Royal Feud: A Timeline of Kate & Will's Reported Tension With Harry & Meghan

Nicole Pomarico | Mar 19, 2020 Celebrities
Royal Feud: A Timeline of Kate & Will's Reported Tension With Harry & Meghan
Image: PHIL HARRIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

A lot has been changing for the royal family over the last couple of years, and not all of it is good. In fact, for a long time now, there have been rumors of a feud that exists with Kate Middleton and Prince William on one side, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the other. We hate to see this once close family at odds with one another, and even though they have yet to confirm that there's actually bad blood between them, at this point, the reports just keep rolling in ... and it's starting to become hard to deny that there must be at least a little drama going on behind the scenes in this high-profile family. 

So when did this all begin?

A lot of the rumors can be traced all the way back to 2017, before Harry popped the question to Meghan, and they began living happily ever after as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Then, things got progressively worse as Meghan seemingly tried to inject more modern standards of life into the royal fam's outdated traditions -- especially after they welcomed baby Archie into the world. And by January 2020, when Meghan and Harry announced they were officially stepping down as senior members of the royal family, it all kind of snowballed from there. 

Read on for a full timeline of the feud between the Sussexes and the Cambridges. We may never officially know what's really going on in this family all these years -- unless someone releases a very juicy tell-all -- but in the meantime, we can attempt to piece together what might be going on based on the reports that just keep on making headlines.

  • Early 2017: William Reportedly Warned Harry About Meghan 

    Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
    Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

    This report came out a while after, but apparently, there was drama brewing behind the scenes before Harry and Meghan even got engaged. Apparently, William didn't think it was such a good idea for them to get engaged so quickly after they started dating, and Harry didn't want to hear it. A source told People that William "cautioned Harry that things were moving too quickly, leaving Harry angry and hurt." 

  • November 2017: Meghan & Harry Announce Their Engagement

    Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
    Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

    By November, it was official: Harry and Meghan were getting married. The announcement came via a royal tweet, and it confirmed that they were already planning to tie the knot the following spring -- these two wasted no time! It didn't take long before their engagement photos hit the internet, and at that point, there was no denying that another royal wedding was about to take place.

  • December 2017: Lack of a Warm Welcome

    Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry
    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Another behind-the-scenes tidbit that didn't come out until later: Apparently, the first Christmas after Harry and Meghan got engaged was a dramatic one for the family. As royal expert Katie Nicholl told Vanity Fair, in December 2017, Harry was feeling a bit bummed that William wasn't more welcoming to Meghan in the family. 

    "Harry felt William wasn’t rolling out the red carpet for Meghan and told him so," a source said. "They had a bit of a fall out which was only resolved when Charles stepped in and asked William to make an effort. That’s when the Cambridges invited the Sussexes to spend Christmas with them."

  • May 2018: Meghan & Harry Tie the Knot

    Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
    Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

    Just as Meghan and Harry promised, they did, in fact, end up getting married in the spring of 2018. On the big day, it seemed like everyone was getting along. Will and Harry seemed to be happy and celebrating together, and Kate was there, even though she had just given birth to Prince Louis a month earlier. Looking back, it would have been almost impossible to predict that feud rumors weren't far behind.

  • June 2018: First Reports Meghan & Kate Are Feuding

    Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle
    Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

    Just a month after Harry and Meghan got married, the rumors began. According to what a source told Us Weekly, Kate wasn't thrilled with the way Meghan was acting, and didn't want to keep giving her advice on royal life.

    "Meghan learned everything from Kate," the source said. "But since the wedding, Kate feels like Meghan has barely made any effort with her and is more interested in impressing [Queen Elizabeth]. She’s a nice person and doesn’t want to see Meghan fall flat on her face, but at the same time she’s cut back on giving her advice." 

  • December 2018: An Awkward Moment at Christmas 

    Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle
    Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

    By the holidays, drama was starting to ramp up big time. People who watched footage of the Cambridges and the Sussexes at Sandringham caught a moment where it looked like William was ignoring Meghan when she tried to get his attention as they walked through the crowds, which seemed a bit awkward. So much for the illusion of them all being one big happy family, right?

  • January 2019: Harry & William Reportedly Stop Speaking

    Prince Harry, Prince William
    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Things went downhill fast. After that awkward Christmas encounter, it was reported that William and Harry were barely speaking, which was definitely a big deal, being that they've always had a pretty close brotherly relationship. At the time, sources told The Sun that the rift between them was growing deeper, and at the same time, body language experts said that at Christmas, the way William and Harry had been behaving toward each other signaled something big going on. 

  • March 2019: Meghan Shakes Things Up by Being 'Difficult'

    Meghan Markle
    Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    Royal expert Anna Pasternak said that she felt that William thought Meghan was "difficult," especially because she was trying to push the royal family into adopting more modern policies and stepping away from tradition. 

    "I think that Prince William is very responsible, and as I said knows what his role is and Kate has come alongside and executed that extremely well," she said. "And I think it's quite difficult to have had Meghan, who have seems to want to modernize and set her own agenda, and you can't have it all."

