The many times Prince William has been frustrated with Meghan Markle
The alleged ongoing feud between Prince William and Prince Harry has been the subject of much tabloid speculation since late 2018 — just months after the ginger prince married wife Meghan Markle. For his part, Harry later said in ITV’s Harry & Meghan: An African Journey documentary that the “majority of the stuff” reported on his and William’s relationship is “created out of nothing,” but hinted at the two growing apart: “We’re certainly on different paths at the moment … As brothers you have good days, you have bad days.”
Still, tensions have only seemed to intensify the longer William and Meghan have been a part of each others’ lives, with several reports suggesting that William’s issues aren’t just with his younger bro, but with the Duchess of Sussex herself. And, as royal expert Katie Nicholl said in the TLC documentary, Kate V. Meghan: Princesses At War (via Fox News), Harry is “hugely protective” of his wife. So, does Meghan have a spot at the core of the royal brothers’ apparent issues?
From her insistence on intense privacy for her family to her candid honesty about the struggles she’s faced with the media since joining the royal family, there have been several occasions in which William has reportedly been less-than-pleased with his sister-in-law and her influence on The Firm. Here’s a guide to the many times Prince William has allegedly been frustrated with Meghan Markle.
Prince William was reportedly concerned over Prince Harry's whirlwind romance
Prince William’s alleged issues with Meghan Markle began soon after she became involved with the royal family, and reportedly stemmed from how quickly his brother, Prince Harry, was moving in the blossoming relationship. To recap, the ginger prince first met the former Suits actress on a blind date in July 2016, and was instantly smitten. By November 2017, the royal couple officially announced their engagement (however, the rumor mill claims they were already secretly engaged that summer).
As any royal fan knows, William took a very different approach to love, famously dating his now-wife, Kate Middleton, for eight years before they finally wed in 2011. The Duke of Cambridge was reportedly very worried about how fast Harry and Meghan’s romance was progressing — and, according to royal historian Robert Lacey (who literally wrote the book on the subject), this was supposedly the issue that kicked off the brothers’ feud.
In his 2020 book, Battle of Brothers: The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, Lacey recapped how William confronted Harry with his concerns by early 2017, noting that the latter didn’t respond well. “Harry could not help but wonder whether Wills was really concerned about his personal happiness — or whether he was, once again and as per usual, thinking about the makeup and fortunes of ‘the Firm’ whose boss he would become one day?” Lacey wrote (via People). “The response from Harry was a brusque and offended pushback.”
Did Prince William disapprove of the Sussexes' break with royal baby tradition?
When Meghan Markle joined the royal family in 2018, everyone in the Windsor clan did their best to be welcoming — at least publicly, if nothing else. By the time she and Prince Harry welcomed their son, Archie Harrison, the following May, however, cracks allegedly began to show. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have always been very protective of their privacy, but they took things to a new level when it came to their first child, even going so far as to have the Palace wait to that announce Meghan was in labor until after she already delivered the baby and returned home from the hospital.
This decision may seem understandable to us commoners, but Prince William was reportedly not at all pleased with his sister-in-law and brother’s decision to whisk their newborn away without giving the public a chance to see him first — a longstanding royal tradition that the Cambridges upheld after the births of their three children). In his Battle of Brothers book, royal historian Robert Lacey wrote (via Us Weekly) that Wills “did not think too highly of Harry and Meghan’s ‘prima donna’ maneuvers to conceal the birth of their son.”
Unlike several family members, including Queen Elizabeth, William and wife Kate Middleton reportedly waited a “full eight days” to visit the new parents and nephew Archie after he was born — which was reportedly motivated, at least in part, by William’s disapproval of the way the royal birth announcement was handled.
Prince William reportedly 'blames Meghan' for keeping Archie's christening private
After their son, Archie Harrison, was born, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle bucked another royal baby tradition by holding a super private christening for the newborn and keeping the identities of his godparents secret. Usually, royal christenings are public events and a chance for members of the public (and the press) to get to know the newest addition to the royal family — but the Sussexes opted for a very private, super small ceremony instead.
“The queen accepted Harry and Meghan’s decision to keep the event private,” a royal insider told Us Weekly of Archie’s christening in July 2019, adding that Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, reportedly “weren’t happy about it.”
The private christening came amid reports that Harry and Meghan had also opted against having any live-in staff at their Windsor residence, Frogmore Cottage. It was all reportedly part of the couple’s desire to give Archie as normal a childhood as possible, but William was alleged to have disagreed with the plan. “William thinks his brother is going overboard keeping Archie out of the spotlight,” the royal insider added to Us Weekly, even going so far as to claim that William “blames Meghan” for the issue.
Prince William and Prince Harry's 'showdown' over Meghan Markle guest-editing British Vogue
During her brief time as a senior working royal, Meghan Markle pushed the envelope of royal family expectations. In 2019, for example, Meghan guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue, much to the surprise of many royal fans. “More than anything, this issue is about the power of the collective,” she wrote in her editor’s letter for the “Forces for Change” issue (via GMA). “In identifying our personal strengths, it is anchored in the knowledge that we are even stronger together.”
