No, Duchess Kate & Meghan are not beefing about the Chelsea Flower Show

The Duchess of Cambridge sits near the Duchess of Sussex as they attend the West

I’ve only been aware of the royal drama of the Chelsea Flower Show for about a week. Back in January, Kensington Palace started to do a big push to promote the fact that the Duchess of Cambridge would be “co-designing” a garden with some professional gardening peeps for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. We’ve gotten about a million updates since then, because Kensington Palace clearly believes that endlessly talking about one future event “counts” as multiple events. The point was that Kate is very keen about this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and she is very keen to get good headlines about it. Unfortunately, the charity CAMFED has also sponsored and designed a garden for this year’s flower show and they were using photos of Prince Harry in their promotion. And the palace shut down CAMFED, and that’s how we got here, to a “war of the Duchesses” story about the Chelsea Flower Show. Here’s more:

An ecological garden by a charity supported by Meghan Markle is to go head-to-head with Kate Middleton’s whimsical entry at the Chelsea Flower Show. The sisters-in-law will ‘compete’ against one another in the annual flower show’s garden competition in London.

With the iconic show just a few weeks away, Kate’s “Back To Nature” garden has been designed with the help of architects Andree Davies and Adam White. The Duchess of Cambridge’s playful, child-friendly design will feature both a waterfall and treehouse as well as a campfire for children to toast marshmallows. However, Camfed – the charity supported by Meghan and Harry – have created a mini paradise. Designer Jilayne Rickards and Camfed have created a garden full of crops and a schoolhouse to promote the charity’s mission to eradicate poverty in Africa by educating young women. The garden will also feature a okra and peanuts and also include a smart irrigation system and solar panels.

Meanwhile, Kensington Palace has reportedly also had to ban the designers from using a photo of Harry as part of the display in a bid to stop it overshadowing Kate’s garden. But according to royal expert Judy Miller, the Camfed design has already become a fast favourite with fellow gardeners. Commenting on how the two gardens compare, Judy said on Vanity Fair’s In The Limelight podcast: “If I was Kate, I’d be humiliated that [Meghan] went down this route. I would be angry they hadn’t swapped notes before.”

Camfed has allegedly been told it can’t use a photo of Prince Harry surrounded by its young Zimbabwean alumni to promote the garden. A source at Camfed is said to have told the publication: “It’s because the Duchess of Cambridge is co-designing a garden, so . . . we can’t use the photo. The palace is worried about mixed messaging.”

In contrast, Kate is pictured front and centre on the Royal Horticultural Society website in promotion for her garden. Kensington Palace confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are extremely supportive of Camfed’s work, which helps girls stay in education in rural Africa.

A spokeperson told the Sun Online: “There is absolutely no rivalry here. Meghan and Prince Harry haven’t been involved with Camfed’s garden design, nor do they have any official role within the organisation. They are in no way pitted against each other, in part because the Duchess of Cambridge’s garden is the RHS garden and isn’t judged.”

[From The Sun]

I laughed at the spokesperson – it feels like he or she was two seconds away from shrieking “they are not being pitted against each other because KATE IS THE FUTURE QUEEN.” Anyway, I don’t know what Judy Miller was on about, because this seems like such a picayune faux scandal to try to hype. Meghan and Harry clearly had nothing to do with the CAMFED garden, and they really aren’t even officially patrons of the organization. Meghan didn’t go down any particular “route.” Taken as a whole, though, this story does leave a certain impression… something about how suddenly, the palace is very keen to be seen supporting Kate in particular.

The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre  and learned more about the work being done by local organisations in Lambeth and their partners to support young children and their families

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the charity Cinemagic in Belfast

Photos courtesy of WENN and Avalon Red.

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36 Responses to “No, Duchess Kate & Meghan are not beefing about the Chelsea Flower Show”

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  1. Muffy says:

    CAMFED should know better. Before producing materials, you get approvals and releases from those appearing. Just because you have a release in one context does not mean you have a blanket release to use a person’s image.

    • Mindy_dopple says:

      This is true, but if Harry truly had a problem with it I bet the release would have sounded something like “wanting the .org to win the competition on the merits of this amazing and innovative design not by any royal association. It would be fair to all those competitions” something like that. Instead we have this.

    • notasugarhere says:

      If Harry approved them using a simple photo of him visiting CAMFED in November? There is absolutely no harm in that. So much fuss over something that doesn’t matter, except to Katie Keen.

      • Muffy says:

        Except that Harry is not a patron of CAMFED, and using the photo infers that he is patron. So they shouldn’t be using his photo without permission. It harms the other charities he has selected to be patron.

        I’ve worked with charities (including ones for which the Queen is patron) and we would never do something like this. If Harry was considering becoming patron of CAMFED, this could harm the relationship. If you are going to use a photo you get permission.

      • notasugarhere says:

        It merely infers that he values their project, visited their charity, and happily posed for official photos with them. The accompanying info in the brochure would have made clear he isn’t the patron. If Harry approved the use of his photo, no problem.

  2. Rae says:

    What is going with the palace press at the moment? Messy.

