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Get to Know the Interior Circle and Greatest Mates of the British Royal Household

Get to Know the Interior Circle and Greatest Mates of the British Royal Household

The Crown served as the perfect fictional gateway into the lives of the British Royal family. While it may be the closest some people will ever get to understanding the royal family, a few personalities enjoy courtside seats to their interesting lives. From Kate Middleton’s oldest friend Emilia Jardine-Paterson to her former close pal Rose Hanbury, here’s a look at the royal family’s inner circle and best friends.

Being in the spotlight is not a novel phenomenon for British royals, but the ongoing controversies that have surfaced amid the apparent disappearance of the Princess of Wales have been alarming. Following the breaking news of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis, the attention has now shifted to Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s relationship and the state of their marriage. From rumours of an impending split to an alleged affair on the Prince of Wales’ behalf, netizens’ speculations have resulted in the wildest theories.

Who is a part of the British Royal family’s inner circle and best friends?

Away from the public attention, every member of the royal family enjoys an inner circle of friends who are their loyalists and confidantes. According to reports, the Princess of Wales has been recovering from planned abdominal surgery with the support of her friends, and those within her close circle have reportedly claimed that she may address her health concerns during a public engagement. Apart from responding to a recent Mother’s Day photoshop scandal, Middleton has largely stayed out of the limelight, making no comments on her health.

While fans await the Princess of Wales’ return to her royal duties, we look at whose company she is keeping in this difficult time. We also take a look at the best friends of Prince William and other members of the royal family who have been in the inner circle for years.

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s close friends

Emilia Jardine-Paterson

British royal family friends
Emilia Jardine-Paterson is Kate Middleton attended Marlborough College together and have been close friends since then. (Image: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

One of Kate Middleton’s oldest friends from Marlborough College is Emilia Jardine-Paterson. She introduced Middleton to Prince William in 1999. Paterson is an interior designer and has reportedly also redecorated portions of Kensington Palace. Her husband David Jardine-Paterson attended Eton College in England, which is the same college attended by Prince William.

The bond between Kate and Emilia is extremely strong, with Emilia also serving as a godparent to Middleton’s first-born, Prince George. During Kate and William’s brief split in 2007, Paterson stuck by her friend’s side, and also accompanied her on an Ibiza trip to nurse her heartbreak at the time.

Pippa Middleton

Kate Middleton close friends and inner circle
Pippa Middleton is a core member of Kate Middleton’s inner circle and the sisters are often seen attending events together. (Image: Instagram/Pippa Middleton style)

More than just sisters, Kate and Pippa Middleton are also best friends. The close bond shared between the sisters was on full display at Kate and William’s 2011 royal wedding, where Pippa served as the maid of honour. The sisters share a passion for tennis and have been spotted attending Wimbledon together. Married to hedge fund manager James Matthews, Pippa has three children — Arthur, Grace, and Rose, who are in the same age group as their cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The Middleton sisters have supported one another through thick and thin, and even attended the same college.

Lady Laura Meade

Royal family inner circle members
Lady Laura Meade is one of Kate Middleton’s closest friends and is an attendee of all the major events hosted by the royal family. (Image: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Married to Prince William’s best friend James Meade, Lady Laura Meade has been a part of Kate’s inner circle for many years. The daughter of the Earl of Romney, Meade also comes from a royal background. Considering the close friendship shared by their husbands as well, the two couples have enjoyed several double dates together. The Princess of Wales also chose to name Laura as one of the six godparents of Prince Louis.

Lady Sarah Rose Hanbury

Rose Hanbury has attended several major royal family events, including King Charles’ coronation and Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. A former model, she is married to David Rocksavage Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. While Rose Hanbury initially formed part of Kate and William’s social circle, she reportedly had a fallout with Middleton in 2019, when rumours emerged of an alleged affair between her and Prince William to cause a massive rift. Despite these speculations, Hanbury’s family was honoured with special roles at King Charles’ coronation ceremony, where her son Oliver was appointed “page of honour”, walking alongside Prince George at the event.

In light of Kate Middleton’s alleged disappearance, rumours of Prince William and Hanbury’s alleged affair have resurfaced of late. In response, Hanbury’s lawyers have released a statement calling them “completely false.”

