Harry reveals how Meghan’s joke to Kate at Trooping the Colour falls flat

Harry reveals tension was brewing between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle from the get-go as the Duchess of Sussex’s joke at her first Trooping the Colour led to a ‘yawning silence’.

In his explosive memoir Spare, which went on sale yesterday, Prince Harry spoke of one of his first public appearances with his new wife at the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday in 2018.

But Harry describes how the bright atmosphere took a turn when Kate asked Meghan what she thought of the occasion and the new royal family member jokingly responded with ‘colourful’. 

Speaking about the ensuing uneasiness, the duke writes that ‘a yawning silence threatened to swallow us all whole’.

Harry reveals tension was brewing between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle from the beginning (pictured at Trooping the Color in 2018) as Meghan's joke left a'yawning silence'

Harry reveals tension was brewing between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle from the beginning (pictured at Trooping the Color in 2018) as Meghan’s joke left a ‘yawning silence’

Revelations of the encounter come as Harry has divulged details of the long-standing tension between the Duchess of Sussex and the Princess of Wales in his new book and across a series of interviews.

During his ITV interview with Tom Bradby on Sunday, the Duke of Sussex, 38, recounted an awkward meeting that took place in summer 2018 in Kensington Palace between him, Meghan Markle and the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The father-of-two claims they had organised to meet in an attempt to clear the air following a series of disagreements, including Meghan commenting on Kate’s ‘baby brain’, which William labelled ‘rude’.

Meghan joked that the event was'colourful' at one of her first public appearances with Prince Harry as newly weds

Meghan joked that the event was ‘colourful’ at one of her first public appearances with Prince Harry as newly weds

Kate had asked Meghan what she thought of her first Trooping the Colour, the celebration of the Queen's official birthday

Kate had asked Meghan what she thought of her first Trooping the Colour, the celebration of the Queen’s official birthday

Later on, the Duke describes how Kate was gripping the edges of her leather chair so tightly that her ‘fingers turned white’.

Commenting on the interview, royal expert and the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden said: ‘What came across was Harry’s desire to change the image that we have of Catherine. We have this image of her being very poised, elegant, calm.

‘But no no, he was saying she was so angry that she was gripping the edge of the furniture so hard that her knuckles were going white.’

Elsewhere in his memoir, Prince Harry alleges that William ‘attacked’ him over his relationship with the former Suits actress in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

Prince Harry had a'desire to change the image that we have of Catherine', the Daily Mail's Diary Editor Richard Eden claimed. Pictured in December 2018

Prince Harry had a ‘desire to change the image that we have of Catherine’, the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden claimed. Pictured in December 2018

Prince Harry told Tom Bradby that the Princess of Wales was among members of the Royal Family who'stereotyped' his wife Meghan Markle when they first started dating

Prince Harry told Tom Bradby that the Princess of Wales was among members of the Royal Family who ‘stereotyped’ his wife Meghan Markle when they first started dating

The expert added: ‘He also makes it sound like Catherine wanted to strangle Meghan! It’s really dramatic stuff.’

During the ITV interview, Prince Harry opened up about his family’s initial reaction to his relationship with Meghan Markle in an interview with his friend Tom Bradby. 

Although the Duke claims the Prince and Princess of Wales were ‘religious viewers’ of Suits, he agreed with Tom Bradby that it was ‘fair’ to say that his family ‘didn’t get on’ with his wife ‘almost from the get-go’.  

He explained: ‘There was a lot of stereotyping that was happening, that I was guilty of as well, at the beginning.’

He said the ‘stereotyping’ of Meghan, in part by William and Kate, was causing a ‘barrier’ to his family, preventing them from ‘welcoming her in.’

Prince Harry said the Royal Family'weren't expecting him to get into a relationship with someone like Meghan Markle'. Pictured: the couples in November 2018

Prince Harry said the Royal Family ‘weren’t expecting him to get into a relationship with someone like Meghan Markle’. Pictured: the couples in November 2018

At first, the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the newly engaged couple were dubbed the ‘Fab Four’ by the British press.

However, Prince Harry said during his ITV interview that it was a challenge adding Meghan into the dynamic he already shared with William and Kate.

When asked why Meghan ‘didn’t get on’ with his family from the ‘get-go-‘, he explained: ‘Lots of – lots of different reasons but I – look, as I again detail a lot, I had put a lot of hope in the idea that, you know, it’d be William and Kate and me and whoever.

‘I thought the – you know, the four of us would, you know, bring me and William closer together, we could go out and do work together, um, which I did a lot as the third wheel to them, um, which was fun at times but also, I guess slightly awkward at times as well.

‘But um yeah, I think – I don’t think they were ever expecting me to get – or to become – to get into a relationship with – with someone like Meghan who had, you know, a very successful career.’