  3. LondonLook says:

    Love that first photo. Don’t mess with Queen Kate!

    • Melly says:

      I don’t think that first photo does her any favors. She is very pretty, but in that pic her eyes look dark & sunken in.

    • ifeoma says:

      Yeah, she looks like she’s had enough of all this sh*t. Great picture.

    • 90sgirl says:

      Kate looks terrible in the first photo.

    • Bluthfan says:

      Kate looks about 15 years older than Meghan in that picture. It’s truly a terrible picture of Kate.

    • minx says:

      Meghan has better skin than Kate, who I imagine has dieted and smoked. It takes a toll on your face.

      • Amare says:

        More likely smoking than dieting has weaved its web on Kate’s face. Meghan has definitely dieted: she lost a lot weight as she got more famous, just like every other [mostly female] celebrity. You have to keep your weight way down as an actress chasing lead and co-lead roles otherwise you’re stuck in character roles which was not something Meghan really aspired to.

  4. Mindy_dopple says:

    Ok, so a garden supported by Harry and Megan is in the competition but can’t use their legitimate picture of Harry with the kids they’re working to help with this idlyc garden because…..? They’ll like it more than Kate’s? Who is not being judged.

    This is right out of Downton Abbey and worse because Kate isn’t going to win a prize anyway! The only fault of the Sussexes was rightly highlighting a charity that has an amazing mission. A mission they’re using to create their garden. Ugh.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I am no Katie Keen supporter but in this instance am not sure she is at fault. The Sussex’s have not given any official support for the charity garden or even the organisation themselves so it seems to me that the charity are being a bit cheeky in using Harry in their PR due to some loose connection.

      • Erinn says:

        This is exactly what I was thinking. It’s not a slight against them – it genuinely seems like they want to coast on their reputation and that’s really not fair to ANY of the competitors when they weren’t involved in the project.

      • Becks1 says:

        That was my thought too. This bit about Kate being “humiliated” because Meghan did…..nothing? Is ridiculous, but so is this whole drama. It seems legitimate that the charity overstepped by using Harry’s
        Image. That seems to the only issue though.

        Let’s focus on the Real housewives of Norfolk scandal, that’s more interesting lol.

      • Himmiefan says:

        So-called royal expert Judy Miller isn’t doing her job well if she’s dragging Meghan into a situation that she has nothing to do with. It makes her look bad, not Meghan.

    • notasugarhere says:

      There is no harm in using a photo of Harry in their garden or in their promo materials, as long as Harry approves the use of his photo. He visited them, they took a cute photo. It isn’t like they’re using a billboard of him. If Harry was the one disapproving of the photo, we wouldn’t have gotten this silly spin for weeks about Kate co-designing a garden and mixed messages.

      • Megan says:

        The palace asked the photo be removed since Harry is not involved in the garden. Their job is to protect royals from misuse of their image. I find it highly unlikely that CAMFED would complain about Kate as they are clearly angling for a royal patronage. This is just more fan fiction about the dumbest beef ever invented.

  5. Nikki says:

    I don’t think this article is supporting Kate; it pretty much says Kate should feel humiliated, and that people like “Meghan’s garden” better! But the whole thing is just more of the media pitting one woman against another! How can anyone not see this??

  6. Toot says:

    Kate’s face in that top pic looks like the scary headmistress/governess at some school.

    I understand more and more why Meghan and Harry would want to leave KP. KP stopping Camfed from using a pic they have with Harry because they want all the focus on Kate is childish. The gardens are two very different lanes.

  7. Citresse says:

    MM is judged? There seems to be a problem. Kate is the future Queen Consort and won’t allow anyone to forget, and BP on board too, in that regard.

  8. Sarah says:

    OMG in that first pic Kate looks like a Disney villain LMAO

  9. Meganbot2000 says:

    Harry and Meghan have nothing to do with the other garden. The entire story is ridiculous.

  10. Original Jenns says:

    If anything, isn’t this more of a Harry v. Kate story? Both he and Meghan support this charity, but they are using his pictures, so it would seem to connect Harry with the competing garden. Much more interesting! We haven’t had that rivalry as the real reason Will and Harry are fighting hahaha However, I don’t believe it. I think the charity wanted to use their most famous supporters picture, and didn’t realize that only one royal should be the focus at a time (I don’t get it but whatever). No drama, just another way to push the idea that Meghan is a scene stealer.

  11. Tx_mom says:

    CAMFED is a boss charity! And this story sounds like a lot of fuss over nothing.

  12. Esmerelda says:

    Poor Kate, she’s the straight man in all this “eeeevil meg” press… meg at least gets the super villain role – it’s something, she could lean into it like Jolie in Maleficent – but Kate is just cast as the hapless Norfolk society host or the subpar garden designer… not a good angle. Can we send Kate some consolation buttons?

  13. Bethany Karger says:

    I bet if you tied Kate’s hands behind her back, she couldn’t talk.

  14. Bethany Karger says:

    But her hand motions make her hands look like claws. And I’ve seen William do the same thing.

  15. Case20 says:

    The British narrative of Kate being the precious English Rose and Meghan being the Big Bad American Wolf….it’s getting old!!