Meghan turned down Queen's suggestion that she take advice from Sophie
Meghan turned down Queen’s suggestion that she take advice from Sophie, Countess of Wessex saying ‘I’ve got Harry’, new book reveals
- Meghan said to have rejected counsel of Countess of Wessex before wedding
- Read more: Kate said royal walkabout was ‘the hardest things she’s had to do’
The Duchess of Sussex dismissed the Queen’s advice before her marriage to Prince Harry, according to a bombshell new book serialised in the Daily Mail.
Her late Majesty had recommended that Meghan, then the fiancee of her grandson, ask her daughter-in-law, Sophie, now the Duchess of Edinburgh, for help before her wedding day.
Sophie Rhys-Jones, 58, married Prince Edward in a lavish ceremony at St George’s Chapel in 1999 and has weathered her own share of scandals – but became a ‘second daughter’ to Queen Elizabeth II and is now a trusted senior royal.
But Meghan offered only a curt reply to the monarch, saying: ‘I’ve got Harry.’
The revelation comes in Robert Jobson’s new book Our King: Charles III — The Man And The Monarch Revealed – with part two being published in this weekend’s Mail on Sunday.
Prince Edward was promoted to Duke of Edinburgh to mark his 59th birthday, meaning that Sophie is now a Duchess too. The former Countess of Wessex had previously been duty-bound to defer to Prince Harry’s wife (pictured together in 2019) who, as a Duchess, was of a higher rank
Meghan and Sophie walk outside Westminster Abbey on the day of the state funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022
In March 2020, Prince Edward was praised for diffusing any possible tension as he took his seat between the Sussexes and the Prince and Princess of Wales at the Commonwealth Day service that year (pictured)
The Queen had been determined that Harry and Meghan’s marriage would be off to a good start and offered the Duchess the help of one of her most trusted aides in Sophie.
She had undoubtedly expected her kind offer to be met with gratitude and was surprised to be rejected by the American actress, who believed that the help of her husband would be enough.
Queen Elizabeth II believed strongly that Meghan – a divorced, mixed-race American actress – would be a a breath of fresh air and a great asset to the monarchy.
And while things started positively, after the royal couple stepped back from duties at the beginning of 2020, their relationship with the rest of the family began to disintegrate.
The Duchess of Edinburgh, who was recently elevated, became a mainstay of the Queen’s household after the death of Prince Philip.
It was said after she was granted her new rank, alongside her husband, Prince Edward, who inherited his fathers’s title, that the new Duchess was ‘relieved’ she would no longer have to curtsey to Meghan.
Sophie had previously been duty-bound to defer to Prince Harry’s wife who, as a Duchess, was of a higher rank.
Queen Elizabeth II ‘wanted Meghan Markle to make a success of her new role’ and suggested Sophie (pictured together in 2018) as a mentor – but the Duchess of Sussex said she ‘had Harry’, a new book reveals
‘FIRST MEMBER OF ROYAL FAMILY TO VISIT AFTER THE BIRTH OF ARCHIE’
Sophie was the first member of the Royal Family to visit the Sussexes following the birth of their son Prince Archie in 2019, going to the couple’s Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, according to Valentine Low, writing in The Times.
A source told the outlet that Sophie is ‘normal’ and has empathy that perhaps others in the Firm ‘don’t naturally have’.
They said: ‘She did the right thing. She got in the car and went over. She has got the empathy and warmth that maybe people who grew up in that family don’t naturally have.
‘Normal people would think: this is what you do. You go; you make sure the new mum is OK and see the baby.’
A friend of the couple said: ‘Sophie is relieved. She no longer has to curtsey to someone in the family who has not only left Royal duties but has spent the past three years criticising the institution that Sophie works so hard to support.’
Mother-of-two Meghan, 41, explained the intricacies of curtseying in her recent Netflix docuseries.
The Sussexes revealed that before a meeting with the late Queen, Harry asked Meghan: ‘You know how to curtsey, right?’
Meghan told the cameras: ‘I just thought it was a joke,’ before re-enacting the exaggerated curtsey she gave Queen Elizabeth II and laughing.
It is, however, a tradition that the Royal Family takes seriously. Princess Anne was seen giving a poignant curtsey to her mother’s coffin as it entered the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
Experts previously noted the Countess being in the spotlight is what Prince Philip ‘would have wanted’ and helped to ‘keep his memory alive.’
At a service for her mother-in-law near Balmoral the Countess of Wessex was seen teary-eyed while kneeling to admire tributes – showing the depth of their relationship which had progressed to the point where the she was said to be treated as a ‘second daughter’ by the Queen.
The Queen cared for Sophie in 2005 after her mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, 77, died from stomach cancer.
Prince Edward’s and Sophie’s house, Bagshot Park, is only a short trip from Windsor, meaning the Queen’s youngest son and his family would regularly visit.
Walking their dogs together was a favourite past-time of the pair. They also shared a love of military history, spending hours poring over ancient documents in the Royal Archives at Windsor, where Sophie and her mother-in-law indulged in their shared hobby, researching military history.
Even if she was unable to see the Queen in person – Sophie would always make sure to call ‘mama’ every day – and she was the first royal to speak about Prince Philip’s death.
And in 2021, a tearful Countess described the queen as ‘amazing’ as she and her husband Prince Edward comforted Her Majesty at Windsor Castle following the death of her husband Prince Philip.
She has also become a source of advice for the new Princess of Wales, who admires the way Sophie balances her royal duties with motherhood.
• Adapted from Our King: Charles III — The Man And The Monarch Revealed by Robert Jobson, to be published by John Blake on April 13 at £22. © Robert Jobson 2023. To order a copy for £18.70 (offer valid until May 9, 2023; UK P&P free on orders over £20), visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.
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