Casual royal watchers may have left Trooping the Colour assured that rumours of a rift were firmly debunked after seeing Kate Middleton sharing a carriage with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
A more detailed observation however - and a royal expert - may suggest otherwise.
This year saw Kate, Camilla, Harry and Meghan arrive in the same carriage in an apparent show of solidarity.
While this may suggest smooth sailing in the royal waters, it is far more likely the move was a deliberate one designed to put on a brave face in the wake of rumours dogging the ‘fab four’ of late.
Last year Harry and Meghan opted for their own carriage, arriving separately to Camilla and Kate, and at least one royal expert says the change of plans this year was no coincidence.
It would seem the so-called amicability didn’t last much longer than the carriage ride itself.
A royal insider told New Idea that a stern word from the Queen, rather than any rekindled friendship was behind the decision, but that you could still ‘cut the tension with a knife’.
“She (the Queen) will have a word if she feels she has to. And they will listen,” the insider said.
“Neither family wants to let the Queen down so they will appear together in public as they did at Trooping, and say the right things.”
The insider claims however that in private the couples are avoiding each other, and even in public things look... frosty.
Distance between them
That much wouldn’t come as a complete surprise to anyone who observed the royal family on the balcony this year.
Where last year they were an arm’s reach away, this year William and Kate and their royal brood were placed on the opposite side to Harry and Meghan.
This may have escaped certain observers, however because new parents Meghan and Harry were barely visible in the very royal crowd, pushed even further back than last year.
Kate and Wills meanwhile took (left of) centre stage, with an adorable Prince Louis stealing the show.
Moreover, not a single shot shows Wills saying so much as a ‘how do you do’ to his brother and sister-in-law, and once out of the carriage, Kate isn’t seen taking the faintest notice as Harry and Meghan fade into the background.
A long time coming
The unusual body language comes on the back of Harry and Meghan deciding to leave the Royal Foundation - their joint charity organisation with William and Kate - to pursue their own charity ventures.
Other things that have changed in the year since the last Trooping the Colour, include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex creating their own Instagram, and of course welcoming their own new addition Archie.
Looks like it will take more than a shared carriage ride to heal the frosty air between the couples.
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