Kate and Meghan Markle’s relationship has been at the centre of speculation for the last few years, as royal fans wonder if the two get along well behind closed doors. While the potential rift between them has often hit the headlines, this is not the first time royal watchers have questioned how well the Duchess of Cambridge gets along with one of Prince Harry’s partners. Prior to his marriage with Meghan, Harry’s most significant relationship was with Chelsy Davy, a Zimbabwean businesswoman.
They dated from 2004 until 2010, and so she and Kate would often attend the same royal functions as girlfriends of the two princes — Harry and William.
However, the two women did not have a natural friendship, according to insiders.
Royal commentator Katie Nicholl claimed that the two women got off to a particularly rocky start.
She alleged: “Although Chelsy gets along well with Kate’s sister, Pippa, whom she occasionally goes out with, she and Kate are less friendly.
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“They got off to an inauspicious start when Kate offered to take Chelsy shopping on the King’s Road the last time she was in London.
“When Chelsy, whose sense of style is very different from Kate’s, snubbed the invitation, Kate was said to be offended.”
Writing in Vanity Fair in 2010, Ms Nicholl speculated: “The two girls had always had a slightly frosty relationship.”
Recent reports have highlighted how another shopping trip was the turning point in Kate and Meghan’s relationship, too.
This is a surprise, due to their differing personalities.
Kate is known for guarding her privacy, and being careful and conservative while Chelsy preferred to “throw caution to the wind”, according to Ms Nicholl.
Still, Ms Davy was invited to Kate’s wedding to Prince William in 2011 despite not dating Harry at that time, showing that the two women had connected on some level.
In fact, Ms Davy has since claimed that it was this occasion — which was widely considered to be like a fairytale for royal fans — that made her realise she could not marry Harry.
During their seven years of dating, their relationship had been very on and off, but it was the Cambridges’ wedding which cemented the end of their courtship.
In her book, ‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’, biographer Angela Levin explained: “A friend revealed that seeing the enormity and pomp of the day convinced Chelsy that she and Harry had been right to separate.
“Although they had a lot in common, she saw clearly that because they came from such different worlds it could never have worked, especially as she valued her privacy and guarded it so carefully.”
Ms Davy also told The Times in 2016 that she struggled with the limelight that came with dating a royal.
She said: “It was so full-on. Crazy and scary and uncomfortable.
“I found it very difficult when I was bad. I couldn’t cope. I was young, I was trying to be a normal kid and it was horrible.”