The Queen allegedly took drastic action against Meghan Markle – and it arguably fits with the scandal that was to follow. Because when Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, it should have been the start of a happy new life. But, as we now know, this has been far from the case. After becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in fact, the pair abandoned the British royal family altogether – and created a rift that might not ever be repaired. And it’s now been reported that the Queen may have stepped in in the past to stop Meghan from getting the things she wanted.
But as the royal family is built on rank, tradition and protocol, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Queen would make such a choice. In any case, rules are followed to the letter when the monarch is around; whenever she comes into or leaves a room, for example, everyone else in the vicinity is expected to stand up. And while this may all sound a little archaic, it’s broadly what life as a royal is like.
That’s not all, either. In fact, there are lots of rules that have been laid down both by the Queen and by those monarchs who came before her. For example, not only do potential marriages in the family need the nod from Her Majesty, but also apparently the proposed wedding dresses of any royal brides. It’s said, too, that the Queen must be the first person to be informed of the delivery of a new baby within the clan.
Needless to say, the prospect of all these strictures sounds daunting – and perhaps Meghan started to feel that way after marrying Harry. Then, of course, there are the duchess’ own expectations. In November 2018 an alleged royal source told The Sun, “Meghan can be difficult. She has very high standards and is used to working in a Hollywood environment.”
Plus, a rift between Meghan Markle and her sister-in-law Kate Middleton is believed to have arisen in the run-up to Meghan’s marriage to Harry in May 2018. It’s alleged that during a wedding dress fitting for Princess Charlotte, relations reportedly became so fraught that Kate ultimately left weeping.
Yes, according to a source within the palace, Meghan had become so frustrated on that occasion that Kate had started to cry. The insider pointed out, though, that at the time Kate had only recently delivered her youngest child – and any mother will know how stressful that post-partum period can be.
Then, of course, Meghan herself became pregnant not long after the wedding. In October 2018 – just before Harry and Meghan embarked on a tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga – Kensington Palace announced that the duchess was with child. And the rest of the royals, the statement read, were “delighted” at the prospect of the new arrival.
At the same time the world was celebrating this wonderful news, rumors began to surface that there was tension between Meghan and Harry and his brother’s family. The public began speculating that the brothers’ wives had very different ideas on how to raise a family. According to an anonymous source who spoke to Vanity Fair, “Kate and Meghan are very different people, and they don’t have a lot in common, but they have made an effort to get along.”
This may have been saddening news to many people – especially given everything that the princes had been through together. In 1997, when William and Harry were 15 and 12 years old, respectively, they had lost their mother, Princess Diana. And the brothers famously followed behind her coffin in the lead-up to the funeral – an event that was watched by hundreds of millions globally.
According to the Vanity Fair source, however, the relationship that Harry had with Meghan – along with the couple’s decision to move house – had changed things between the brothers. The anonymous individual said, “Two years ago, the idea of Harry leaving Kensington Palace was unthinkable, but a lot has changed. He wants to be his own person – not in William’s shadow.”
And in December 2018, a palace insider spoke to The Sun to claim that Kate and Meghan had fought after the Duchess of Sussex had been impolite towards royal staffers. Nevertheless, that person added, “It’s a tricky situation, but it was a one-off. And [Kate and Meghan] are determined to maintain a positive relationship – even though they are obviously very different in their approach.”
Still, in April 2019 there was yet another twist to the tale – and it apparently involved the royal jewels. Naturally, the British royal family owns many important and incredibly expensive pieces of jewelry. Some of these had once belonged to the late Princess Diana, and she had specifically left certain items for the future wives of her sons.
In fact, Kate’s engagement ring had actually once belonged to Diana. After their mother’s sudden death, you see, William and Harry were told that they could pick out pieces from their mother’s collection. And while Harry initially took the ring and William had Diana’s watch, ultimately the two princes switched their choices – leaving William free to give the ring to Kate.
