Relations were said to be fraught between the princes’ wives from the inception of Meghan’s entry into the monarchy.
But one stand-offish episode at a charity polo match was a snapshot of Meghan and Kate’s ‘cordial but distant rapport,’ the book claimed.
The Duchesses put in a surprise appearance to watch Prince William and Prince Harry go head-to-head in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day, held in honour of late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on July 10 2019.
It marked the first time the Sussexes and the Cambridges had been seen together as families since Archie’s birth.
It was also a rare joint appearance for Meghan and Kate, who are typically only seen together at official engagements attended by the entire royal family, such as Trooping the Colour.
But their relationship had reportedly struggled to move past the distant politeness of when they first met, according to the new explosive biography.
‘While the doting mothers were photographed next to each other with their children, the two appeared to barely exchange a word,’ the authors penned.
The book went on to claim that the signs of the tense relationship between the woman derived from the main issue at play – the conflict between Prince Harry and the institution.
They wrote: ‘Harry likened his meetings throughout the week to standing in front of a firing squad. “There was a lot of finger pointing in both directions with things leaking,” an aide said. “It was all very unhealthy.”
The book claims the couples hardly spoke at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey despite not having seen each other since January – and that the Duchess of Cambridge snubbed Meghan during the Sussex’s final royal engagement.
Omid Scobie, who wrote the book, Finding Freedom, told The Times during the Commonwealth Day engagement: ‘Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, the duchess barely acknowledged her.
‘To purposefully snub your sister-in-law . . . I don’t think it left a great taste in the couple’s mouths.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was not part of the Queen’s procession through Westminster Abbey at the start of the Commonwealth Service as they made their final official appearance as senior royals on 9 March 2020.
Unlike the previous year, Harry and Meghan were conducted to their seats at the church in London, rather than waiting for the Queen’s arrival and walking through with the monarch and key royals as they did in March 2019.
The book claims the decision to remove them from the line up had been made ‘without their consultation’ – adding that they were informed long after the 2,000 orders of service had been printed for guests – with their names notably absent.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked in ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton – which marked the first public meeting of the two brothers and their wives since Megxit was announced two months prior – before Prince Charles and Camilla also arrived and the Queen then made an entrance to trumpet fanfare and cheers from crowds outside.
‘It felt intentional. “Harry was more than disappointed,” a friend said, speaking in the book. “He spoke up, but the damage had already been done.”
While the Cambridges took their seats at the same time as the Sussexes and the Earl and Countess of Wessex in a bid to ‘smooth things over’, the authors claim that the looks given indicated that the Cambridges were ‘unhappy’ with that decision.
They wrote: ‘While Harry and Meghan both greeted William and Kate with smiles, the Cambridges showed little response.
‘”Harry,” William nodded, ignoring Meghan. For the minutes before the Queen’s arrival, William and Kate sat with their backs to the couple, only turning around to chat with Prince Edward and Sophie, next to the Sussexes.’
They added that while Meghan ‘tried to make eye contact’ with Kate, the mother-of-three ‘barely acknowledged her.’