During her visit with husband Prince William to Leicester University on Nov. 28, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, was asked by a fan about her three children – Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 7-month-old Prince Louis.
Watch: Catherine breaks her silence on Meghan Markle in the video below.
“They’re doing well, thank you,” she said in a video shared on Instagram. “They’re getting excited for Christmas time because they’ve started all their Christmas songs and the Christmas trees are going up.”
The fan followed up by asking if she was excited about Prince Harry and Meghan’s baby on the way.
Kate, 36, immediately responded: “Absolutely! It’s such a special time to have little kiddies,” she shared. “And a cousin for George and Charlotte, as well ... and Louis. It’ll be really special.”
The warm exchange saw Kate stand by Meghan, amid claims of strained relationships as the Cambridges and Sussexes head into their first holiday season as official in-laws.
Last year, “They really loved Christmas and all had a wonderful time,” a source tells WHO.
“I think the two women got on – they are definitely not best friends, but it was a really special time for them all to spend together.”
Yet according to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail on Dec. 2, last Christmas was marred by tensions between the two couples, prompting sources to suggest that Harry and Meghan would celebrate with the Queen and Prince Philip in Norfolk, while William and Kate would turn down the traditional Royal Christmas and join the Middleton clan at Bucklebury Manor in the Berkshire countryside.
Giving a glimpse into what a Middleton family Christmas looks like, Kate’s mum Carole, 63, described Christmas trees in each of the grandchildren’s rooms (“so they can decorate it themselves,” she reasons), visiting church on Christmas Day, followed by a walk, then smoked salmon and Champagne for lunch before the main meal in the evening.
“With young grandchildren,” she noted in her interview with The Telegraph, “maybe we’ll move that forward and have it at lunchtime.”
But contrary to these reports, WHO can confirm that the couples will be spending the holidays together as a sign of solidarity.
A royal source told Daily Mail Australia “Reports regarding Christmas are wrong. Everyone is in Norfolk this year.”
Whatever the case, it all seems more peaceful, perhaps, than last year’s festivities.
According to the UK’s Mail on Sunday, after Meghan complained she wasn’t feeling welcomed by her future family, Prince Charles attempted to smooth things over by engineering William and Kate’s hosting of Meghan and Harry at Anmer Hall – the Cambridges’ country home near Sandringham – which didn’t go to plan.
A “well-placed source” is quoted describing a “ghastly row” between the couples with a senior royal aide revealing that the atmosphere at Anmer soured shortly after Harry and his then-fiancée had arrived and Meghan was deemed to be “downright rude ... Kate had a quiet word with Meghan,” the aide is quoted as saying.
“It escalated rapidly after Meghan complained to Harry that she had been ‘told off ’. He took her side, while William defended Kate, who was five months pregnant with Louis and certainly didn’t want this sort of confrontation.”
Kate is also reported to have said to friends that she felt, since being with Meghan, Harry was “changing ... She and Harry have always had a very close relationship,”a friend told The Mail on Sunday.
“But she said things were different.” Kensington Palace took the rare step of refuting another report in The Sun that claimed the two women had had an “explosive row” after a “furious” Kate allegedly scolded Meghan for berating members of her staff. “That’s unacceptable,”
Kate allegedly told Meghan, “They’re my staff, and I speak to them.”
These claims were immediately quashed. “This never happened,” a Palace rep told The Sun.