How Prince William Really Felt About Meghan Markle ‘From the Start’

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Over the past few years, much has been reported about Meghan Markle’s relationship with Kate Middleton, but her dynamic with Prince William, the brother of her husband Prince Harry, has been less explored. In the newly-released book Endgame, royal reporter Omid Scobie sheds some light on why William and his sister-in-law never became close.

Endgame by Omid Scobie

<i>Endgame</i> by Omid Scobie

Endgame by Omid Scobie

Scobie writes that “William had been wanting to distance himself from his brother ever since Harry’s marriage to Meghan—whom the then Duke of Cambridge took a disliking to from the start.”

So why did William and Meghan never hit it off? It was largely because she was so different from the people part of the palace system. Scobie writes that William saw her as the “living embodiment of an ‘outsider.’”

Scobie shares, echoing previous reports, that William was hesitant about Meghan and Harry’s relationship. He believed Harry “was swept up in her glamour and American joie de vivre to the point that he was refusing to acknowledge the rules and risks of managing a relationship within the institutional apparatus. At the expense of the family image, it was felt that Harry was rushing into something that had serious blowback potential.”

There was a family intervention to try to improve the dynamic, Scobie reveals. At one point shortly after Meghan and Harry’s May 2018 wedding, William and Harry’s father King Charles stepped in after Harry accused his older brother of not doing enough to welcome Meghan into the family. Charles was able to convince William and Kate to host Meghan and Harry for Christmas at Anmer Hall. That was the only year, Scobie noted, that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were given a holiday invite when they lived in the U.K.

Over time, Scobie shares, “William increasingly complained about Meghan to aides and family members. He didn’t like how opinionated she was, how she spoke to his staff, how much of her Markle family dramas were in the press.”

A source close to the Sussexes told Scobie that “William shifted away from acting like a brother and became more like someone only focused [on the Crown].”

Overall, Meghan and Harry came to be seen as disruptors to the royal family. A mutual family friend told Scobie, “And so much of it could have been prevented. For so long, Harry had made it clear that he and Meghan simply want to be heard. That they wanted the opportunity to sit down and talk through the past, from both perspectives, and find a way to move forward. For Harry, it was about seeking accountability and, where appropriate, apologies.” He has not really received those things from either his father or brother.

Headshot of Alyssa Bailey

Senior News and Strategy Editor

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.

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