FF: The Queen thought Duchess Meghan was ‘always well-prepared & respectful’

meg queen

About one month after Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, Meghan did a day-trip with Queen Elizabeth in Chester. They had a day of events and Meghan was allowed to travel on the Queen’s private train for the trip. It was big news at the time, and a major signal that the royal family was doing a lot to welcome Meghan into the fold. It’s still interesting to me to examine the timeline of *when* things began to change – it really was immediately following Harry & Meghan’s wildly successful South Pacific tour that fall, where they were greeted with adoring crowds wherever they went. And, I mean, as soon as Meghan got pregnant, it seemed like all of the palace staff went absolutely haywire. But sure, let’s go back to a simpler time, the moment when the Queen showed significant support for Meghan:

The Queen had a level of confidence in Meghan, because as a Palace source shared, “she handles these situations flawlessly because she’s always well prepared and respectful. She’s very clever and good at understanding what’s required.”

Sure enough, Meghan, in an elegant cream cape Givenchy sheath dress from her wedding gown designer, Clare Waight Keller, gave a near-flawless performance on the train trip. (Although she was criticized by the tabloids for not wearing a hat, despite the fact it was not required.)

“The Queen was wonderful, warm, and generous toward the new Duchess,” a source close to Her Majesty said. “She made sure Meghan knew what was going on and made her feel very much at home because it was her first trip.”

Indeed, before the two stepped off the train, the Queen gifted Meghan with a delicate pair of pearl-and-diamond earrings.

Meghan, an avid learner studying all she could on royal protocol, was often seen carrying binders full of research so she didn’t put a foot wrong. She took her new role incredibly seriously. That day was different, though; she was getting a royal master class in training from the Queen herself.

“They had a very warm happy day out and introduction to royal life—because the Queen has so much knowledge to pass on and Meghan is a keen student,” a source close to Meghan shared.

Despite all her careful preparation, Meghan was unsure about how to proceed when she and the Queen had to get into Her Majesty’s Bentley. She politely asked the Queen, “What is your preference?”

“You go first,” the Queen answered.

“Oh, okay,” said Meghan, who tried her hardest to get everything right—which made her father’s public display on national TV in England all the more dispiriting.

[From Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan, and the Making of a Modern Royal Family]

What’s that, Protocol Police? Are you saying it was just the courtiers and the nasty, racist press trying to make it sound like everything Meghan did in front of the Queen was somehow “breaking protocol”? Even to this day, there are royal commentators claiming that Meghan should have been tossed out of the royal family for failing to wear a hat or holding her purse in the wrong hand or walking in front of the Queen when the Queen clearly told her to go first. HOW DARE SHE! Also, I find it hilarious that FF made that little dig about how the Queen had, at the time, never done these kinds of events with Kate.

Still, this excerpt makes me so sad. Meghan really tried, you know? She approached this like a job, she prepared, she had binders full of information, she did everything she could to be prepared. And they still smeared her and attacked her and bullied her out of the country.

The Queen and Meghan The Duchess Of Sussex open the Mersey Gateway Bridge today, the bridge goes between Runcorn and Widnes in Cheshire.

The Queen and The Duchess of Sussex visit Cheshire

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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67 Responses to “FF: The Queen thought Duchess Meghan was ‘always well-prepared & respectful’”

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  1. Belli says:

    That’s what makes the constant “Meghan’s breaking all the protocol” rubbish so ridiculous.

    Meghan prepares. She does her homework. She reads her briefing notes (the people at one of her pre-marriage engagements made a point of saying how obvious it was she’d done her research and how much that meant to them). If she was given the information, she was going to learn it.

    I do think most of the friction towards Meghan within the family has come from William, Charles and Andrew. The Queen tends to stick her head in the sand and want everything to run smoothly with the continuation of the monarchy being her goal. She may have seen the value in Meghan where her sons and grandson didn’t, but the minute the heirs took against her it was crown preservation at the focus. That’s the generous reading anyway.

