How do you get really good at throwing shade? As it turns out, nobody throws better shade than the future King of England, Prince William.
Of course, there is an art to being royally shady. You can’t just be openly snarky or sarcastic. Instead, you have to find subtle ways to let the other person know how you really feel.
This is what happened recently when Prince William and Kate Middleton sent a very special birthday greeting to Meghan Markle. What did they say? How was it shady, and where does their relationship stand?
Subtle shade from William and Kate
Being a royal is all about keeping up appearances. So even though their relationship has apparently been strained since well before “Megxit,” Prince William and Kate Middleton were still expected to offer best wishes to Meghan Markle on her birthday.
The way they did so was on their official Instagram account. At first glance, the message is both short and sweet: “Wishing a happy birthday to The Duchess of Sussex!”
Where does the shade come in? Apparently, William and Kate chose to post this to their Instagram Story rather than as a regular post.
If you don’t already know, Instagram Story posts disappear after 24 hours. So rather than post a birthday greeting on Instagram that would last for many years, William and Kate made sure the evidence of their post would be gone in a day. Many people felt this was evidence that Kate and particularly William are still angry about “Megxit” and its ongoing effects.
The ongoing ripples of “Megxit”
In its own way, “Megxit” was the biggest event to happen to the Royal Family in decades. It was already nearly unthinkable that Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, an American woman who had been married once before. But thanks largely to her influence, both she and Harry stepped back from royal responsibilities and left the country, eventually settling in America.
This alone made the Royal Family look bad, and the decision came amid speculation that the relationship between William and Harry was already strained, mostly due to Meghan. And things got so much worse after Harry and Meghan left.
The primary reason for this is that Harry and Meghan gave an infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey. There were many bombshells in that interview, but the largest and most unexpected one was that an unnamed member of the Royal Family had expressed concerns about the skin color of Harry and Meghan’s then-unborn baby, Archie.
This put Prince William in “damage control mode” to repair the image of the Royal Family. According to Hollywood Reporter, William ended up going in front of the cameras for Sky News and telling the world, “We are very much not a racist family.”
This weak defense didn’t really smooth over the accusations. And neither time nor distance has seemingly smoothed William’s relationship with Harry.
William’s conflicted feelings about Harry
Many who have watched this royal drama unfold over the years have wondered why William hasn’t either reconciled with Harry or cut things off between them entirely. The answer is simple: even William himself is torn between the two extremes!
A friend of William’s dished about the future King’s thoughts on his brother to the Daily Mail. “He alternates between grieving for what he has lost and feeling really, really angry about what his brother has done,” the friend said. “He truly loves Harry and feels he has lost the only person, aside from his wife, who understood this strange life of theirs. But he believes there are things you just don’t do. And Harry has 100 percent crossed that line.”
Speaking of lines, it’s easy to read between these particular lines. It seems William the brother wants to forgive Harry and restore things to the way they used to be. But William the Prince and future King cannot forgive Harry for the damage he believes his brother and Meghan have done to the entire Royal Family with their actions.
Harry continues to defend Meghan
At some point, you might expect time to heal these wounds between brothers. But one reason the wounds can’t heal is that new stories keep ripping them open, especially when it comes to Meghan Markle.
For example, royal expert Tom Bower released a new book titled Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War between the Windsors. According to The Mirror, Bower wrote in the book that Harry and William had a fight about their wives back in 2018, ahead of Harry and Meghan’s trip to Australia and New Zealand. Allegedly, Harry said that both his brother and Kate Middleton should be “friendlier” towards Meghan.
Bower writes, “Members of their family, said Harry, were not showing her sufficient support, respect and friendship. Meghan, Harry believed, should be just as appreciated as their mother.” Unfortunately, “William’s reply was not sympathetic. Beyond the palaces, few were aware of the split between the brothers.”
This was nearly a year and a half before “Megxit” happened, and it shows that the groundwork for Harry and Meghan stepping down and leaving the country was being laid by their own family. And considering William and Kate’s shade toward Meghan on her own birthday, it doesn’t look like things have improved since then.