Prince Harry’s relationship with Prince William isn’t the only dynamic that has changed over the years. The Duke of Sussex’s bond with his sister-in-law, Princess Kate, has gone through its own changes following his and Meghan Markle’s royal exit.
While Harry always had kind words for his sister-in-law — “I’ve known Kate for years, and it’s fantastic that she is becoming part of the family,” he gushed after William and Kate’s engagement in 2010 — their relationship grew rockier as he publicly spoke out about their estrangement.
As Harry and Meghan began to discuss their ups and downs with The Firm — first via a tell-all interview on CBS in March 2021 and again in their six-episode Netflix show — sources told Us that both William and Kate weren’t thrilled with the airing of dirty laundry.
“I think that the idea that Kate’s being dragged into this will be upsetting for Kate who behind the scenes has tried really hard to be a peacemaker between William and Harry,” royal expert Kate Nicholl added during an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2021. “She has been deeply saddened by the brothers’ falling out. Don’t forget she was incredibly close to Harry herself.”
Scroll through for more on Harry and Kate’s ups and downs:
As Kate and William’s relationship got more serious, Harry helped keep the future princess at ease as she watched her then-boyfriend in the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor.
Harry served as the best man at William and Kate’s April wedding, with the younger prince famously telling his brother that the bride looked “beautiful” as she made her way to the altar.
Harry and Kate were seen laughing together at several engagements, including at the Olympics and Thanksgiving service.
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Kate and Harry were seen giggling at Trooping the Colour.
The trio launched their Heads Together charity.
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Sources told Us that Meghan and Kate met for the first time in early 2017 after William was introduced to the California native in November 2016.
Meghan later recalled her first meeting with Kate. “Even when William and Kate came over and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, and I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot,” she said in the Netflix series. “I was a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.”
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The trio continued to do royal engagements together, making headlines in February after they competed against each other in a 50-meter race for charity in London.
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After news of Harry and Meghan’s engagement broke in November, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a statement that read: “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
Meghan briefly joined Harry, William and Kate’s previously established Royal Foundation. The foursome made their only appearance for the charity at a panel discussion about mental health in February.
While the group appeared to be in good spirits at the time, Meghan later hinted at backlash within The Firm after she brought up the #MeToo Movement and Time’s Up at the event.
“I didn’t know that that would be taboo to talk about,” she said during volume one of Harry & Meghan.
Leading up to Harry and Meghan’s wedding, reports surfaced that the actress and Kate argued over Charlotte’s dress. While the initial story stated that Meghan made the Duchess of Cambridge cry, the Duchess of Sussex has since alleged that the opposite happened.
As speculation about Harry and William’s relationship made waves, the Duke of Sussex went on a rare outing with Kate. The pair were seen laughing at the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey in April. That June, Harry and Meghan officially split their charity from William and Kate’s efforts.
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After news of Harry and Meghan’s exit broke, an insider told Us that Kate “wishes she could speak to Harry. She misses him and fears she’ll never be close to him again.”
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Harry and Kate saw each other with their spouses at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey — which marked the Sussexes last official royal engagement — in March. It appeared that the two couples didn’t talk to each other, and Harry later confirmed during an episode of Harry & Meghan that the outing was “cold.”
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Kate saw Harry again in September when he and Meghan attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. The two couples stepped out together to greet mourners who lined the streets of Windsor.
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After the release of Harry & Meghan, a source told Us: “Kate feels hurt and betrayed that Harry would do this to her too, especially as the pair used to be so close. »
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In his Spare memoir, Harry broke down his first impression of Kate before her wedding to William. « I liked his new girlfriend. She was carefree, sweet (and) kind. She’d done a gap year in Florence, knew about photography, art. And clothes. She loved clothes, » he wrote. « Her name was Kate. … I liked seeing Kate laugh. Better yet, I liked making her laugh. And I was quite good at it. » The BetterUp CIO continued: « I’ve always wanted a sister and now I’ve got one. I’ve known Kate for years, and it’s fantastic that she is becoming part of the family. »
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Harry revealed that he struggled with Kate and William’s wedding. « I recall Willy walking her back up the aisle, and as they disappeared through the door, into the carriage that would convey them to Buckingham Palace, into the eternal partnership they’d pledged, I recall thinking: ‘Goodbye,' » he wrote in Spare. « I loved my new sister-in-law, I felt she was more sister than in-law, the sister I’d never had and always wanted, and I was pleased that she’d forever be standing by Willy’s side. She was a good match for my older brother. »
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Though Harry was in attendance at Charles’ coronation in May, he didn’t interact with his brother or his sister-in-law. Months later, a source exclusively told Us that “Kate has no desire to communicate with Harry nor Meghan. There has been too much that has happened and she’s not ready yet.”