Kate and Meghan’s friendship
Many of you have asked me my thoughts on this, and I’ve alluded to it a few times on the blog. But here I wanted to address the topic expressly: Kate and Meghan’s relationship.
I have never had in-laws, but I have had siblings of the men I date (though, randomly, I date a disproportionately large number of only children, which is another topic for another day). Some of them I click with instantly, and we’ve gone on to become close friends, some even staying close after their brother and I break up. Some of them I like, and we enjoy each other at family functions, but that’s about it. Some of them I simply tolerate (read: we would never have a relationship were it not for their brother). And I think everyone would say the same about the siblings of the people they date and later marry.
Expecting Kate and Meghan to meet, fall madly in love as friends, and be the epitome of a Royal friendship is, well, a fairytale in its own right. First of all, Kate is very guarded about who she lets into her very tight circle; even if she loved Meghan at first blush, it would take Meghan time to break down the walls of privacy Kate has built around her to shield herself for the past 16 or so years that she’s been with William. She, unlike Meghan, has very few close female friends, but those she does have she adores fiercely and has been friends with forever – most of them from before she ever met William. And Meghan, as wonderful as she is, needed time to be taken seriously by the Royal Family, seriously in the sense that she was the one, and that she was here to stay. It wasn’t so long ago, if you’ll remember, that Harry was a total playboy – so I think the entire Family was guarded at first, not wanting to fall in love with a potential future in-law until they realized, as Harry did, that she was the chosen one.
Sometimes friends just click upon meeting, and you just know you’re going to have a long, vibrant friendship. I remember meeting one of my best friends in 2011 and loving her energy so much that, within an hour of meeting her, I told her “I think you’re going to become one of my closest friends.” And, eight years later, I was right. Other times, it’s a slow simmer, and maybe even years into an acquaintanceship you look at the other person and say “Wow, you really are fantastic – I think we should take our friendship to the next level.” That has happened to me, too. Just like falling in love, becoming friends takes on different approaches with each individual friendship, and you can’t orchestrate it. It just happens as it happens.
On their face, Kate and Meghan really couldn’t be more different. First, they’re from two entirely different countries. They had massively different life experiences. Kate was raised in a very stable, traditional home, while Meghan was the child of divorce. Kate never really had a career to speak of and is a more “traditional” woman; Meghan is an outspoken feminist who had multiple careers before marrying Harry, ranging from a freelance calligrapher to an actress to a blogger to a fashion designer. Kate was still a teenager when she met William; Meghan didn’t meet Harry until she was nearly 35 and had a whole life’s worth of experiences under her belt – including a first marriage. When they met, Kate was already a mom of two; Meghan couldn’t relate to that yet. They’re, simply put, just different. So to throw them in this Royal fishbowl and expect them to coalesce perfectly is foolish thinking.
I think, if I’m a betting woman, that when they met, they were very cordial. Then, their partners began to have a falling out, and it stymied, in the beginning, any burgeoning friendship they could have had. As the brothers rowed, they stayed in their separate corners, obviously choosing their partners over anyone else. But, as Meghan moved to the U.K. in the fall of 2017 – and became neighbors with Kate – I am sure their burgeoning friendship rekindled. I am sure that Meghan asked Kate for advice on Royal life. On being a Royal wife. And, as she got engaged, I am sure that Kate was genuinely thrilled for her and for Harry – someone she has long considered a brother – and happy that he had found the love of his life. And, despite the media’s obsession with pitting them against one another, I think, slowly, a meaningful friendship began to develop.
I can only imagine their friendship went to new heights when Meghan became pregnant. Kate, by now a mother of three, likely had ample advice to offer in that category. And, after Meghan gave birth last May, it seems they are now closer than ever. They have finally found their common ground: Motherhood. (One might think their common ground might have been established when Meghan married into Royal life, but remember, being the wife of the heir is much different than being the wife of the spare.) I also think Harry and Meghan’s move out of Kensington Palace and into their own space only made Kate and Meghan’s friendship stronger. This way, they can run their own homes the way they see fit, and there is so much less tension from the misaligned living situation they were in when both couples were at KP together.
Moral of the story, especially after seeing Kate and Meghan together this summer? I think a friendship is blossoming and I think all is well. They get along. They are friendly. They are cordial. And I think their shared experience of motherhood will only make them closer. There is no rift. There is no drama. They are cool. It’s just the media that is obsessed with this narrative that simply isn’t true. Think of you and your in-laws again. Likely very few of you would say “oh yeah, my sister-in-law is my absolutely best friend.” Is she your friend? Do you like her? Do you have a common bond of being family? Sure. But is she your friendship soul mate? Very likely not, unless you hit the sister-in-law jackpot. And that’s okay. Just as it is okay for Kate and Meghan’s friendship to continue to develop, both as sisters-in-law, Royal mothers, and as friends.
Let’s no longer make trouble where trouble doesn’t exist. Let them live, everyone.