Prince Harry once described her as the sister he never had – but his relationship with Kate Middleton is far from what it once was.
In the early years of the Duke’s brother’s relationship with the Princess of Wales, he referenced his fear that she would ‘take Willy away’.
Despite this, the two are believed to have gotten along swimmingly and often attended royal events together.
The pair’s bond is believed to have survived the notorious bridesmaid dress row, with Harry and Kate going on to attend the Anzac Day service together in April 2019.
Meanwhile the Princess is also believed to have initially acted as a ‘peacemaker’ between Harry and William.
However she was said to be ‘deeply wounded’ by the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ ongoing media bombshells, and found the joint walkabout in Windsor ‘the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.’
Here FEMAIL reveals how the relationship unraveled…
Prince Harry once described her as the sister he never had – but his relationship with Kate Middleton is far from what it once was (pictured, at the Anzac Day service in March 2019)
While the Princess of Wales was acting as a ‘peacemaker’ between Harry and William for a period (left, in 2021 at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral), the relationship is believed to have drifted since then (right, in 2022)
THE PARTYING YEARS (2003-2010)
Kate started dating William in 2003, after meeting him at the University of St Andrews. Soon after, she met Harry.
He was still a teenager, about to leave Eton, and was deciding what to do with his life.
Harry revealed in his book Spare how he had worries about the princess taking his brother away from him.
He detailed how he ‘consoled’ himself by thinking about the fun they would all enjoy together in the future.
After an extended gap year, when he travelled to Australia and Lesotho, he finally went to Sandhurst in 2005.
A source at St Andrews told Daily Mail in 2016: ‘From the earliest days, Kate always maintained an open-door policy to Prince Harry.
‘While they were students she always made him feel welcome at the four-bedroom cottage they rented on distant royal cousin Henry Cheape’s estate, Strathtyrum, just outside St Andrews.
Kate started dating William in 2003, after meeting him at the University of St Andrews. Soon after, she met Harry and the two grew close (pictured, in 2012)
Years before Kate and William got married, she spent time growing close to Prince Harry (pictured attending a concert for Diana in 2007)
‘The three also spent weekends together at the cottage, Tam-na-Ghar, on the Balmoral estate.’
Another insider said: ‘Cynics — the sort that said she deliberately swapped Edinburgh University for St Andrews when she found out William was going there — might say she knew that getting on with Harry was key to her relationship with William.’
‘Harry, although he can be moody, over-sensitive, and unreliable to his girlfriends, is otherwise enormously good fun. Everybody likes him. Why shouldn’t Kate, too?’
Years before William proposed, Kate was already exerting her benign, civilising influence on both brothers.
In London, while William was learning how to fly, he and Kate would retreat to the flat in Clarence House he shared with Harry.
Kate organised the cooking — simple, nursery food such as sausages or roast chicken — and Harry was generous with the drinks.
‘From day one Kate made a massive effort with Harry. But it was a natural thing for her because she grew up in such an inclusive family, the ‘en masse Middletons’ and all that,’ said another source, referring to the nickname the Middletons were given because the whole family moved together in a tight pack.
JOY AROUND THE ROYAL WEDDING (2010-2011)
Prince Harry said he was ‘delighted’ about the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton following the announcement in November 2010 – and said the marriage meant he was ‘gaining a sister he had never had’
In his book Spare, Harry claimed he was left stunned when in November 2010, he learned his brother had proposed to Kate.
He said he only learned of the engagement when it was announced to the public.
However publicly, he said he was ‘delighted’ about the engagement of Prince William and Kate following the announcement in November 2010.
In a statement, Harry said: ‘I am delighted that my brother has popped the question! It means I get a sister, which I have always wanted.’
In 2011, after William proposed, Harry said he would take Kate under his wing, ‘or she’ll be taking me under her wing probably’.
After the wedding, Harry wrote in his book that William and Kate were granted more staff, more cars, a larger residence and a more imposing office.
While he says he ‘wasn’t bothered’ about the advantages, he said the ‘respect’ mattered to him.
He claimed he felt like an outsider and a ‘non-person’ because he was a bachelor.
GROWING CLOSE PERSONALLY… (2011-2016)
There were reports Prince Harry and Kate built a close personal bond since she married William (pictured in 2014)
Simultaneously, there were reports Prince Harry and Kate built a close personal bond after she married William.
