Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Still in the 'Early Stage' of Friendship

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Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are still getting to know each other on a personal level.

Since entering the royal family after marrying Prince Harry last May, the former Suits star has gradually been adjusting to her life in London. That includes abiding by various rules set forth by Kensington Palace, attending public engagements and spending more quality time with her new relatives. On top of that, she's also preparing for the birth of her and Harry's first child together, due in late April or early May.

While all seems picture perfect in Meghan's world right now, recent stories published in British tabloids allege that the Duchess of Sussex doesn't always see eye to eye with her sister-in-law. The outlets claim it has caused a rift between the two, as well as their husbands, a group that is often dubbed "The Fab Four." However, in a new interview with ET, royal expert Katie Nicholl speaks on where Meghan and Kate's relationship really stands today, saying their friendship just needs time to blossom.

The Royal Family
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"When Harry met Meghan, [as] the relationship was progressing, he was really keen to get Kate's stamp of approval. He wanted them to be close as sisters-in-law," Nicholl explains. "I think they're still in an early stage of their relationship. They're still really getting to know each other and there are many, many more years to come. A firm friendship could well blossom, I don't think it's out of the question."

"I think people forget these are still [the] early days and I think it's a matter of all of them trying to find their feet as a foursome," she continues. "For so long we had the royal trio -- Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate. Now, of course, we've got Meghan."

Kate Middleton Meghan Markle
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Describing the mom-to-be as "opinionated" and "a very strong woman," Nicholl says Meghan has wasted no time "rolling up her sleeves" and "diving" into royal work.

"Yes, it's ruffled the feathers of a few courtiers," Nicholl says. "Possibly Kate does feel a little eclipsed by Meghan, who's just come along to such huge media interests, public interests and being so successful from the start. But as I said, it is the early days ... of course, the Palace has tried to knock these rumors of attention between the four royals on the head."

On Wednesday, for example, Kate and Meghan both stepped out for separate royal engagements. Meghan spent some time at the Mayhew animal charity in North London before taking in a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Totem, while Kate visited the Royal Opera House's costume department and met with principal dancers from The Royal Ballet.

"I think there was a lot of worry about whether one would upstage the other," Nicholl says. "That didn't happen, but there does seem to be a little concern about the two women carrying out engagements on the same day. At least because the newspapers don't seem to know who to put on their front page."

"I think what we're going to see over the next couple of months are the couples living increasingly separate lives," she continues, referencing Meghan and Harry's upcoming move to Frogmore Cottage, which is approximately an hour from Kate and William's home at Kensington Palace. "Inevitably it's going to mean that we see less of them working together and more of them striking out independently."

Hear more on the royal family in the video below.

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