Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wished Kate Middleton a happy 38th birthday amid rumors of a rift between the two couples. The birthday greeting was conveyed via a comment under a Kensington Royal Instagram post meant to celebrate the occasion.
“Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Cambridge today!” the comment read. The message also included a cake and red heart emoji.
As of this writing, the comment has received over 12,000 likes. However, some commenters in the replies slammed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for posting their well-wishes for Kate as a comment instead of creating a post on their own Instagram account.
“@sussexroyal Couldn’t post on your own Instagram?” one commenter asked.
Others also criticized Harry and Meghan for announcing that they’d be “stepping back” as senior members of the royal family the day before Kate Middleton’s birthday. A lot of these commenters singled out Meghan Markle as the target of their ire.
“Why couldn’t you wait after her birthday??? Meghan always wanting the attention. Duchess pushy!!” one commenter wrote.
“Pretty sure you could’ve waited 1 more day for your big announcement. Very classy. So disrespectful… toodles,” one seemingly annoyed commenter added.
But other commenters defended the Sussexes.
“This post is about Kate’s birthday not an excuse to turn in poor Harry and Meghan. Leave them alone!!” a supporter wrote.
Speculation about a rift between the Cambridges and Sussexes has dominated royal press coverage ever since Harry and Meghan’s wedding. But the bombshell announcement about their new roles has added new fuel to the rumors that the families are no longer on good terms.
An article by the Mirror published on January 9 claimed that William was “incandescent with rage” about the news.
“Kate will be celebrating her birthday privately at home with the family and she certainly would prefer it that way given the whole furor over the Sussexes’ decision to press the nuclear button on their royal careers,” said the publication’s royal editor, Russell Myers.
Sources told Us Weekly that William had no idea that his brother would be “stepping back” as a senior royal and claimed that the second in line to the British throne was “blindsided” by the news.
Neither Prince William nor Kate Middleton have made official statements related to the story as yet.
So far, there’s been one official statement from Buckingham Palace in reaction to the Sussexes’ decision, which stated that they are still in “early talks” about their new roles within the royal family.