Meghan Markle appeared to get along great with Queen Elizabeth II as she began her royal life in 2017, but the Duchess of Sussex was not by the monarch when she died at the age of 96.
The former Suits star has previously spoken about the late Queen’s warmth when they embarked on their first royal engagement together, which allowed Markle to become acquainted with her new royal status.
Meghan was invited to accompany the Queen to their first joint royal engagement in Cheshire in 2018.
According to body language expert Judi James, Meghan’s solo outing provided an opportunity for her to learn the arcane rules of The Firm, but it also allowed the Queen to put on display warmth that she had failed to exhibit with Diana.
“By royal terms, this would have been the warmest of welcomes to the royal family by the late Queen, who took her newest grand-daughter-in-law on a solo royal visit to allow for some bonding as well as showing a glimpse of royal working life and protocol,” James observed.
“New royal wives can historically be thrown into the job to sink or swim.”
This was the situation for Diana, whose lack of support from The Firm became widely known as the twenty-year-old settled into royal life.
According to Judi, when Kate Middleton married into the royal family, she preferred to silently shadow the royals, taking years to unroll onto the royal stage.
“The Queen [looked] very attentive to Meghan, though,” the expert observed, and this was never more apparent than during their first outing.
The queen appeared to cast many backward glances in an apparent attempt to ensure Meghan was both following and comfortably hosted.
“Her Majesty is also very empathetic about performing some wide smiles of delight when they are sitting next to each other, to register affection to a global audience,” added Judi.
The Queen had broken royal etiquette by allowing the Duchess, who was not yet married to Harry, to spend Christmas at Sandringham.
The relationship apparently took a turn in 2020, when Meghan and Harry declared their intention to step down as working royals.
Several senior members of the royal family, including Prince Charles, Prince William, and the Queen, were allegedly enraged by the news because they had not been informed.
“The Queen was hoping that they’d return,” a source later said in 2021, “but there’s not much she can do about it and accepts their decisions.”
Their relationship became much more strained after Harry and Meghan conducted a sit-down interview with CBS in March 2021, during which they made several shocking charges regarding The Firm.
Buckingham Palace stated in response to the charges, saying, “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.”
When Harry and Meghan announced that they were naming their kid Lilibet after the Queen’s nickname, things calmed down.
The Queen’s death at Balmoral Castle in September 2022, on the other hand, signaled the end of a relationship that had begun well but had deteriorated.