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Kate in box seat to restore royal reputation after Meghan interview

Instead, her California camp is still heavy with celebrity powerbrokers rather than ones with political heft. Oprah, of course, and Serena Williams, and Elton John, whose husband David Furnish is executive producer on Meghan’s upcoming animated Netflix series Pearl.

She announced the show last week during her maternity leave with daughter Lilibet, who is yet to be seen by the world six weeks after her birth.

The Duchess of Cambridge with US First Lady Jill Biden during a school visit in Cornwall in June.

The Duchess of Cambridge with US First Lady Jill Biden during a school visit in Cornwall in June.Credit:PA Pool

The hidden baby fits with Harry and Meghan’s tetchiness with a palace-sanctioned photo call when son Archie was born. Fantastic that they’re doing them, but if they wanted to mend fences with disenchanted Brits, the sight of emotional, ecstatic, new parents with babe in arms could have been a fail-safe shot at some redemption.

The animosity towards the Sussexes in the UK saw Meghan’s book The Bench sell less than 4000 copies. In the US, it was briefly a New York Times’ bestseller.

As the public stands by for a shot of all four Sussexes – a mood board is no doubt being worked on – there are reports Harry and Meghan want a Windsor Castle christening for Lili, who is yet to be slotted in at No. 8 in the line of succession on the Royal Family website.

Harry, it’s said, raised the issue during his visit to London this month. And why not, if the royal family is keen to get the band back together? It would mean Meghan would have to return to the UK after biting the hand that feeds, but there perhaps is no real alternative.

Kate and Meghan, before the royal split.

Kate and Meghan, before the royal split.Credit:Alamy

It’s hard to imagine Harry signing off on a non-denominational service in his backyard Japanese teahouse where guests wear white and receive goodie bags. Although judging by the way he shut up when Meghan tapped his hand on the Oprah interview, who knows?

Harry and Meghan’s understandable desire for privacy for their kids is not an option for William and Kate, especially now the Cambridges will inherit much of the royal work and spotlight thanks to Uncle Harry doing a bunk.

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Unlike Meghan, Kate has family support – from her own to the in-laws – in spades. At a G7 reception she laughed beside the Duchess of Cornwall as the Queen cut a cake with a sword. And at the Wimbledon men’s final, her plus-one was her father Michael Middleton.

Maybe they just wanted a day out together. But Kate would also have been aware of the optics. Hey Meghan, here I am with my dad, while you sued your estranged father last year in an unedifying court battle.

Game and set to the Duchess of Cambridge, in a match that may play on for years.

Kate Halfpenny is a regular columnist.

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