FEMAIL looks back at Kate and Harry's happy solo engagement
Harry and Kate in happier times! Anzac Day 2019 saw the pair look the best of friends at rare joint engagement at Westminster Abbey – despite THAT feud over bridesmaids dresses
- Four years ago today, Harry and Kate made a rare solo engagement together
- Read More: Prince William lays wreath at Australia Memorial as he pays tribute to soldiers who ‘made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom’ for Anzac Day
Prince William may be taking the lead with how the Royal Family is commemorating Anzac Day this year – but back in 2019, the Palace allowed a rare royal duo to take centre stage.
Before he stepped down as a senior working royal with his wife Meghan Markle in January 2020, Prince Harry joined his sister-in-law the Princess of Wales for the poignant memorial service in Westminster Abbey – which paid tribute to Australian and New Zealand soldiers.
Although the pair commonly undertook royal engagements with Prince William before the Duke of Sussex was married, this is one of just a handful of appearances Kate and Harry made on their own.
At the time, the Duchess of Sussex was on maternity leave with the couple’s first child Prince Archie while Prince William was on a solo tour of New Zealand.
As they arrived at the Abbey together, the royal pair appeared comfortable and happy in each other’s company – even sharing a laugh before greeting the Dean of Westminster Dr John Hall, who led the service.
Prince Harry and the Princess of Wales pictured arriving at the Anzac Day service together on 25 April 2019
While Kate looked chic in a blue Catherine Walker coat and matching hat, her brother-in-law proudly had his Platinum Jubilee medals on full display.
On his red-and-navy striped tie, Prince Harry wore the Star of the Grand Cross Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order – which he was given by The Queen in 2015 for services to the Sovereign.
Once inside the Abbey, Prince Harry was pictured gazing at his sister-in-law in admiration as they spoke with representatives from Australia and New Zealand.
Anzac Day has been commemorated in London since the first anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli when King George V attended a service at Westminster Abbey.
Although the royals were not seated next to each other during the hour-long service, Harry and Kate were all smiles as they Westminster Abbey together.
In a heartwarming moment of chivalry, Prince Harry was pictured letting his sister-in-law walk in front of him so she could get in the car first.
But while their joint appearance four years ago seemed nothing but friendly, Prince Harry detailed his wife’s complicated relationship with Kate in his bombshell biography Spare, which hit shelves earlier this year.
Ahead of Harry and Meghan’ wedding, the Duke of Sussex detailed how Kate and the Suits actress had clashed over the issue of Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress.
Just months after this photo was taken, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would step down as senior working royals
Once inside the Abbey, Prince Harry was pictured gazing at his sister-in-law in admiration as they spoke with representatives
Prince Harry and the Princess of Wales put on a professional display during the service and were seated separately
The royal duo pictured leaving the service with the Dean of Westminster Dr John Hall who had led the tribute
The brother and sister-in-law were all smiles as they arrived at the service. At the time, Prince William was on a tour of New Zealand
The royal duo were pictured exchanging a few laughs before heading inside the Abbey four years ago
Pictured: Prince Harry and the Princess of Wales pictured arriving for the service four years ago
In a sweet moment of chivalry, Prince Harry allowed his sister-in-law to walk in front of him so she could get in the car first
Although the pair were seated separately during the service, they left the Abbey together in the same car
Hitting back at reports that Meghan had made Kate cry, Prince Harry shared a series of tense text messages between the two women.
Sharing his side of the story at the heart of ‘Megxit’, Prince Harry says his sister-in-law got in touch with Meghan after Princess Charlotte ‘cried when she tried it on at home’.
The prince writes that Meghan received a text from Kate four days before their wedding saying there was a problem with the dresses for the bridesmaids and they needed altering.
They were ‘French couture’ and had been hand-sewn from measurements only – without a fitting – so ‘it wasn’t a big shock’ that they might not fit perfectly, he says.
Harry insisted the incident was driven by his sister-in-law Kate, who appeared irritated that it had taken Meghan a day to get back to her about the problem.
