In public, sisters-in-law Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle seem like close friends — but behind palace doors, the two have actually been embattled in an awkward feud. According to a new report by In Touch Weekly (in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now), Kate has “cut back” on helping Meghan adjust to royal life because the mom-of-three “feels like Meghan is trying to outdo her.”

“Meghan learned everything from Kate. But since the wedding, Kate feels like Meghan has barely made any effort with her and is more interested in impressing [Queen Elizabeth],” a source told the magazine. “In all fairness, Meghan has been busy. But Kate feels like she’s put a lot of effort into their friendship and hasn’t gotten much in return.”

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“She’s a nice person and doesn’t want to see Meghan fall flat on her face, but at the same time she’s cut back on giving her advice,” the insider continued, adding that Kate, 36, likely knew that Meghan, also 36, would be criticized for wearing an off-the-shoulder dress at the Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 9. “She could have saved Meghan from embarrassment. But she didn’t say anything,” the source revealed.

It has also been difficult for Kate to see Meghan shine in the royal spotlight while she remains on maternity leave following the April birth of her third child, Prince Louis. “She can’t throw herself into the spotlight because she’s on maternity leave [with Prince Louis]. She’s always been a competitive person, but now she feels powerless,” the insider said of Kate.

Things have sadly gotten so bad between the two Duchesses that they’re now “barely on speaking terms.” The insider explained, “Kate feels left out. [Kate] spent years working on her image as ‘the perfect royal,’ and Meghan is stealing her thunder. They’re barely on speaking terms. The popularity contest has caused a lot of friction at the palace.”

As a result, Kate has simply chosen to distance herself. “Since marrying into royal life, Kate no longer has many friends. She really relied on Meghan as a pal and feels utterly betrayed and dropped by her [best friend],” the source shared. “She hasn’t confronted Meghan yet, but Meghan can sense something is up. Meghan has gone through enough petty drama with her family. She doesn’t need it from her friends.”

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The toughest part of Kate and Meghan’s feud is that their respective spouses, Prince William and Prince Harry, are now caught in the middle. “Their husbands are at their wits’ end. William and Harry feel stuck in the middle. William is doing his best to smooth things over. The competition is out of control. Things are likely to go from bad to worse, and so much tension is built up,” the insider confessed. Here’s hoping Kate and Meghan can work out their differences and be friends again!

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