As the two duchesses are seen together more and more, it would seem that Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton’s rumored royal rivalry is dissipating.
On Saturday, Middleton and Markle were seen sitting next to one another cheering on tennis player Serena Williams at Wimbledon. This is the first time the pair have been seen together without their husbands since Wimbledon last year, according to People.
Williams, Markle’s good friend, was playing against Simona Halep, who won the match.
According to a royal insider who spoke to People, the sisters-in-law’s “were genuine and sweet together” at their outing last weekend.
Middleton arrived at the event first while sporting the green Dolce & Gabbana frock that she wore during her royal tour in Canada in 2016. Markle arrived wearing a pretty pleated midi skirt and a white button-up, according to Page Six.
There have been widespread rumors of friction between the two women and how they have been under “undue pressure” as the “whole world wanted them to be best friends,” according to People.
Royal-watchers were keen to see what their body language said about the state of their relationship. Photos from the event showed the women laughing, smiling, and leaning in close.
A royal insider told People that the Wimbledon display showed a “relationship strengthening.”
When Williams lost the match, “Kate put her hand out and rubbed Meghan’s back to console her,” said the insider.
When the women were first thrust together in the public eye, they were in different places in their lives. However, that was before Markle and Prince Harry had their first child. These elements in common seem to have solidified the bond between the two duchesses.
Royal family expert Robert Lacey told People that “they have a common interest as partners to these two men who are so crucial to the monarchy, along with their children.”
Rumors of a royal rift heated up when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex branched out on their own when they split from the Royal Foundation charity, and when they left Kensington Palace to settle into Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Castle.
According to People the move and the birth of Archie has helped the two couples by being separate, but at the same time has allowed them more time to be like a family.
“Babies are a great leveler. The minute you’re bonding over your stories and sleepless nights, suddenly all the stuff that mattered before doesn’t matter anymore,” Victoria Arbiter, whose father was a press spokesman for Queen Elizabeth, told People.
Middleton and Markle were also seen out together before Wimbledon, on the sidelines of a charity polo match that their husbands were taking part in.