The palace is desperate to stem a story that Harry and Meghan’s move away from William and Kate doesn’t represent a family rift, but British newspapers smell blood in the water.
Tension between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton could be behind the dramatic decision by Harry and Meghan to move out of London’s Kensington Palace, where they would be living in the shadow of the future king and queen, according to a new report.
A source is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “Kate and Meghan are very different people. They don’t really get on.”
The official announcement this weekend that Harry and Meghan are to move out of their home on the grounds of Kensington Palace, relocating 20 miles away to a 10-bedroom cottage in the Frogmore House estate, not far from Windsor Castle, caught observers by surprise. The Frogmore estate is the private possession of the family, and the house is not inhabited. It is used for official events and is open to the public only a few days each year, meaning Harry and Meghan can enjoy a high degree of privacy living on the grounds.
It is expected that Meghan’s mom, Doria, will live at their new home too, as she is believed to have recently moved to the UK.
Palace aides have sought to play down speculation that a rift between Harry and William is to blame for the change, and spin a line that Harry and Meghan want to live at Frogmore because it holds a special place in their hearts, as it is where their wedding reception earlier this year was held.
The media management team at the palace looks set to push back against stories that their respective wives have taken a disliking to each other. An inquiry by The Daily Beast Sunday night received a curt “no comment” from a duty press officer, although official sources sought to pour cold water on the story, by emphasizing the quote in the Daily Mail—about the princesses not getting on—was unattributed.
The press are unlikely to be easily warned off this juicy tale, however, which was dominating royal coverage this weekend, eclipsing Harry’s solo tour to Zambia.
There are no shortage of clues on the public record as to how the style and attitude of Britain’s two most important princesses vary.
From their clothes to their interactions with media and the public, the two are clearly light years apart.
The Daily Beast has previously been told by sources that while Kate (and her husband) are hugely popular with their staff, Meghan can be brusque, and has been dismayed by British levels of service.
Meghan was said to have earned Harry a stern word from the queen ahead of her wedding, following a dispute about what tiara she could wear.
Harry is said to have raged at his staff, “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets,” in the tense run-up to the nuptials.
However, the family has been impressed by Meghan’s extraordinary work ethic and the enthusiasm with which she has taken to the role since the announcement of her engagement, including a 16-day tour of Australasia whilst pregnant, which contrasts to the difficulties courtiers have experienced over the years in getting Kate to participate.
Kate’s apparent reluctance to embrace her duties as enthusiastically as she might was recently demonstrated when she declined to be interviewed for a landmark documentary about the queen, saying she was on maternity leave.
Sources have told The Daily Beast that it is only natural for the brothers and their wives to diverge and seek to distinguish themselves as they grow into and develop separate roles, and there has also been speculation that the brothers may split their joint foundation sooner rather than later.
William’s destiny as king means that ultimately their paths must diverge, but even in the first stage of that progression, as Prince of Wales, William will have a massive extra layer of responsibility running the Duchy of Cornwall, the vast private estate that holds hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investments and land. It is always the personal property of the Prince of Wales, as the heir to the throne is known.