Back in the pre-Sussex era, I remember there were a few stories, here and there, about how the Duchess of Cambridge worked to cull William’s group of bro-friends. In the early years of the Cambridge marriage, William still liked to socialize and party with his school friends, and there were even a few stories about how he would get sloppy drunk and pull youthful shenanigans, which grates on one’s nerves when you realize he was in his early 30s at the time. Anyway, Kate eventually got William to edit some people out of his life, which is normal – you get married, you have kids, friendships change and evolve and sometimes end altogether. The same thing happened with the Sussexes, only the timeline was compressed and it feels like Harry realized during Meghan’s pregnancy that a lot of friends sucked?
Many close to Prince Harry are concerned about the growing distance between him and the rest of the royal family — especially given that he has recently pulled away from many longtime friends. A well-connected source tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story that the Queen’s grandson, 35, “cut off” many of his close pals “about six months into” Meghan Markle‘s pregnancy with son Archie, born May 6.
“Most no longer even have his cell number,” says the insider. “They totally understand that men often drift from their friends after marriage, but there’s still a lot of resentment because they had been so close for so long.”
One exception is Charlie van Straubenzee. The pals met at Ludgrove Prep School and have remained close ever since — in fact, they were all smiles attending each other’s weddings just months apart in 2018. Van Staubenzee is also a godfather to Archie.
Meghan, 38, remains close to many of her friends from her pre-royal days. It is believed that Archie stayed in Canada with Meghan’s longtime pal Jessica Mulroney, whose three children served as page boys and a flower girl in the couple’s royal wedding in May 2018, while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to London last week for engagements. In addition, Meghan’s Suits costar Abigail Spencer was spotted with the couple during a New Year’s Day hike. Both women also attended Meghan’s baby shower in Feb. 2019, held in New York City.
I’m sure a lot of people will take this as a sign that Meghan is super-controlling, or that Harry is putting all of his friendship eggs in Meghan’s basket or whatever. It just reminds me of how Harry had already been doing work on himself before he even met Meghan – he was trying to improve, trying to become a better man before 2016. I would imagine that he had already begun phasing out some people, but when he married Meghan and she got pregnant, everything was in sharper relief, you know? A lot of toxic people showing their toxic asses during that time. I was going to say “Harry needs his own friends,” but I actually think he probably has a lot of people he’s close to, they just aren’t his OLD friends, the ones who still party, they ones who kiss up to William, the ones who talked sh-t about Meg, etc.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red, WENN.