The Duchess of Cambridge took flowers to sister-in-law Meghan as a “peace offering”, only to be told in no uncertain terms it was not enough, it has been claimed.
The gesture came amid mounting speculation that the women had become the “duelling duchesses” as relations between them were so frosty.
While palace aides briefed royal reporters that Prince Harry ’s wife Meghan and Prince William’s wife Kate were in contact by phone and text, they were unable to disguise the fact that they were far from close.
Kate’s attempt to build bridges, reported in Vanity Fair, was not mentioned in Finding Freedom, the book about the royals by Meghan’s pal Omid Scobie, and Carolyn Durand.
It does say that Meghan got flowers from Kate for her birthday.
But it adds: “Flowers for her birthday were nice, but Meghan would far rather have had Kate check in on her during the most difficult times.”
Friends of Kate and William have hit out at the book, describing claims the Cambridges snubbed Meghan as “plain wrong”.
The book says: “Meghan was disappointed that she and Kate hadn’t bonded over the position they shared, but she wasn’t losing sleep over it. According to a source, Kate felt they didn’t have much in common ‘other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace’.”
The book also claims Prince Harry, 35, was “p***ed off” when his “snobby” brother William, 38, cautioned him not to rush into marrying “that girl”.
Pals say the Cambridges had “done all they possibly could” to welcome actress Meghan, 38, into the royal fold.
They insist the couple “rolled out the red carpet” and “welcomed Meghan with open arms”.
Meghan was invited to Anmer Hall, the Cambridges’ family home in Norfolk, where Kate, 35, cooked vegan meals for Harry’s then-fiancee.
They also hosted Meghan’s bridal party before her wedding in May 2018, and Kate asked her to join her in the Royal Box at Wimbledon for two successive years.
A friend told a Sunday newspaper: “It’s just completely wrong to suggest they didn’t talk and plain wrong to say the Cambridges weren’t welcoming.
“How can you say they weren’t warm or welcoming when they hosted Meghan for Christmas, invited her into their totally private inner sanctum at Anmer Hall and did everything they could to make her feel at home? They personally cooked her favourite vegan food, they couldn’t have been more welcoming.”
Scobie and Durand claim in the book that Meghan was subjected to several snubs by Kate. They recall an awkward moment when they crossed paths at Kensington Palace, heading out to the same street to shop.
Kate jumped into her Range Rover and left Meghan to go shopping alone.
The book also accuses Kate of ignoring her sister-in-law at Meghan and Harry’s farewell as senior royals.
The book claims the couples hardly spoke at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey this March.
Harry and Meghan had walked ahead of the main royal party, including William and Kate, after being removed from the prime line-up. A friend of Harry and Meghan said: “It felt intentional. Harry was more than disappointed. He spoke up, but the damage had already been done.”
In an interview, Scobie said that during the service, “Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, but the Duchess barely acknowledged her. To purposefully snub your sister-in-law. I don’t think it left a great taste.”
During a polo match in July 2019, Meghan and Kate were described as having a “cordial but distant rapport”.
It was the first time the Cambridges and Sussexes had been seen together as families since the birth of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie that May.
The book says: “While the doting mothers were photographed next to each other with their children, the two appeared to barely exchange a word.
“The truth was Meghan and Kate just didn’t know each other that well.” Scobie, described as a “Meghan apostle”, and Durand dismiss rumours that Meghan made Kate cry during a bridesmaid’s dress fitting for Princess Charlotte.
A source who was allegedly at the fitting said: “Some of the children weren’t co-operating. There were no tears from anyone. Kate and Meghan were both a little stressed but professional in the room.”
The book, being serialised in the Times and Sunday Times, also says reports of Meghan shouting at a member of Kate’s team were also untrue. The story allegedly related to Kensington Palace deputy communications secretary Katrina McKeever, who left her post in September 2018.
The authors wrote: “Even Kensington Palace didn’t understand the bizarre story. McKeever left on a good note with the Sussexes.”
Finding Freedom also claims Meghan felt sorry for her estranged father, Thomas Markle, 76, wanted him at her wedding and blamed the media for “corrupting” him.
Courtiers come in for heavy criticism, alleged to have called Meghan “Harry’s showgirl” and “Duchess Different”. It claims Meghan felt she was wrongly being branded “difficult” or a “bitch” behind her back.