A 2016 report by DailyMail detailed how when Harry was in the Army, he visited William and Kate in Anglesey, in their five-bedroom rented farmhouse on Sir George and Lady Meyrick’s estate.
There, the trio enjoyed local pubs, high teas and hearty suppers after long walks on Anglesey beaches away from the public eye.
A ‘strong, sisterly bond was cemented with the at-times lonely Harry’, said a source.
Dismissing any idea of a flirtation, one source said: ‘That’s not it, although he does have a knack of making women, including Kate, feel good about themselves, commenting on what they are wearing, for example.
‘But as Harry once said, Kate is like the big sister he never had.’ Even, occasionally, a mother figure.
Kate was said to have built a strong sisterly bond with her brother-in-law Prince Harry, and the two were often pictured smiling together at events
At the time, it was reported she had become both a trusted counsel and something of a partner in crime for the persistently single Harry (pictured, the trio at an event)
‘While William and Harry get on with Camilla and are delighted to see their father happy, they don’t really confide in her,’ said one source. ‘She can’t replace their mother, and wouldn’t expect to.’
And so, into the emotional vacuum Diana left behind for both her sons, stepped Kate.
At the time, it was reported she had become both a trusted counsel and something of a partner in crime for the persistently single Harry.
Reports stated they had a ‘genuine friendship’, which was founded on nights spent in front of Game Of Thrones boxsets and companionable suppers.
From giving him cookery lessons to offering sensible romantic advice, Kate became Harry’s lynchpin.
‘Kate has quite a different relationship with Harry than she has with William,’ said the royal insider.
Harry was said to be totally at ease popping over to the Wales’ gym to work out next to Wills and had grown close to Kate (pictured, launching Heads Together)
‘Harry appeals to her sillier side because he is carefree, footloose and loves banter. He finds things funny about people and says so.
‘William, partly because of his position, partly because of his character, plays it safe like his father, whereas Harry is free and easy, with a ‘let’s have the whole bottle’ sort of attitude.
‘Kate also adores the way Harry plays with her children — he is very good with them, a charming big kid and silly uncle.’
If Harry and Kate were confidants before William married her, they were even more so now.
When the trio’s living arrangements changed, they became neighbours on the Kensington Palace compound, with Harry’s move to Nottingham Cottage and William and Kate’s to Apartment 1a, mere yards away.
Harry was said to be totally at ease popping over to the Wales’ gym to work out next to Wills, and was used to seeing Kate in her cashmere dressing gown reading to Charlotte, or joining in cosy family suppers, eaten from their laps,’ said one royal insider.
There were even reports that Kate was looking through her contacts book for a potential belle for Prince Harry to settle down with
One source said: ‘Harry has been encouraged by both William and Kate to see as much of George and Charlotte as he likes.
‘He is a great supporter of George to be as adventurous as possible, so football in the KP garden is a must, along with walking Lupo the dog.
‘There are constant japes with the children. If he can return them muddy, Harry sees it as a job done!’
Despite this, Harry claimed in Spare that he wasn’t ever invited over to the Wales’ home in Kensington Palace.
Despite ‘assuming’ he’d receive an invite, he said he was left disappointed and believed they felt ‘three is a crowd’.
When it comes to Harry’s girlfriends, Kate was subtle, while simultaneously holding strong opinions.
‘Like the Queen, she wouldn’t state her point of view, more ask questions,’ said one acquaintance.
‘If she didn’t think his former girlfriends such as party-loving Chelsy Davy or actress Cressida Bonas were real runners, it would be because she knows more than anyone what marriage into ‘The Firm’ [as Prince Philip describes the Royal Family] actually entails.’
There were even reports that Kate was looking through her contacts book for a potential belle for Prince Harry to settle down with.
One source said: ‘Discretion is key. Candidates must also be athletic, love animals, retain high levels of stamina, be reasonably well educated if not fiercely academic, have no unguarded ‘mouthy’ moments, be fun-loving, able to travel effortlessly and have no medical problems. A tall order in one girl!’
Another source said: ‘They’re used to their cosy trio. It’s hard to imagine anyone else joining them.’
