Queen Elizabeth II’s death last year marked the end of an era for the royal family. She was the longest-serving monarch in history, working with no less than 15 Prime Ministers during her 70 years on the throne. She was mourned worldwide, and the day she passed at Balmoral, it was her closest family who gathered. However, Meghan Markle was nowhere to be seen, despite her and Harry being in the UK at the time.
Harry arrived some time after his family members and didn’t get to say a final last goodbye to his beloved grandmother. As soon as the plane had landed in Scotland, he saw the news of the queen’s passing.
The funeral was the first meeting between Meghan and Kate in years. Their relationship had been destroyed after what Meghan had claimed about the royals, and most likely, the two didn’t exchange any words at the funeral arrangement. They could’ve met at Balmoral when the queen died. However, a theory states that Meghan didn’t go – all because of Kate.
When Harry and Meghan tied the knot in 2018, royal fans – and the royal family itself – thought it was the start of a long and prosperous life within the Firm. The two were to become great working royals, increasing their popularity in the US because of Meghan Markle.
Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth
It had started well; the public accepted the couple, and the royals (especially Queen Elizabeth) were thrilled. And as the Queen was a lifelong dog-lover, things only became better once Meghan met her Corgis.
Since the early days of their dating, the royals took to Meghan. Queen Elizabeth gave her blessing for her marriage to Harry, and even the royal pooches seemed to approve!
In their first joint interview, hours after Harry and Meghan announced their engagement, the Duchess said the queen’s dogs were “just laying on my feet during tea. It was very sweet.”
Harry then chimed in: “I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at – this one walks in, absolutely nothing.”
Harry and Meghan dated for a while before becoming engaged in 2017, later tying the knot in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, the following year. As with every wedding, there were plenty of celebrations. However, when it came to Harry and Meghan’s wedding, there was also a lot of drama – which ended in tears.
While the joy of marrying was there, Meghan reportedly had problems with the royals. She apparently didn’t feel welcomed by everyone, but the person who helped her feel more at ease was Queen Elizabeth.
Of course, it was a massive step for Harry to introduce his then-girlfriend Meghan to the queen. Not only because she was the queen, but also because he felt Meghan was the love of his life – meaning everything had to go smoothly with the monarch.
Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth
Paul Grover – WPA Pool/Getty Images
In 2018, shortly before Harry and Meghan announced their engagement, Harry brought Meghan to Balmoral Castle to meet Queen Elizabeth.
“He wanted to introduce Meghan to the queen. It went well,” a source told US Magazine at the time. “It’ll no doubt be the first of many encounters.”
“She’s always been warm and inviting and really welcoming”
And the source was correct. It was the first of many encounters, and after the couple married, Meghan’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth blossomed.
In June 2018, after Meghan joined the queen on a solo appearance, a source told US Weekly, “[Her Majesty] has a brilliant sense of humor. That’s one of the first things that brought her and Meghan closer. It’s that warm side of her that has made Meghan feel so at ease.”
In a 2021 tell-all interview with CBS, Meghan spoke highly about the queen and how she took care of the former Suits actress during their first engagement together.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess traveled to Cheshire for their first royal engagement together, where the two opened a bridge as well as Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre. Moreover, they also attended a lunch with guests of the city council.
Surprisingly, Meghan revealed that the queen was more relaxed than people might think.
“We were in the car going between engagements. And she has a blanket that sits across her knees for warmth, and it was chilly,” Meghan recalled. “She was like, ‘Meghan, come on,’ and put it over my knees as well. And it made me think of my grandmother, where she’s always been warm and inviting and really welcoming.”
Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle formed a powerful bond. But although she thought the actress was terrific, the queen was worried when they began dating.
Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
British broadcaster Gyles Brandreth said the queen thought Harry was “perhaps a little over-in-love” with his new bride.
“She liked Meghan and told lots of people”
Writing in the biography Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, Brandreth, on the other hand, states that the queen was “delighted” that Harry and Meghan were to marry.
“This was as far as she came – to my knowledge at least – to ever uttering a word against the new Duchess of Sussex,” the British broadcaster wrote.
“She liked Meghan and told lots of people so. And she did everything she could to make her future granddaughter-in-law feel welcome,” he added, according to an excerpt of the book, which was published in the Daily Mail.
Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle were on many royal engagements together. When the pair decided to leave the royal family and went all-in during the Oprah interview (during which they accused The Firm of many things) it also meant the end of their close relationship with Harry’s grandmother, as they left the country for Canada, and then the US.
While the queen reportedly refused to take a picture with her great-granddaughter, Lilibet, who celebrated her first birthday when Harry and Meghan visited the UK, it’s said that the queen’s relationship with Meghan also took a brief turn for the worst when they outed the royals in the way they did.
On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth passed away at her summer estate of Balmoral in Scotland. Then-Prince Charles and Princess Anne – who was a part of the queen’s final wish – were the only ones who made it to Balmoral before she took her last breath. Prince William traveled with Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Sophie Wessex, but Kate Middleton did not.
Phil Noble-WPA Pool/Getty Images
Instead, she stayed in London to pick up Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis from school and prepared to tell them what had happened.
Why Meghan Markle didn’t travel to Balmoral when Queen Elizabeth died
Meanwhile, Harry had to travel by himself. But Meghan was not welcome. In his book, Harry wrote about the horrific moments he found out about the queen’s passing – and what his father told him about Meghan not being welcome.
“When the plane started to descend, I saw my mobile phone light up. It was a message from Meg, ‘Call me as soon as you read this.’ I checked the BBC webpage. My grandmother had died. My father was the King. I put on a black tie. stepped off the plane into heavy drizzle.”
Harry continued, “Then my father called again. He told me I was welcome at Balmoral, but… without her. He started to explain his reasons, but they didn’t make any sense at all, and it was disrespectful as well. I did not tolerate it from him. ‘Don’t even think about talking about my wife like that.’ Repentant, he said, stammering, that he simply didn’t want the place to be full of people.”
“‘Nobody’s wife was going to go, not even Kate,’ he told me, ‘so Meg shouldn’t either,’” he concluded.
While Harry claimed Meghan wasn’t invited, there is another theory about why Meghan didn’t travel to Balmoral.
Originally, Meghan was supposed to travel with Harry to Balmoral. A spokesperson for the couple confirmed it at 2 pm the day the queen passed. Just an hour and ten minutes later, the long-time monarch was dead.
At 3.12, a picture of Kate Middleton in a car, picking up the children from Lambrook School, emerged. It was at that point Meghan decided to change her plans.
Royal expert claims Kate was ‘reason’ why Meghan didn’t travel to Balmoral
Omid Scobie, author of the controversial biography Finding Freedom, tweeted that Meghan had changed her plans. She was “like the Duchess of Cambridge,” staying at home. As reported by the Daily Mail, Kate was the “reason” why Meghan didn’t travel. Because of the now-Princess of Wales, the Duchess “changed her mind.”
Meghan Markle got to say her last goodbyes to the queen at the funeral just weeks later. However, she was heavily criticized for her behavior during the sorrowful day as Queen Elizabeth was laid to her final rest at Windsor.
In an interview with Variety shortly after the queen’s death, Meghan Markle opened up about how she was mourning the late monarch.
She stated there had been an “outpouring of love and support,” and that she was “grateful” to have supported her husband during the difficult time.
“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,’” Meghan 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.”
Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth. Please share this article with friends and family to honor the beloved queen!
If you enjoy reading about the royal family and the late Queen Elizabeth, check out this story about the Queen’s final appearance before passing – and why she cried.
Shy teen wins school talent show dancing on “Billy Jean”