While in conversation with Oprah Winfrey on CBS Sunday night, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared several bombshells about the royal family, including details from the Duchess of Sussex of her awkward first meeting with her husband's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The American actress, who joined the royal family when she married Harry in May 2018, said she did not realize she had to curtsy before the queen even inside. Markle said she did practice a few times before meeting the Queen and said she has "always been wonderful to me."
"There wasn't actually a huge formality the first time I met Her Majesty the Queen," the former Suits star, 39, told Winfrey. "We were going to lunch at Royal Lodge...and it turned out the queen was finishing a church service there in Windsor. And so she was gonna be at the house." She recalled telling Harry she was so excited to meet his grandmother because of the close relationship with her own. There was just one big difference. Harry's grandmother is the Queen of England.
Harry asked her if she knew how to curtsy and was surprised to learn she would have to do that even when meeting the Queen inside. "I thought that was part of the fanfare. I didn't think that's what happens inside. And I said, 'But it's your grandmother,' and he goes, 'It's the queen,'" Markle recalled. "And that was really the first moment that the penny dropped."
Markle said she did practice the art of curtsying before meeting the Queen. It came together for her very quickly. When she finally met the Queen, she did a "very deep curtsy" before talking. "It was lovely and easy and I think, thank God, I hadn't known a lot about the family," Markle explained. "Thank God I hadn't researched. I would have been so in my head about all of this."
The Duchess, who is now pregnant with her and Harry's second child, said the royal family is much more than just "celebrities" in the U.K. "This s a completely different ball game," Markle said. Although Harry and Markle left their royal family duties behind last year, Markle said the Queen was "wonderful" to her. "It made me think of my grandmother," Markle said of Queen Elizabeth. "She's always been warm and inviting."