'We rolled out the red carpet for Meghan': Frustrated Kate Middleton and Prince William hit back at claims in devastating biography that Duchess and Harry felt shunned by the Royal Family and insist they welcomed her with open arms

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last night hit back at claims in a bombshell new biography that they actively spurned Meghan Markle.
The authors of Finding Freedom claim relations between the Sussexes and Cambridges became so bitter that Kate humiliatingly snubbed her sister-in-law at Meghan's farewell appearance as a senior Royal. 
But close friends of William and Kate issued a fierce defence, insisting the couple had 'rolled out the red carpet' for Meghan and 'done all they possibly could' to welcome the US actress into the Royal Family. 
According to the friends, the Cambridges 'welcomed Meghan with open arms' by inviting her to Anmer Hall, their family home in Norfolk, where Kate personally cooked vegan meals for her brother-in-law's then fiance. 
William and Kate also invited Meghan's friends, bridesmaids and page boys to a party before her wedding to Harry in May 2018, and keen tennis fan Kate asked Meghan to join her in the Royal Box at Wimbledon for two successive years. 
'It's just completely wrong to suggest they didn't talk and plain wrong to say the Cambridges weren't welcoming,' a friend told The Mail on Sunday. 
'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.'  
The book provides an intimately detailed and personalised version of the events leading up to the Sussexes' dramatic departure from royal life, with co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand insisting 'all information in this book has at least two sources'. Harry and Meghan deny giving interviews.
In other explosive revelations revealed in the excerpts tonight: 
  • Prince Harry was 'p****d off' with 'snob' William as he was warned to take things slow with 'this girl' Meghan;
  • William questioned Meghan's intentions and feared that Duke of Sussex was being 'blindsided by lust';
  • Palace insiders referred to Meghan as 'Harry's showgirl' and said US actress came with a 'lot of baggage'; 
  • High-ranking courtier was overheard telling colleague: 'There's something about this girl I just don't trust';
  • Two couples hardly spoke at March Commonwealth service despite not having seen each other since January;
  • The Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press;
  • Being told to operate under Buckingham Palace's umbrella after splitting their household from the Cambridges was 'a big disappointment' to the Sussexes;
  • The Sussexes even considered breaking protocol by springing a surprise visit on the Queen when they believed they were being blocked from seeing the monarch.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour 2018
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour 2018
As revelations in the book - which is being serialised by The Times and Sunday Times - threatened to plunge the Royal family back into the darkest days of the bitter 'Megxit' saga earlier this year, it was claimed last night that Harry was upset when his older brother referred to his then girlfriend Meghan as 'that girl' and was warned 'not to rush this'. 
According to the book, one senior Royal referred to Meghan as 'Harry's showgirl' and another observed that she 'comes with a lot of baggage'. 
Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the co-authors of the book, also allege that a high-ranking courtier was overheard telling a colleague: 'There's just something about her I don't trust.' 
Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, described as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's 'cheerleaders'
Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, described as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's 'cheerleaders'
In other revelations, the book claims that William and Harry barely spoke for several months after the alleged 'that girl' comment, and that Kate did little to bridge the gap with Meghan because they were 'not the best of friends'. 
It also suggests that Meghan felt her treatment by some Palace staff was 'sexist and prejudiced' and that as a 'successful woman of colour' she was labelled 'demanding'. 
According to the book, Meghan was 'disappointed that she and Kate hadn't bonded over the unique position they shared' and was infuriated by persistent media reports - confirmed by Palace aides - that a bust-up during a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte had left Kate in tears. 
In an indication of the mistrust that developed between the two women, a friend of the Cambridges acknowledged that Kate had 'snubbed' Meghan at the Commonwealth Service in March which marked her last appearance as a working Royal. 
The friend said her actions were born 'out of sheer frustration' at Harry and Meghan's behaviour over their withdrawal from Royal life, announced on Instagram, and the launch of the Sussex Royal website. 
The source acknowledged that Kate snubbed Meghan at the West Door of Westminster Abbey, but added: 'That was after the Sussexes had issued that incendiary statement and website.' 
But friends of the Cambridges dismissed claims in Finding Freedom that Kate and Meghan 'barely exchanged a word' at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day last year. 
In what was intended as a public show of solidarity, Harry was cheered on the polo field by Meghan and baby Archie, and William by Kate and their three children, George, seven, Charlotte, five and Louis, two. 

