After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry moved from Kensington Palace—where Kate Middleton and Prince William live with their kids—to Windsor, about 25 miles away, speculation of tension between the two couples intensified. The move was then followed by the couples announcement of a separation from their joint Royal Foundation charity, which came after the news that they had split their royal households.
But the distance has ultimately helped the two couples reconnect, say several people within their circle, giving both couples a little breathing room and “allowing them more time to be like family” rather than colleagues, notes a royal source in this week’s cover story. “There is a sense of [Meghan and Kate’s] relationship strengthening.”
The new setup has also helped them focus on their specific roles within the royal family. “They all know what’s at stake, and William and Harry know that their grandmother [Queen Elizabeth] in particular needs them to be on the same page,” says a friend.
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Their children have also helped unite the two families. Meghan and Kate teamed up for an inaugural playdate—the first time Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, had all been together with their 2-month-old cousin Archie — on July 10.
“Harry and William were very fortunate to have an incredibly robust friendship with their cousins growing up,” says royal commentator Victoria Arbiter, whose father Dickie Arbiter was a press secretary for the Queen. “They’ll want to follow a similar mold with their children. The royal cousins are the only other people on the planet who understand this life. We’ll see that relationship and shared camaraderie as they get older.”