Kate Middleton was dignified today as she carried on with royal duties in a public appearance hours after Meghan Markle claimed the two women had a tearful confrontation days before the royal wedding.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, who is currently living at her Norfolk home of Anmer Hall with Prince William, 38, and their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, spoke with Jasmine Harrison, 21, from Yorkshire, who became the youngest woman to row solo across an ocean last month.
The video of the Duchess’ call was released mere hours after her sister-in-law Meghan, 39, claimed Kate made her cry when the two clashed at a bridesmaids fitting shortly before she married
Reports of the bitter feud between the duchesses first emerged in November 2018, when sources claimed Meghan had been left displeased with the ‘stressful’ fitting.
Dignified Kate Middleton, 39, carried on with royal duties in the fall-out from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey as she marked International Women’s Day
The Duchess of Cambridge spoke with Jasmine Harrison, 21, who is the youngest woman to row solo across an ocean by video call
In a clip released earlier today, the mother-of-three selected an £80 baby pink pussybow blouse from British brand Boden as she took part in the video call.
The Duchess could be seen beaming throughout the video, sweeping her hair back into a half-up do to reveal a pair of pink drop earrings.
Jasmine completed the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in 70 days, three hours and 48 minutes.
In a phone conversation with Kate released to coincide with International Women’s Day, the Yorkshirewoman expressed hope her efforts would shift perceptions for ‘people that think that something can’t be done and it can be’.
Earlier today, the Duchess of Sussex claimed Kate made her cry days before she married Prince Harry , 36
‘I would like to change male perspectives on females.
‘It’s not about women believing they can do something because we can, we kind of know that (we can) already.’
Kate pressed Jasmine on how it felt to be at sea alone for 70 days, and asked how the 21-year-old had coped with the mental health challenges of the effort.
She said: ‘To be in the peace of the ocean for so many days, you get to appreciate the world we live in in a way we can’t when life is busy.’
Asking about Jasmine’s inspirational effort, Kate said: ‘You’re inspiring loads of other women and young girls to follow in your footsteps.’
The Duchess, who is currently believed to be living in Norfolk, wore a soft baby pink pussybow blouse for the occasion
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The fundraiser said it was ‘time’ that she was able to change the opinion of a 50-year-old man regarding the strength of women.
The duchess commended her, saying: ‘Your achievement has made massive progress in helping to change that perception, so if nothing else it’s given a huge door opener to so many other young women with that idea (that) with determination, with bravery and confidence so much is really achievable, so a huge well done.’
The royal wished Ms Harrison well for a safe flight back and drew a laugh when she said she hoped ‘you enjoy seeing your doggies back in Yorkshire’.
It comes after Kate’s sister-in-law Meghan told the world the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry days before the wedding.
Jasmine, who set a new world record for the youngest female solo rower to row any ocean last month, was commended by the Duchess as ‘inspiring’
The infamous row with Prince William’s wife made headlines around the world after a supposed falling out over dresses for the flower girls.
Accounts differ as to whether the cause of the row was a disagreement on whether the bridesmaids should wear tights – Meghan reportedly believed they should not – or whether it stemmed from Princess Charlotte’s dress not fitting.
A source said at the time: ‘Kate had only just given birth to her third child, Prince Louis, and was feeling quite emotional.’
Meghan was also asked about a memorable joint-outing to Wimbledon in July 2019, where the pair put on a united front and were pictured laughing together.
During the interview she appeared to cast doubt on the authenticity of that seemingly affable appearance, saying: ‘Nothing is what it looks like’.
The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte and other bridesmaids arriving at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in May 2018
Harry and Meghan claim they secretly got married three days BEFORE their royal wedding
In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, revealed they held a private ‘union’ in their backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury and no other guests.
Meghan said ‘no one knew’ about the secret ceremony, in which the pair shared personal vows for ‘just the two of us’.
The couple say the private union took place three days before their much publicized
However rules on Church of England weddings are strict. They require at least two witnesses.
And, according to the church’s own rulebook, the public must have ‘unrestricted access’ to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for ‘valid objections against the marriage’.
Meanwhile, a couple who are already lawfully married cannot choose to re-marry each other, unless there is some doubt as to the validity of the earlier marriage.
It is not clear if the Archbishop of Canterbury – the head of the Church of England – can override any of the rules.
Speaking about the secret union, Meghan said: ‘You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that.’
Meghan went on to reveal that she and Harry phoned the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby – who performed the ceremony at their official wedding – and asked him to marry them in private days before the event that was watched by millions around the world.
‘We called the Archbishop and we just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us,’ she said.
Oprah asked Meghan: ‘Was there a situation where she (Kate) might have cried? Or she could have cried?’
But the Duchess of Sussex replied: ‘No, no. The reverse happened.
‘And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding.
‘And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.
‘And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.’
Meghan added that it was ‘shocking’ that the ‘reverse of that would be out in the world’.
She continued: ‘A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining – yes, the issue was correct – about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.
‘And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing whatever everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.’
Meghan also said: ‘It wasn’t a confrontation, and I actually think it’s… I don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.
‘What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do but that happened to me.
‘And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: ‘I know this didn’t happen. I don’t have to tell them what actually happened’.’
Meghan also said reports she had reduced the Duchess of Cambridge to tears were a ‘turning point.
