MEGHAN MARKLE and Kate Middleton were meant to be “best friends”, according to a body language expert, but things didn’t quite turn out that way. Judi James weighed in on the tricky royal relationship.
As some of the most famous sisters-in-law on the planet, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton’s relationship has been in the interest of royal fans from the offset. Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Judi James about why the world wanted them to be bosom buddies – and when their dynamic turned from “cool” to “frosty”.
Judi told Express.co.uk: “There is always an unrealistic expectation in the royal family that sisters-in-law will be instantly compatible and become the tightest of friends – the notion never applies to royal brothers-in-law. “Was Armstrong Jones forced to sit grinning with Prince Philip at sporting events like Kate and Meghan at Wimbledon? Does anyone know or care if Jack and Eduardo enjoy dressing in similar suits or sharing baby tips?”
But why was the world so keen on the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex being close? Judi added: “Sadly the Diana/Fergie friendship probably fuelled this assumption that sisters-in-law should be seen as best friends and even dress like a matching pair. “So when Meghan and Kate first took to the stage together as part of the ‘Fab Four’ launch the women were dressed and presented in similar styles to suggest compatibility and to focus on shared traits, almost as though they were sisters rather than in-laws.” But, according to the expert, their similarities were limited to their blue outfits.
Judi claimed that this first public appearance of the ‘Fab Four’ was “where we began to see what looked like the first suggestion of polite coolness between the two women”. “Kate was pregnant (and possibly suffering from morning sickness) and sitting back in her chair on stage, clearly used to working at the rather slow, careful rate the royals favour when it came to her campaign and to adopt the PDA-free approach to her royal marriage.” Meghan, conversely, “hit the ground running”, displaying a sense of “energy, urgency and obvious passion”.
“The dresses might have been similar but it was pretty obvious the two women had very different personalities and approach to the job,” Judi claimed. And despite the group banding together to tackle their charitable ambitions, this interview showed Prince William and Harry’s rift for the first time – “and suddenly we had two teams rather than one on the stage”. The following summer, the Duchesses attended a polo match in which their husbands were competing for charity.
And while the public may have expected photos to emerge of the mothers gushing and playing together with their children, no such photos were released. Instead, Meghan and Archie appeared quite separate from Kate and her children, the expert suggested. She continued: “It is possible the moment happened but was never used because the fans’ obsession was all about a rift between the two women. “Or maybe it never happened, which would have meant quite high levels of coolness.”
The dynamic turned “frosty” when Harry and Meghan attended their final public appearance as working members of the Royal Family. Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – the former ‘Fab Four’ – all attended the Commonwealth Day Service on March 9, 2020. Judi claimed that this event shows that Harry and William “had gone beyond the stage of trying to pretend they were still friendly or even civil”. But how did this affect Kate and Meghan?
“Meghan did seem to smile and nod to acknowledge Kate,” Judi said. As for Kate’s response, the expert revealed that it’s difficult to tell exactly how the Duchess reacted, as her head was turned away from the cameras. However, Judi noted that Meghan’s smile “did seem to drop quickly”, which suggests that perhaps she was not met with the “mirrored response” of a friendly grin from Kate.
“While Meghan battled to maintain a sense of smiling continuity Harry seemed to adopt a haunted and reflective eye expression that was still visible as he and his wife walked out behind a rather cool-looking William and Kate.” The younger brother only seemed to “relax and energise” when Prince William and Kate had left in their limo.