Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William all reunited at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Saturday night and the next day, for the Remembrance Sunday ceremony -- but Meghan and Kate were seated on separate balconies. As royal expert Katie Nicholl tells ET, that fact has nothing to do with tension between them, and everything to do with royal protocol.
"When it comes to female members of her family, the queen will be flanked by her two women, Camila, the future queen, and Kate, the queen after Camila, and that is royal protocol," Nicholl explains. "That is royal hierarchy, and the fact that Meghan was on a separate balcony wasn't a snub to her... it's just the way things are."
The weekend's events marked the first time Meghan, Harry, Kate and William had been seen publicly together since their polo match outing in July. Meghan and Harry notably opened up about their struggles in the spotlight in the October documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, during which Harry also addressed his rumored rift with William.
Harry admitted in the film that "inevitably stuff happens." "But we're brothers. We'll always be brothers," he declared. "We're certainly on different paths at the moment, but I'll always be there for him, and I know he'll always be there for me. We don't see each other as much as we used to, because we're so busy, but I love him dearly and the majority of stuff is created out of nothing, but as brothers, you have good days, you have bad days."
According to Nicholl, Kate did reach out to Harry and Meghan after the documentary "to really offer some support."
"I don't know how much they've seen of each other since then. I don't think there's ever going to be a huge warm or closeness necessarily between Meghan and Kate, but I think they are making an effort to get along because they know that all of this talk of rifts and feuds and of tensions between the two of them, it doesn't do the pair of them any good and it really doesn't reflect very well on the royal family. We've got an aging monarch who wants to see her family getting along and I think that's really what everyone is trying to do," Nicholl explained.
Over the weekend, fans were looking for chemistry -- or a lack of chemistry -- between the couples, but as Nicholl noted, it was "difficult to judge."
"The mood of these celebrations is, of course, a somber mood," she shared.
"All of them looked pretty somber. We didn't expect it to be an opportunity for there to be a great warmth or flash of a friendship between the four of them," Nicholl added. "That said, sources on the ground say there wasn't a huge amount of interaction between the four of them."