Inside Meghan Markle's relationship with the Queen

It's well known Queen Elizabeth II had a complicated and tumultuous relationship with her late daughter-in-law, Princess Diana.

But she clearly had a closer bond with her grandson, Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle.

Despite ongoing tensions and drama within the royal family, Meghan has maintained she always felt support from her late grandmother-in-law and has never said a bad word about the monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II sits and laughs with Meghan Markle
Despite tensions within the royal family, Meghan Markle says she "loved" the company of her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Getty Images

How their relationship started

In 2017, after news broke of Meghan's engagement to Prince Harry, she told reporters it was "incredible" to meet the Queen

Meghan divulged details of that first meeting to Oprah Winfrey in a tell-all interview in 2021, describing the experience as "lovely and easy".

Just months before Harry and Meghan's 2018 nuptials, Meghan made her first public appearance with the Queen and the rest of the royal family at Westminster Abbey to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

In a show of support for their relationship, the monarch lent Meghan Queen Mary's stunning diamond bandeau to wear for their wedding.

One month later, Meghan had her first royal engagement with the Queen, travelling overnight by train to London's King Cross station, without Prince Harry.

"I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her, and I was on the train," she explained to Oprah in that same interview.

"And we have breakfast together that morning and she gave me a beautiful gift and I just really loved being in her company, and I remember we were in the car and she gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace, and we were in the car going between engagements."

The Queen was among the first to meet Meghan and Harry's son Archie after his birth in 2019.

"This afternoon Their Royal Highnesses introduced Her Majesty the Queen to her eighth great-grandchild at Windsor Castle. The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess's mother were also present for this special occasion," a post on the official royal family's Instagram read at the time.

In June 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex named their second child Lilibet Diana, after Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana.

Struggles arise

In 2020, Meghan and the Queen's relationship became strained when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed plans to step down as senior working royals.

The Queen then announced the couple would be stripped of their HRH titles and no longer receive public funding following their relocation to the United States.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of the family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life," the Queen said in January 2020.

"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Queen Elizabeth II had always shown support for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Source: Getty Images

Close bond remained

The following year, that bombshell interview with Oprah shed new light on Meghan's relationship with Queen Elizabeth.

"It's hard for people to distinguish the two because it's a family business, right? So there's the family, and then there's the people that are running the institution," she said on CBS in March 2021.

"The Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. I've loved being in her company," Meghan said.

"She's always been warm, welcoming, and inviting."


During the interview, Harry and Meghan also alleged a remark had been made about the colour of their yet-to-be-born son Archie's skin by a member of the royal family.

Harry later denied that his grandmother or her husband, Prince Phillip – who died one month after the interview – had made the comment.

Their final visit

The last time Harry, Meghan and their children Archie and Lilibet spent time with the Queen was in summer 2022 in London for Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee.

The visit also included celebrations for Lilibet's first birthday.

When news broke on September 8 that Queen Elizabeth had died, Harry and Meghan's Archewell foundation's website temporarily paused access to display a tribute to the monarch, which reads, "Loving Memory of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 1926 to 2022."

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