Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
Despite the best efforts of palace spinners, once this genie was out of the bottle it proved impossible to put back. The roots of the row go back into the mists of time (well, 2016), but stress and nerves ahead of Meghan’s wedding didn’t help. One flashpoint was a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte, where Meghan’s brusqueness made Kate cry. Meghan and Kate, the palace has conceded, are “very different people” but they insist that the princesses hold no personal animosity towards each other. Still, the next 50 years should be fun.
BROTHERLY LOVE LOST
Prince William and Prince Harry
Once the closest of brothers, they fell out after William urged Harry to take a little time to think about things before proposing to Meghan. Hotheaded Harry flew into a rage and accused William of not supporting him. The upshot? Harry and Meghan have moved out of Kensington Palace to Windsor and set up their own court and press operation answerable to the monarch, not his brother. There is only one problem for Harry: his brother will be the monarch sooner or later. The latest brainwave to solve the problem is for Harry and Meghan to move to Africa. Hmm, maybe.
Fergie and Prince Philip
Philip thought Sarah Ferguson was a breath of fresh air when she first arrived on the scene, especially after his horse-mad daughter-in-law shrewdly took up carriage racing, but the affection turned sour after he began to see her as an attention-seeker—hence, allegedly, his calling her “that woman.” Fergie told friends that Philip ruled over his fearful family with a rod of iron. Things went from bad to worse when the annual royal vacation in Balmoral was enlivened by pictures in The Sun of Fergie’s new boyfriend, John Bryant, sucking her toes. She was still married to Andrew at that stage, but not for long. All these years later Philip still refuses to be in the same room as her, although the old rogue had to grin and bear it when Harry invited her to his wedding. Her ongoing romantic relationship with Andrew hasn’t improved Philip’s mood any.
THAT WOMAN (2)
Prince William and Fergie
William’s 2012 wedding came less than two year after Fergie’s lowest point, when she was videoed proposing a deal to an undercover reporter dressed as an Arab sheikh: she would introduce him to Prince Andrew for £500,000. She was filmed accepting a £27,600 down payment and telling the reporter: “I can open any door you want.” William was so horrified that he didn’t invite Fergie to his wedding. Fergie said afterwards that she was so upset, as she revealed on the Oprah Winfrey Show, she fled to Thailand after not receiving the invitation. She said: “I was not invited, and I chose to go and be in Thailand in a place called Camelia and… the jungle embraced me.”
Fergie and Diana
Fergie has claimed that media reports of her oft-reported rivalry with Princess Diana are nonsense. However, after Diana invited Sarah Ferguson (her fourth cousin) to her wedding and gave her a piece of fabric to have made into a dress for the event, Sarah said she felt snubbed not to be invited to the post-ceremony reception. Diana revealed to her biographer Andrew Morton, that Fergie “wooed everybody in this family and did it so well. She left me looking like dirt.” The princess added that Prince Charles told her, “I wish you would be like Fergie—all jolly.” However as both their marriages crumbled they became stalwart friends and confidantes, “We burned the phone wires into the night, trading secrets and jokes that no-one else would understand,” Sarah wrote.
Kate Middleton and Rose Hanbury
The British papers have been untypically coy about why Kate was rumored to have fallen out with former model Rose Hanbury, aka the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. In fact, the papers are dancing around a longstanding rumor of an affair between William and Rose. The rumored former girlfriend of William lives a few miles across the fields from the Cambridges, with her husband, film director David Rocksavage, aka the Marquess of Cholmondeley.
The Queen Mother and the Duke of Windsor
The Queen Mother always liked to give the impression that becoming king and queen was a tremendous burden for her and her husband, King George VI (better known as stammering Bertie from the movie The King’s Speech). The Duke of Windsor, who was King Edward VIII for less than a year before giving up his crown to marry Wallis Simpson, took issue with that characterization, claiming that Elizabeth had opportunistically seized her chance to force him off the throne to advance her own ambitions. He spread a malicious rumor that she was actually the product of an illicit union between her father and the cook, and called her ‘Cookie’ to his dying day.
Andrew and Charles
Royal brothers fall out all the time, and none more furiously in recent years than Andrew and Charles. Charles sees Andrew as an embarrassment due to his poor choice of friends (such as Jeffrey Epstein) and his relaxed attitude to accepting vast sums of money from dodgy political contacts in Kazakhstan. Andrew resents the fact that Charles has sought to cut him out of the inner circle royal, adding insult to injury by downgrading his daughters to non-full-time royals (they have had to get jobs, poor loves) and removing their police protection.
PRINCESS ANNE VS. EVERYONE
The Queen’s daughter Princess Anne is the hardest working royal, and as such has carte blanche to slag everyone else off in the family at any opportunity. She prefers people to fear her than like her, sees her brothers as good evidence of the ill-advised nature of primogeniture, and is ruthless in administering her slights. Most recently she had a go at the younger royals for being too touchy-feely: “The theory was that you couldn’t shake hands with everybody, so don’t start,” she told a documentary, “I kind of stick with that, but I noticed others don’t. It’s become a shaking-hands exercise rather than a walkabout.” How dare they!
CHARLES AND DIANA
The biggest royal feud of them all didn’t end with Diana’s death in 1997. In fact, rather like old Ben Kenobi in Star Wars, her death made Diana more powerful than Charles could ever have imagined. More than 20 years on, Charles still struggles to be accepted and the chances of his wife ever being joyously received by the British public as queen are below zero. Many people believe Diana was murdered by the British establishment, and, prior to her death Diana allegedly wrote a note (some have claimed it could be a forgery) that said, “This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous—my husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury...” Even the Queen is not above the theories; she is said to have remarked that somebody might have “greased her brakes” when she first heard of Diana’s crash. Fanciful? Maybe, but what’s not in doubt is that these two really hated each other.