The Princess of Wales and Duchess of Cambridge pictured attending the Wimbledon women's singles final together in 2019

The Princess of Wales and Duchess of Cambridge pictured attending the Wimbledon women’s singles final together in 2019

Bridesmaid dress-gate! How reports of Kate and Meghan arguing ahead of wedding unfolded 

May 2018 – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot in St George’s Chapel in Windsor

The bridesmaids, including Jessica Mulroney’s daughter Ivy and Princess Charlotte, have bare legs

November 2018 – The Telegraph’s royal editor Camilla Tominey wrote she had ‘spoken to two separate sources who claim Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte’.

May 2020 – Tatler reports the two argued over protocol around young bridesmaids’ tights

March 2021 – Meghan confirms there was a disagreement in her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview but says the Duchess of Cambridge actually made her cry.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl says Kate ‘never wanted’ reports of a rift to come out in the press and has found the situation ‘mortifying’

January 2023: Harry’s memoirs reveals new rifts between the Sussexes and the Wales’

What’s more, Prince Harry backed up Meghan Markle’s claim that her sister-in-law made her cry ahead of their May 2018 wedding in his memoir.

In October 2018, it was reported that a conflict over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress had left Kate in tears. One unnamed friend claimed Kate wanted to follow ‘protocol’, with the bridesmaids, including Charlotte, then three, wearing tights – but Meghan disagreed.

In his book Revenge, Tom Bower claimed unnamed sources told him the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex disagreed over the length of Princess Charlotte’s hemline and the fit of her dress.

He also claimed Meghan’s ‘insistence’ was ‘supported’ by bridesmaid Jessica Mulroney, adding: ‘Some would say that Meghan compared Ivy [Mulroney’s daughter] favourably against Charlotte’.

The Duchess of Sussex later disagreed in her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, claiming it was the other way around and adding: ‘She [Kate] was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she brought me flowers’.

Asking Harry about Kate and Meghan’s disagreement, Tom Bradby said: ‘Your version of it in this book is it was the other way round, Meghan was the one left in tears, Kate came round the next day with flowers to apologise and you’re careful to say there’s a witness.’

In response, Prince Harry admitted that ‘tensions were high’ at the time and blasted the Palace for not issuing a statement regarding the story.

He continued: ‘They were more than happy to put out statements for less volatile things. My understanding is the reason they didn’t want to come out and say it wasn’t true would therefore lead to ‘Well if it wasn’t that, was it the other way round?’ When in fact you didn’t need to confess that it was the other way round. Right, tensions were high.’

Shortly before Harry and Meghan quit the Royal Family in January 2020, the Duke of Sussex alleged the Prince of Wales grabbed him by the collar and threw him to the floor, shattering a dog bowl with his back.

The furious row allegedly broke out in the kitchen of his London home, Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace in 2019.

William is said to have branded Meghan ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’ and insisted he was trying to help his younger brother during a meeting about ‘the whole rolling catastrophe’ of their failing relationship and Harry’s rows with the Press.

Harry claims William was not being rational during their argument about Meghan, leading to a shouting match (Pictured: Harry and William arrive to hold a vigil in honour of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall in September last year)

Harry claims William was not being rational during their argument about Meghan, leading to a shouting match (Pictured: Harry and William arrive to hold a vigil in honour of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall in September last year)

Harry accused his brother of ‘parroting the Press narrative’ about his American wife before a screaming match ensued, ending in a physical altercation, the book claims. He says he gave the heir to the throne a glass of water and said: ‘Willy, I can’t speak to you when you’re like this’.

Describing what he claims happened next, and insisting he was scared, the former soldier said: ‘He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out’.

Harry claims that William had then urged him to fight back, saying that is what would happen when they scrapped as children.

But the duke claims he refused, claiming that William left and then returned ‘looking regretful, and apologised’.

William then ‘turned and called back: “You don’t need to tell Meg about this”.’

Harry claims he said: ‘You mean that you attacked me?’, to which William replied: ‘I didn’t attack you, Harold’.

Harry says that the first person he spoke to about it was his therapist, on the phone.

But he claims Meghan would see the cuts ‘scrapes and bruises’ on his back from the dog bowl.

He claims his wife ‘wasn’t that surprised, and wasn’t all that angry. She was terribly sad’.

Read More:

Will there be any way back for Harry and Charles after his searing attack on Camilla? Prince branded Queen Consort ‘dangerous’ and accused her of plot to marry his father in Tom Bradby sit down despite King ‘warning him criticising his wife was a red line’ 

Harry suggests he and Meghan will NEVER give up their royal titles after Anderson Cooper asked why they don’t renounce them and live privately during explosive 60 Minutes interview: Prince blasts ‘what difference would that make?’  

Royal family were ‘horrible’ to him on the day the Queen died, Harry claims in score-settling ITV interview 

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Bradford Betz

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