And when it came to Palace politics, Kate and Harry were said to be allies because ‘she is a fan of his and he can do no wrong in her eyes, though there are times she thinks he’s been led astray [for example, when he was pictured naked in Las Vegas in 2012].
‘He won’t hear a word against her either,’ said one acquaintance.
…BUT HARRY FELT LIKE A GOOSEBERRY IN PUBLIC
However despite the trio appearing close on a personal level, Prince Harry was said to feel like a ‘gooseberry’ at public engagements (pictured in 2012)
While Prince Harry and William had worked together on their royal foundation since 2009, in 2011, Kate officially joined, and they began working together as a threesome.
The threesome were pictured attending a number of royal engagements together over the course of the next six years, including the London 2012 Olympics, visiting the ceramic poppy field of remembrance at the Tower of London in 2014 and attending the Tour de France.
In 2016, the Foundation launched Heads Together, led by the Prince and Princess of Wales and Prince Harry, aiming to tackle the stigma of mental health and provide supportive resource.
At the time, it was reported Kate, William and Harry believed they could each highlight a different aspect of the campaign.
The threesome were pictured attending a number of royal engagements together over a number of years
While the trio appeared in good spirits at royal engagements, it was later reported that Harry felt like ‘the third one on a date’
In 2017, the trio showed off their competitive side as they went head to head in a relay race during an event to support runners in this year’s London Marathon.
Competitive Kate tied her hair back as she pelted full throttle along side her husband during the 100m sprint which took part at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) in London.
Despite the event appearing jovial, and relations between the three appearing at an all time high, royal experts would later claim Prince Harry ‘felt like a third wheel’ and even complained he was a ‘gooseberry’ while carrying out official engagements with Prince William and Kate.
Speaking to ET Canada, about bombshell biography Finding Freedom about Meghan and Harry’s life, royal expert Katie Nicholl said Harry feeling like a third wheel is a ‘recurring theme’ of the book.
Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry arrive for the world premiere of the new James Bond film ‘Spectre’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London on October 26, 2015
The trio also attended the ceramic poppy field of remembrance at Tower of London on August 5, 2014 (left) and a Christmas party for volunteers at The Mix youth service on December 19, 2016 (right)
She said that while the media love the idea of Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton being a fantastic team, Harry felt like ‘a spare wheel’.
‘At points [in time], I even heard him complaining that he felt like the gooseberry, the third one along at the date.
‘He never quite fitted in,’ she added.
Katie, who works as a royal editor for Vanity Fair, added that the couple went out of their way to make sure Harry felt ‘part of the team’ but he ‘always wanted to be his own person’.
She continued: ‘I think Meghan has very much been the catalyst in giving him that confidence to break free from William and Kate, and to break free from that trio dynamic, which was at times cozy and convenient, but actually wasn’t really what he wanted.’
The expert added that Meghan was ‘very much a driving force’ and that ‘people don’t give her enough credit’ for giving him confidence.
THE RIFT BEGINS? (2016-2018)
However in more recent years, there have been reports of tension between Prince Harry and his brother (pictured in April 2017)
Prince Harry met Meghan in 2016, with the two immediately growing close. They kept their relationship under-wraps for months but the news eventually broke in November 2016 sparking a global frenzy at the prospect of Harry finally settling down.
However the Duke was forced to defend his new girlfriend when he finally confirmed they were dating, saying he was ‘worried about Meghan’s safety’ following the ‘wave of abuse and harassment’ she has faced.
At the time, it was reported that Prince William stood by his brother in supporting the statement.
In his memoir Spare, Harry told Kate and William about excitement over Meghan and saying how it had been his ‘dream for a long time’ to become ‘a foursome.’
However he claimed William told him ‘it may not happen’ and that he would ‘have to settle.’
In the explosive docuseries Harry & Meghan, the couple revealed how Meghan was first introduced to William and Kate.
The former actress admitted she was ‘surprised’ there is a ‘forward facing way of being and then you close the door’.
The trio took part in a relay race, during a training event to promote the charity Heads Together, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, on February 5, 2017
The Prince and Princess of Wales and Prince Harry visited the White Garden in Kensington Palace, London, as they meet with representatives from charities supported by Diana, the Princess of Wales in August 2017
She said: ‘Even when Will and Kate came over and I was meeting her for the first time I remember I was in ripped jeans, I was barefoot.
