Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been branded “hypocritical” after congratulating Prince William and Kate Middleton in private on their 10-year wedding anniversary.
Royal experts have questioned why the Duke and Duchess of Sussex didn’t send their wishes in public as other members of the Firm did, after their private message was confirmed by their representatives.
A spokesperson for the couple, who have insisted on privacy since stepping down as working royals, told the Daily Beast they had “privately congratulated” the Cambridges.
In contrast, the Queen, as well as Prince Charles and Camilla, all released messages of support for William and Kate on social media.
Royal author Phil Dampier said it was a bizarre step for Harry and Meghan to rely on their spokespeople to confirm the congratulations and only when asked, “making it look manipulated and contrived”.
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Mr Dampier, who penned Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, told The Sun : “The Queen and Prince Charles made their messages of congratulations to William and Kate on their tenth anniversary in public so why didn’t Harry and Meghan?
“Instead they relied on their spokespeople leaking out the fact they sent a message.”
Her Majesty, who celebrated her 95th birthday earlier in the month, shared a post on her official Twitter account saying: “Wishing The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a very happy wedding anniversary.
“Today marks ten years since Their Royal Highnesses exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey.”
Mr Dampier said it is the leaking of private correspondence within the Firm that has led to the alleged strained relationship between Harry and Meghan and the other members of the family.
He added it is heir to the throne William’s “big fear” that anything said to his brother behind closed doors would be fed to the press.
Mr Dampier went on to say the Sussexes should “stop playing the victim and stop playing on their royal connections by leaking stories while pleading for privacy”.
Fellow royal expert Angela Levin added “everyone would have criticised” the Sussexes if they hadn’t confirmed their anniversary message.
In the immediate aftermath of the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview last month, Meghan’s broadcaster pal Gayle King told CBS breakfast show The Morning Harry had had unproductive phone calls with other royals.
The presenter said the couple had revealed to her Harry had spoken to William and dad Prince Charles over the following weekend.
Buckingham Palace has remained tight-lipped following the bombshell interview, which aired on March 8 in the UK, beyond the Queen’s statement reiterating any issues would be dealt with privately.
But royal sources told Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl some in the Firm are concerned Harry and Meghan “want to keep fuelling the soap opera”.
One source close to Prince William also claimed: “There’s a lack of trust on both sides which makes moving forward very hard.
“William is now worried that anything he says to his brother will be plastered over American TV.”
Meanwhile, William and Kate marked their landmark ‘tin’ wedding anniversary with a new video showing them spending time with their children.
The Duke and Duchess were seen playing with George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, three, in several outdoor settings.