The royal tea in Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals is so lukewarm. It’s not that surprising – Nicholl made a name for herself in her early days as a de facto talking head on behalf of the Middletons. Nicholl would simply write whatever Kate, Carole and Pippa wanted her to write. Nicholl still keeps up with her Middleton connections, and I believe she also has sources within Kensington Palace’s staff operations too. All of which makes The New Royals very carefully written and, as I said, lukewarm. There’s also a lot of “the Queen thought this” and “the Queen didn’t understand that,” all from fussy old biddies who clutch their kerchiefs when a divorced woman comes into the room. Some highlights from the Daily Mail excerpt of The New Royals:
Kate hated Meghan on sight: There had been persistent rumours about tension between the Sussexes and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as Kate and William were then styled, from the earliest days of Harry’s relationship with Meghan. Harry had hoped that his sister- in-law, Kate, would show Meghan the way, that the two women would become friends. It seems, however, there was a coolness between them from the off – a ‘personality clash’ was how it was put to me by someone close to the Princess of Wales. Harry’s complaint was still more personal: that he didn’t truly have the endorsement he really craved from his brother and Kate, the ‘sister [he’d] always wanted’, as a source put it. William did have concerns, in fact – not least that his brother’s relationship with Meghan had progressed too quickly.
William “had reservations” about Meghan: ‘It’s probably a bit strong to say he didn’t like Meghan from the start, but William had reservations,’ confides one of the Prince’s oldest friends. ‘He was obviously happy for Harry but he was also cautious, as he always is about people getting close very quickly to his family.’
Queen Elizabeth hated Meghan’s white wedding gown: The wedding day was a great success, although the Queen had reservations about the pure white of Meghan’s Givenchy dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller. According to a source: ‘The Queen was surprised that Meghan wore pure white on her wedding day. Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but she believes if you’ve been married before, you wear off-white on your wedding day, which is what the Duchess of Cornwall did.’
The royal fast track: So anxious was the Queen to include her new daughter-in-law, in fact, that she put Meghan on a Royal ‘fast track’, granting her the patronages of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which she had held herself for 45 years and 33 years respectively. It amounted to a very public endorsement. In March 2019, she elevated the Duchess still further, appointing her vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to work alongside Harry, who was already serving as its president.
Jealous Peggington: These were plum roles for the Sussexes, so significant they made William ‘slightly jealous’, according to one source. ‘[The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust job] was a role William had rather fancied for himself,’ said the insider.
Frogmore Cottage: When Harry and Meghan announced their wish to move out of Kensington Palace, the Queen offered them Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park as their new home. This was not the suite of apartments at Windsor Castle they had hoped for. It was a generous gesture nonetheless, recalled Lady Elizabeth Anson, who died in 2020. ‘The cottage was a big deal,’ she said. ‘The Queen’s entrance into the gardens is right next to their cottage. It is essentially her back yard, her solitude, and her privacy. She was giving that up in gifting Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage. We all thought it was very big of her. She said, ‘I hope they’ll respect it.’ ‘
What’s funny about the “William had reservations” conversation is that William and Kate have always wanted to have it both ways – they want to say that they gave Meghan an honest-to-God “chance” and that Meghan ruined it and they also want credit for knowing immediately that Meghan wouldn’t “work out” as part of the family, therefore they were completely justified in treating her like sh-t from the word go. Pick one, it can’t be both. The “reservations” conversation is also about William’s racism and how he was likely the one telling Harry not to get serious about Meghan because of what their children would look like.
As for the stuff about the wedding gown… God knows. QEII’s generation was like that, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she had thoughts. It should be said that Camilla did NOT wear off-white to her second wedding though, she wore a crisp white dress and coat to the civil service, then she changed into a pale grey-blue and gold ensemble for the wedding service at Windsor Castle. When Nicholl gets details like that wrong, it makes you think, huh.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.