FF: Duchess Kate never showed ‘much interest’ in meeting Meghan in 2017

The Wimbledon Championships 2019

From the early excerpts of Finding Freedom, we knew that there would be some tea about “the war of the duchesses,” and what the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship was really like, behind-the-scenes. We already learned that Kate did zero labor (she’s so lazy) when it came to welcoming Meghan into the family. Kate and Meghan first met on January 10th, 2017, soon after Harry and Meghan returned from a trip to Norway to celebrate the New Year. Meghan was not the fiancee yet, she was just the royal girlfriend, and Harry was the one pushing for Kate and Meghan to meet. It didn’t go well:

The couple returned to London, where Meghan finally met Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The January 10 get-together at the Cambridges’ Apartment 1A home was brief, but Harry wanted to make sure the two had a chance to connect. Despite the fact that Harry was a regular guest in her household, Kate had seemingly not shown much interest in finding out who this woman was who had made her brother-in-law so happy. But that indifference wasn’t necessarily directed toward Meghan. “The Duchess is an extremely guarded person,” a friend explained. After she married William, she was careful about letting others in to her social circle. Her friends today—including Lady Laura Meade and Emilia Jardine-Paterson, both of whom married friends of William’s—are for the most part the same ones she had on her wedding day. Like her husband, Kate ran in a tight group.

Meghan brought a present for the duchess, who had celebrated her birthday just a day earlier. The soft leather Smythson notebook helped to break the ice, as did Meghan’s cooing over then twenty-month-old Charlotte. The meeting ended with Kate letting Meghan know that she was always welcome to contact her if she needed anything. Having been through the experience of being a royal girlfriend herself, Kate knew how trying it could be to suddenly have one’s personal life laid bare.

[From Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan, and the Making of a Modern Royal Family]

I think… a lot of different things can be true at once. Maybe Kate did tell Meghan to contact her if she needed anything, and I also think Kate was immediately jealous of Meghan and saw Meghan as a rival. Of course Kate had never shown any interest in meeting Meghan – Kate has never shown any interest in spending time with any women besides her mother and sister. From the start, Meghan put in the labor.

Finding Freedom also dials down the “war of the duchesses” narrative and sources say that Meg and Kate “had struggled to move past the distant politeness of when they first met…Their relationship hadn’t progressed much since she was Harry’s girlfriend.” We also get a confirmation: Kate brought flowers to Meghan for Meghan’s birthday – I would assume this was in 2019 – and FF notes: “Flowers for her birthday were nice, but Meghan would far rather have had Kate check in on her during the most difficult times with the press.” Oh, and FF says that Kate rubbed Meghan’s back at Wimbledon after Serena Williams lost in the 2019 final. The point FF makes repeatedly is that while Kate and Meghan were not friendly and were competitive, the real story was always about Harry versus his family and the “institution.”

British Royals are seen at the Wimbledon Championships Day 12

British Royals are seen at the Wimbledon Championships Day 12

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

48 Responses to “FF: Duchess Kate never showed ‘much interest’ in meeting Meghan in 2017”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. S808 says:

    For those that have been keeping up we know it was so much more than just Kate being a guarded person. Them essentially dropping Harry after he started dating Meghan and never showing up at their home after they started dating (even after having been invited) is so shady to me.

    • Meg says:

      Had similar experiences myself, id get a job i wanted or date a guy id liked for some time and they couldn’t be bothered to have empathy for me because some people see you as having value to them if you meet their needs only-which we see him being used as a scapegoat for their bad press and kates emotional support as william doesnt seem bothered to.

      • Chaine says:

        I think you hit the nail on the head—Kate had some jealousy and resentment about losing Harry’s attention and emotional support.

    • Emma33 says:

      I agree with these comments – I’m listening to FF on audiobook at the moment and just got up to this part. I think that Harry had William and Kate’s support as long as he fit into a fairly confined version of himself – a bit of a rebel, but still working within the family structure. With Meghan, he found someone who really gave him the confidence to be a ‘shape-shifter’ and when you become a shape shifter, other people need to move to adapt to the new you – William and Kate were never going to do that.

  2. Eulalia says:

    I feel sorry for Charlotte, that little girl is never going to have a healthy view of herself or functional relationships with other women with a mother like Kate.

    • Florence says:

      Yep, agree. And the grandmother… grim.

    • Mumbles says:

      Anne seems to have done fine and it couldn’t have been great being the only daughter of a working monarch. Sarah Chatto seems to have had a happy life too and Margaret’s life was a hot mess.