    • windyriver says:

      Of course she prepares. I said this yesterday – I’d bet she’d done research/asked questions and already knew much of what she needed to about protocol before she moved to England. That’s why we heard about silly supposed infractions like handbag holding, etc., instead of any significant faux pas – which would have made headlines in an instant.

      This is a very sad commentary on TQ, if she was aware of all this early on about Meghan, and still allowed things to unfold as they did.

    • Nic919 says:

      I seem to recall when Elizabeth Holmes made a crack about the binders meghan was holding when she arrived in Australia at the beginning of the tour. Meghan was not a slacker like the Cambridges and they are bothered by this.

      The Queen seemed to get along well with Meghan that day and I suspect that she would have done more events with her had others not gotten in the way. I won’t defend her actions in defending Andrew, but I also don’t think she had any personal issues with Meghan and respected Harry’s choice as partner.

    • MA says:

      This is also supported by the Queen’s personal statement on Sussexit. She said that she’s been particularly proud of Meghan.
      No way the courtiers had a hand in that statement. I think that the Queen was fine with Meghan but is just emotionally stunted and cold like the House of Windsor. She just didn’t care enough to get involved or invested in Meghan’s treatment which enabled the courtiers to do their worst.

  2. Noki says:

    Years before Meghan ,the Queen was said to be very annoyed with Kate from her laziness to not putting on weights,you would think she would have appreciated Meghan more or made sure the vipers backed off.

    • Lauren says:

      I’ve always thought the Queen was fine with Meghan. Her issue is that she won’t rein in her courtiers. They’ve always had far more power than they should, and it’s a situation that goes back centuries (even Prince Albert had issues with stuffy courtiers and palace protocol).

      Her other issue is she won’t rein in her sons or grandson. My suspicion is that she felt she interfered too much in the past, and that didn’t go well (Margaret, Diana and Charles, etc.) and decided she was just going to stop and expect people to get on. That’s not working either.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        On your second paragraph: I have no idea how she could ever feel that way, considering she’s had the “head in the sand” reputation for decades regarding family matters. I think she just can’t be bothered with anything that requires more than the bare minimum of emotional investment or effort. She cares more about her horses and her corgis than her relatives.

      • Prayer Warrior says:

        It’s my understanding from years of reading about the royals (was a monarchist prior to their treatment of Harry and Meghan) that it was Prince Phillip who managed ‘the Family, whilst the Queen managed ‘the Firm’. Now, granted, that family was managed by a man of his times, but he did enforce rules of behaviour with his four children. He bullied Charles, no question. He adored Anne, no question. Because the Queen was more comfortable in her role, once Andrew rolled around and because that pregnancy was the result of a renewing of their personal relationship after he’d been caught fooling around one too many times, I don’t think Prince Phillip paid a ton of attention to Andrew and Edward….so Andrew acted out to get his dad’s attention, and Edward, well, as the baby of the family I don’t think many gave him much attention…he was the 4th kid and so much less important that the first and second, and less important to mum than the third kid. Without Phillip ruling the family with a iron hand, shambles have resulted and because of Phillip’s treatment of Charles, he has a hard time disciplining his eldest son….because Phillip’s discipline was so over the top on Charles…which is a pendulum we see in many families…..But in a monarchy, lines needed to be drawn, and they were The Crown above all….which ultimately is the downfall of the monarchy, because we see how people are treated. They really ought to have come on board and understood what social media would do if they didn’t take care, but they insisted on playing by old rules, and that’s blowing up in the faces…..

  3. Laalaa says:

    To be able to say such eloquent words like “What is your preference?” directly to the Queen instead of yelling “What the F should I do, this wasn’t in the lecture?!” in pure panic to someone other than her, makes it crystal clear she was right for the job and she should have been given the opportunity.
    You could have had a bad B

  4. JaneDoesWerk says:

    This just makes me so sad, everything started off so promising and could have been so different. This story is really what feels like a microcosm of every woman of color who has had to do 10 times more than everyone else just to have a chance of being taken seriously. So frustrating and sad. The firm lost a gem in Meghan.

