The original royal Fab Four—Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry—was short lived on the royal events circuit following Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back from their senior royal family roles and move to the U.S. in 2020. But Kate and William were glad to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex go after all the behind-the-scenes “drama” leading up to Meghan and Harry’s decision to permanently leave their roles in 2021, Katie Nicholl writes in her new book The New Royals, per Entertainment Tonight.
Meghan did inspire Kate and William to put more effort into their royal roles when the Sussexes were part of the working royal fold, Nicholl wrote. “Meghan was the breakout star of the foursome,” she shared, referencing the dynamic when Meghan first started doing events with the three in 2018. “She was polished, passionate, and funny, using all her TV-honed skills to present her case. That was a wake-up moment for William and Kate when they realized that Meghan was very impressive, very confident, and very capable, according to a source.”
When Harry and Meghan decided they would not be returning to their royal roles for good in February 2021, Nicholl wrote that Kate and William weren’t gutted by the choice.
“It was a positive end to a challenging year and, although the couple was saddened by the deterioration of their relationship with Harry, they were, according to one person who knows them well, ‘both relieved that there was no more drama’ now that Harry and Meghan had left Britain,” Nicholl wrote, via Entertainment Tonight.
Harry and Meghan weren’t sad either, with a friend of the couple telling ELLE.com in February 2021, they had “no regrets about stepping back. The change from what we’ve seen from January last year is remarkable. They feel settled. They feel excited about what’s to come.”
It’s no secret that the two couples aren’t the closest friends currently, although they came together to show a united front after the Queen passed away last month. A source told Us Weekly on September 19, “The Queen’s funeral gave the royals a window of opportunity to heal as a family.” While there’s “still tension” between the brothers, “they both agreed to put aside any hard feelings [while mourning their grandmother].” the source added.
“They know it’s what the queen would’ve wanted and are trying to move forward from the past,” the source said.
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.