      The point about Kate not having many friends beyond the ones she had before she was married – and the ones cited were married to friends of William – shows that this is how she’s wired. It’s probably how she was raised. She didn’t pick out Meghan to snub. It doesn’t look like she’s particularly friendly with the Yorks or Zara. I’d be curious as to whether she was friendly with Harry’s other girlfriends. My guess is no.

      • A says:

        I don’t think Anne did all that fine, actually. She gets lauded as the tough girl, but no one seems to realize that she’s had to be tough her whole life to make it in this family. She keeps her life very private, but I don’t think that means she doesn’t have issues either.

        Same with Sarah Chatto, who benefited greatly from not being in the public eye at all. She never had these hang ups, likely because her role in life was clearly defined, unlike that of her mother, who struggled to find a place for herself. Plus, Princess Margaret always tried her best to be a good mother.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Yeah no kidding. Charlotte will be raises to be the new Harry. But she will have the complication of being a girl with Kate and Mummy Grim as role models. Not gonna be great.

      • Lauren says:

        Eh, I think Louis will be the new Harry. He’s the spare boy, whereas Charlotte is the only princess in the next generation (so far anyways – I have a feeling another baby might happen after all this stuff has come out).

    • SpankFD says:


      For example, Kate’s expression – in the top photo – is priceless…”I’m the thinnest – I win!” She is complicit in her own constraints.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      I hate to say it, but I don’t think there’s much hope for any of the Cambridge kids to escape the nasty dynamics of the royal family. Even without the Windsors as a a major influence, there’s the royal- and nobility-obsessed Middletons who are dysfunctional in their own way.

  3. MaryContrary says:

    I’m almost done with the book-and Kate’s presence is almost nil. The authors make a point of saying they really had nothing in common, and that Kate and William made no effort to try and include them in their lives. There’s no dramatic “fight”, it just sounds like Kate could never really be bothered. Harry comes across as being disappointed that their families weren’t close-and that was something he’d always dreamed of-but that they were leading separate lives from the get go.

    • Imogene says:

      Agree – that is my takeaway from the book too. I think Meghan hoped that they would bond and made an effort but Kate just simply did not feel like bothering so she didn’t. I could see how that coldness + KP’s refusal to combat fake negative stories that directly put Meg and Kate in conflict was what soured things. I also think Kate was uber jealous of Meghan and that probably led to some of the coldness and resentment. She’s a small woman.

    • Becks1 says:

      “could never really be bothered” is a good way to put it.

      Meghan comes across in the book like someone who is constantly reaching out and always making connections, and those connections often turn into friends. It’s a very different vibe than Kate gives off, and not just because Kate is “guarded.”

      • Lizzie says:

        “could never really be bothered unless there was a photographer around”

      • Hope says:

        Kate lives off her status as William’s SO. Other people are suppose to reach out to her and kiss her rear end and make her feel important. Pippa is her sister and can make friends with that crowd while Kate is always on the outskirts. I wonder if she’ll feel it was all worth it when she finally becomes Queen.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    I do believe there was some jealousy coming from Kate. Meghan’s presence meant Kate lost Harry’s “attention”. But what is not being said is fact that Kate has never had a black friend. I think Kate being guarded was partly because Meghan was black.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Yes and guarded I am guessing as a polite word to use for it.

    • Lizzie says:

      And a Meghan was getting a lot of media attention – that is what burned Kate.

    • Lizzie says:

      Per Tatler Kate was afraid of comparisons to beatiful and charming Meghan.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      I have no doubt that was a part of her lack of interest. She probably heard Meghan’s racial background and immediately dismissed her as a fling, like the rest of the royal family.

  5. Princess Peach says:

    It’s interesting that Harry was looking for a woman who could make him a better man and William clearly wanted someone who would fall in line with his bitchery.

    • Anance says:

      If Will had wanted Kate to be friendly to Meghan, she would have been. Shopping trips, country outings, joint appearances. But he didn’t, so she wasn’t.

      I cut Kate a break more than most. To me, she just appears to be a vessel for her mother’s ambitions, obsessed with pleasing William, very passive.

      Kate climbed a mountain to get that ring – “never putting a foot wrong” – may be code for blending into the woodwork. Her development as an adult may have ended at 19 or 20 when she got involved with W.

      Between mom’s ambitions, the courtiers’ requirements, and Will’s needs, there’s not much there. Maybe the pleasures of motherhood, but I wonder how hands-on she really is.

      While she may keep competitive women away from her, that’s just the result of the previous conditions. At this point, there’s not much to her, so she protects herself from comparisons that hurt her OR that W might not like.