‘Like I was a hugger, I have always been a hugger I didn’t realise that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.’
Prince Harry did propose to Meghan in 2017, saying ‘I knew she was the one from the very first day’ during a photo call in the Kensington Palace gardens.
Initially, Kate and William said they were delighted, with an official statement reading: ‘We are very excited for Harry and Meghan.
‘It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.’
When Harry’s engagement was announced, William said his family were ‘all very excited, delighted for them both and wishing them all the happiness in this very exciting time’.
Meghan joined the family for Christmas in Sandringham in 2017, but rumours of tension between the brothers was already growing
In February 2018, the trio officially relaunched as a foursome for their first annual Royal Foundation Forum – however it became the only time the event occurred
He joked: ‘For me personally I hope it means he stays out of my fridge, it will stop him scrounging off all my food, he’s done over the last few years.’
Meghan quickly joined the former trio at royal engagements, taking part in her first official appearance with the trio in February 2018.
William, Kate, Harry and Meghan’s joint venture was intended to harness the star power of the four high-profile royals.
They were dubbed the Fab Four after taking to the stage together at the first – and so far only – Royal Foundation forum in London.
At the time, Harry said ‘working as family does have its challenges’, but insisted ‘we’re stuck together for the rest of our lives’.
Prince William acted as best man at Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding – but there were rumours of tensions in the months before the big day
After being asked by presenter Tina Daheley if the ‘ever have disagreements’ William immediately burst into laughter before responding with a drawn out ‘Ohhhh yes’.
Harry was quick to clarify they were ‘healthy disagreements’ and joked they ‘come so thick and fast’ when asked what the last thing they quarrelled on was.
William continued the banter, quipping: ‘Is it resolved? We don’t know!’
But Harry steered the topic back towards the serious message, adding: ‘I think it’s really good we have got four different personalities and we all have that same passion to make a difference.
‘We have different opinions and they work really well [together]. Working as family does have its challenges; of course it does. [I think] the fact that everybody is laughing shows they know ‘exactly’ what’s it like. But we are stuck together for the rest of our lives.’
The couples attended Princess Eugenie’s wedding in October 2018 alongside one another (pictured)
Bridesmaid dress-gate! How reports of Kate and Meghan arguing ahead of wedding unfolded
May 2018 – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot in St George’s Chapel in Windsor
The bridesmaids, including Jessica Mulroney’s daughter Ivy and Princess Charlotte, have bare legs
November 2018 – The Telegraph’s royal editor Camilla Tominey wrote she had ‘spoken to two separate sources who claim Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte’.
May 2020 – Tatler reports the two argued over protocol around young bridesmaids’ tights
March 2021 – Meghan confirms there was a disagreement in her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview but says the Princess of Wales actually made her cry.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl says Kate ‘never wanted’ reports of a rift to come out in the press and has found the situation ‘mortifying’
January 2023 – Harry’s memoirs reveals new rifts between the Sussexes and the Wales
Meghan added: ‘Togetherness at it’s finest’.
However shortly after the wedding, reports began to circulate that there had been a disagreement between Kate and Meghan in the spring.
Veteran royal reporter Katie Nicholl wrote for Vanity Fair: ‘The truth is, there hasn’t been a feud between Kate and Meghan.
‘There’s not a huge amount of closeness between them, but there’s also not been an active fallout, either.’
However The Telegraph reported Kate ‘left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte’ for Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
Meghan would later claim in the Oprah interview that it was Kate who made her cry, before she went on to apologise by bringing her flowers.
By November 2018, it was reported Prince Harry ‘felt William wasn’t rolling out the red carpet for Meghan and told him so’
That Christmas, the foursome put rumours of a rift to one side when they stepped out at Sandringham together
The pair got married on the 19 May 2018 in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
After the Sussexes’ honeymoon, they appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Trooping the Colour ceremony, their first public appearance as newlyweds.
‘Everyone present was in a good mood, upbeat,’ Harry writes in his book Spare. ‘But then: Kate asked Meg what she thought of her first Trooping the Colour. And Meg joked ‘colourful’. According to Harry, ‘a yawning silence threatened to swallow us all whole’.
