One of my few beefs with Prince Harry in Spare is that I think he was pretty slow to recognize that Prince William and Kate were deeply unsettled by Meghan throughout Meg and Harry’s courtship and engagement. He was sort of in denial about it, believing that everything would work out in the end and his brother and sister-in-law would treat his girlfriend and fiancee with respect and love. When really, W&K were constantly signaling that they hated the fact that Harry was with a beautiful biracial American actress and they were looking for reasons to “put Meghan in her place” or stop the wedding in some way. So, after Will & Kate were constantly negging Meghan and being giant mean girls, the wedding finally happened and everything was fine. Except it wasn’t. The two couples scheduled their first “summit” to hash out their differences in June 2018. This was Meghan’s first-ever visit to the Cambridges’ apartment in Kensington Palace (which is notable because, as I said before, Will and Kate weren’t inviting Harry and Meghan over before the wedding). This is where the infamous “baby brain” conversation happened, but previously, we only had the hacky translation of this section. Here are Harry’s actual words. Highlights from Spare:
Meghan’s first trip to KP: Willy and Kate invited us for tea. To clear the air. June 2018. We walked over one late afternoon. I saw Meg’s eyes widen as we entered their front door, walked past their front sitting room, down their hallway, into their study. The wallpaper, the crown molding, the walnut bookshelves lined with color-coordinated volumes, the priceless art. Gorgeous. Like a museum. And we both told them so. We complimented them lavishly on their renovation, though we also thought sheepishly of our IKEA lamps, our discount sofa recently bought on sale, with Meg’s credit card, from sofa.com.
Kate’s fashion contacts: Meg then acknowledged the tension among the four of us and ventured that it might go back to those early days when she’d first joined the family—a misunderstanding that had almost passed without notice. Kate thought Meg had wanted her fashion contacts. But Meg had her own. They’d got off on the wrong foot perhaps? And then, Meg added, everything got magnified by the wedding, and those infernal bridesmaids’ dresses.
Easter presents: But it turned out there were other things…about which we’d been unaware. Willy and Kate were apparently upset that we hadn’t given them Easter presents. Easter presents? Was that a thing? Willy and I had never exchanged Easter presents. Pa always made a big deal about Easter, sure, but that was Pa. Still, if Willy and Kate were upset, we apologized.
Wedding seating: For our part, we chipped in that we weren’t too pleased when Willy and Kate switched place cards and changed seats at our wedding. We’d followed the American tradition, placing couples next to each other, but Willy and Kate didn’t like that tradition, so their table was the only one where spouses were apart. They insisted it wasn’t them, it was someone else. And they said we’d done the same thing at Pippa’s wedding. We hadn’t. Much as we’d wanted to. We’d been separated by a huge flower arrangement between us, and though we’d desperately wanted to sit together, we hadn’t done a thing about it.
Baby brain: Kate looked out into the garden, gripping the edges of the leather so tightly that her fingers were white, and said she was owed an apology. Meg asked: For what? You hurt my feelings, Meghan. When? Please tell me. I told you I couldn’t remember something and you said it was my hormones. What are you talking about? Kate mentioned a phone call in which they’d discussed the timing of wedding rehearsals. Meg said: Oh, yes! I remember: You couldn’t remember something, and I said it’s not a big deal, it’s baby brain. Because you’d just had a baby. It’s hormones. Kate’s eyes widened: Yes. You talked about my hormones. We’re not close enough for you to talk about my hormones! Meg’s eyes got wide too. She looked genuinely confused. I’m sorry I talked about your hormones. That’s just how I talk with my girlfriends.
Peg’s finger: Willy pointed at Meg. It’s rude, Meghan. It’s not what’s done here in Britain. Kindly take your finger out of my face. Meg said she’d never intentionally do anything to hurt Kate, and if she ever did, she asked Kate to please just let her know so it wouldn’t happen again.
[From Spare by Prince Harry]
The fashion contacts thing is so funny – it’s now clear that Kate was probably severely irritated that Meghan did have her own fashion contacts and her own style, and Kate was desperate to copy Meghan at every turn. This is exactly when Kate started copykeening Meghan too, wearing trousers and blazers like Meghan and copykeening Meghan’s feminine, professional, modern style. It’s also funny that Meghan brought it up and not Kate.
As for Kate’s baby brain… she was upset with Meghan long before that offhand comment. It’s as I originally thought too, Meghan said it in a sympathetic manner, as in “don’t stress, it’s no big deal, you just had a baby, you’re going to forget things.” The fact that Kate turned it into this ridiculous tantrum is appalling. And William backed up Kate and stuck his finger in Meghan’s face? William and Kate are so crass. And that was the larger problem – Meghan’s behavior throughout was dignified, classy, eloquent, direct, generous. She made Will and Kate look like what they are: petty, insolent, immature trash.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, WENN and Instar.