      • Nic919 says:

        She was a tag along for a lot of it but her behaviour at the commonwealth service can’t be excused. She was actively bitchy to them in a way that even William did not do. That’s on her.

      • Anance says:

        Nic — I thought so, too. But like Sophie vs Edward, maybe she felt more insecure than William.

        One pays a high price marrying into that family. The luxury and status are beyond compare, esp. Kate’s. But, the price…I guess it takes a particular personality to blend in.

      • A says:

        I think it’s a combination of a few things. If she was jealous, it’s understandable, but I also think she felt threatened, not for her own self, but for the popularity that Harry and Meghan generated from the public.

        I think she sees the writing on the wall as far as the hierarchy in the royal family goes. She ranks below the born-in royals, but as a couple, with William, her and her image matters to the staffers a great deal. I think she felt threatened by Meghan because Meghan upended that hierarchy. She’s cool with playing second fiddle to William, or even Harry, but not Meghan. Her expectation was that Meghan would defer the attention to her, as the senior married-in, especially since Meghan wasn’t even an aristocrat like Kate feared. And when that didn’t happen, Kate didn’t care for it.

    • Hope says:

      William’s main motivation is control. Everything, including his snobbery and Tory leanings can be explained through that.

  6. AnnaKist says:

    Why would she show any interest in meeting anyone who would usurp her as Harry’s “best” female friend and confidante at that time? Bill was off working half-days amd playing with big metal toys like helicopters and air ambulances in those days,so she was hanging our with Garry a lot. I remember the press saying then how close they were. I just hope harry and Meghan survive all this.

    • GuestWho says:

      I don’t believe that they were ever that close. There are articles going back to at least 2013 about how intrusive she was in his personal life and how much he resented it – and that everybody was uncomfortable with her obvious flirting with him in public. Over the years, he’s made several remarks that would lead people to believe that they , in fact, didn’t spend time together. I think he was respectful of her as his brother’s wife (something he never got back in return), and was kind and gregarious to her at engagements. She was never his confidante – he was just nice to her, as he is with most people.

      But, yes, she was never going to be nice to someone who was dating her pretend boyfriend.

      • Ginger says:

        I agree with you 100%. I never bought that they were close or that Kate has ANY influence on his life. Harry is a strong man and is capable of making his own decisions. He was kind to her at engagements because her own husband ignored her.

  7. Kalana says:

    Kate is friendly towards people who can do something for her and her immediate family. That’s it. It’s partly why her charity work record is so lacking. She gained more from the rewears and budget plane stunts than befriending Meghan. So she stayed cold.

    • Meg says:

      Oh wow i bet youre right about the charity work

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Yup, and I’d add the aristocrats as the third and final group she’s friendly towards. Partially because they’re William’s friends and partially because she and her sister have always been desperate to be a part of that crowd.

  8. lanne says:

    Its such a lost opportunity for Kate. Meghan would have been the one woman on planet earth who would have understood her position. Kate’s precedance over Meghan was already established; she could already be assured she would remain Queen Bee. She has lost the chance at developing perhaps the only real friend she has ever had in Meghan. It wouldn’t be too difficult to craft a narrative where Kate is the “traditional English Queen to be” and Meghan is the progessive symbol of inclusion. That narrative could have played to Meghan’s strengths and covered Kate’s weaknesses. Meghan could have even helped Kate with her public speaking, and Kate could have helped Meghan fit in with the courtiers. It took so, so little for Kate to benefit from Meghan’s presence. She could have cooed over Archie in public. put her foot down and said no to the plane stunt. Worn something from Meghan’s collection, or had a picture taken making a recipe from the cookbook. Don’t they have any competent PR people there? They could have kept the RF going in the tough times ahead by standing up for each other, and completely rejecting the idea that women have to be rivals.

    Kate couldn’t come up with this on her own? I think I have given her more credit in the past than she deserves. Is she really this shallow, so insecure, so short-sighted? William clearly is. I guess he and Kate deserve each other. A couple of absolute nobodies with no passions, no interests, no empathy, and no curiosity who believe they deserve their positions due to the sheer accident of their births. Dum dums, both of them. The royal family doesn’t deserve the Sussexes.

    • Lizzie says:

      You nailed it. The Cambridges are so shortsighted. The Sussex’s have never smeared them in the media in all this time. Can they say that about anyone else in the RF? Nope. THe Sussex would have been their best ally’s and staunchest defenders.