Plus, as it happens, Meghan’s engagement ring also contains a link to Diana. While the central diamond set within the piece of jewelry is an ethically sourced gem from Botswana – the country where Meghan and Harry had their first vacation together – the others alongside it were both taken from a brooch from Diana’s collection.
And it seems that Kate has been given access to other pieces that had previously belonged to Diana. For instance, the duchess has been seen sporting the magnificent diamond and pearl-encrusted Lover’s Knot Tiara on more than one occasion. Diana also wore this famous heirloom fairly frequently, although its sheer weight is said to have caused her discomfort.
Then there are a pair of earrings that have been crafted to complement the Lover’s Knot Tiara. Diana wore these frequently, and now Kate does too. The duchess sported the earrings at a state banquet in 2017, at the Passchendaele Centenary commemorations in the same year and then at a palace garden party in 2019. They seem to be a favorite of hers, in fact.
Plus, Kate seems to borrow jewelry directly from the Queen herself. A brooch shaped to resemble a fern that the duchess often dons doesn’t actually belong to her; instead, the Queen was given it as a gift while touring New Zealand in 1953. It seems, then, that the monarch lends the item to Kate when the occasion calls for it.
Even Kate’s wedding tiara was a borrowed piece. On the day of the young woman’s marriage to Prince William, the Queen lent the bride the Cartier Halo Tiara, which is made of nearly 900 diamonds – and it complemented Kate’s wedding dress perfectly.
It should be known, too, that the Cartier Halo Tiara has personal significance to the monarch, as the then-Princess Elizabeth was given the headwear as a gift from her parents when she turned 18. Originally, her father, the future King George VI, had had the tiara created for Elizabeth’s mother, who was the Duchess of York at the time.
But Kate isn’t the only one to benefit from borrowing the Queen’s jewels. The monarch’s famous Bahrain earrings – which were given to her by the ruler of the Middle Eastern nation as a wedding present – have been lent to Diana and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as well as Kate. And for Princess Eugenie’s wedding, the Queen let her granddaughter wear the beautiful Greville Tiara.
Considering the significance and value of these jewels, then, it’s perhaps not surprising that rumors occasionally surround them. And according to The Sun’s source, there was once apparently a big falling-out over who received which piece. The story in question first appeared in November 2018, and it involved Meghan, Kate and the Queen herself.
Reportedly, Meghan was set on a tiara that is embellished with emeralds to wear during her wedding day. The piece she wanted was allegedly off-limits, however, and instead the bride-to-be was said to have been offered an alternative. Yet Harry was apparently none too pleased with this turn of events, and he supposedly insisted, “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”
Even so, the Queen wouldn’t let Meghan use the jewels. And according to a person whom The Sun called “a well-placed royal insider,” Harry “hit the roof” after hearing the news. The individual claimed, “There was a very heated exchange that prompted the Queen to speak to Harry. She said, ‘Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me.’”
Now, it’s been said that the Queen has restricted Meghan’s access to the royal jewels. The Sun reported this information in April 2019, with a source telling the newspaper, “It is at the discretion of the Queen and trusted advisors which items in the royal collection she chooses to loan out and to whom.”
The person quoted within the Sun article went on to say, “Aspects of Meghan’s behavior, including before the royal wedding, caused resentment with forces within Buckingham Palace. To be perfectly honest, the Queen herself was not impressed with some of Meghan’s demands – especially as a new member of the family.”
The source added, “As a result, Buckingham Palace has decided that not all items from the Queen’s royal collection will be opened up to Meghan… The Queen informed Prince William that the items from the Royal Collection worn by Princess Diana would not immediately be made available to Meghan.”
Perhaps adding to tensions within the family is the fact that Kate has access to the jewels. As the wife of the second in line to the throne, Kate is afforded a higher status in the family than Meghan. And if, as expected, William becomes king, Kate will almost certainly gain the title of “queen consort.”
