Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton stepped out with the royal family and their husbands, Prince Harry and Prince William, today to pay their respects after the procession for Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state in the palace of Westminster. Both women were dressed in black, wearing veils as well, as is customary attire for royal funerals. The Princess of Wales stood in front of the Duchess of Sussex, and the two were stoic during the event. They did not appear to interact, keeping the focus on the late Queen as her coffin arrived.
Harry appeared to get a little emotional during the ceremony while alongside Meghan. He was particularly vocal about how close he was to the Queen, especially during this past year. “We have a really special relationship,” Harry told The Today Show in April. “We talk about things she can’t talk about with anyone else.”
In his statement on her death, he reflected on his grandmother’s relationship with Meghan and his children Lilibet and Archie. “Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings—from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren,” he wrote. “I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.”
While exiting, he and Meghan were photographed holding hands while William and Kate walked separately.
Meghan was open about how there is still room for healing between her and the royal family, given all she experienced while working as a senior royal family member. “I think forgiveness is really important. It takes a lot more energy to not forgive,” she told The Cut in an interview, which was published at the end of August. “But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.” She went quiet, then ultimately said, “I have a lot to say until I don’t. Do you like that? Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.”
As for Kate in particular, Meghan touched on how she saw Kate during her tell-all Oprah interview with Harry in March 2021, along with her feelings on the Kate vs. Meghan feud narrative that played out in the British tabloids. “She’s a good person, and I think so much of what I have seen play out was this idea of polarity where if you love me you don’t have to hate her, and if you love her, you don’t need to hate me,” Meghan said.
Before the Oprah interview, royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s 2020 Sussex biography Finding Freedom touched on what Kate and Meghan’s relationship was like, asserting again that the two were not feuding.
“Meghan would agree with the assessment that the duchesses were not the best of friends,” the two reporters wrote. “Their relationship hadn’t progressed much since she was Harry’s girlfriend.”
A source told Scobie and Durand that Kate felt they didn’t have much in common “other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace,” before the Sussexes moved to Frogmore Cottage and ultimately Montecito, California. Kate, thus, reportedly didn’t put a lot of effort into becoming close with Meghan.
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.