These days, it’s an open secret that the relationship between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle is more than a bit chilly. In fact, it seems like Meghan has angered most of the Royal Family at some time or another. But things always seemed a bit more personal with Kate.
After all, Meghan likely longed to have a strong relationship with her sister-in-law. They might have even become as close as Prince William and Prince Harry once were. Sadly, it was not meant to be.
Among other things, this was because Meghan gave a terrible first impression to Kate. What did she do, though, and what other controversies ruined her relationship with Kate? Keep reading to find out!
Meeting the future queen when you’re not wearing shoes
Why do we suddenly have new info about how Meghan and Kate first met? This information comes to us courtesy of the Netflix documentary series Harry and Meghan. You might expect the title couple to make themselves look as good as possible throughout the series. However, Meghan in particular seems happy to deal out some self-deprecating dirt.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Meghan was very open about how weird it got when she first met Kate. “Even when Will and Kate [Middleton] came over and I was meeting her for the first time I remember I was in ripped jeans, I was barefoot, like, I was a hugger,” she said. “I have always been a hugger I didn’t realize that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.”
In retrospect, it’s a pretty funny mental image. Meghan had the casual dress and carefree attitude of an American celebrity. Because of that, she was probably always destined to clash with the more formal future Queen of England!
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Understanding Meghan’s faux pas
At this point, you might be as confused as Meghan first was. Is not wearing shoes and offering a hug really that big of a deal? When you’re in England, the answer to that question is generally “yes!”
For example, Great British Mag reports that keeping shoes on indoors is a kind of informal tradition. In fact, it’s even considered “a little bit eccentric and slightly rude” to ask someone else to take their shoes off when they visit your house. So, Meghan playing host and greeting her guests with bare feet would have been downright bonkers to the average Brit, much less someone like Kate Middleton.
What about hugging, though? Well, as explained by eDiplomat, “The British are not back slappers or touchers and generally do not display affection in public.” Furthermore, “Hugging, kissing and touching is usually reserved for family members and very close friends.”
So, Meghan trying to go for a hug when first meeting Kate would likely have been jarring to the future Queen. It’s not like Kate wouldn’t want to hug close friends and family, but at that point in the relationship, she and Meghan didn’t have that kind of bond.
Meghan also hints that she might have done or said some other things to offend her future sister-in-law. For example, she was surprised that the high degree of formality the Royal Family exhibited on cameras and in public didn’t suddenly go away once they got behind closed doors. This likely made meeting a touchy-feely, casual-dressed American that much weirder.
The crying controversy
Regardless of how that first meeting went, Meghan went on to marry Prince Harry. That meant she and Kate Middleton would spend a lot more time together. However, their relationship arguably began to unravel even before Meghan and Harry tied the knot.
Things began to get ugly shortly before the wedding. As Newsweek reports, there were early accounts that Meghan Markle had made Kate Middleton cry. The story goes that Meghan somehow made Kate burst out crying during a bridesmaid fitting.
By itself, this story might not have been a big deal (well, aside from the British press constantly out for Meghan’s blood). Emotions get a bit intense ahead of a wedding, after all! However, after Meghan and Harry stepped back from royal responsibilities and left England altogether, they eventually gave a tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey.
That interview was full of bombshell moments, including one where Meghan claimed the reverse was true: that it was actually Kate that made Meghan burst into tears! As for Kate, she has never personally clarified what happened, but it seems that Meghan dishing dirt to Oprah might have worsened the relationship.
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Their relationship gets even chillier
Because she’s the future Queen of England, directly commenting on her relationship with Meghan is a bit below Kate’s station. With that being said, some of her public interactions with Meghan help reveal that Kate is still not very pleased with her younger sister-in-law.
For example, when Harry and Meghan made a surprise drop-in at Windsor Castle in early 2022, neither Kate nor William (who was skiing at the time) decided to see them. During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, William and Kate seemed to avoid Harry and Meghan, and the two found themselves excluded from the balcony during the special Trooping of the Colour event. Most notably, during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, it appeared Kate was going out of her way to keep her distance from Meghan.
Maybe all this bad blood stems back from Meghan taking off her shoes before meeting Kate. If nothing else, keeping her shoes on might have made it harder for Meghan to put her foot in her mouth and making things worse for the Royal Family!