    • MA says:

      Same. I mean #abolishthemonarchy and all that but it was beautiful to see a black biracial woman in that role and doing it so well. That engagement with the queen was really great too.

  5. morrigan01 says:

    Like Obama and the Tan Suit it was never about the color of the suit. It was the color of the skin of the guy *wearing* the suit. And the same is true wrt Meghan and the people who kept harping on and fuming about so-called “protocol.” It was never about what she did or allegedly didn’t do wrt protocol and supposedly breaking it. It was about the color of her skin while she did the things she was doing.

  6. LeaTheFrench says:

    It was Smart of her to ask the Queen about her preference. Seems to me she handled a new, tricky situation quickly, gracefully and respectedly. I don’t think I would have reacted so well, I probably would have just panicked.

  7. BlueSky says:

    This reminds me of the stories Michelle Obama wrote about in her book when she and the president visited the Queen. It was clear the Queen didn’t give a sh@t about protocol

    • TrixC says:

      A few years back I was involved in organising an official visit from The Queen. It was pretty clear that the people who really care about protocol are her minders, and particularly the so-called “Royal watchers”. They make a fetish of protocol. My boss at the time, who was hosting the visit, was considered to have seriously broken protocol because he guided The Queen around with a hand on her back (can’t possibly touch The Queen!) he said she didn’t care at all. Ahead of the visit the Palace gave us a massive long list of all the things we had to do/not do, as I recall some of them were quite entertaining.

      • MissMarierose says:

        Gatekeeping is a form of bullying for people desperate for any kind of authority.

      • S808 says:


        “Gatekeeping is a form of bullying for people desperate for any kind of authority.”

        WOOO! that’s a WORD!

      • Jaded says:

        Michelle Obama did that too and the courtiers went batshit. She and the Queen got along famously and TQ certainly didn’t appear to mind, in fact she had a huge smile on her face the whole time they were together.

      • El says:

        Well, to be fair, I’d say that putting a hand on any woman’s back during a professional visit is inappropriate, old Queen or young intern, unless your boss is an old friend, and even then, I’d save it for showing her around his house, not showing her around his place of work. I don’t think your boss is a good judge of whether the Queen cared or not. I doubt she would have told him so directly.
        The two things could be true, as we’re always reminded her: the courtier could be over the top AND your boss could be out of line. I don’t even think it takes a royal protocol to call him out as out of line, so I’m with courtiers on this one, sorry.

      • El says:

        see, I think with Michelle Obama it’s different. For one, there is no problematic male-female at work dynamic that goes back millenia, for two, they were equals as far as I’m concerned, for three, Michelle did it as a sideways hug if I remember correctly, it was a show of warmth. I don’t think Michelle would have guided the Queen around the White House that way if she came over for a visit. I definitely don’t think Barack would have.

  8. Priscila says:

    Yes, it is sad. She made an effort and The Queen was pleased. Going from Kate, who never worked, to Meghan, who is a go getter must have given Betty hope for the future. But yes, the cortiers making noise, William getting jealous and KP leaking so many stories—Betty did not even see it as a choice to make: William was born first, so he gets what HE wants.

    • February-Pisces says:

      Yes I think the one thing that the queen would appreciate from Meghan is her work ethic. The queen is still the boss and a boss needs people who are actually reliable and get the job done. Even though I think the queen ain’t shit, she does work really hard, and hard workers hate lazy people with a passion. Kate is not only lazy but a flake too. I remember reading one comment from an employee at a charity, Kate flaked on them 8 times before she actually turned up. She left early too. The queen has always been able to rely on harry.

      Oh well the courtiers wanted a dry dreary monarchy and that’s exactly what they have got.

