Rumors of a “royal feud” between Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry have been swirling around for months. On some days, it’s the brothers who aren’t getting along. On others, it’s the duchesses. But today’s “feud” story regroups the Fab Four: People on Instagram seem to think Kensington Palace’s latest post is Middleton and Prince William’s way of snubbing Markle.
If that statement alone doesn’t make you roll your eyes, just look at the actual photo that has commenters up in arms. It’s a birthday tribute to Queen Elizabeth II—who turned 93 on April 21—which Kensington Palace captioned, “Wishing a very happy 93rd birthday to Her Majesty The Queen!” In the photo, you see Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, Prince Harry, Middleton, Princess Charlotte, and Prince George all smiling during a Trooping the Colour ceremony. Markle, however is noticeably absent.
It didn’t take long for the comments section to blow up with accusations the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were dissing Markle by not including her in the pic. “I just noticed Meghan isn’t here,” wrote one person. “Why deliberately leave Meghan out?” commented another. A third person asked, “But where is Meghan? An official photo without her…why?”
And there are even more responses like this in the comments section. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:
“Interesting choice of photo. . . .almost like you looking for trouble. Is there not enough rumours and speculation going around. Why add fuel to the fire?”
“Happy Birthday Your Majesty👑 ps: there is a part of Harry but no MM”
“oooooh probably sending a message – the present and the future and who really matters. MM isn’t too important”
“Oh dear, methinks someone is missing from the photo…”
“Not a good display of brotherly love in excluding Prince Harry’s wife Megan [sic].”
But there’s a perfectly logical, non-shady explanation for why Meghan Markle isn’t in the pic: She physically wasn’t there. Queen Elizabeth wore her iconic, lime-green suit to 2016’s Trooping the Colour ceremony. Markle only attended her first one last year. It’s literally just an old photo. Nothing to see here. Markle was probably running her Suits lines and posting about fun summer cocktails on The Tig as this was happening.
The outrage of this is seriously hilarious. Fans are really out here thinking Kate Middleton opened Photoshop and let out a maniacal laugh as she cut Markle from this pic—which is ridiculous for many reasons. For one, I have a hard time believing Middleton or Prince William post to the Kensington Palace Instagram account themselves. They have way more important things to do, like pick out new spring shorts for Prince George.
Also, check out the full image, below. Prince Charles is actually cropped out, but you don’t see anyone drumming up feud rumors between him and the Cambridges. (Though now I’m imagining what those three could possibly fight about.)
As royals expert Katie Nicholl explained to Glamour a few weeks ago, the idea of there being a melodramatic rift between the Fab Four—specifically Markle and Middleton—is a gross exaggeration.
“I do think there is some truth to there having been some tension—not just between the duchesses but between the dukes, as well,” she said. “As we all know, things can gather momentum pretty quickly. So while I think there’s been tension, I don’t believe there has been some feud.”