How the Queen showed her support for Kate and Meghan

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·11 min read
The Queen showed her support for Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton in many ways. (Getty Images)
The Queen showed her support for Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton in many ways. (Getty Images)

Not only was the Queen the longest-reigning British monarch, she was also the longest-reigning female monarch in world history.

It's hardly surprising, therefore, that Her Majesty was well known for forging strong relationships with other female members of the Royal Family, not least her granddaughters-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, as she's now known, and the Duchess of Sussex.

From showing them the royal ropes, to lending them her iconic jewellery and championing the duchesses through difficult times, here's all the ways the Queen supported Kate and Meghan.

Read more: How Her Majesty reached the mighty age of 96

The Queen and Meghan Markle appeared to get on famously at their first solo royal engagement in June 2018. (Getty Images)
The Queen and Meghan Markle appeared to get on famously at their first solo royal engagement in June 2018. (Getty Images)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

She took Meghan under her wing

After announcing her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017, Meghan found herself with a powerful ally: the Queen.

Not only did the monarch invite Meghan to spend Christmas at Sandringham in December 2017, an honour usually reserved for those who are married into the family, she also accompanied the duchess on her first solo trip, to Cheshire in June 2018.

In comparison to the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, Meghan’s debut engagement came just over a month after the royal wedding.

Her sister-in-law, on the other hand, joined Her Majesty on a solo outing during the Diamond Jubilee tour almost one year after she wed Prince William.

Meghan's outing appeared to go without a hitch, with the Queen and newly-titled Duchess of Sussex seemingly enjoying one another’s company greatly.

It’s not often we saw the monarch in stitches, but the Queen clearly enjoyed her granddaughter-in-law’s sense of humour, editor of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward told Yahoo UK.

“Meghan’s very bright and sassy and she’s probably very funny,” Seward said, during an episode of Yahoo's The Royal Box.

“The Queen likes a bit of a wit and people are so deferential to her she probably finds Meghan’s American openness really refreshing. She does obviously enjoy her company.”

Meghan Markle said the Queen helped her choose her wedding tiara, pictured in May 2018. (Getty Images)
Meghan Markle said the Queen helped her choose her wedding tiara. (Getty Images)

She helped Meghan choose her wedding tiara

An email released in November 2021, as part of a Court of Appeal hearing, revealed the duchess's personal account of choosing a tiara with soon-to-be grandmother-in-law.

In the email, which Meghan sent to her communications secretary to pass on to the authors of Finding Freedom, she wrote about herself in the third person when describing the interaction.

She wrote: “The Queen, Harry and Meghan were all present – she tried on five tiaras and the Queen asked her which she preferred.

“Meghan asked the Queen her preference. The Queen said they all suited her and Meghan chose the diamond one, which the Queen agreed was perfect.”

The earrings gifted to Meghan Markle by the Queen, pictured in June 2018. (Getty Images)
The earrings gifted to Meghan Markle by the Queen, pictured in June 2018. (Getty Images)

She gifted Meghan some pearl earrings

During their first trip together, the duchess wore a custom Givenchy Haute Couture dress, but it was her jewellery that royal fans were most interested in, notably a pair of small pearl and diamond earrings.

According to royal reporters, the elegant earrings were gifted to Meghan by the Queen from the monarch's personal collection.

Meghan later wore the family heirloom at the 2018 Wellchild Awards in September that year to accompany her all-black look.

Read more: The Queen by the people who knew her

The Queen was supportive of Meghan and Prince Harry when they stepped back as senior royals, pictured in June 2018. (Getty Images)
The Queen was supportive of Meghan and Prince Harry when they stepped back as senior royals, pictured in June 2018. (Getty Images)

She supported her stepping down as a senior royal

When the Sussexes announced they were stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family, the Queen issued a statement offering her support for their decision and singled Meghan out for praise, saying she was "particularly proud" of how quickly the former actor has "become one of the family".

In a statement the monarch unusually used the first names of her grandson Prince Harry, his wife and his young son Archie, saying they "will always be much loved members of my family".

"Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family," the Queen said.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family," the statement continued.

"It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

Watch: Moment Queen shared her blanket with Meghan during their first engagement together

She shared her blanket with Meghan

As Meghan cited in her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, the pair enjoyed a touching moment when the Queen shared her blanket with the new duchess during their first engagement together four years ago.

The Duchess of Sussex told millions of viewers in her infamous interview with Winfrey how the Queen said "Meghan, come on" and stretched her woollen blanket across them both.

And a video later emerged showing the late monarch sweetly sharing her cover with her granddaughter-in-law in the back of their car.

Meghan looks to initially help the Queen smooth the blue blanket over her legs, when she turns to Meghan and offers her some of the woollen covering too.

It was filmed by Eileen Owens, 56, from Handbridge, Chester, who said she “had no idea of the significance of that moment” until the interview with Winfrey.

But Meghan wasn't the only female royal Her Majesty looked out for on a joint engagement, having also shared her blanket with the Duchess of Cambridge.

During a trip to King's College London in 2019 royal fans couldn’t help but notice a sweet show of affection between her and her other granddaughter-in-law in which the duo appeared to share a blue blanket spread across their laps.

