Royal watchers have been following Meghan and Kate’s ever-changing relationship with curiosity and, at times, with concern.
The two duchesses appeared very friendly when Meghan had just become part of the royal family in May. Then, later in 2018, rumors about a rift between Meghan and Kate started to surface, and commentators claimed that they were starting to turn into rivals.
Despite the rumors, the two royals managed to put on friendly appearances and the talk quieted down.
For many observers, Kate and Meghan’s complicated relationship calls to mind another pair of royal sisters-in-law: Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. But are there actually any parallels between them?
Body language expert shares her observations
Body language expert Judi James spoke to Express.co.uk about the constant comparisons of Diana and Sarah with Kate and Meghan and what she could surmise from their pictures. It seems like there are more differences than similarities! James said:
If we pick up on some superficial similarities between the narratives of Meghan and Kate and Fergie and Diana it’s easy to start predicting similar outcomes, but we would be guilty of what’s called the Attribution Bias: focusing on any small similarities in traits and behaviours and ignoring the massive differences that exist.
James stressed that it’s actually good for Meghan and Kate to be less friendly than Diana and Sarah once were. It would mean that a falling-out between the two duchesses is likely to be less significant and easier to repair. The expert said:
Diana and Fergie had intensely strong, long-term bonds and this historic sibling-style closeness can easily lead to deeper, less manageable rifts if there is a falling-out.
James also pointed out that in the pictures, Diana and Sarah were usually closer to each other that Kate and Meghan. It means a higher level of friendship and a higher degree of ease and comfort.
The expert explained that Kate and Meghan are not very close in part because they met later in life:
Meghan and Kate met later in life while Kate was at her strongest in terms of maturity and power in the royal family.
Unlike Diana, Kate has always been a very cautious royal rule-keeper who is emerging as the new matriarch in the family thanks to the Queen’s age and Camilla’s low profile. Meghan has also worked hard to be an integral member of and asset to the royal firm.
Because there were no signals of intense friendship ties between Kate and Meghan before rumors of a rift it will be easier for them to display signals of polite friendliness in public.
Diana was said to have cut Fergie off completely but Kate and Meghan have shown no obvious signs of anything other than friendship in public.
Despite the break in their friendship, Sarah still remembers Diana fondly. Speaking on Good Morning Britain in November, the Duchess of York admitted that she misses Diana and how she made her laugh, and also said the late Princess would have adored both Kate and Meghan:
I honestly think [Diana] would be so proud of the wonderful Meghan and Catherine as well. She’d embrace them and say, ‘You’re doing well!’
We hope the next turn in Meghan and Kate’s relationship will be for the better.