Since rumours of a rift between the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex began, many have wondered why the palace, which came out with a rare official statement to deny just one particular report, didn't organise an outing for both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to attend to finally put the damning reports to bed.
But on Christmas Day it finally happened with Prince William and Kate and Prince Harry and Meghan walking together to the royal family's Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church.
All eyes were on the duchesses, who both opted for monochromatic outfits and long coats. Kate wore a crimson '40s-style Catherine Walker design, paired with matching accessories: a bordeaux Bayswater clutch by Mulberry, Bordeaux Gianvito Rossi heels and the 'halo headband' by milliner Jane Taylor.
Meghan wore navy all over, pairing a navy sheath dress with a Victoria Beckham coat and purse and an ombré-feathered fascinator in the same shade of blue. Instead of her signature pumps, the pregnant Duchess wore boots, also by her designer friend Beckham.
However, despite their incredibly chic ensembles, for once royal watchers were almost too distracted to notice what Kate and Meghan were wearing, instead, watching the pair for any signs of a strained or forced outing.
As they walked, the duchesses could be seen laughing, talking and smiling at each other and in a Twitter video, Meghan is shown putting her hand on Kate's back as they leave the church:
But behind closed doors, things aren't as rosy as they seem. According to The Sun, the Queen ordered Kate and Meghan to show a united front for the day and made it clear that Christmas is about family.
“The Queen and Charles have allowed the situation to play out without overtly interfering — but they both made it clear that Christmas was for the whole family to really come together,” a source said.
“That meant the two couples walking into church together as the Fab Four just like they had last year. Yes, it was awkward and uncomfortable given what’s gone on over the past 12 months.”
Furthermore, a body language expert told The Daily Mail that the duchesses interactions seemed forced and as if they were putting on a show for on-lookers. "It reminds me of political body language. The kind of thing politicians do when they're walking with other heads of state and want to show some signs of rapport or unity," Judi James said.
After the service, the royal family spent the day at the Queen's Norfolk Estate where Harry and Meghan stayed overnight. William and Kate took their three children and stayed down the road at Anmer Hall, despite last year staying under the same roof as the rest of the clan.