There's been plenty of talk lately about some "big rift" between Kate and Meghan.
It certainly hasn't helped that amid reports of the pregnant Duchess of Sussex's "difficult, demanding" behaviour, Kensington Palace suddenly announced that she and Prince Harry are moving to Frogmore Cottage, more than 30km away from their current neighbours — Prince William and Kate.
It's somewhat devastating for royal fans who have been heavily leaning into the idea of the new "Fab Four" — William, Kate, Meghan and Harry — but let's face it: sometimes in-laws just aren't best buddies, news.com.au reports.
According to The Sun, there's even been "a bit of tension" between the brothers in recent months.
After Meghan's relationship with Harry was first revealed, it was widely reported that the American star was relying on Kate for advice and support as she transitioned into her new life. The pair even enjoyed a day out at Wimbledon earlier this year, and were all smiles as they bonded over the tennis.
But according to the Daily Mail 's royal reporter Rebecca English, Kate and Meghan are "very different people", although she's quick to point out that "sources insist there has been no dramatic falling out".
Whether or not reports of the cool relations are accurate, it's true that the women don't seem to have all that much in common — obviously besides the incredibly unique positions they've found themselves in.
Kate and Meghan had very different upbringings.
While Kate, as William's first serious girlfriend, spent most of her adult life being groomed for a royal role and adapting to the scrutiny, Meghan — an accomplished and politically outspoken actor in her mid-30s — had to adjust her public behaviour and undergo a crash-course in protocol when she started dating Prince Harry in 2016.
Kate was born into an upper-middle-class family with parents who founded a party supply business now estimated to be worth around A$53 million. Michael and Carole Middleton, and Kate's siblings Pippa and James, appeared to ascend their places in Britain's high-class society with ease after the Royal Wedding in 2011.
Meanwhile, across the pond, Meghan had a pretty typical American working-class upbringing. Her parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle Senior, divorced when their daughter was 6x years old, and Meghan told Esquire in 2013 that "every day after school for 10 years" she would hang out with her TV lighting director dad on the set of Married … With Children.
It was a comfortable childhood, and one Meghan has described as "loving", but since she stepped into the spotlight as Harry's girlfriend, the Markle family's dysfunction has been cranked up to a deafening roar.
The former Suits star's relatives have given her and the royal family plenty of headaches since she announced her engagement last November.
Her estranged half-siblings Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Markle have been on the attack with alarming regularity. Thomas has publicly referred to his younger sister as a "jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of … the royal family heritage", while Samantha has called Meghan a "narcissistic social climber".
She's also set to release her memoir, The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister, in the coming months.
Unsurprisingly, there were no Markles at the royal wedding.
And while his intentions may be more pure, Meghan's once-beloved father has frequently used the media to try and reach out to his daughter since bailing on walking her down the aisle in May.
As the Palace maintained its radio silence this year, Thomas' attempts became increasingly desperate, and — perhaps inadvertently — resulted in him criticising the royal family and spilling personal details of his interactions with Harry to the tabloids.
Fortunately, Doria has proven to be a constant source of support and strength to her daughter amid all the drama — and even scored herself an invitation from the Queen to join the royals for Christmas this year.
Kate completed a History of Art degree at St. Andrew's College — where she met Prince William — in 2005. After graduation, she briefly worked for her parents' company Party Pieces before landing a part-time job as an accessories buyer for London-based clothing store, Jigsaw Junior.
During that time, she was constantly hounded by the paparazzi, who were desperate for details about the woman who'd stolen William's heart.
At one point in her early 20s, Kate was reportedly considering being a photographer, but that got waylaid in 2010 when she and William announced their engagement.
While Kate was around 21 when she started dating William, Meghan was 35 at the time she met Harry, giving her many more years outside the royal bubble than her sister-in-law.
In the early days of her career, she worked as a freelance calligrapher to support herself between acting jobs, and had small guest roles on a few TV shows, including a stint on US game show Deal or No Deal .
She finally got her big break in 2011 when she joined the cast of Suits as leading character Rachel Zane, and stayed on the show until she moved to the UK to be with Harry in 2017.
During her Suits years, Meghan was also editor-in-chief of her now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig, a counsellor for international charity One Young World, a global ambassador for World Vision Canada and worked with the United Nations on issues relating to gender equality.
However, according to the Daily Mail, it's these pre-Harry successes which have made Meghan's adjustment into her new life more difficult.
"She's a woman who has lived life into her 30s in her way, she's been a relatively successful actor, has her own humanitarian interests and her own circle of friends," a source told the publication.
"She is very self-sufficient. Understanding the Palace way, the deference, the politics and the fact that there's a pecking order, is taking a while for Meghan to get her head around."
Harry and Meghan have become famous for their affectionate public displays since first stepping out as a couple.
Everyday gestures like hand-holding, hugging and kissing are extremely rare sights from members of the royal family, and something that we've not seen much of from William and Kate over the years — even in the months after their 2011 wedding.
As second-in-line to the British throne, it's likely William and Kate's formality is due to a slightly heightened sense of professionalism, given that he'll one day be the King of England.
Meanwhile, sixth-in-line Harry's relaxed attitude toward PDA with new wife Meghan is likely the result of the fact he's pretty far down the list of heirs, so has a little less pressure to strictly adhere to royal protocols.