  9. JanetDR says:

    I remember this event and how it seemed like a great start. But you’re right, the tour showed how popular Harry and Meghan were and suddenly they became the enemy. I can only imagine how awful that was. I wish COVID wasn’t slowing down their foundation, b because I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish!

  10. KellyRyan says:

    CYA Queenie, CYA or allowing or encouraging others to do so. Follows protocol in public, but lives her life with Corgies and horses. The artificial life is not one well lived.

  11. Sofia says:

    Like others have said: this situation is really saddening. So much potential yet at the same time so much ego.

    But if HM liked Meghan enough, she could have and should have told the courtiers to back off. But as someone above said, she sticks her head in the sand and let’s the courtiers deal with everything. She did this with Diana, she did this with Meghan, if things in the Cambridge marriage go wrong enough, she’ll do it with Kate.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    It is sad how things turned out. But jealousy and racism from the rest of the family and staff got in the way.

  13. S808 says:

    I never had any doubts that the Queen liked Meghan. It was obvious she liked and respected Meghan but not *enough*. Not enough to tell the press to back off, not enough to put a stop to the palace leaks and not enough so she was sacrificed for Andrew. Incredibly short sighted on the palace’s side.

  14. Snuffles says:

    I think every single anecdote of Harry and Meghan doing something successfully should be followed by “…and then Will and Kate got insanely jealous AGAIN and pitched a fit. Charles and the Queen just sighed as they usually do and acquiesced to Will’s demands because he’s the heir and the heir must ALWAYS come first.”

    Sometimes I think Will’s main goal as King is to keep standards and expectations as low as possible. Anyone rising above it is to be swiftly beaten into submission.

    • Alexandria says:

      You forgot to add after pitching the fit, Will lost another hair strand or attempted another dumb joke. Meantime, Kate added another button to her coat dresses or bought the same in another colour.

    • Steph says:

      Will he’s going to have a hard time once this pandemic is over. We already know Archewell is going to be introduced with fully realized projects and tangible results.

  15. Alexandria says:

    The buck stops with the Queen. She can blame herself but I doubt it.

    So much potential wasted. This is who would have hit the ground running. As a female royal, her resume BEFORE marriage was the best compared to the Yorks, Kate, Diana, Camelia and Fergie (not sure about Anne). Like Sophie, she had her own career before Harry. One of the best royal speakers, maybe even better than Charles. As a minority, I was very proud of her and seeing her in royal portraits. It meant something. Did you notice the excitement the black UK female students harboured when she visited? She meant something. At first I really thought she would be another Kate. But she really surprised me.

    Onward Duchess and all the best.

  16. Lizzie says:

    This just shows Andrew Morton is nothing but a sell out with his ‘poor Meghan didn’t know the rules’ piece.

    • Alexandria says:

      “Poor Meghan didn’t know the rules” excuse is convenient for racists. Just like inventing “cancel culture” and taunting “wokeness”.

  17. Jelly says:

    Diana became too popular and look how that turned out. I always thought that Kate was shy and uncomfortable in her role in the beginning. I also think she saw Diana as a cautionary tale and didn’t want to ruffle the feathers of her husband, father-in-law or the Queen by attracting too much attention. I think it’s a shame that ppl are pitting women against each other though. Kate and Meghan are different-each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Commenting so viciously on people who we only see a stage managed view of has become a sport it seems and only adds to the toxicity of online culture. Neither Meghan or Kate are perfect heroines or villains. They are humans with frailties like all others. Let’s let them live their lives without dissecting their motives which to be clear we don’t know. I tell my daughter every day comparing oneself to others is the quickest route to unhappiness.

    • Jessica says:

      Bang on accurate. I don’t like Will and Kate’s role in Harry and Meghan’s exit at all and that does sour my view of Kate, but I find it hard to disagree with you.

    • MissMarierose says:

      Thank you for saying this.

    • Nic919 says:

      Nah “Both sides” arguments don’t work when one side uses racism against the other. Also we saw how Kate reacted at the Commonwealth service so let’s stop pretending she’s an innocent bystander. She was ignorant to Meghan and Harry at a church service.

