The comments were brutal. On October 3, Prince William and Princess Kate headed to Wales to mark Britain’s Black History Month — for the first time since it began in 1987 — and their critics had a field day on social media.

“The hypocrisy of William and Kate celebrating Black History Month. They couldn’t even support the only person of colour in their own family,” one commenter wrote on X, formerly Twitter — a clear reference to the lasting feud between the couple and Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle. Another person alleged, “There’s very little Willy and Kate can do to convince anyone that they care about Black History Month when they directly enabled abuse of Meghan.” Yet another shaded the couple by urging them to “reach out to Meghan [and her children] Archie and Lilibet for Black History Month. Start there.” 

Kate’s faced criticism for more than two decades now, but it’s getting harder to keep calm and carry on. “While she isn’t the type of person to go off, Kate is at her wits’ end. She’s tired of all the lies,” an exclusive royals source tells Life & Style, explaining that on top of the latest accusations, it hurts that “she’s been called everything from a bully to a social climber to a scorned wife.” Though she’d “never” go public with her feelings like Harry and Meghan have done in TV interviews, a Netflix docuseries and a memoir, the source adds, “she’s been confiding in friends about what’s really happened. She wants to set the record straight.”

Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan Unite in Rare Moment After Queen Elizabeth's Death

Lingering Frustrations 

Tensions with Meghan and Harry remain a pressure point for Kate. She was accused of bullying Meghan, 42, out of the royal fold after the former actress told the world in a bombshell 2021 CBS interview that Kate made her cry. The circumstances? They’d had a clash over the fit of a bridesmaid dress for Princess Charlotte, 8, in the runup to Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding. Harry, 39, only added fuel to the fire when he expanded on the incident in his book, Spare, in January and shared more stories claiming Kate, 41, was uneasy about Meghan from the start after realizing she was “going to be compared to, and forced to compete with, Meg.”

The anecdotes were hurtful. “Kate thinks Meghan was very petty to bring up the crying story. She’s told friends that Meghan is super sensitive and needs a backbone,” says the source, noting that Kate still hasn’t forgiven her sister-in-law for sharing such a private moment. “Kate was called a bully because of what Meghan shared. Kate’s not a bully. That’s why she still refuses to take Meghan’s calls.” 

Kate has a long memory. Though she’ll always publicly show respect for her husband’s stepmother, Queen Camilla, 76, privately, says the source, “Camilla doesn’t get a pass, either. Kate will never forgive Camilla for snubbing her, for thinking she wasn’t good enough” for William, 41, in the early days of their romance. Kate already had to face that from the British media when she and sibling Pippa Middleton, 40, were called “the Wisteria Sisters” — after the climbing vine — by acquaintances of the royal family after William fell for Kate in college in 2001. She didn’t appreciate the then future king’s wife gossiping about her, too, says the source. 

Untold Resolve 

More recently, efforts to make her the scorned wife have grated on Kate, says the source. In 2019, William was caught up in a cheating scandal as allegations surfaced claiming he’d been unfaithful with Kate’s good friend Rose Hanbury, 39, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. To make matters worse, it was claimed he’d stepped out on his wife while she was pregnant with Prince Louis, 5. “The Rose Hanbury drama is another topic that infuriates Kate,” confirms the source. “She’d love it if she never heard Rose’s name again. Friends say Kate is very secure in her relationship with William and it’s beneath her to even address the ‘other woman’ nonsense that her detractors try to use against her.”

rose hanbury standing
(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Kate often wishes she could fight back more vocally. “But her inner circle knows the truth,” says the source, “and she trusts they will have her back amid whatever drama pops up.” According to her pals, the Princess of Wales understands that she’ll one day be queen, so is focused on honoring the promise she made to William, and to the monarchy, when they tied the knot in 2011. “Kate will always put duty above all else,” assures the source, “even when faced with lies.”