'Everyone saw Kate and Meghan chatting. She [Meghan] had the baby and it was really sweet,' one pal insisted. 'George went up to Archie and gently stroked his head. Louis was larking around and making Meghan laugh - it was really positive and happy.' 
However, allies of the Cambridges accept that the once close relationship between the brothers is now 'strained' and best described as 'on and off'. 
They said William had been left 'sad' and 'disappointed' by the claims in Finding Freedom. 
The Cambridges and the Sussexes at Westminster Abbey in London on Commonwealth Day in March 2019
The Cambridges and the Sussexes at Westminster Abbey in London on Commonwealth Day in March 2019
Kate and Meghan chatting in the Royal Box on Centre Court to watch the women's singles final at Wimbledon in 2019
Kate and Meghan chatting in the Royal Box on Centre Court to watch the women's singles final at Wimbledon in 2019

'William had hoped that everyone had moved on, but clearly that's not the case,' said a friend. 'He's a little sad and disappointed that it's being raked up all over again. 
'He was extremely upset and hurt at the time [in January when Harry stood down from his duties] and his relationship with his brother is still quite distant. 
'It's best described as on-off and more off at the moment. He has no plans to see his brother this year, but of course Covid makes that much more difficult [anyway].' 
While the Sussexes and the authors of Finding Freedom insist that the couple gave no interviews for the book, it paints an extremely flattering portrayal of them. 
In extracts that emerged yesterday, it was claimed that Harry and Meghan became so frustrated at what they perceived as an unwillingness to discuss their future that they considered arriving unannounced to confront the Queen. They eventually decided against what would have been an extraordinary breach of royal protocol. 
The book also suggests that the couple were upset when the Queen did not include a photograph of them and Archie on her desk when she filmed her Christmas speech last year. 
Meghan is said by the authors to have considered the decision to strip Harry of his military patronages as part of the so-called Megxit deal, painfully thrashed out after a summit at Sandringham on 13 January as 'unnecessary'.
By then, the couple felt deeply suspicious of rival royal camps and, according to the authors, described some senior officials as 'the vipers'. 
The book suggests the three royal households of Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House are in competition, each trying to outdo - and even occasionally sabotage - the other. 
The couple, according to Finding Freedom, became increasingly frustrated at the palace communications operation. However, one former staff member told The Mail on Sunday: 'It was a very challenging working environment. It was high pressure and extremely stressful... Nothing was ever good enough, they always saw the negative in everything. 
'Nothing is ever their fault, always someone else's. They are professional victims.'  
A spokesman said that the couple 'were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom', adding: 'The book is based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.'
In an interview with The Times, Mr Scobie appeared to choose his words carefully when he was quizzed about the level of access, if any, that was granted to him and Ms Durand. 'The book doesn't claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,' he said.
Asked whether there had been an 'off-the-record' discussion, he said: 'You've read the book. There's no on-the-record interviews with the couple.' Pressed again on the same question, he replied: 'No, and I think that you can tell from the reporting, my time around the couple is enough for me to know my subjects.' 
A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry said: 'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. 
'This book is based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.' 
'We rolled out the red carpet for Meghan': Frustrated Kate Middleton and Prince William hit back at claims in devastating biography that Duchess and Harry felt shunned by the Royal Family and insist they welcomed her with open arms 'We rolled out the red carpet for Meghan': Frustrated Kate Middleton and Prince William hit back at claims in devastating biography that Duchess and Harry felt shunned by the Royal Family and insist they welcomed her with open arms Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:47 Rating: 5

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