How William and Kate Are Responding to Harry and Meghan's ITV Interview Fallout
After the ITV documentary, the War of the Windsors is heating up.
The behind-the-scenes drama at Buckingham Palace reached fever pitch in October with the airing of an ITV documentary in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed how unhappy they were living in the royal fishbowl. But that wasn't all: Harry also indirectly acknowledged that the rumors about his rift with Prince William are true. Ever since, the British tabloids have been going into overdrive speculating about what's really going on between the former "Fab Four"—Harry, Meghan, William, and Kate Middleton. The most notable development since the supposed War of the Windsors came to light is vast difference in the way each couple has handled the media in wake of the controversy, a royal source told me.
"Prince Harry and Meghan are at war with the media, with Harry drawing dramatic comparisons about Meghan being treated in the same way his mother [Princess Diana] was and his perception that history is repeating itself. Still, they have both said things that only fuel more coverage," explained my source.
How? Well, "Meghan picked up the torch again when she gave another one-on-one interview recently where she told an interviewer she didn't want to be loved, she just wanted to be heard," the insider added.
Meanwhile, "William and Kate have remained radio silent. William believes in allowing the media in just so far as necessary and has kept the details of his personal life private while allowing controlled access to his family with Catherine's full support. He won't be goaded into a battle with the press and he certainly isn't going to comment on his relationship with his brother."
However, "a well-placed source" told the BBC that William was "furious" with his brother over his disclosures in the interview. (My sources have told me it's Prince Charles who's most angry about it.) And The Daily Mail quoted a palace official who offered a conflicting view, suggesting the overall mood was one of "concern," and not anger.
That said, according to my royal sources, William and Kate are doubling down on the unofficial royal rule of "never complain, never explain" in public and have been giving Harry and Meghan a "wide berth in private" since the interview aired. "This whole episode illustrates the point that the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex could not be more different," one insider said. "The same is very much the case with Catherine and Meghan. William and Catherine refuse to be drawn into any public drama and won't say a word about it, nor will they be a party to any staged rapprochement. They are our future King and Queen and they are very much aware of behaving in a way befitting of their roles."
It's interesting to note that much was made of Kate's "first solo interview" in the midst of all the drama during her trip to Pakistan with William, which was little more than a few remarks to CNN about their "fantastic" trip. "That's how circumspect Catherine is," said my source. "She has made so few public comments that anything she says draws huge public interest. She is very much like the Queen in that way."
It's also clear that Kate wants no part of the current drama. "Catherine is certainly not going to draw attention to herself because of whatever is going on between William and Harry," my source said.
The insider continued that Kate "has never put a foot wrong since marrying into the family and she certainly isn't going to start rocking the boat now." However, the insider adds: "Catherine and Harry were always very close when it was just the three of them. She wants him to be happy, but at the same time, she won't be drawn into all this. She and William will always present a united front."
Instead, Kate is focusing on her children and letting the public see her more relaxed, accessible side. She was recently spotted with her two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at local Sainsbury's supermarket in Norfolk, shopping for Halloween costumes and chatting with locals. Also, according to The Daily Mail, Kate joined a group of mothers with children from George and Charlotte's school for a night out at a pub in Chelsea last month. "Catherine managed to adjust to royal life with minimal attention on herself and without any drama whatsoever," said an insider. "She's grown in confidence and clearly understands her role."
"She's not unsympathetic to Meghan," the source continued. "Catherine has tried to make Meghan feel welcome and has enjoyed spending time with her, but she's aware now her every move towards the Duchess of Sussex will be endlessly analyzed. If she does anything, it will be out of the public eye."
Royal reporter Phil Daunier claimed Kate and Meghan have since spoken over the phone since the ITV interview aired. He told The Daily Express: "Behind the scenes I'm told Kate is doing her best to bring everyone together and help Meghan. None of them want to let the Queen down so Kate is trying to patch things up in private." According to Daunier, Kate "feels sorry for [Meghan]" and knows "she is struggling."
With Harry and Meghan set to begin their extended break from their royal duties beginning next week, spending most of that time in America, all eyes will be on the young royals when they appear with the other senior royals at the Remembrance Day service on Sunday, Nov. 10.
"That will be the first time the two couples will appear in public since the ITV interview aired. Everyone will be looking to see how they behave towards each other," said my source. "But I wouldn't expect any great difference in what we've seen before. They may be standing alongside each other, but there won't be any overt overtures to silence the critics. Catherine may appear solicitous of Meghan, but that's really her kind nature. They are all very aware the eyes of the world will be on all of them." And for more insider information about the future king of England, here are 27 Things You Never Knew About Prince William.