Saturday, 3 Jun 2023

Princess Kate and Meghan Markle walkabout took huge ’emotional toll’

Robert Jobson says Harry and Meghan are making a ‘mockery’ of the Royal Family

The walkabout carried out by Prince William, Kate, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, marked the first joint engagement of the former ‘Fab Four’ since before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal exit. It came amid reports of tensions between the couples and recent claims suggest the Princess of Wales found it particularly “difficult”. Royal commentators Christine Ross and Christina Garibaldi looked back on the solemn outing, noting the “emotional toll” it must have taken on the royals.

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Speaking on a recent episode of their podcast Royally Us, Ms Ross and Ms Garibaldi referenced the recent revelations made by royal author Robert Jobson.

In his newly-published book, Our King: Charles III: The Man and the Monarch Revealed, Mr Jobson claimed Princess Kate had a difficult time reuniting with Harry and Meghan following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Although at the time, the walkabout was seen as the estranged royals putting on a united front, Mr Jobson cited a source close to the Royal Family who said their cooperation was “all an illusion”.

The Princess “later admitted” that there was “ill feeling between the two couples,” making the joint walkabout “one of the hardest things she had ever had to do”, the source added.

Ms Garibaldi affirmed Mr Jobson’s claims, recognising the “emotional weight” of the public outing, which took place just two days after the Queen’s death.

“They’re mourning themselves,” she said. “We’ve heard that William and Kate both had a great relationship with her late Majesty the Queen. They were very close so I’m sure that was a devastating loss. And then they had to go out into public and put on a brave face, smile and meet these crowds of people.”

Noting the already “overwhelming” nature of royal events, she continued: “Then you have this additional element of personal discord between the two couples. I imagine that was so difficult, just the emotional toll, the emotional weight of that must have been really overwhelming.”

Ms Ross added: “It’s got to be such a weird out-of-body experience, I would imagine.”

The unexpected walkabout saw William, Kate, Harry and Meghan greet crowds of well-wishers outside the gates of Windsor Castle. They also spent time reading the tributes left for the late monarch who, as Ms Ross noted, was “loved by so many people”.

Ms Garibaldi considered the difficulty of maintaining composure under the circumstances, saying: “They absolutely could not have burst into tears like a normal person would do; they just weren’t afforded that, because they wouldn’t have been able to meet as many people as they had hoped to. I can imagine that that would have made it such a difficult experience also.”

Originally, it is understood that just William and Kate were expected to carry out the walkabout but according to reports, at the 11th hour, the Prince of Wales extended the invitation to his brother and sister-in-law.

Relations between the Waleses and the Sussexes were known to be icy at the time. Harry and Meghan, who had been visiting the UK for charity events by chance, reportedly had no plans to see members of the Royal Family before the Queen’s health deteriorated.

And now, new claims have suggested the relationship between the sisters-in-law was particularly frosty after Kate was forced to make a sacrifice for Meghan.

According to Mr Jobson, the Princess of Wales had “built-up resentment” towards the Duchess of Sussex after she was denied the chance to see the Queen one last time.

While several members of the Royal Family travelled to Balmoral to be in the company of the beloved monarch in her final moments, both Kate and Meghan stayed away.

However, in his new book, Mr Jobson claimed Kate “desperately” wanted to be there but was asked to remain in England to stop Meghan from travelling to Scotland.

“Harry was insisting Meghan travel with him to Scotland as the Queen’s life ebbed away but the King said it was only for the children and grandchildren to be with the Queen,” he wrote. “Privately, he wanted to say Meghan was not welcome but he couldn’t say that to Harry so he personally intervened and asked Kate to stay back so that it was fairer on Meghan.”

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He added: “Kate deliberately stayed away but she desperately wanted to be there with the Queen in her last moments. That’s eaten Kate up and has built up resentment towards Meghan.”

The so-called ‘Fab Four’ was last seen publicly at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

As it is understood, tensions were still running high and the deepening rift between the couples has been exacerbated by the Sussexes’ recent revelations, primarily in their documentary series on Netflix and Harry’s tell-all memoir.

In the book, titled Spare, the Duke of Sussex detailed his complicated relationship with his brother and suggested his wife and sister-in-law did not see eye-to-eye from the beginning.

While the upcoming Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will mark the first time the brothers have been seen in eight months, a reunion between Kate and Meghan is off the cards.

Last week, an official statement read: “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that the Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”

Royal commentator Dan Wootton took to Twitter to claim both Kate and William would be breathing a “sigh of relief” following the confirmation that Meghan will not be attending the Coronation of King Charles III, due to take place on May 6.

Referring to Tom Bower’s book Revenge in which the author claims a Palace aide overheard the late Queen saying: “Thank goodness Meghan isn’t coming,” when Harry announced his plan to attend Prince Philip’s funeral, Mr Wootton wrote: “Perhaps the late great Queen put it best when she said: ‘Thank goodness Meghan isn’t coming.’ Huge relief today from William and Kate in particular.”

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