      William is the one who is behind most of this, but Kate played her role as well.

      And again the “both duchesses” crowd always comes in to defend Kate when Kate did a bad thing, or her work ethic looks bad. It’s never the other way. Also the same names I see post this stuff over and over again.

      • Sid says:

        ITA Nic919. I am amazed to see people still sticking to the “both duchesses” narrative even after the way Kate completely exposed her true self at the Commonwealth event.

        And the notion of Kate being shy doesn’t quite fit with what we’ve seen in all the years since she first started dating William in college. Utter disinterest in the job you signed up to do is not shyness.

      • mva says:

        I disagree slightly with the choice of words here…..”She (Kate) was “ignorant” to Meghan and Harry…” The choice of the word “ignorant” implies she didn’t know better than to behave the way she did. Kate was fully aware of her actions and how they would be viewed and has had enough experience to know how she should have acted in that situation, particularly while in church.

    • Sofia says:

      I’m sorry but I’m tired of this “Let’s not compare both Duchesses” because it just seems like people wanting to shoot down some legitimate criticism of Kate under the guise of “Let’s all be nice”.

      William and Harry are constantly compared and no-one says “Let’s not compare the Princes”. Charles, Andrew and Edward were constantly compared and no-one said anything. Diana and Camilla are sometimes compared and no-one says anything.

      Yet when Meghan and Kate are compared, people just want to shut the discussion down. I wonder why.

      • El says:

        Because all of the people you mentioned had similar upbringings and life paths and are, therefore, comparable. Whereas Meghan and Kate couldn’t be more different, and it’s not just down to skin color. It’s upbringing, education, culture, past experiences, career, heck, motherhood, royal exposure…

      • Nic919 says:

        They want to shut down the comparison because it ends up making Kate look bad.
        No one is comparing who is a better mother, but we are comparing work ethic and Kate fails miserably.

        Meghan has had a more challenging upbringing and as a result she has become self sufficient and confident. Kate was given whatever she wanted and still she remains a coddled infantilized almost 40 year old woman who still can’t do the basics of adulting that all other royal married in women have managed to do, even Diana, who was only 19 at the time.

        Kate had every advantage in life and still fails. It’s why the comparisons can’t be made because being white is the only thing she’s got and that just a positive for the racists.

      • Sofia says:

        @El: whether you like it or not, Harry and William’s wives were always going to be compared. Even if they were sisters, married in during the same time, had the exact same career and were the same skin colour. Kate was also compared to Cressida and Chelsy. Those girls were even compared to each other.

        Saying one duchess works when one doesn’t, isn’t being “mean”. It’s the truth whether, again, you like to hear it or not. In fact, if Kate had worked the 7 years she was in the family before Meghan, there would be no comparison because she would and should have left Meghan in the dust. She’s only had, um I don’t know, a 7 year headstart against Meghan.

        If you want somebody to blame for the comparisons, blame Kate for not working and utilising the philanthropy platform actual activists would kill for. Kate’s got nobody else to blame but herself for being compared unfavourably to Meghan.

    • MsIam says:

      “Shy and uncomfortable “ Kate? Please. She’s as much a pit viper as any of these courtiers. Look at how she runs roughshod over Camilla. Like her or not, Camilla is the next queen but do you ever see Kate acknowledge that publicly? She is nothing but a speed bump on the way to the throne for Kate. As for Meghan, I think it was Kate’s (and Mummy’s) mission in life to help get rid of her. Camilla at least is old but having Meghan around for potentially the next 40 years? Nah.

      • Nic919 says:

        Meghan also gets a lot of media attention that Kate would kill for. Camilla and Sophie were never threats to her in that way.

      • blue36 says:

        Also what about that Meghan made Kate cry story? They didn’t refute that at all when we are now finding out that it wasn’t even true? So what was stopping Kate from refuting that story but were hell bent on fighting Tatler for the “Catherine the great” story which had her friends participating in it?

