Was Meghan NFI* to Kate’s very in­ti­mate birth­day bash?

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Talk Of The Town -

IT SHOULD have been an oc­ca­sion for friends – and fam­ily – to cel­e­brate. But, in an­other ex­am­ple of what ap­pears to be the in­creas­ingly frosty re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Duchesses of Cam­bridge and Sus­sex, I can re­veal that Prince Harry and Meghan were ab­sent from Kate’s in­ti­mate birth­day party last week­end.

Kate cel­e­brated her 37th birth­day with a Sun­day lunch with Wil­liam and close friends at An­mer Hall, their Nor­folk coun­try home near San­dring­ham.

Though An­mer has ten bed­rooms – plenty of room for guests – Harry and Meghan did not at­tend.

Over the years, some Royal ob­servers have waspishly suggested that Kate lacks any real fe­male friends.But she has sev­eral close al­lies who have re­mained re­mark­ably loyal over the years – and a hand­ful of them were at last week’s party.

One was Emilia Jar­dinePater­son, who played hockey with Kate at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege, and is a god­mother to Prince Ge­orge. When Kate and Wil­liam went through their brief split in 2007, Emilia took Kate on a girlie break to Ibiza. A dis­creet in­te­rior de­signer, Emilia re­port­edly helped the Roy­als re­dec­o­rate An­mer Hall and Kens­ing­ton Palace. Her hus­band David, who was also at the party, was at Eton with Wil­liam. An­other old friend at the lunch was Laura Meade, god­mother of Princess Char­lotte and a Nor­folk neigh­bour. Laura was an­other who helped Kate through the split with Wil­liam and is now one of her clos­est con­fi­dantes. Laura’s hus­band James ac­com­pa­nied her. The other cou­ple who joined Kate and Wil­liam were So­phie Carter, an­other Nor­folk chum, and her hus­band Robert. When So­phie mar­ried Robert last Septem­ber, Char­lotte and Prince Ge­orge were pages. So­phie has known Kate for many years, and they cel­e­brated the Duchess’s 31st in Paris. Let’s hope Meghan and Harry at least sent Kate a card!

That’s Not Flip­ping In­vited, in case you’re won­der­ing

THE PALS SHE DID IN­VITE: Above: Emilia Jar­dine-Pater­son, left, and Laura Meade. Be­low: So­phie Carter

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