What a difference a year makes. Last August, Prince William and Princess Kate took to Twitter to wish Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, a happy 41st birthday complete with a gorgeous photo of the Duchess of Sussex taken during a 2022 visit to the U.K. and a cheerful red balloon emoji. This year, however, it was radio silence on social media. To add insult to injury, five days later, Harry’s “His Royal Highness” title was removed from the royal family’s official website — a surprisingly specific update considering the site still listed the late Queen Elizabeth II as the reigning monarch. “It was just one of many petty slights for Harry and Meghan,” a source tells In Touch. “They’re used to it by now.”

The frosty relationship between William and Kate and Harry and Meghan is clearly showing no outward signs of thawing. But the source tells In Touch Kate has been secretly working behind the scenes for months to reunite William, 41, and Harry, 38. “It bothers Kate that William and Harry are still estranged, so she’s taking matters into her own hands,” says the source. “She feels their feud has gone on long enough and that it’s time for William and Harry to be brothers again. She believes there’s still time to repair the damage and has been quietly pushing for a truce.”

According to the source, Kate was inspired by Princess Diana’s diaries, which have given her a firsthand look at how close William and Harry used to be. Before her tragic death in a car crash, in 1997, when William was 15 and Harry was 12, Diana kept detailed journals. “Diana was a very expressive writer, and her diaries became a source of comfort as her marriage to King Charles III fell apart,” explains the source. “Kate has read them, and they’ve provided valuable insight into what William and Harry’s relationship was like when they were young, and how close they got after their beloved mom died.”

To achieve peace, Kate has been reaching out to Harry privately while also encouraging William to soften his stance. “Kate can’t imagine not speaking to her brother or sister this long, or for her children to cut each other off like this,” explains the source. (William and Kate share Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.) “When there’s an argument among the kids, Kate’s quick to make sure they apologize to one another. She feels that William and Harry’s problem is that they don’t know how to say sorry.”

For his part, William’s still fuming over Harry’s various tell-alls — the former royal aired their dirty laundry during a bombshell sit-down television interview in March 2021, and again in his recent Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, and in his bestselling memoir, Spare, alleging among other things that royal life was so toxic that a then-pregnant Meghan was suicidal before the pair quit their royal duties and decamped to the U.S. in 2020. “William is furious with his brother for speaking out against the royal family and would like nothing more than to ice him out,” says the source. “He still loves Harry, but he can’t bear him right now.”

The princess’ olive branch isn’t extending to Meghan — for now. “Kate feels Meghan was the catalyst of all the bad blood between William and Harry,” says the source, adding that both Kate and William had “misgivings” about the former Suits actress from the start. “They never warmed to Meghan,” says the source. “They found her obtrusive and forward.” Indeed, in Spare, Harry claimed that William knocked him to the floor during a 2019 argument in which William called Meghan “rude” and “abrasive.” Says the source: “William regrets that things got out of hand but given how things turned out, he feels he was ultimately right about Meghan.”

Kate Middleton ‘Taking Matters Into Her Own Hands’ to Fix William and Harry’s Relationship
Nariman El-Mofty/AP/Shutterstock

That attitude isn’t helping the peace talks. Harry is committed to his decidedly unroyal life with Meghan and kids Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2, in Montecito, California. And the former actress is living it up. On August 9, Meghan was spotted with pal Lucy Fraser at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour show in L.A., a week after she reportedly hit up a movie theater in Santa Barbara with famous friends Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi to see Barbie.

William may have to make the first move. “Harry is waiting to see what his brother does next,” says the source. In the meantime, Harry’s focused on Meghan and the kids. “It’s bittersweet for Harry to remember how tight he used to be with William and Kate,” says the source. “And he feels bad that he doesn’t get to see his niece and nephews. But he’ll always put Meghan first,” adds the source. “She rescued him from a miserable existence and he’s grateful for everything she’s done for him. William and Kate need to understand he’ll never leave her behind.”

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