Soon after Trooping, says Harry, William and Kate invited him and Meghan to tea and ‘to clear the air’. It presages an extraordinary passage in the book during which these grown adults first express petty jealousy over William and Kate’s interior decorations and then, over tea, engage in a playground-style argument over various frivolous disagreements.
The Wales were ‘apparently upset’ that Meghan and Harry hadn’t given them Easter presents. ‘Was that a thing?’ Harry asks. He says he and Meghan apologised. ‘For our part, we chipped in that we weren’t too pleased when the couple changed their seats at the wedding reception. ‘We’d followed the American tradition, placing couples next to each other, but Willy and Kate didn’t like that tradition, so their table was the only one where spouses were apart.’
William alleged that Harry and Meghan had done the same thing at the wedding of Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton. Then Kate complained that Meghan ‘hurt my feelings’ during an incident where ‘I couldn’t remember something and you told me it was my hormones’. She allegedly added: ‘You talked about my hormones. We’re not close enough for you to talk about my hormones!’
Readers were told that William pointed at his brother’s wife. ‘It’s rude, Meghan. It’s not what’s done here in Britain.’ Meghan then replied: ‘Kindly take your finger out of my face.’
At the end, ‘We all hugged,’ Harry writes, adding: ‘Kind of.’
But far from clearing the air, matters just kept getting worse. Staff shared by the two couples fell out. Or as Harry put it ‘there was frequent bickering in the office’ in which ‘sides were taken’ in a manner that ‘poisoned the atmosphere’.
In his explosive Netflix series, Prince Harry suggested problems began with the tour of Australia that autumn.
He said he and Meghan were ‘better’ at royal engagements than other senior royals and people were ‘upset’ at how his wife ‘stole the limelight’ – as Meghan claimed she was described as a ‘foreign organism’.
Episode four of Harry & Meghan saw the Sussexes’ friend Lucy Fraser say that their tour of Australia in October 2018, where Meghan’s pregnancy was revealed, went so well that ‘the palace were incredibly threatened’.
Harry then says: ‘The issue is when someone who’s marrying in should be a supporting act is then stealing the limelight or is doing the job better than the person who was born to do this.’
On December 10, 2018, the two couples had a ‘second summit’ — and ‘on our turf’, as Harry put it in Spare. This time there was no small talk.
Kate, says Harry, acknowledged that the stories ‘were totally false . . . I know Meghan that I was the one who made you cry’. After what Harry describes as some ‘supportive-sounding evasions’ from his brother about why the Palace had not denied the story, the couples speculate who might have leaked it.
Finally, says Harry, William conceded that at a dinner with his father and Camilla, ‘he might’ve let it slip that there had been strife between the two couples’.
Harry adds dramatically: ‘I put a hand over my face. Meg froze. A heavy silence fell. So now we knew.
‘I told Willy: “You of all people should have known.”‘
In November, Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl reported: ‘Harry felt William wasn’t rolling out the red carpet for Meghan and told him so.
‘They had a bit of a fallout, which was only resolved when Charles stepped in and asked William to make an effort.
‘That’s when the Wales’ invited the Sussexes to spend Christmas with them.’
That Christmas, the foursome put rumours of a rift to one side when they stepped out at Sandringham together.
PLAYING PEACEMAKER? (2019)
In March, it was announced Harry and Meghan would be separating from William and Kate’s Kensington Palace office and they would set up their own household at Buckingham Palace (pictured, Kate and Harry attending the Anzac Day Service together in a rare joint appearance without William)
Despite a harmonious Christmas, royal experts suggested all was not well with the trio – and it was the brother’s relationship at the crux of it.
Appearing in a documentary Kate v. Meghan: Princesses at War? in early February 2019, Katie Nicholl claimed that William had been concerned by how fast Harry’s relationship with Meghan had moved.
She said: ‘I think what was meant as well-intended brotherly advice just riled Harry.
‘Harry is hugely protective of Meghan. He saw that as criticism. He interpreted that as his brother not really being behind this marriage, this union, and I don’t think things have been quite right ever since.’
In March, it was announced Harry and Meghan would be separating from William and Kate’s Kensington Palace office and they would set up their own household at Buckingham Palace.
But royal aides said at the time that the foursome would remain joint patrons of the Royal Foundation.
It is believed to be during this time in which the Duke is claiming he had a furious row with Prince William.
