The Real Reason Meghan Markle Stood Apart From Kate Middleton On Remembrance Day

Fans of the royal family were quick to notice that, at the Remembrance Day service held on November 10, Meghan Markle stood apart from other royal family members. Some people wondered if this was a slight towards one of the newer members of the family, or if it indicated that there is a feud brewing between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, but the truth is much simpler. 

As People explained, Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall stood on one balcony while Meghan Markle observed the ceremony, which honors those who lost their lives during World War I, from another balcony. Markle stood alongside Princess Anne's husband, Sir Timothy, and the Countess of Wessex. These balconies are quite small, and can only fit three or four people each. 

Markle was also present at the ceremony last year, standing with Elke Budenbender, wife of the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier. 

Meghan Markle's placement comes down to the royal pecking order

As Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine told People, Meghan Markle standing apart from the queen and Kate Middleton isn't an insult to the former actress, but has to do with the royal "pecking order."

This isn't the first time that Markle hasn't been as prominently placed as her fans expected. In June, Meghan and Prince Harry made a much-anticipated appearance with baby Archie at the Trooping the Colour ceremony, but were off to the side of the palace balcony. "She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there's a pecking order," said Little. "There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife."

While it's understandable that Meghan Markle's admirers think she deserves to be front and center at events, royal protocol is tricky to navigate. Fortunately, we now know not to be offended on the royal's behalf the next time we see her standing in a less prominent position at an event. 

Is there a rift between Prince Harry and Prince William?

While there might have been a logical explanation behind it, the fact that Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton were standing on separate balconies also fueled rumors that there was a rift between their spouses, Prince Harry and Prince William. While Harry did seemingly confirm that the brothers are growing apart, it seems more likely that the brothers are just growing older and living their own lives, especially since both of them are now married and have families of their own. 

"Inevitably stuff happens," said Prince Harry in the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey (via People). "But we're brothers, we'll always be brothers. We're certainly on different paths at the moment. I'll always be there for him and as I know, he'll always be there for me. We don't see each other as much as we used to because we're so busy but I love him dearly. The majority of stuff is created out of nothing. As brothers, we have good days and we have bad days."

Insiders told the magazine that the alleged rift formed when Harry announced he wanted to marry Meghan Markle and that things have only gotten more strained as Markle and Middleton have been pulled into the tension. "Wives do change the dynamic, and they both have very strong wives," a family friend told People in December 2018. "If you bring two independent-minded women from the real world into the royal world, they are going to want to have an impact."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have tried to be more independent lately

While it's possible that the supposed tension between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle and the rift between Prince William and Prince Harry is played up for the press, Meghan and Harry did split, in a sense, from Kate and William in March, when they moved 25 miles away to Frogmore Cottage. The royal couple also started their own Instagram page and have left The Royal Foundation which was previously run by all four of the young royals. 

A source told The Sun in May 2019 that the separation was, indeed, over a rift. "Certainly the animosity over status, money and Meghan meant that the split in their joint households had to be brought forward much more quickly than anticipated, so perhaps it was inevitable that their joint charity has to be split too," said the source.

The source added, "Meghan and Harry want to do things differently to William and Kate. William is the future king and so is sometimes restricted in what he can do. The Sussexes want the flexibility of more commercial decisions. But the brothers' relationship has vastly improved since their working lives have separated."