The apparent insider added, moreover, that the reason for the Queen’s decision was partly down to a matter of “rank.” They told The Sun, “The Queen likes Meghan personally, but this is about the hierarchy. She is showing that maintaining the correct order and precedence within the family is important. Even if Meghan is the most popular woman in the world, she is of a lower rank than Kate.”
Nevertheless, the Queen does indeed seem to like Meghan as a person – as far as anyone outside the royal circle knows, anyway. Reportedly, the two have bonded over their shared love of dogs. And in 2017 – so, before Harry and Meghan’s wedding – the Queen even bent the rules a little so that the prince’s then-fiancée could attend Christmas celebrations with the royal family.
That said, The Sun dropped another interesting tidbit about royal relations in 2018. Their anonymous source alleged that, in the midst of the “heated exchange” over the wedding tiara, “the Queen [had] also questioned why Meghan needed a veil for the wedding given [that] it was to be her second marriage.”
Yes, before the wedding, much was made of the fact that Meghan had been divorced before starting a relationship with Harry. Back in 2011, she’d wed producer Trevor Engelson, with the union ending only a couple of years later. And it should be noted that the Church of England – of which the Queen is head – is largely against the dissolution of marriage if at all possible.
Owing to that stance, then, the Queen has faced difficult decisions when it comes to her own family members. For one, she didn’t attend the civil marriage ceremony of Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles – both of whom had previously divorced their respective spouses – because of her adherence to her role in the Church of England. According to The Daily Telegraph, she had told a friend beforehand that she felt her position outweighed her responsibilities as a mother in that instance.
Yet the Queen did attend Meghan and Harry’s wedding, and it went off without a hitch in the end. Meghan wore a white Clare Waight Keller dress complete with a veil – a 16-foot-long one, to be exact. And the tiara upon her head was a beautiful one – even if it may not have been her first choice.
Meanwhile, there’s been some discussion in the media about who – if anyone – was actually to blame for the alleged tiara crisis. In 2019, for example, Yahoo! News interviewed royal specialist Robert Jobson for its Royal Box series. And while Jobson opined that the story was likely true, he also claimed that the whole affair may not have been Meghan’s fault.
Jobson said, “I don’t think Meghan was being difficult when she was picking out a tiara. I think Harry was probably being overly defensive and overly protective.” He did suspect, though, that something had happened between Meghan and Kate, adding, “Whether or not there were reports Kate cried [at the dress fitting]… I don’t know if that’s true or not, but there’s clearly been some confrontation.”
And in 2019 Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent Katie Nicholl also spoke to Royal Box Friday, with Nicholl suggesting that there had been yet another dispute between Meghan and the Queen before the royal wedding. This time, however, it had apparently involved the food options that Meghan had wanted for her guests.
Nicholl claimed that Meghan, who is said to follow a principally vegan diet, had asked for a “macrobiotic alternative” to the wedding meal. She went on, “[Meghan] got very upset when she felt that she could taste egg in a dish when she was told there was no egg in there, and she said, ‘No, I can taste it. I can taste [that] there’s egg in this dish.’”
As a result of the food mishap, then, the situation allegedly became fraught. The royal expert went on, “I think there was a bit of an upset when suddenly the Queen walked in, because, of course, this was Windsor Castle – this is her home. And [the Queen] just quietly took Meghan to the side and said, ‘Meghan, in this family, we don’t speak to people like that.’”
But while the information that has allegedly come from palace sources doesn’t generally reflect all that well on Meghan, it appears that she has nevertheless managed to win people around. In October 2019, for instance, an insider told Us Weekly that the Queen had been “really impressed” with Meghan’s conduct during the duchess and her husband’s tour of Africa.
The source added that the monarch was particularly pleased “with how Meghan’s upped her game” in public. And as for the relationship between the younger generation of royals? Well, William, Kate, Meghan and Harry all attended a Remembrance Day ceremony together in 2019. So, who knows? Meghan fans may see the duchess in the Lover’s Knot Tiara yet.