Amongst growing rumours of a feud between the two couples, they announced plans to split households and that Meghan and Harry would move out of London to Windsor.
Weeks later, Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry appeared together at the Easter service – however, the trio were far from their united gang they had once been
However in April, Kate attended the Anzac Day service in a rare joint engagement with Prince Harry without Prince William.
The two appeared in good spirits at the event.
Weeks later, Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry appeared together at the Easter service – however, the trio were far from their united gang they had once been.
In fact, observers noted the two Dukes didn’t exchange a word with one another.
In May, Prince Harry and Meghan welcomed their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor.
Prince William and Kate gave a charming interview, with the Prince of Wales saying he was ‘absolutely thrilled’ for his brother.
Meanwhile he playfully said he was welcoming Harry to ‘the sleep deprivation club that is parenting’ with Kate beaming at his side.
In July 2019, Kate and Meghan made a number of public appearances with one another, attending the Wimbledon women’s final and watching the men playing polo.
But in August, William and Kate’s charity removed Harry and Meghan from its title, marking a final step in the split between the two couples.
Royal expert Phil Dampier told MailOnline the split is a ‘massive mistake’, which makes it seem as if the couples are ‘pitting against each other, both personally and professionally’.
FEUD GOES PUBLIC (2020)
Prince Harry and Meghan become the first to publicly acknowledge the feud, with both commenting on distance between themselves and the royal family in the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey
Prince Harry and Meghan become the first to publicly acknowledge the feud, with both commenting on distance between themselves and the royal family.
In his documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, The Duke of Sussex told Tom Bradby: ‘Part of this role and part of this job, and this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably, you know, stuff happens.
‘But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. And we’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I’ll always be there for him, as I know he’ll always be there for me.’
A source told Us Weekly that Kate hated seeing Meghan and Harry ‘so miserable’ and hoped ‘William and Harry will eventually heal the rift and let bygones be bygones.
‘The way she sees it, life’s too short to make enemies—especially with loved ones. She’s very levelheaded like that. Kate’s a family girl.’
It’s announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex won’t spend Christmas with the royals, and will instead spend it with Meghan’s mother Doria.
In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess announced they intended to step back from their roles as working royals.
In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess announced they intended to step back from their roles as working royals. They made their final appearance in March 2020, at a frosty Commonwealth Service
William was said to have been ‘blindsided by Harry and Meghan’s decision and statement’.
Sources told US Weekly: ‘There’s still a rift between the two brothers. It’s sad because when they were younger, William would be the first person Harry would go to with big news like this.’
The Duke alleged in his 2021 Netflix series that his older brother, now heir to the throne, left him ‘terrified’ during the Sandringham Summit while he ‘screamed and shouted’ at him in front of their father and grandmother as he tried to thrash out a deal to leave the UK.
He said: ‘It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren’t true. And my grandmother, you know, quietly sit there and take it all in’.
However, despite making the sensational allegations against his brother and father, Harry failed to reveal what actually went on during those conversations, leading to further questions about his claims.
Sources said at the time that Kate ‘missed’ her close bond with Prince Harry and worried she’d ‘never be close to him again.’
According to an insider, the Princess had been left crying over the distance between herself and her brother-in-law.
‘She wishes she could speak to Harry,’ the source told Us Weekly. ‘She misses him and fears she’ll never be close to him again.’
Meanwhile the couple’s decision to step back reportedly had an impact on Kate and William’s work load.
The source added: ‘Kate’s in a panic and has been having bouts of anxiety. She barely has time to rest, and when she does try to sleep, her mind is constantly racing.’
The source added of Kate’s occasional 18 hour working days: ‘She’s already stretched pretty thin…and now she’s really worried about how she’ll juggle the extra workload on top of her family life.’
In March 2020, Meghan and Harry attended their final royal engagement as senior royals, but there is very little interaction between the couples.
When Finding Freedom was released that summer, Kate was reportedly left reeling while conversations between Prince Harry and Prince William were ‘stilted and difficulted’.
Royal author Andrew Morton revealed Kate had been left ‘devastated’ by the feud enveloping the royal family, telling New Idea: ‘There’s no doubt the rift between Harry and William has deeply affected Kate. It upsets her.’
By September, news had emerged that Harry and Meghan had signed a deal with Netflix.