Read more: The Queen's standout fashion moments throughout her life

The Queen has always been supportive of her grandson's relationship with the Duchess of Cambridge, pictured in July 2011. (Getty Images)
The Queen has always been supportive of her grandson's relationship with Kate, pictured in July 2011. (Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge

She's always been supportive of Kate's relationship with Prince William

The Queen has always been particularly supportive of her grandson's relationship with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, but there's a sweet trait in her granddaughter-in-law, which Her Majesty was particularly on board with.

"The thing about Kate is... the Queen was impressed [that] she adored and loved William for himself, not for his title," royal biographer Andrew Morton, told OK! magazine.

Morton added that the Queen appeared especially invested in the couple's marriage too.

"She spends a lot more time supporting and nurturing the relationship between William and Catherine than she did with Charles and Diana," the biographer said.

The Queen praised her granddaughter's handling of tough times, pictured in November 2019. (Getty Images)
The Queen praised her grandson's wife's handling of tough times, pictured in November 2019. (Getty Images)

She praised the Duchess of Cambridge's handling of the pandemic

Though the Queen has always maintained a close relationship with her grandson's wife, she was said to have been particularly impressed by the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge's handling of the pandemic and other difficult times.

"The [then] Duchess of Cambridge has become one of [the Royal Family's] greatest assets for her ability to be both an accessible and aspirational figure," a Palace insider told Best Life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, William and Kate seemed to became the unofficial representatives for the Royal Family, increasing their duties in place of the Queen and then Prince Charles, who were both sheltering due to the virus.

And this didn't go unnoticed by the Queen. "Her Majesty has always been fond of Catherine, but the Queen was very pleased to see how the duchess rose to the occasion so brilliantly during lockdown and took on some wonderful initiatives," the insider continued.

Read more: Was the Queen the ultimate feminist?

The Duchess of Cambridge greeted the Queen with a kiss on the cheek, pictured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in June 2019. (Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge greeted the Queen with a kiss on the cheek, pictured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in June 2019. (Getty Images)

She allowed the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge to kiss her on the cheek

During a trip to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2020, the monarch and her granddaughter-in-law shared a sweet moment which hinted at the respect the Queen has for her grandson's wife.

When Her Majesty arrived at the garden, the duchess leant in to give her elder a kiss on the cheek, before going on to curtsy and this act offers something of an indication about how the monarch views her status within the royal family.

Royal experts say it isn't just the fact that the duchess gave Her Majesty a familiar peck on the cheek that shows how much she respects her granddaughter-in-law. But also the order in which the royal's greeting took place ie giving the cheek kiss first, before curtsying afterwards.

As royal reporters noted, the double cheek kiss might be how the royal family greets each other at private functions, but doing it in public is a pretty big deal. Throw in the kiss before the curtsy and this apparently highlights that the duchess is considered as part of the inner family circle, blood relatives included.

She praised the duchess' photography campaign

Back in 2020, the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge launched a photography project, called Hold Still, to capture images which represented the emotions captured during the pandemic.

In honour of the project going live, Her Majesty shared some sweet words congratulating her granddaughter-in-law on the achievement.

"It was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to look through a number of the portraits that made the final 100 images for the Hold Still photography project," the Queen said in a statement ahead of the launch.

"The [then] Duchess of Cambridge and I were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time, whether that is through celebrating frontline workers, recognising community spirit or showing the efforts of individuals supporting those in need."

Her Majesty added: "The [then] Duchess of Cambridge and I send our best wishes and congratulations to all those who submitted a portrait to the project."

Read more: Why do I feel sad about the Queen's death?

The earrings the Queen gifted the duchess of Cambridge, pictured in March 2022. (Getty Images)
The earrings the Queen gifted the Duchess of Cambridge, pictured in March 2022. (Getty Images)

She regularly leant the duchess jewellery

One such example was during the royal tour of the Caribbean with William, when the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge attended a glittering state dinner.

To compliment her custom, off-the-shoulder Jenny Packham gown, she wore matching emerald-and-diamond earrings and a bracelet, both loaned by the Queen.

The glittering, chandelier-style earrings and matching bracelet are both believed to be from the Emerald Tassel Parure collection.

The duchess also wore her Royal Family Order and the GCVO Star, which Her Majesty gifted to her in April 2019 for her eighth wedding anniversary.

The jewellery the duchess wore during at that particular dinner was previously worn by the Queen back in May 2011 at an event with the then US President, Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Duchess of Cambridge has always seemed to have a good relationship with her grandmother-in-law, pictured in (Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge has always seemed to have a good relationship with her grandmother-in-law, pictured in (Getty Images)

She gave her the Royal Family Order

The Queen's affection for her granddaughter-in-law was evident when she awarded her the Royal Family Order and the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

The Royal Family Order is given by the head of state, at their own discretion, to women in the family as a reward for their service, and it can be worn during official state occasions.

Being made a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order is the highest order the Queen could bestow and the fact that the duchess received it is further proof of the Queen's respect and love for her grandson's wife.

Additional reporting SWNS.