The breakdown in relations between the royals once known as the Fab Four has been laid bare with the release of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, which is widely thought to have been written with help from some of the Sussexes' close friends.
Their claim that Kate “did little to bridge the divide” and showed “wariness” about striking up a “meaningful friendship” with the Duchess of Sussex is now being taken as a side-swipe by Meghan’s camp.
It is considered especially significant as until now it’s been thought Kate had acted as peacemaker between the warring brothers.
But while Kate is no doubt reeling from this latest claim, Andrew points out that Kate’s behaviour must be seen through the lens of her allegiance to William.
“As a loyal wife, Kate has definitely sided with her husband. No question of it. She’s his loyal wife and will always be his loyal wife. That’s a given.”
He adds: “There’s spilt blood on both sides. It’s very sad they didn’t get on particularly well but that was compounded by the growing rift.
“Everyone inside the royal family knows William and Harry have gone their separate ways … but you don’t want these two to be at loggerheads for the next 50 years. There’s no value for the monarchy. William and Harry were a genuine double act. It’s just a very sad situation.”
As to whether or not the royal family will be able to come out of this unscathed, Andrew says: “They will survive this. This isn’t going to be the first time there is some kind of kerfuffle.”
In the aftermath of the new book’s claims, close friends of Kate and William were quick to come to the couple’s defence, insisting the royals had done all they could to welcome Meghan into the fold and had “rolled out the red carpet” for her.
Meanwhile, Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan in Their Own Words, is worried the biography “will sadly do little to heal the relationship between Harry and his blood family, particularly with his brother William.”
He tells New Idea: “I’m told that the pair are speaking at the moment, but the conversations are stilted and difficult.”
Phil also points out that although a spokesman for Harry and Meghan has denied they were interviewed for the book, it is significant that the now Los Angeles-based couple haven’t issued any statements to suggest that the book’s content is false.
“They are quick to sue newspapers and paparazzi photographers,” Phil notes. “So if they don’t condemn the content, we can assume they have no problem with the narrative.”
He adds: “And for them to say that Meghan had given up her entire life to be a royal is clearly absurd, bearing in mind she was only in the firm for 20 months and was pregnant for much of the time.”
But despite these claims, the royals expert believes William and Kate will emerge from this crisis with their reputations and popularity intact, saying the couple are far from “snobbish”.
“William is not at all snobbish according to friends, and it’s well known he is often happiest having Sunday lunch in the bosom of Kate’s middle class family, the Middletons, not lording it as a future king,” Phil concludes.
For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!