The alleged fight between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle was by and large one of the biggest news stories to emerge in 2019, which was nothing less than troubling given it echoed a problematic narrative in the rhetoric of tabloid media of pitting women against women. Still, the story—and the continued debate over who made who cry—is still being discussed three years later.
Now, Prince Harry has addressed the event himself by sharing the text messages and context behind it in his explosive new memoir Spare. While this does confirm that yes, the two women had a fight, it also gives a non-nuanced account of why it happened—and reiterates why neither woman should have been made out as a villain in the subsequent public conversation around it.
Below, everything you need to know about Kate and Meghan’s pre-royal wedding 2018 fight.
What happened during the fight between Kate and Meghan?
According to Prince Harry’s memoir Spare, it all started with a bridesmaid dress fitting which took place four days before Meghan and Harry’s 2018 royal wedding. Princess Charlotte, then four, was part of the pair’s wedding party, and her dress didn’t fit her.
Kate texted Meghan with her concern: “Charlotte’s dress is too big, too long, too baggy. She cried when she tried it on at home.”
Meghan replied to Kate: “Right, and I told you the tailor has been standing by since 8am. Here. At KP [Kensington Palace].”
She then pointed out what the other girls who would join Princess Charlotte as bridesmaids were doing: “Can you take Charlotte to have it altered, as the other mums are doing?”
Harry then alleges that Kate told Meghan she’d talked about the dress to her own wedding dress designer, Sarah Burton, who recommended that the dresses should be remade.
Bear in mind the bridesmaid’s dresses were custom designed and made to measure by Givenchy—its creative director Clare Waight Keller also designed Meghan’s wedding dress. The soon to be Duchess of Sussex was also dealing with the fallout from the scandal caused by her father, Thomas Markle, whose dealings with paparazzi was leaked to media in the days before the royal wedding.
Prince Harry reveals in his book that Meghan “didn’t reply straight away” to Kate due to her preoccupation with her dad.
“Yes, she had endless wedding-related texts, but mostly she was dealing with the chaos surrounding her father. So the next morning, she texted Kate that our tailor was standing by,” the Prince wrote.
Harry then alleges that Meghan asked Kate if she was aware about what was going on with her father.
“Kate said she was well aware, but the dresses. And the wedding is in four days!” Harry writes in Spare.
“Yes, Kate, I know,” Meghan allegedly texted back.
Harry claims Kate then expressed concern over the way Meghan was planning the wedding: “Something about a party for the page boys? It went back and forth,” Harry explained.
The argument allegedly ended with Meghan telling her: “I’m not sure what else to say. If the dress doesn’t fit, then please take Charlotte to see Ajay [the tailor]. He’s been waiting all day.”
Kate responded with one word: “Fine.”
After the conversation, Harry said he found Meghan “on the floor sobbing”.
The following day, Harry wrote that Kate came around with flowers for Meghan to apologise—this was also seconded by Meghan back in early 2021 during her tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview.
“It was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about something, but she owned it and she apologised and she brought me flowers and a note apologising,” Meghan explained.
“She did what I would do if I knew that I’d hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.”
So that’s that—after the heated text exchange, it looks like there was no bad blood between the two women as was originally reported. Instead, they dealt with it like any two mature adults would. No woman vs. woman narrative—which the tabloid press just loves to spin—in sight. In fact, the media storm around this so-called fight was never about Kate and Meghan in the first place.
How was Kate and Meghan’s “fight” leaked?
In a surprising excerpt from his memoir, Prince Harry claims that Meghan and Kate’s so called fight was leaked via King Charles’ office.
He describes the moment when the original story—which claimed it was Meghan who made Kate cry, not the other way around—was leaked and how he, William, and Kate and Meghan all tried to work out how it had fallen into the media’s hands.
“We all gathered in our little front annexe, and this time there was no small talk: Kate got things rolling straightaway by acknowledging that the stories in the papers about Meg making her cry were totally false,” Harry wrote, claiming that Kate said, “I know, Meghan, that I was the one who made you cry.”
He goes on to describe how they investigated who leaked the story to the press, and eventually landed on a worrisome suspect—his father, the then-Prince Charles.
According to Harry, William admitted that the heir had shared dinner with Charles and Camilla while Harry and Meghan were carrying out their royal tour of Australia in October 2018, and he might have “let it slip” that there was strife between the two couples.
“I put my hand over my face. Meg froze. A heavy silence fell,” Harry wrote.
“So now we knew. I told Willy you of all people should’ve known. He nodded. He knew. More silence. It was time for them to go.”
The claims are pretty shocking especially considering the story was the backdrop for media to exaggerate not only a fight, but a full-blown feud between Kate and Meghan, which was paraded in front of the world for years.
Of course, it pays to note that Charles, William and Kate haven’t responded to Harry’s version of events, nor to any of the explosive claims he makes in Spare. As Harry put it in a recent interview, the silence is deafening—but it’s refreshing to see a royal try to put to bed some of the very things tabloids have problematically thrived off. Now that he’s shared his side of the story, there’s not much they can make up or exaggerate now.