Meghan Markle Recalls First Time She Ever Met Queen Elizabeth

Meghan Markle reflected on her relationship with Queen Elizabeth II in a new interview, including the very first time they met. Variety published a profile of Markle this week based on a couple of interviews over the summer. The second round of interviews came shortly after the queen was laid to rest when Markle was primed to look back on their time together both as public figures and family.

Markle acknowledged the complicated feelings people around the world were having around the time of Queen Elizabeth's death, but said that for her it was mostly about being there for her husband as he mourned his grandmother. She said: "What's so beautiful is to look at the legacy that his grandmother was able to leave on so many fronts. Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like. I feel deep gratitude to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her. It's been a complicated time, but my husband, ever the optimist, said, 'Now she's reunited with her husband.'"

As for herself, Markle said that her first meeting with the queen stood out among their interactions. She said: "I've reflected on that first official engagement that I had with her, how special that felt. I feel fortunate. And I continue to be proud to have had a nice warmth with the matriarch of the family."

Markle did not say much more about the queen in the interview, focusing instead on the future – particularly the media projects she and Prince Harry are pursuing. When asked how they were processing "this loss as a family," she focused on work.

"In big moments in life, you get a lot of perspective," she said. "It makes you wonder what you want to focus your energy on. Right now, we feel energized and excited about all of the things we've been building toward. We're also focused on our foundation. So much of the work we do includes the philanthropic space."

Markle and Prince Harry's relationships with the queen have been the source of much speculation, especially after they stepped away from royal duties and moved back to the U.S. However, most reports agree that Prince Harry was especially close to his grandmother. He wrote a heartwarming tribute to her after news of her death first broke.

"In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen-and in mourning her loss-we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty," he wrote. "She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy."

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"Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: 'Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings,'" he continued. "Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings – from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren. I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between."

"You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III," the royal concluded. "Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."