Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle “Were Not That Close” Prior to Meghan’s Royal Exit, Royal Author Says

“They’re totally like inverted versions of each other.”

Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

According to royal author Tessa Dunlop, even before Meghan Markle (and Prince Harry) left as working members of the royal family in 2020, she and sister-in-law Kate Middleton were “clearly not that close,” adding that the women’s correspondence was “frosty, but polite,” according to OK.

Meghan has opened up about Kate—case in point: her and Harry’s 2021 sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey—but Kate has never had the opportunity to do the reverse and tell her side of the story, Dunlop said.

“Kate is a well-mannered girl,” Dunlop said. “She got brought up in a public school. She’s never going to dish the dirt. She’s never going to give what others want, no matter how often you pick the scab.”

Dunlop then went on to explain that Kate had “years in training” prior to joining the royal family—something Meghan was never given.

“Kate’s values were deference, appropriate levels of self-possession within a system, don’t rock the boat, you make change through embracing the institution almost—the paradox, Meghan’s the other way around,” she said of the two women’s approaches to the monarchy. “They’re totally like inverted versions of each other.”

In addition to the Oprah interview, while it was Harry and not Meghan herself writing Spare, the Duke of Sussex opened up more about details surrounding Kate and Meghan’s fractured relationship in his book: Harry alleged that Kate felt the need to “compete” with Meghan, writing specifically of a 2018 event that “I think it had Kate on edge, while putting her and everyone else on notice that she was now going to be compared to, and forced to compete with, Meg.”

It remains unclear where Kate and Meghan’s relationship stands today. What we do know is they will not get the opportunity to interact at King Charles’ upcoming Coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London. While Kate will be in attendance, Meghan will stay home with her two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, in California and miss the event. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.