Harry and Meghan celebrate their wedding day in May 2018 despite tensions within the family and drama with Meghan’s father
Kate and Meghan exchanged a series of texts (re-created, above) about the bridesmaid dress, according to Harry
The disagreement between the two women was, he claims, further exacerbated by Kate’s unwillingness to visit Meghan’s tailor at Kensington Palace and suggestions that they hold a party for the page boys when his bride-to-be was busy dealing with a row with her father, Thomas Markle.
Harry writes: ‘Meg didn’t reply to Kate straight away. Yes, she had endless wedding-related texts, but mostly she was dealing with the chaos surrounding her father. So the next morning she texted Kate that our tailor was standing by.’
She told her that his name was Ajay and he was ‘at the palace’.
‘This wasn’t sufficient,’ Harry goes on to write darkly.
After setting up a time to speak later that afternoon, Harry writes that Kate complained: ‘Charlotte’s dress is too big, too long, too baggy. She cried when she tried it on a home.’
Meghan snapped back: ‘Right, and I told you the tailor has been standing by since 8am. Here. At KP. Can you take Charlotte to have it altered, as the other mums are doing?’
According to Harry’s version of events, Kate replied: ‘No, all the dresses need to be remade.’ And said she had discussed the issue with her ‘own wedding designer’ who agreed.
Pictured: Princess Charlotte in her bridesmaid dress after the Sussex wedding in 2018
Bridesmaid dress-gate! How reports of Kate and Meghan arguing ahead of wedding unfolded
May 2018 – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot in St George’s Chapel in Windsor
The bridesmaids, including Jessica Mulroney’s daughter Ivy and Princess Charlotte, have bare legs
November 2018 – The Telegraph’s royal editor Camilla Tominey wrote she had ‘spoken to two separate sources who claim Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte’.
May 2020 – Tatler reports the two argued over protocol around young bridesmaids’ tights
March 2021 – Meghan confirms there was a disagreement in her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview but says the Duchess of Cambridge actually made her cry.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl says Kate ‘never wanted’ reports of a rift to come out in the press and has found the situation ‘mortifying’
January 2023: Harry’s memoirs reveals new rifts between the Sussexes and the Wales
Harry writes: ‘Meg asked if Kate was aware of what was going on right now. With her father. Kate said she was well aware, but the dresses. And the wedding is in four days!’
‘Yes, Kate, I know….’ his fiancée replied sharply.
He also claims that his sister-in-law had ‘problems with the way Meg was planning her wedding. Something about a party for the page boys? It went back and forth’.
The prince reports his wife as saying: ‘I’m not sure what else to say. If the dress doesn’t fit then please take Charlotte to see Ajay. He’s been waiting all day.’
‘Fine’, Kate is said to have replied.
Harry states that he arrived home a short time later, which suggests that he and his ghost writer were given an account of the actual conversation by Meghan, to find his fiancée ‘on the floor sobbing’.
While he says he was ‘horrified’ to see her so upset, he didn’t think it a catastrophe as emotions were understandably high. He told Meghan that ‘Kate hadn’t meant any harm’.
He suggests his point was proved when the then Duchess of Cambridge came round the next morning with flowers and a card to say sorry.
In his biography Spare, which hit shelves in January, Prince Harry claimed that Kate felt as though she had to ‘compete’ with his wife.
According to Prince Harry, there were a number of awkward moments during the Royal Foundation Forum in 2018.
It was to be the first, and only, royal engagement between the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, and at the time it was billed as an annual occasion.
However, Harry explains that following the event, there was ‘controversy’ over Meghan showing support for #MeToo, while Kate did not.
He details: ‘It wasn’t real. But I think it had Kate on edge, while putting her and everyone else on notice that she was now going to be compared to, and forced to compete with, Meg.’
Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were pictured together for the first time since it was announced Meghan will not be attending the Coronation next month
The pair took their Archewell staff to watch the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA playoffs.
The royal couple were all smiles in a box at the Crypto.com Arena, where they appeared on the jumbotron at the stadium in downtown LA.
Thousands began clapping and cheering, encouraging them to kiss on the screen. Harry then appeared to lean in but his wife laughed and grabbed his arm.
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