired. "Harry and Meghan’s comments deeply, deeply hurt William, and William can be stubborn and emotional," Nicholl explains. "While Kate was hurt too, she has always been a real peacemaker. She values family and has been really close with Harry over the years.

"There will no doubt be awkward conversations and briefings and discussions on how to handle Harry and Meghan’s return. Who knows whether they’ll play a part in the Jubilee? But I believe Kate will be a real key player in making peace with Harry and Meghan, even if it’s for show and just for the Jubilee. Tensions are high but Kate will do what she can to heal the rift. I know this year Kate and William—and Harry and Meghan too—will want to make things as easy as possible for the Queen."

Nicholl's comments echo what royal expert Angela Levin previously told Marie Claire about Middleton. "She has tried to act as a bridge between William and Harry," Levin said. "There was [a] very bad feeling between H and W when H came over for the funeral of Prince Philip. Catherine started talking to H as they left the chapel. William joined her and she slowed down and let the two talk. I don’t think either of them would have made the first move to speak to each other."

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.