In 2018, Prince Harry and then-Meghan Markle married in what was then a whirlwind of drama, mostly because of Thomas Markle’s shenanigans. Months after the wedding, various stories “came out” about “what really happened” behind the scenes around the wedding. That fall was when we first heard the infamous “Meghan made Kate cry” story, and we also heard the stupid “Meghan personally demanded a tiara from the Queen” story. Neither story made much sense to me because both stories were severely light on details and context. The point of both stories was to create a narrative of Meghan as “difficult” or “diva-esque” or “an unhinged American.”
The backstory is simple enough: every royal bride gets offered a tiara from the Queen. It’s that simple. Either the Queen – through her people – will offer a royal bride a choice, or the Queen will make the decision about which tiara she’ll lend out. The Meghan-tiara story was, again, light on details and context, but it was something about how “the Queen offered Meghan one tiara, and Meghan DEMANDED a different one.” And then the Queen told Harry that his bride was horrid or something. Raise your hand if you think Meghan would march into Buckingham Palace and demand the Queen give her a different tiara. Anyway, People Magazine’s excerpt from Finding Freedom reveals that the beef was actually between Prince Harry and the Queen’s dresser, Angela Kelly.
Meghan Markle glittered in the Queen Mary tiara on her wedding day — with the blessing of her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth. In Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, veteran royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand detail the events leading up to Meghan’s 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. The book, which features exclusive interviews with the couple’s friends, is excerpted in this week’s PEOPLE cover story.
Among the behind-the-scenes insights in the book is Harry’s frustration in dealing with the Queen’s longtime dresser, Angela Kelly. Scobie and Durand write that Harry felt Kelly was dragging her feet in helping Meghan obtain access to her chosen tiara for a hair trial in advance of the big day on May 19, 2018.
Several U.K. tabloids had previously reported that the Queen, 94, had rejected Meghan’s first choice of tiara. Finding Freedom reports that in fact, there were no disagreements between Meghan and the Queen about her chosen tiara. Rather, the conflict existed between Harry and Kelly. (The hair trial, the book reports, ultimately went forward with no hesitation from the Queen.)
This makes sense to me, especially because royal brides would obviously want to get advance access to whatever tiara they’re going to be given so they can see which hairstyle looks best (thus, “the hair trial”). It also makes sense that Angela Kelly is a passive-aggressive bish who would drag her feet on lending out tiaras.
As I was looking through our archives for this story, I was reminded of this suspicious and nasty story in 2019 about the Queen “cutting off Meghan’s access” to the Royal Collection jewelry, per William’s request. Now I’m wondering if Angela Kelly was behind that too.
PS… Since Finding Freedom seems to be full of “answers” to all of the royal wedding mysteries, I wonder if the book will answer the question of whether the Duchess of Cambridge truly wore off-white to Meghan and Harry’s wedding. *walks away laughing*
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.