With tensions at boiling point, will the Queen step in?
Since Meghan Markle became a part of the Royal family she has never been far from controversy.
From her protocol-breaking baby shower in New York to her family feuding across the media, the Duchess of Sussex, 37, has had more than her fair share of scandal.
Ever since her wedding to Prince Harry, 34, in May last year there have been rumblings of unrest from the palace.
Not just because she brings a showbiz sensibility – a world away from the Royals’ usual restraint – but because both her and Harry’s mission to modernise ‘The Firm’ is said to be causing tension from Prince William all the way up to the Queen.
The royal brothers’ bond was once thought to be unbreakable, but Harry and William are now said to be barely on speaking terms.
The siblings reportedly first fell out when William asked if Meghan ‘was the right one for him’ leaving Harry fuming.
One courtier revealed that Harry is so defensive of Meghan because he feels he couldn’t protect his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
They said: ‘He will brook absolutely no criticism of Meghan at all and is so sensitive he often sees criticism or [some kind of] negativity where there isn’t any.’
Seemingly determined to break away from William, 36, and Kate, 37, Harry and Meghan vowed to quit their Kensington Palace apartments and are set to move to their home to Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
And palace expert Duncan Larcombe tells Now that it’s unlikely that Kate and Meghan will ever form a real friendship.
‘There’s only one person on the planet who can identify with what Meghan has had to go through – Kate,’ he explains.
‘You would ordinarily expect them to become best buddies and for Kate to mentor her, but there just isn’t that connection.’
Kensington Palace announced just last week that both the Cambridges and Sussexes have now officially split their households.
However, the Queen was apparently forced to step in when Meghan and Harry demanded their own PR team and vetoed the move without discussion.
‘They wanted their household to be independent of Buckingham Palace, but were told no,’ revealed a source.
‘The feeling is that it’s good to have the Sussexes under the jurisdiction of Buckingham Palace, so they can’t just do their own thing.’
While Kate has enjoyed a close relationship with the Queen, and was only seen laughing and joking with her grandmother-in-law last week, the head of the family has remained cool with Meghan.
It will also put a strain on Harry’s previously close relationship with his grandmother as it looks like he will now do anything his wife wants – even if it means upsetting his family.
Royal commentator Lady Colin Campbell thinks that, regarding Meghan, Harry will do whatever he’s told.
‘He’s completely besotted with her and she’s got a very strong personality and one of the characteristics of that kind of person is that other people are inclined to be in their thrall,’ she said.
Prince Charles, however, has welcomed his new daughter-in-law and her mother Doria Ragland, 62, into the family.
Not only are Charles, 70, and Meghan ‘thick as thieves’, he’s said to see the new baby as his chance to be the grandfather he craves to be.
Royal sources say he complained he felt excluded from five-year-old Prince George’s life when he was born, saying he ‘almost never’ got to see him as Kate’s parents were always on hand.
A friend of Harry explains: ‘Charles will make sure he spends as much time as possible with the new baby. The path is clear for him and Doria to forge strong bonds as grandparents.’
If Charles shows favouritism towards his new grandchild, it’s bound to cause tension with William.
However, Kate has agreed to put on a united front with Meghan in public.
Can a new baby bring the family together?
Duncan thinks it will be the last chance for Kate and Meghan to bond.
‘When Meghan’s baby arrives, if they’re ever going to click it will be then. If not, it will never happen.’