Kate Mid­dle­ton and Meghan Markle put on a united front for Christ­mas, but not every­one is buy­ing it

In Touch (USA) - - Royals News -

They laughed. They chat­ted am­i­ca­bly. At one point, Meghan Markle even gave sis­ter-in-law Kate Mid­dle­ton a friendly pat on the back as they walked from San­dring­ham, the royal res­i­dence in Nor­folk, to St. Mary Mag­da­lene Church on Christ­mas Day, where a crowd of spec­ta­tors gath­ered to watch their in­ter­ac­tion amid ru­mors of a bit­ter feud. But the un­char­ac­ter­is­tic pub­lic dis­plays of af­fec­tion were mostly in­tended for one per­son: Queen El­iz­a­beth II, who (not-so­co­in­ci­den­tally) is­sued a call for unity in her tele­vised Christ­mas ad­dress that very same day. “Even with the most deeply held dif­fer­ences,” the monarch lec­tured, “treat­ing the other per­son with re­spect and as a fel­low hu­man be­ing is al­ways a good first step to­wards greater un­der­stand­ing.” But the com­pet­i­tive duchesses’ be­hav­ior wasn’t so much a first step to­ward un­der­stand­ing as a shrewd move. “The pair could’ve won an Os­car for their per­for­mance — they know full well how to put on a happy front for the cam­eras when it’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent story be­hind closed doors,” says an in­sider, not­ing that Kate, 36, and Meghan, 37, wanted to ap­pease their 92-year-old grand­mother-in-law fol­low­ing a slew of De­cem­ber re­ports of their frosty re­la­tion­ship, stem­ming from a sup­posed ar­gu­ment be­fore Meghan’s May wed­ding that left Kate in tears. “The queen has reached her limit over all the drama,” says the in­sider. “She des­per­ately wants them to make up — and grow up!”


Both women had been dread­ing spend­ing the hol­i­days to­gether. But the three days away in Nor­folk weren’t as bad as ei­ther had feared — es­pe­cially since they weren’t sleep­ing in the same quarters. While Kate, Prince Wil­liam, 36, and their three kids, Ge­orge, 5, Char­lotte, 3, and 8-month-old Louis, stayed at their ex­ten­sively re­mod­eled manor on the San­dring­ham Es­tate, An­mer Hall, they didn’t in­vite Prince Harry, 34, and preg­nant Meghan to stay with them as they did last year. In­stead, the new­ly­weds bunked in the cramped quarters of the queen’s main house. “It al­lowed both cou­ples to have some breath­ing space,” says the in­sider. “How­ever, there was no es­cap­ing each other dur­ing the day when all the roy­als gath­ered un­der one roof to cel­e­brate the fes­tiv­i­ties.” In those mo­ments, Meghan and Kate had to grin and bear it. “All hell would’ve bro­ken loose if they’d caused a scene or were caught giv­ing death stares at each other,” says an­other source. “They were forced to make po­lite con­ver­sa­tion.” But bad blood still boils be­neath the sur­face. “They’re com­plete op­po­sites,” says the in­sider, not­ing that re­served, peo­ple-pleaser Kate still bris­tles at the out­spo­ken Amer­i­can ac­tress’ at­ten­tion-seek­ing ways and diva at­ti­tude. “There will al­ways be some form of com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the two of them.”

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