    • Izzy says:

      This. I said previously that this entire family, and W&K in particular, could have with only a few symbolic gestures and shows of support, ridden a huge wave on the coattails of M&H and they would have looked SO much better for it. Just tagging along on a couple of the Sussexes initiatives would have made the Keenbridges look less lazy. It would have been a win-win.

    • Blueskies says:

      Superb comment, Lanne. It all should have been a foregone conclusion that they would seek the positive and possibilities in all this. Alas.

  9. Becks1 says:

    Its one thing for Kate to have been guarded when she first met Meghan, but after they got engaged and then married – yeah, she should have reached out more. Even if they weren’t super close, even if they had nothing in common – Kate should have reached out and offered support, and its clear she didn’t. Was it laziness, bitchiness, lack of empathy or some combination of all three – I dunno – but it doesn’t reflect well on her as a person.

  10. Jay says:

    Trying not to repeat myself here, but I think it’s telling of the family’s attitude in general that Kate didn’t bother to meet with Meghan, didn’t take her seriously. Maybe they all assumed it was a fling that would fizzle out, surely this divorced biracial American couldn’t be WIFE material (clutching pearls).

    Forget from a family point of view (being interested enough to meet the woman who makes so Harry happy), but from a strictly work- related perspective: This is the person who you might have to sit next to, do events with, and (likely) be constantly compared with? I know I’d be chomping at the bit to meet her.

    Either Kate didn’t take it seriously (it hadn’t been a decade long courtship, after all) or it was a subtle hint to slow it down (like, sure, I’ll meet her if she comes for Christmas next year, what’s the rush?)

  11. Rae says:

    I agree. The duchess battle narrative was the result of the age old tabloid/society crunch of stereotyping women as always being jealous and competitive ones who get into Cat fights.

    However, it is clear (and has been to anyone that has followed this for the past couple of years) they were never going to be buddies.

  12. AprilMay says:

    I’ve read the entire book and there’s literally no mention of competition between the two whatsoever. Kate’s barely mentioned. Pretty much every story on the two of them in it has been covered.
    They had nothing in common, two very different people who didn’t have any problems with each other. They were polite but slightly awkward when they did meet. And that’s it.

  13. Abena Asantewaa says:

    I am on Chpt23. I really enjoyed reading FF. Omid was quite fair towards William, so I don’t know what the media and the RF were panicking about, so much so that they started villifying The Sussexes and Omid. It makes me think, Omid spared them the bombshell, and that what went on was nastier than this. Meghan has really suffered, thereby traumatising Harry, it’s such a sad book, but somehow, The Sussexes can move forward, and put all this behind them. Tomorrow is another day, the only way is UP. No situation is permanent.

    • A says:

      I think the book was about setting the record straight from the Sussex’s point of view, rather than lobbing any bombshells against anyone. We’ll probably get a bunch of those in the upcoming decades, especially wrt William’s affairs, the Cambridge marriage, William and Harry’s relationship, and the actual truth about what Andrew got up to with Epstein, and how the Queen, the palace aides, and the govt of the UK conspired to protect him from being charged, time and time again.

  14. Vanessa says:

    Kate was never ever going to be kind to Meghan she and her mother saw Meghan as a competition a threat to kate status as the queen bee the young married in bride . Kate absolutely love being the center of attention the darlings of the royal reporters and the only woman in Harry life she love flirty with him during events her behavior towards Harry was very disgusting overly aggressive flirty with her brother in law . She didn’t give damn about the press writing about her behavior toward Harry she love every minute of it .

  15. yinyang says:

    “kate never showed much interest in meeting meghan” Yeah, I was confused about this too. It’s almost like she was insulting their relationship and acting like it was petty and temporary. That’s when my respect for her really started to diminish. You judge a person by how they treat those that society views as equal or beneath you, Kate didn’t pass this test.

  16. Lizzie says:

    Does anyone else remember the daily fail comparing thier clothes and makeup everyday? Kate, every single day, dressed like an English rose and wore demure makeup. Everyday Meghan wore too much Hollywood bronzer and dressed too flashy. UGH, I hated those article.

  17. Mariane says:

    I worry about how Charlotte will grow up becoming insecure and guarded around other women just like her mother. Its sad that kate felt threatened by Meghan instead of seeing it as a bonding opportunity particularly after how harry treated her and not using it to show others shes an alpha that looks after her close relatives.
    I admit we’re expecting too much from her and that she might not be as powerful, but as the mother of a future king she surely had an influence over the courtiers to get them to back off from leaking or at least bothered to refute the “Meghan made Kate cry” stories. She lost a big opportunity and credibility as a spokesperson on new mother’s mental health and anti bullying. Nothing they do would erase that damage