Many were ecstatic about Meghan’s work with the iconic magazine, which touched on issues like mental health, female empowerment, race, and climate change, but she certainly wasn’t the first royal to guest-edit a magazine. Still, even with the likes of Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton previously landing similar gigs, the Duchess of Sussex received quite a bit of criticism for the seemingly controversial move, with naysayers considering the issue’s content “too political” to come from a member of the royal family.
According to royal historian Robert Lacey, Meghan’s brother-in-law, Prince William, was apparently among the critics of the issue. In Battle of Brothers, Lacey claimed (via the Mirror) that the royal brothers actually had a “showdown” over Meghan’s decision to guest-edit the issue (and the content that ended up in it). Noting that the details of the supposed fight are still unknown, Lacey wrote that it was “another classic Harry explosion, followed by a further, even deeper rift.”
Prince William reportedly felt blindsided by this candid Meghan Markle interview
In the fall of 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a royal tour of Africa with their son, Archie Harrison, in tow. In October of that year, ITV’s documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which included explosive interviews with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, premiered. In the documentary, Meghan spoke candidly with journalist Tom Bradby about her experiences in the royal family, admitting it had “really been a struggle” and that she was “not really okay.”
“I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper lip.’ I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging,” Meghan said during the headline-making interview (per People), later adding, “I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair and that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile.”
Harry’s brother, Prince William, was reportedly blindsided and upset by the couple’s interviews (in which Harry hinted at the brothers’ alleged tension), according to a royal source cited by R Online. “Saying what she said will enrage William,” the insider claimed. “He sees this and Meghan as all very damaging to the royal family — a family that one day he will be the head of.” According to OK!, BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond reported that royal insiders further alleged how William was “furious” about the interview and “let [Harry] know in no uncertain terms.”
Prince William was allegedly 'insulted' over Megxit
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their most shocking move yet in January 2020, when they announced their decision to resign from their royal duties. This stunned not just royal fans, but other members of the royal family, as well.
According to royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s book, Finding Freedom, the Sussexes reportedly sent a vague email about their plans to Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth just before Christmas 2019, and requested a face-to-face meeting to discuss the situation. When they were told they couldn’t have a meeting about the exit plan until late January, a source close to the ginger prince claimed (per an excerpt in Vanity Fair), “[Harry] felt like he was being blocked.” As news of the exit started to leak, Harry and Meghan confirmed the decision, allegedly without warning the rest of the royals.
According to a March 2020 report from the Daily Mail, Prince William reportedly took offense to how Harry and Meghan handled the royal exit — particularly when it came to the apparent lack of notice they gave the Queen. “William is said to feel insulted by his brother’s recent comments, including the stream of remarks on Harry and Meghan’s Sussex Royal website, which many have taken as implied criticisms of the Royal Family,” the outlet claimed. “William feels his brother has ‘disrespected’ the institution of the monarchy and–most woundingly of all–their grandmother the Queen.”
Prince William was reportedly unhappy when Finding Freedom came out
In August 2020, royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand published Finding Freedom, a book documenting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s highly-publicized royal exit. Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex never confirmed their participation in the book, many — including royal author Penny Junor – have speculated that the private details suggest the book must have been written with the couple’s cooperation.
In the weeks leading up to the controversial book’s release, Prince William was reported to be among those who believed Harry and Meghan had consented to the royal biography being written — and had possibly even participated in interviews for the book. “William thinks the book is [Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s] calculated way of controlling the narrative and that they took advantage of their entertainment contacts so they’d be painted in a favorable light,” a royal source claimed to Us Weekly of William’s alleged response to the title in July 2020.
In addition to reportedly seeing the book as a PR move, William was also said to be more upset with his brother than ever after reading excerpts. “Even before the book came out,” a second royal source alleged, “the bad blood between William and Harry was apparent, but it’s taken a whole new turn.”
How does Prince William feel about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's production deal with Netflix?
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to step back from their roles as full-time working royals, they made it clear one of their first goals was to achieve “financial independence” from the rest of the royal family. “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple explained in a statement on the Sussex Royal Instagram, while announcing their decision to resign from royal duties. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
Some questioned if the unprecedented move — and the independence the couple desired — was even possible, but in September 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex proved the skeptics wrong when they signed a massive production deal with Netflix that was reported to be worth as much as $240 million, per CNN. The deal marked a return to the entertainment industry for Meghan, but a major career shift for Harry.
When news of the deal broke, a TV insider told The Sun that Prince William reportedly hated the deal because of the streaming platform’s history with royal content. “William and other senior royals are incredibly uncomfortable about this drama and livid Harry is now in partnership with the company that’s airing it,” the source claimed.
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