An insider told The Sun: ‘William and other senior royals are incredibly uncomfortable about [The Crown] this drama and livid Harry is now in partnership with the company that’s airing it.’
In November 2020, royal biographer Sean Smith told The Sun Harry and Meghan ‘didn’t have much contact with the-then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’.
However by the end of the year, it appeared relations had thrawed, with reports suggesting Kate and Will had sent gifts to Harry and Meghan for Christmas that year.
HARRY’S BOMBSHELLS (2021-2022)
Prince Harry and Meghan sat down for an explosive chat with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, which was said to have left William ‘incandescent’ with rage
Prince Harry and Meghan sat down for an explosive chat with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
At the time, despite some reported thrawing before Christmas, The Daily Mail reported that the once-inseparable brothers had not spoken for months.
During the discussion, Meghan said Kate made her cry before she married Prince Harry as the couple dropped a series of ‘truth bombs’ including saying there was ‘concern’ over Archie’s skin colour.
Prince Harry also spoke on his relationship with his older brother, saying: ‘As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been to hell together. But we’re on different paths.’
He added: ‘The relationship is ‘space’ at the moment, and time heals all things, hopefully.’
The Wales responded when visiting School2 in east London to promote a children’s mental health programme days later. William admitted he had not even spoken to Harry about the TV show – four days after it aired
The Wales responded when visiting School2 in east London to promote a children’s mental health programme days later.
William admitted he had not even spoken to Harry about the TV show – four days after it aired.
His reaction laid bare his clear hurt over the claims made by his brother and sister-in-law.
As William and Kate walked on, the reporter persisted: ‘Can you just let me know, is the Royal Family a racist family?’
William turned so his voice could be heard and said, clearly and firmly, despite his mask: ‘We’re very much not a racist family.’
There were reports the interview had left William ‘incandescent’ with rage.
Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight: ‘Don’t forget that the Princess is being dragged into this whole saga and William will hate that and…relationship between father and son is of course at an all-time low.
‘I think that the idea that Kate’s being dragged into this will be upsetting for Kate, who behind the scenes has tried really hard to be a peacemaker between William and Harry.
‘She has been deeply saddened by the brothers’ falling-out. Don’t forget she was incredibly close to Harry herself.’
When Harry was reunited with the royal family at his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral weeks later, Kate was the first member of the family to be seen chatting to him – and was even spotted holding back in a bid to reunite him with brother, Prince William.
Mere weeks later, Kate appeared to play peacemaker for Harry and Prince William as they attended Prince Philip’s funeral together
Prince Harry appeared to talk with Kate Middleton as they left the service at St George’s Chapel in 2021
As the Royals filed out of the chapel, Prince William spoke to the Right Reverend David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, while Harry chatted with Kate behind them.
Eschewing a waiting fleet of Rolls-Royces, the family then began to walk up the hill.
William was initially ahead of his wife and brother but turned back towards them to speak to Kate while Harry exchanged pleasantries with the Dean.
Harry then caught up with his brother and sister-in-law and they walked together for a while as William removed his face mask. Then, Kate delicately stepped away to speak to the Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise – leaving the brothers alone.
At the time, Kate’s uncle Gary said his niece was ‘trying to mediate’ and bring peace to the royals after Prince Harry’s nuclear truth-bombing.
Gary, 56, who is brother to Kate’s mother Carole, described the Duchess as a ‘brilliant arbiter and peacemaker’ and insisted she was doing everything she could to make things right between her husband and his brother.
That summer, the Prince of Wales put aside personal differences and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Duke to unveil the bronze statue of their mother in the Sunken Garden.
Sources claimed ‘furious’ Prince William ‘didn’t want to attend Princess Diana statue unveiling with Prince Harry’ after the explosive Oprah Winfrey interview
However sources claimed ‘furious’ Prince William ‘didn’t want to attend Princess Diana statue unveiling with Prince Harry’ after the explosive Oprah Winfrey interview.
Sources told The Sunday Times William had ‘taken the view that he could only ‘give so much’ to Harry, with the Princess of Wales playing peacemaker with the brothers.
One aide said: ‘[Kate] was amazing behind the scenes when Harry came.’
One insider said that Kate had acted as a ‘peacemaker’ with Harry during the period, with another adding: ‘[William] has had a year from hell and she has been fantastic supporting him.’
