Duchess of Cambridge grins and bears royal life despite rumours of Meghan rift

There has been much speculation recently about supposed tensions with Meghan – but Kate’s broad grin today was a megawatt one.

It’s been a similar story in a series of appearances by the Duchess of Cambridge in recent weeks.

And she brought a smile to the faces of troops and their families as she and William played Santa yesterday.

The couple delivered gifts to troops at RAF Akrotiri, home of the Cyprus Operations Support Unit, from loved ones back home who they met at a party at Kensington Palace the day before.

Squadron Leader Sarah Waghorn, whose 80-year-old dad David had met the royals at their party, said: “They said their parcel service ‘really was the royal mail’.” Ex-helicopter pilot William praised the 11,000 sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines deployed over the festive period in 30 operations across 35 countries.

He said: “From my time in uniform, Catherine and I both know a bit of what it feels like to balance your work commitments with your family life.

“You all put duty first. And so do your families. We know this isn’t easy.”

Scott Stewart, 33, a communications specialist from RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria, who spoke to the couple, said: “Kate said how time [with children] means so much, especially in the early years so it’s great to have them recognise the sacrifices we’re making.”

The couple’s own kids George, five, Charlotte, three, and seven-month-old Louis stayed back home – but George took a keen interest in the visit.

William told pilots in the sergeants’ mess: “I told him this morning we were going to see the pilots today, and he said, ‘If you see a ­helicopter can you take a picture?’”

William and Kate, both 36, later opened a recreation centre at the base. Spotting bright yellow sofas in the video room, William teased the troops: “Keep the pizza off the sofas!” Kate quipped to him: “You’re a nightmare with that!”

Kate has faced rumours of a rift with the Duchess of Sussex, fuelled by news that Meghan and Harry will no longer be moving next to William and Kate at Kensington Palace. It followed reports that Kate was left in tears at daughter Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting for Meghan’s wedding to Harry in May.

Last month, Kate was seen smiling broadly during a visit to a science lab in London, days after reports of a “ghastly row” with Meghan.

But as speculation continues, Kate just keeps smiling through.

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