LONDON - Kensington Palace has broken its silence over media reports of an alleged feud between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.
It has issued a statement disputing a story in The Sun newspaper last Saturday about an "explosive" row between the two women in the run-up to Markle's wedding to Prince Harry in May.
Middleton, 36, was said to have been upset over the treatment of her staff by the former Suits actress, 37.
But a spokesman for Kensington Palace said: "This never happened."
Royal family observers said this denial was a rare intervention from the palace which does not usually respond to rumours about the personal lives of royalty.
The spokesman did not address other alleged incidents described in the British media.
These included talk that Middleton was left in tears following a dress fitting for her daughter, Princess Charlotte, for Meghan's nuptials.
"Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional - though just what upset her is unclear," a source told royals reporter Camilla Tominey of The Telegraph.
Others backed up their speculation of a rift by pointing to news that Prince Harry and Meghan are moving house from Kensington Palace - where Middleton and her husband, Prince William, also live - to Windsor Estate early next year.
But if Markle wants advice on how to ride out the media storm, she may want to consider what another person in the public glare - former American First Lady Michelle Obama - has provided.
Speaking to Good Housekeeping magazine, Mrs Obama, who is promoting her memoir Becoming, said she thought Markle was in too much of a hurry to do things her way.
She said: "Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she'd have a life like this, and the pressure you feel - from yourself and from others - can sometimes feel like a lot.
"So my biggest pieces of advice would be to take some time and don't be in a hurry to do anything.
"I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends, before I launched into any more ambitious work."