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Meghan Markle’s former best friend claimed ‘cold royal strategically shut down marriage’

MEGHAN MARKLE’s estranged best friend, Ninaki Priddy, shed light on the now-Duchess of Sussex’s divorce to ex-husband Trevor Engelson, claiming she was “cold” and “calculated” in the “way she handles relationships”.

Meghan Markle and stylist Jessica Mulroney have been friends for years. Ms Mulroney was heavily involved in planning Meghan’s royal wedding to Prince Harry in 2018 and her children were among the flower girls and page boys in the wedding reception. However, it has been widely reported the Duchess has now cut ties with Ms Mulroney, due to a row on social media with black influencer Sasha Exeter.

Ms Exeter claimed Ms Mulroney had sent her a string of abusive messages and threatened to ruin her career after taking offence over one of her posts, in which she had called on people with large social media followings to speak out about Black Lives Matter.

The spat led to the cancellation of Ms Mulroney’s wedding-themed reality TV show I Do Redo, as well as the loss of her Good Morning America fashion slot.

Sources said the Canadian socialite has been met with silence from the Duchess of Sussex and has been warned that she is unlikely to be readmitted to her inner circle.

It would not be the first time Meghan has lost a friend, though.

The Duchess of Sussex is said to have cut Ninaki Priddy out of her life, with whom she had been inseparable since the age of two.

Their extraordinary bond spanned 31 years of sleepovers, a holiday in Europe as 15-year-olds — including a picture opportunity outside Buckingham Palace — and road trips across the US.

However, their friendship appeared to come to an abrupt end after the Duchess divorced her previous husband, Trevor Engelson, in 2013.

Recalling Meghan’s first wedding, Ms Priddy told the Daily Mail: “Meg literally shone with happiness.

“We’d been like sisters since we were two years old, so I knew she’d always wanted to get married.

“To see her finally doing that was…well, it was a big deal. It was such a moving wedding. I started crying the moment I saw her in her dress. We had the ceremony on the beach. It was so beautiful to watch, beautiful to be a part of. They each wrote their own vows. They loved each other so much.

Meg had just finished the first series of Suits [in which she played the bewitching paralegal Rachel Zane]. It was a big part for her — her first full-time role.

“She’d hustled for years to get there, so that was huge. Trevor was so supportive. He travelled back and forth [from Los Angeles to Toronto, where Suits is filmed] and there was a lot of Skyping and FaceTiming going on.

“It was an exciting time. This was the man she wanted to have children with.”

Ms Priddy said her own falling out with Meghan came after she disapproved of the way the former Suits actress ended her marriage.

She explained: “The person I knew is not there anymore.

“Meg used to tell me she couldn’t imagine a life without Trevor. She said if anything were to happen to him she wouldn’t be able to go on.

“He cherished her, too. You should have seen the way he used to hold her face in his hands. We all felt he was her eternal love.

“It was such a shock when she told me they were getting divorced.

“After about three seasons of Suits, she called me and said she wanted me to know because it was going to come out in the papers.

“I knew they fought sometimes, but it wasn’t anything huge. The only obstacle was the distance because she was living in Toronto and Trevor was based in LA.”

Ms Priddy said she thought they would have manoeuvred through it as best they could, as she wasn’t aware there were any problems in the marriage.

She then revealed she felt bad for Meghan‘s ex-husband.

She said: “A month after the divorce, I wanted to see how Trevor was doing.

“We met and talked. It’s not up to me to speak for Trevor, but I know he was travelling to Toronto every few weeks and would have walked the Earth to make their marriage work.

“I don’t believe she gave him enough of an opportunity. I think there was an element of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for Meghan.

“The way she handled it, Trevor definitely had the rug pulled out from under him. He was hurt.”

Meghan reportedly began dating celebrity chef Cory Vitiello who also lived in Toronto, in 2014, a few months after her separation from Mr Engelson.

Ms Priddy added: “I tried to get details from her, but she wouldn’t tell me. What came to light after Trevor and I spoke ended my friendship with Meghan.

“I think everybody who knew them both was in shock.

“All I can say now is that I think Meghan was calculated — very calculated — in the way she handled people and relationships. She is very strategic in the way she cultivates circles of friends. Once she decides you’re not part of her life, she can be very cold.

“It’s this shutdown mechanism she has. There’s nothing to negotiate.

“She’s made her decision and that’s it.”

Despite what Ms Priddy claimed, Meghan and Mr Engelson were granted a no-fault divorce in August 2013, citing “irreconcilable differences”.

In November 2017, when his former wife became engaged to Prince Harry, Mr Engelson attracted significant media attention.

However, he remained incredibly tight-lipped about the Duchess.

He has since remarried and he and his new wife Tracey Kurland are expecting their first child in September.

Ms Priddy, who is a jewellery designer based in Los Angeles, has not been associated with Meghan since 2017.

Despite their 30-year-long friendship, she was not invited to Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding in May 2018.

Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intentions to step back as senior members of the Royal Family.

They eventually relocated from their temporary Vancouver Island residence to Los Angeles in March as they began their new post-royal lives.

The couple are said to be living in Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills mansion.

Meghan is understandably thrilled to be back in her hometown of Los Angeles, and her mother, Doria Ragland, has reportedly moved in to help out with Archie.

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