James Meade

James Meade and his wife Laura Meade are Prince William and Kate Middleton’s closest friends. William and James’ friendship dates back to their Eton College days. The best friends have stood by each other on all the major occasions including their weddings, and James was tapped to deliver the traditional best man speech at the Prince’s wedding. Meade also shares a special bond with William’s children, and he is one of the godparents of Princess Charlotte. James comes from a sporting family background, and he is the son of England’s most successful male equestrian, Richard Meade.

Thomas Van Straubenzee

Thomas Van Straubenzee was an usher at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding. Along with James Meade, he is also one of the godfathers of Princess Charlotte. Straubenzee and Prince William first met each other at Ludgrove Prep School. Having witnessed major milestones in one another’s lives, the childhood friends are thick as thieves to this day. Straubenzee also had Prince William fulfilling the role of an usher at his wedding.  Straubenzee has been a part of Prince William’s inner circle for years and also accompanied him during his first official overseas tour to New Zealand. The Straubenzee family including brothers Thomas and his brother Charles have been a part of the royal family’s inner circle for years.

Guy Pelly

Want to know which famous friend hosted Prince William’s bachelor party? That would be Guy Pelly, a nightclub owner who has known the Prince of Wales for over two decades since their friendship began in 2001. In keeping with the tradition of choosing friends to be the godparents of their children, William also named Pelly as one of Prince Louis’ godfathers. The special connection shared between William and Guy is further bolstered by the fact that their mothers, Princess Diana and Lady Carolyn Herbert, had shared a similar bond.

David Beckham

The Beckhams have been in the royal family’s inner circle since the 90s. David Beckham shares a close friendship with Prince William and the duo enjoy bonding over sports. Both David and his wife Victoria Beckham have been on the guest list of all the major events hosted by the royal family. The English footballer also supports Prince William’s Earthshot Prize Awards initiative, which celebrates innovative solutions for environmental challenges. A true loyalist of the royal family, Beckham waited twelve hours in line to pay his final respects before Queen Elizabeth II‘s coffin in 2022.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s inner circle and best friends

Charlie van Straubenzee

Prince Harry best friends
Prince Harry’s childhood friend Charlie van Straubenzee still remains one of his closest friends. (Image: Instagram/HarryMeghan Daily)

A childhood friend of Prince Harry‘s, Charlie van Straubenzee also attended Ludgrove Prep School. According to SkyNews, Charlie counts himself among Prince Harry’s squad of  “Glosse Posse,” a group of friends from Gloucestershire. From playing polo together to attending sporting events, Harry and Charlie’s shared interests have added to the strength of their bond over the years. Straubenzee, who was one of Prince Harry’s best men at his wedding, also delivered a hilarious speech at the evening reception. Recalling a funny incident from their school days, Charlie left attendees in splits at the royal nuptials. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also attended Straubenzee’s wedding.

Nacho Figueras

Prince Harry’s friendship with Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras dates back to 2007. After playing in several charity matches together over the years, the duo formed a strong friendship. Figueras’ passion for goodwill and charity work brought him closer to Prince Harry, and he soon became an integral part of the royal’s inner circle. Nacho was among the first people to learn about Harry’s budding romance with Meghan Markle. He also appeared in the couple’s Netflix series Harry & Meghan where he spoke about witnessing the beginning of their relationship.

Through all the ups and downs, Nacho has been a loyal friend to Prince Harry, standing by him even during his royal exit. During an appearance on The Ellen Show, he defended Harry and Meghan, calling out the scrutiny the couple had been put through.

Jessica Mulroney

Meghan Markle best friends
Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney was a part of Meghan Markle’s inner circle until an apparent falling out happened between the two in 2020. (Image: Jessica Mulroney/Instagram)

Meghan Markle formed a close friendship with stylist Jessica Mulroney while working on her TV series Suits. Mulroney also served as Markle’s stylist for her royal wedding. However, after years of friendship, the duo apparently had a falling out in 2020. The rift between the two began after Mulroney was accused of using her white privilege to threaten a Black influencer named Sasha Exeter. Following the controversy, Markle reportedly distanced herself from Mulroney. The Canadian stylist was also left out of Markle’s Netflix docuseries Harry and Meghan, which included appearances by the couple’s closest friends.

Abigail Spencer

Royal family best friends
Abigail Spencer and Meghan Markle have been close friends since they worked together on Suits. (Image: Abigail Spencer/Instagram)

One of Meghan Markle’s trusted actor friends is Abigail Spencer, whom she met as a co-star on Suits. Even after Markle quit the show, Spencer and her remained close, with the latter also attending her royal wedding. The actress was also invited to Meghan’s intimate baby shower in 2019. Spencer has always been vocal about her friendship with the Duchess of Sussex and has defended Markle on many occasions amid media scrutiny. In 2021, the actress wrote a lengthy Instagram post about Markle’s generosity as a friend and said, “She’s been there for me – and physically held me – in my darkest hours: After my dad died. After a gut-wrenching breakup, she brought me into her home & nursed me back to health. “

Lindsay Roth

One of Meghan Markle’s oldest friends is Lindsay Roth, whom she met at Northwestern University and graduated alongside. The duo remain good friends and are supportive of each other’s ventures even today. In 2016, Markle served as maid of honour at Lindsay’s wedding. To make her friend feel special, she also arranged for a surprise trip to Toronto for a private dress fitting before the nuptials. Roth has expressed her admiration for Markle several times, and in a CBS interview said, “Goodwill runs in her bones.”

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s best friends

Nicholas Soames

King Charles keeps many friends, including several celebrities, but his inner circle consists of a few less-popular names. Nicholas Soames is one of the monarch’s oldest friends, and also comes from a family that finds its name etched in Britain’s history. Soames is the grandson of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He served as the Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex from 1997 to 2019. His bond with King Charles dates back to 1970 when he was appointed as the latter’s equerry. Soames served the role only for two years, but formed a lifelong friendship with the monarch during that time.

Clive Alderton

King Charles inner circle
Sir Clive Alderton is King Charles’ top aide and a key member of the monarch’s staff. (Image: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

A top aide of King Charles, Clive Alderton was appointed deputy private secretary to the then Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2006. Over the years, he has undertaken many roles including that of the Principal Private Secretary to the royal couple. He is also a Trustee of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund. Alderton is an integral member of the King’s staff and is also a most trusted friend to the royal family.

Duke and Duchess of Wellington

King Charles best friends
King Charles and the Duke of Wellington share a great bond and have been friends for decades now. (Image: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

The Duke of Wellington Charles Wellesley and his wife, Princess Antonia of Prussia, now Duchess of Wellington, are key members of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s inner circle. The Duke and King Charles have known one another for decades, and the monarch has been a frequent visitor at the Wellingtons’ estate in Spain. Queen Camilla has also formed a close bond with the Duchess of Wellington and also attended their daughter Charlotte’s wedding in Granada. Much like the king, Wellesley’s family also comes with a strong historical background, with Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, fighting and claiming a victory against Napoleon.

Dame Judi Dench

Royal family friends Judi Dench
Judi Dench and Queen Camilla share a close friendship and have been spotted attending events together. (Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Acclaimed British actress Judi Dench is a part of the royal family’s inner circle and shares a strong friendship with Queen Camilla. The actress has been spotted at several major events hosted by the royal family, including King Charles’ 60th birthday bash with his close friends. Dench has also accompanied Queen Camilla on her royal visit to the Isle of Wight. Last year, she took part in the inaugural Queen’s Reading Room Literary Festival at Hampton Court Palace. Previously, during the pandemic, the two shared a heartwarming conversation on BBC Radio 5.

See Also

Lady Sarah Keswick

British royal family close friends
Lady Sarah Keswick is a trusted friend and a part of Queen Camilla’s queen’s companions group. (Image: Max Mumby/Getty Images)

One of the oldest friends of the couple, Lady Sarah Keswick has known Queen Camilla and King Charles since the 1970s. Lady Sarah comes from an aristocratic background and is the daughter of the 16th Earl of Dalhousie Simon Ramsay. She has been a supportive and trusted friend to Queen Camilla over the years. From Wimbledon matches to racing events, the two have been photographed having a cheerful time together on many occasions. Recently, Lady Sarah Keswick also accompanied Queen Camilla at the Cheltenham Festival.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Who are the friends of the royal family?

Every British royal family member has a trusted group of friends. The Duke and Duchess of Wellington, and Dame Judi Dench are among the inner circle of the family.

– Who is Prince William’s best friend?

Prince William’s close friends are James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee, whom he met during his school and college years.

– Who were Queen Elizabeth’s close friends?

Some of the closest friends of Queen Elizabeth were Lady Susan Hussey, Mary Morrison, Lady Elizabeth Leeming, and Susan Rhodes.

– Who are King Charles’ close friends? 

King Charles has many friends including popular celebrities like Sir Rod Stewart. As for his inner circle, the monarch is closest to Nicholas Soames and Charles Wellesley.

Source: Prestige Online

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