    • Alexandria says:

      I will not stop comparing the two ladies simply because the Palace decided to embiggen Kate and make Kate top CEO. They wanted Kate to be the RF saviour too. Rubbish PR job.

  18. Beach Dreams says:

    It’s even more damning then, that the Queen has let the monarchy (you know…the thing she’s supposedly in charge of) abuse and run off someone she supposedly liked so much. She had no trouble defending and protecting Sophie, who actually screwed up and did so in a big way.

  19. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    It makes me incredibly sad too.

  20. Becks1 says:

    This does make me sad because she really did try. She wanted to do well in her new job, and its clear she saw her role as a job (something that other duchesses fail to do, ahem.) In many ways she went in with her eyes wide open – she knew work-wise what was expected of her – she just didn’t expect the vipers that are the courtiers and the other members of the royal family.

    I do think the Queen liked her. I think the Queen probably understood that she was giving up her old life – in some ways the queen probably empathized with her, since she had to “give up” her old life as a “mere” princess of York when her father became king and then when she became queen. And I think the Queen respected her work ethic, and I DONT think she cared one iota about the things that people insisted she cared about – Meghan guest-editing Vogue, Meghan wearing dark nail polish, etc.

    But its the same thing as with Charles – as I just said in the Charles post – she may have liked Meghan, but she failed to protect her, and she was silent for two years while she was smeared nonstop, and her silence equals her complicity.


    • Nic919 says:

      This is it. She liked Meghan but not enough to do anything because there is very little that actually makes her step in and do her job and leader of the family.

  21. Charfromdarock says:

    I seriously doubt that any criticism of or any hint of wrongdoing by the Queen would have been published by a British publication.

    Sure, she took Meghan in a train ride once but she remained silent during years of abuse and then punished M&H for daring to remove themselves from the toxicity and abuse.

    And, is anyone surprised that Meghan did her homework?

  22. taylor says:

    has william (or kate) been on any sort of record saying anything complimentary toward meghan? i know they couldn’t even manage it after she had her first child, but have the royal sources not come out to say anything nice at all?

    • Nic919 says:

      No. Camilla has been on record saying complimentary things and so has Charles but nothing from those two.

    • Sid says:

      I had a moment of “maybe William is going to be good about this” during one of the family balcony appearances. Kate was refusing to move to the side to make space for Meghan and Harry to move up and William pretty much had to force Kate to move. I was shocked at Kate being so rude, and surprised at William making an effort to accommodate Meghan and Harry. It made me think he at least was going to try. But then we all know how that ended up.

      • MA says:

        I remember that and thought it was so petty of her but reflected well on him at the time. He had to scoot her over two more times, it was so obvious she didn’t want to budge from the center focus.

  23. Lisa says:

    Too bad things changed due to the rr and courtiers.

  24. Grant says:

    She “gave a near flawless performance on the train trip…” Heaven forbid that Meghan not “perform” suitably on a train trip! So stupid. People are dying from COVID-19, famine, sex trafficking, etc. and these courtiers are worried about her adherence to protocol on a train. The stupidity astounds.

  25. Catherine says:

    They are smart to praise The Queen.

  26. AGreatDane says:

    Thankfully this was the last time Meghan wore that U-part wig. Aside from that, I thought she looked lovely.

    • GM says:

      That’s not a wig. It was a very windy day and her part got messed up. Happens to the best of us.

  27. Christa says:

    I see this all demonstrating two management failures:

    1) Failure to rein in palace staff who leaked damaging stories

    2) Failure to nip the conflict between Harry and Wills in the bud earlier before a lot of bad blood built up.

    I don’t know if part of the problem is your CEO is in her 90s and not up to it, or out of touch because that was Philip’s role or what. But it’s theoretically in the Firm’s best interests to make it work despite the personal issues. A couple shows of unity or support for H&M earlier could have gone a long way. But I agree that the courtiers never thought they would outright quit.