  • August 2019: Reports of a Massive Fight Over Meghan 

    Prince William, Prince Harry
    Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

    By August 2019, reports surfaced claiming that this feud had been going on for a bit longer than some might have guessed -- including an incident involving a huge fight. Apparently, Harry lost it at William for not being accepting enough of Meghan ... all while she and Kate were both awkwardly sitting in the room, watching it happen. Reportedly, Kate tried to smooth it over by sending flowers, but it definitely sounded like a disaster.

  • October 2019: On Different Paths

    Prince Harry, Prince William
    TOBY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images

    In the documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, Harry addressed the feud rumors for the first time, admitting that he and William are on different paths but that they still love each other.

    "Inevitably stuff happens. But we're brothers, we'll always be brothers," he said. "We're certainly on different paths at the moment. I'll always be there for him and as I know, he'll always be there for me. We don't see each other as much as we used to because we're so busy but I love him dearly."

  • November 2019: Balcony Drama 

    Kate Middleton, Camilla, Queen Elizabeth
    Splash News

    During Remembrance Day in 2019, Kate and Meghan stood on separate balconies -- Meghan with Prince Edward's wife and Princess Anne's husband, while Kate stood on another one with Queen Elizabeth and Camilla. There were rumors that this was because they were feuding, but in reality, it was more like Kate was just following pecking order as a more senior member of the family.

  • December 2019: William Is Relieved Harry's Away For Christmas 

    Kate Middleton, Prince William
    Stephen Pond/Getty Images

    At the end of 2019, Meghan and Harry had announced that they were planning to take a break over the holidays, and that included Christmas. And according to reports, William was relieved that his brother and sister-in-law wouldn't be there that year. 

    "William's grown tired of Harry feeling sorry for himself," a source told In Touch, adding that Kate felt it was unfair that they didn't get out of their royal holiday obligations themselves.

  • December 2019: William & Charles Are Taken Aback

    Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Charles
    Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    After the documentary had aired everywhere, the royal family was taken aback by what Harry and Meghan had so openly shared in it, including William and Charles. 

    "There also seems to be a lot of bemusement within the royal family about what exactly Harry and Meghan are trying to achieve, as members of the royal family do not usually speak in such detail about personal matters," a source told E! News at the time. "It's fair to say that there is a deep sense of unease in the royal households about the direction this is all headed."

  • January 2020: Meghan & Harry's Big Announcement


    In January 2020, Meghan and Harry made a shocking announcement via a post on Instagram: They were stepping down from being senior members of the royal family. They wrote:

    "We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages."

  • The Royal Family Responds

    Queen Elizabeth
    Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

    Reports immediately rolled in that the royal family wasn't expecting Harry and Meghan to make this announcement, and when Queen Elizabeth shared a statement responding to the news. 

    "My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family," she said. "Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family."

  • Rumors of a Tell-All 

    Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
    DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Not long after Meghan and Harry announced they were stepping down, journalist Tom Bradby shared that he thought they'd choose to do a tell-all interview about their experiences in the royal family ... and it had the potential to be disastrous.

    "I suspect the royal family would carry British public opinion still -- perhaps only just -- but its international standing is a key part of its value to the British state. If that were to be tarnished, it could be very damaging indeed," he said. 

  • March 2020: Sibling Jealousy

    Prince Charles, Kate Middleton, Prince William
    Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Harry's relationship with his family seemed to take a dive after he broke off to start his own life, but that didn't mean he wasn't jealous that William and their father were getting closer. It sounded like the rift was starting to get to him. 

    "There’s a lot of growing commentary around the fact that Prince Harry is pretty isolated," royal expert Angela Mollard said on a royal podcast. "He’s with Meghan in Canada."

    • March 2020: Will & Harry's Relationship May Never Be the Same 

      Prince William, Prince Harry
      Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

      Lately, William and Harry's relationship has been deteriorating, and a source told People magazine that there was a good chance there was no coming back from the damage that had been done since they'd first started feuding. (It reportedly became worse after Harry stepped down.) 

      "They won't get back to the way they were. Harry is looking straight ahead at his future with his family," a source said, "He's not looking back." 

    • Kate Is Struggling

      Kate Middleton
      Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

      As a source close to the family told Vanity Fair, Meghan and Harry leaving the family was hard on Kate, who struggled with the fact that the close relationship she once had with them was no more.

      "To be honest, I think Kate has taken it all badly," the insider said. "She, Harry and William were once such a happy trio. She thinks what has happened is all very sad."

    • March 2020: A Not So Warm Welcome

      Prince William, Kate Middleton Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
      Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images

      When Meghan and Harry returned to the UK to finish out their royal obligations, they didn't exactly get a warm welcome from Kate and William. In fact, they barely acknowledged the Sussexes when they all reunited at the Commonwealth Day services, and it all seemed a bit weird. And for many, it was enough to confirm that all of these feud rumors over the past three years had been real. 


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