The Duchess said ‘everyone in the institution knew that wasn’t true’ and she hoped Kate ‘would have wanted that to be corrected’, adding ‘she is a good person’.
Meghan was also asked whether a trip to watch tennis at Wimbledon with the Duchess of Cambridge was ‘what it looked like … helping you adjust’.
But the Duchess replied: ‘My understanding of the past four years is it’s nothing like what it looks like.’
Oprah then attempted to further probe into their relationship.
Referring to a day the pair spent together at Wimbledon at 2019, she asked: ‘Did you feel welcomed by everyone? It seemed like you and Kate at the Wimbledon game where you were going to watch a friend play tennis?’
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon in July 2019
‘Was it what it looked like? You are two sisters-in-law out there in the world, getting to know each other. Was she helping you, embracing you into the family, helping you?’
However Meghan appeared to dodge the question, saying: ‘My understanding and my experience of the past four years is it’s nothing like what it looks like.
‘It’s nothing like what it looks like. And I remember so often people within the firm would say, ‘Well, you can’t do this because it’ll look like that. You can’t’ so, even, ‘Can I go and have lunch with my friends?’. No, no, no. You’re oversaturated. You’re everywhere. It would be best for you to not go out to lunch with your friends.’
Meghan also revealed she and Harry were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before the formal ceremony.
The interview also saw Harry reveal that Charles ‘stopped taking my calls’ during the build-up to the announcement that he and Meghan were leaving the Royal Family.
Oprah asked ‘did you blindside the Queen?’ with the announcement they were leaving the family, but Harry replied: ‘No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.’
Asked where that story came from, Harry said he could ‘hazard a guess’ that it may have come ‘from within the institution’.
Asked by Oprah how they knew the Queen was not blindsided, Harry said while in Canada he had ‘three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls’.
He said Charles asked for him to put his plan ‘in writing’. Harry said he had to act for the wellbeing of himself, Meghan and Archie.
(From left) The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, in December 2018
Speaking about his father, Harry added: ‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, (and) Archie’s his grandson.
‘But at the same time – I will always love him – but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.
‘But they only know what they know, or what they’re told.’
Asked about his relationship with his older brother, Harry said: ‘I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together, we have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.’
Harry also said he felt ‘trapped’ while in the royal family, and his father and brother are also ‘trapped’.
The duchesses at war? How row over flowergirls led to claims of rift between Meghan and Kate before THAT day-out at Wimbledon
By Jack Elsom for MailOnline
Beaming beside each other before the gaze of the world’s media, it was a joint trip to Wimbledon in the summer of 2019 that appeared to all-but kill months-long speculation of a growing rift between Kate and Meghan.
To the crowds on central court that sweltering July day, the picture in the royal box was one of two sisters-in-law kindling a blossoming friendship.
That rosy perception has now been shattered after Meghan – asked by Oprah about the outing to SW19 with Kate – said that ‘nothing is what it looks like’.
Her comments reignited long-standing rumours of a tension between the duchesses that mirror their husband’s strained brotherhood.
Meghan Markle revealed that ‘nothing is what it looks like’ when probed about her seemingly affable Wimbledon outing with Kate Middleton
Signs that relations were beginning to fray came months after the royal wedding, when in November 2018 Harry and Meghan announced they would be uprooting from Kensington Palace and moving to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
Blame for the move – which also separated the Sussexes household – was quickly laid at the feet of the duchesses.
It raised eyebrows among royal watchers as the two couples had appeared to be firm friends, earning themselves the nickname the Fab Four after joint appearances.
A year earlier, Meghan had also paid tribute to Kate for welcoming her into the family.
‘Catherine has been absolutely amazing, as has William as well, you know, fantastic support,’ Meghan said in an interview to mark her engagement to Harry.
But reports of a rift between the duchesses persisted, including a bombshell article claiming Meghan had made Kate cry before the 2018 wedding.
Sources claimed that Kate was left in tears after Meghan was displeased with the bridesmaid dress fitting.
Accounts differed as to whether the row was about whether the flowergirls should wear tights, or if it was that Princess Charlotte’s dress did not fit.
But during the Oprah interview Meghan rubbished the reports – claiming instead it was Kate that made her cry.
‘The reverse happened,’ Meghan said. ‘I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone.
‘She was upset about something, she owned it, she brought me flowers and brought a note apologising.’
Meghan described the episode as a ‘turning point’ in her relationship with Kate.
But speculation of a feud reignited in December when rumours were abound the Cambridges would not be hosting the Sussexes at Anmer Hall over Christmas, after a ‘ghastly row’ the previous year.
Sources claimed that Kate had a quiet word with Meghan for reprimanding one of her staff, leading to the Duchess of Sussex complaining to Harry that she’d been ‘told off’.
However, a Kensington Palace spokesperson shot down the story saying: ‘This never happened.’
On Christmas Day, Kate and Meghan put on a united front as they chatted and smiled on the way to church.
Harry and Meghan were hosted by the Queen at Sandringham, while Kate and William stayed at their own home, Anmer Hall.
In June further cracks appeared to open up as Harry and Meghan split from The Royal Foundation they had with the Cambridges to set up their own charitable organisation.
The following month saw Meghan and Kate’s memorable Wimbledon appearance, where they were also joined by Pippa Middleton, to watch Meghan’s friend Serena Williams lose the ladies singles final.
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