Meanwhile former royal butler Paul Burrell said Kate Middleton ‘holds the key’ in bringing Princes William and Harry together.
He said: ‘She’s the person that is going to pull these boys back together, there’s a lot of work to do, because a lot of things have been said.
‘She’s the answer because she’s standing in between both of them and seeing this unfold.
‘The boys spent their grieving years together, they became closer and closer, and then suddenly there was this massive riff that grew between them, so Kate has witnessed this firsthand.
‘She knows that William he wants this to work out those boys should be stood together, Their mother would want them to stand together.
‘Her ideal idea was that Harry would support William when he came to the throne.
‘It was his job to look after his brother, and they would be there together, helping each other.’
Speaking to People magazine, insiders claimed Kate had found seeing William ‘distraught’ over the estrangement had been ‘tough’.
They said: ‘Everything with Harry and Meghan has been hugely stressful, but if anything, it’s pulled [her and William] closer together.’
The foursome reunited again following the Queen’s death in September 2022. Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry were joined by Meghan for a surprise joint walkabout
Prince Harry announced he would be releasing a memoir, with rumours circulating that Prince William and Kate may face the brunt of his wrath.
By May, Prince Harry and Meghan returned to the UK for the Queen’s Jubilee.
However there was no public interaction between the Duke of Sussex and his brother and sister-in-law.
The Sussexes hosted a birthday party for their daughter Lilibet during the weekend at their home of Frogmore Cottage, which the Wales’ reportedly did not attend.
A source told The Daily Mail that William ‘alternates between grieving for what he has lost and feeling really, really angry about what his brother has done.’
They continued: ‘He truly loves Harry and feels he has lost the only person, aside from his wife, who understood this strange life of theirs.
‘But he believes there are things you just don’t do. And Harry has 100 per cent crossed that line.’
The foursome reunited again following the Queen’s death in September 2022.
Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry were joined by Meghan for a surprise joint walkabout.
However throughout the rest of the walkabout, which is believed to have lasted some 30 minutes, Prince William and Kate, and Meghan and Harry, appeared to stick to their two couples – perhaps instructed to by their aides – and barely interacted during the sombre occasion.
At times during the walkabout, all four split up, to greet and speak with members of the public individually.
It later emerged Kate felt it was the ‘hardest thing she had ever had to do.’
Sources told Robert Jobson that Catherine later admitted to a senior royal that, such was the ill feeling between the two couples, the joint walkabout was one of the hardest things she had ever had to do.
Months later, Prince Harry and Meghan went on to share their explosive Netflix series, in which they discussed their time in the royal family in depth.
Harry took an apparent swipe at the choice of wives by his male relatives that has been viewed as an attack on his father and other senior royals, perhaps even his brother William.
In the episodes, Harry also added: ‘For so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould, as opposed to somebody who you are perhaps destined to be with.
‘The difference between making decisions with your head or your heart. My mom certainly made most of her decisions if not all of them from her heart, and I am my mother’s son.’
Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight the ‘tempers are flaring’ and there is ‘a lot of resentment’ in the family about the series.
She said: ‘William will be taking this very personally. I think he’s incredibly upset, and feels very badly betrayed by his brother.’
She outlined how the couple had ‘really chronicled’ their lives over the last few years, adding to the ‘great sense of mistrust’ from their family.
She said a reconcilation between Meghan and Harry and the rest of the royals was ‘almost impossible’, adding: ‘They just simply feel that any reconciliation it is not in the cards because they can’t trust that it’s not gonna end up in a TV show or in a book.’
Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith responded to the Sussexes’ six-part Netflix series in explosive fashion.
He said: ‘I think Catherine and William will be feeling deeply wounded. They love Harry, they miss him.
‘He is family and, despite this attack, I believe they’d still welcome him and Meghan back.
‘There’s nothing Catherine would want more than for the brothers to be reconciled because that’s the real love story here. Two brothers who love each other but have been torn apart.
‘No one wants Prince Harry to be unhappy. No one wants to see Meghan so depressed she felt like taking her life, but is this really the best way to go about repairing relationships?
‘To me, the series felt not only scripted and inauthentic, but unfair, self-interested, unreasonable and untrue — especially when done in the knowledge that William and Catherine could never answer back.’