Photos shows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “sidelined” as the rest of the royal family walks in the room.
James told the Mirror: “The phrase 'nobody puts Baby in the corner' doesn't seem to apply to the senior royals here, who look for all the world as though they have put Meghan and her baby-bump in a corner as she and Kate appear together for the first time since their very over-emphatic displays of friendship at Christmas.
“The two women used wide smiles and some tactile behaviour back then in a bid to put rumours of a rift to bed once and for all, which makes their rather distant behaviour here all the more curious.
“Queueing for the meet and greet, Harry and Meghan stood behind William and Kate and although the husbands spoke to their wives there seemed to be no sign of and of Harry and William's usual banter or chat.
“Grouped in the reception room we can see the Queen with Charles while Camilla stand smiling behind them, with Kate placed to the Queen's right and next to her husband, but Meghan appears to be standing alone further behind them and to the side in the shot.
“Harry looks grim-faced as he approaches his wife but it's unusual to see her smiling but looking rather isolated.
“It could have been that the decision was made to make the celebration about Charles rather than a soap opera about Kate and Meghan.
“But it would have been great to see a happier and more easygoing-looking family group pose from the event.”
The Queen hosted the party at Buckingham Palace to mark 50 years since Charles became the Prince of Wales.