A daunting introduction. Meghan Markle‘s first time meeting the late Queen Elizabeth II in October 2016 was a nerve-wracking experience that left her with fashion remorse.
Prince Harry revealed in his upcoming memoir, Spare, that Meghan, 41, didn’t have much time to prepare for the important moment, considering the couple hadn’t planned on seeing Her Majesty that day — and weren’t exactly dressed for the occasion.
The lovebirds, still in the early stages of their courtship, were heading to lunch at Royal Lodge when Harry, 38, “got word” that his grandmother had stopped by the estate “on her way from church back to the castle.” Harry had picked that destination for Meghan to meet Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie‘s mother, Sarah Ferguson, who resides on the property.
Initially, Meghan was excited about the opportunity to chat with the queen, telling her husband: “Fun! I love grandmas.” Harry quickly informed her that the encounter wouldn’t be an ordinary “meet the family” moment. “You’re about to meet the queen,” Harry told the former Suits star before asking if she knew how to curtsy. When Meghan “shook her head,” Ferguson, 63, gave her a quick tutorial upon their arrival at Royal Lodge.
When they entered the manor, Harry saw his “granny” was wearing a “brightly colored dress and matching hat,” which was vastly different from his wife’s casual getup. “I could see Meg regretting her jeans and black sweater,” the BetterUp CIO wrote in his book. “I was also regretting my shabby trousers. We didn’t plan, I wanted to tell granny, but she was busy asking about Meg’s visit.”
Despite committing a royal fashion faux pas, the meeting went well, according to Harry. “After twenty minutes, Granny announced she had to be going … She locked eyes with Meg, gave a wave and a warm smile.” (Elizabeth died on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96.)
Meghan previously opened up about the pressure she felt at the time, sharing in episode 2 of her and Harry’s Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, “This is a big deal.”
She continued: “Americans will understand this … We have Medieval Times, dinner and tournament. It was like that. I curtsied.”
Harry added that other members of his family were equally impressed. “I think they were surprised. Maybe surprised that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman.”
Spare is set to be released on Tuesday, January 10.
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