“I don’t think it was an intentional move,” Friel told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, August 10, noting that scheduling conflicts, Kensington Palace’s approval process and a host of other reasons could be why the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, hasn’t publicly spoken out about the initiative to mentor women reentering the workforce.
“There might be a reason she couldn’t have officially put her name down, but that being said, I don’t think that means that we won’t see her involved in some capacity,” Friel said.
“Prince Harry‘s cousin Princess Eugenie she actually posted on her Instagram that she was supporting the initiative,” Friel noted. “And her name wasn’t mentioned in the original press release, so it could be that Kate turns around and shows support in her own way down the line.”
In addition to the “Hello” singer, 33, and fashion designer, 49, Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Gloria Steinem, José Andrés, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau are also listed as participants who will give 40 minutes of their time to mentor other women.
“I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength, and for my birthday, I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to help kickoff a global effort by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women re-entering the workforce,” the Suits alum said in a statement at the time. “With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms, and, I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well.”
An insider told Us in July that “tensions have eased” between Meghan and Kate in recent months after their ups and downs were explored during an explosive CBS interview with the Archewell cofounders, who stepped away from their senior royal duties in March 2020. The couple’s daughter, Lilibet Diana, helped unite the duchesses.
“Kate even sent Meghan a gift for the baby. They’re in a better place and have exchanged texts since the birth of Lilibet,” the source added at the time.
The little one, 2 months, joined brother Archie, 2, when she arrived in June. Meanwhile, Kate shares Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, with husband Prince William. Being mothers of little girls has helped the two find some common ground.
“The birth of Lili has brought Kate and Meghan closer together,” the source explained. “They’ve bonded over both having daughters and can’t wait for all the cousins to meet.”
Reporting by Joe Drake and Molly Mulshine