They come from very different worlds – Meghan Markle, the American actress raised in sunny California; and Princess Eugenie, a true blue-blood, raised among the pomp and privilege of the British royal family.
Yet they have two things in common: Prince Harry and babies.
Meghan has become close to Eugenie, who is one of Harry’s favourite cousins, and the two women bonded even more when they were pregnant at the same time.
The 39-year-old duchess recently announced she’s expecting her second child while Eugenie (30) welcomed her first, a baby boy named August, two weeks ago with husband Jack Brooksbank.
However, insiders say the two were exchanging pregnancy details long before the news of August’s birth or Meghan’s pregnancy broke.
“They would have known each other’s due dates,” a royal insider tells People. “These times tend to bring families together. What is lovely is Eugenie is having her baby as Harry and Meghan are having theirs. They are very close.”
So close in fact that California-based Harry and Meghan decided to give Frogmore Cottage – their home on the grounds of Windsor Castle which was a wedding gift from the queen – to Eugenie and Jack in November to raise their new family in.
“The fact that Eugenie and Jack are living in the Sussexes’ house in England means they must be close,” agrees royal author Ingrid Seward.
“Obviously, as they were both pregnant at the same time, they’ve had a few chats over social media either via Zoom or WhatsApp. I am sure they are both avid texters.”
Of course the fact Eugenie and Harry have always been close would have played a part in the two women bonding.
“Eugenie has always been more than just a cousin to Harry, they’re also the closest of friends,” say royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand in their book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.
“Like Harry, Eugenie is loyal, honest and great fun. The two had many nights out together in London. They have one of the most natural connections.”
Harry has always confided in his cousin too when it came to the women in his life.
Eugenie was one of the first members of the royal family to meet Meghan and gave the Suits actress her stamp of approval, reportedly telling others she thought she and Harry were “the perfect match”.
The princess and Jack apparently got on so well with Harry and Meghan they travelled to Canada at one point (when Meghan was still living there and filming the TV series Suits) to attend a Halloween party with them. They also reportedly went on many more double dates in London as Harry and Meghan’s relationship got more serious.
There was a point though where it appeared the friendship was on shaky grounds . . .
Just two days after Eugenie’s wedding Harry and Meghan dropped the big news that they were expecting their first child.
As the world went gaga, eyebrows were raised at their timing. Couldn’t they have just waited a bit and not upstaged Eugenie’s wedding news, critics asked?
Some observers also questioned the timing of Meghan and Harry’s second pregnancy announcement – shortly after Eugenie and Jack announced the arrival of tiny August.
But it’s all good, insiders say. “Eugenie is a practical, warm, level-headed young woman,” one source says. “She and Harry are very close.”
SOURCES: ENTERTAINMENTDAILY.CO.UK, ELLE.COM, POPSUGAR.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK