Kate Middleton 'Is a Big Hugger,' Says Friend, Pushing Back on Meghan Markle's Claims of 'Formality'

In the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, Meghan Markle said she was surprised by Kate and Prince William's formality behind closed doors

Kate Middleton greets everyone with a "big hug and kiss," according to a friend.

Although Meghan Markle said in the new Netflix show Harry & Meghan that she was surprised by Kate and Prince William's formality behind closed doors, a friend of the Princess of Wales tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story that the royal is quite affectionate.

"Kate's a big hugger," the friend says. "She is warm and friendly and greets everyone with a big hug and kiss. It comes naturally to her to be like that."

Recalling the first time that Meghan met Kate, the Duchess of Sussex said on the docuseries that she was "in ripped jeans and barefoot" when Prince William and Kate came over for dinner.

"Like I was a hugger, always been a hugger," Meghan said. "I didn't realize that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits."

Kate Middleton Hugs
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

She added, "I guess I'd start to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside, carried through on the inside. There is a forward-facing way of being and then you close the door and you relax now. But that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me."

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton. Kirsty O'Connor - Pool/Getty

Despite a surprise reunion between the brothers and their wives following Queen Elizabeth's death in September, when Prince Harry and Meghan joined Prince William and Kate to view tributes to the monarch outside Windsor Castle, the relationship between the brothers remains strained.

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"It will take a long time before there is harmony between the brothers," says a source close to the royal household. "There is a lot of anger there."

Kate Middleton Hugs
King Charles and Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales. CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty

Prince Harry, 38, also claimed that he and Meghan, 41, were treated differently than Prince William and Kate, both 40, in a trailer for the additional three episodes of the Netflix series, coming to the streaming service on Thursday.

"They were happy to lie to protect my brother," Harry said. "They were never willing to tell the truth to protect us."

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Harry and Meghan rollout

However, some believe that there is a chance for Prince Harry and Prince William to patch up their relationship.

"There is always a way for reconciliation if both sides want it," says royal biographer Ingrid Seward.

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