The Duchess of Sussex dismissed the Queen’s advice ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry, according to a new book published in the Daily Mail.
Her late Majesty had recommended Meghan, her grandson’s fiancée at the time, to seek help from her daughter-in-law Sophie, now the Duchess of Edinburgh, ahead of their 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’ of Queen Elizabeth II and is now a trusted senior queen.
But Meghan only offered the monarch a curt reply, saying: “I have Harry.”
The revelation comes in Robert Jobson’s new book Our King: Charles III – The Man And The Monarch Revealed – part two to be published in the Mail on Sunday this weekend.
Prince Edward was promoted to Duke of Edinburgh on his 59th birthday, meaning Sophie is now a Duchess too. The former Countess of Wessex had previously been obliged to accommodate Prince Harry’s wife (pictured together in 2019), who was more senior as Duchess
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 defusing any tensions as he took his place between the Sussexes and the Prince and Princess of Wales at that year’s Commonwealth Day service (pictured).
The Queen was determined that Harry and Meghan’s marriage would get off to a good start and offered the Duchess the help of one of her most trusted assistants in Sophie.
No doubt expecting gratitude for her kind offer, she was surprised to be turned down by the American actress, who believed her husband’s help would be enough.
Queen Elizabeth II was adamant that Meghan – a divorced American actress of mixed race – would be a breath of fresh air and a great asset to the monarchy.
And while things started out positive, her relationship with the rest of the family began to unravel after the royal couple stepped back from duties in early 2020.
The recently levied Duchess of Edinburgh became a mainstay of the Queen’s household following the death of Prince Philip.
After being awarded her new rank alongside her husband, Prince Edward, who inherited his father’s title, the new Duchess was said to be “relieved” that she no longer had to curtsey to Meghan.
Sophie had previously been obliged to bow to Prince Harry’s wife, who was more senior as a duchess.
Queen Elizabeth II “wanted Meghan Markle to make her new role a success” and suggested Sophie (pictured together in 2018) as a mentor – but the Duchess of Sussex said she “had Harry”, a new book reveals
“FIRST ROYAL FAMILY TO VISIT AFTER ARCHIE’S BIRTH”
Sophie became the first member of the royal family to visit the Sussexes after 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 others at the firm “don’t naturally have.”
They said, “She did the right thing. She got in the car and walked over. She has the empathy and warmth that people raised in this family may not have naturally.
“Normal people would think: You do. You go; They make sure the new mom is okay and see the baby.
A friend of the couple said: “Sophie is relieved. She no longer has to curtsy to someone in the family who has not only given up royal duties but has spent the past three years criticizing the institution Sophie works so hard to support.
Mum-of-two Meghan, 41, explained the intricacies of curtseying in her recent Netflix docuseries.
The Sussexes revealed that Harry asked Meghan before meeting the late Queen: “You know how to curtsy don’t you?”
Meghan told the cameras, “I just thought it was a joke,” before recreating the over-the-top curtsy she gave Queen Elizabeth II and laughing.
However, it is a tradition that the royal family takes seriously. Princess Anne was seen giving her mother’s coffin a poignant curtsy as it entered the palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
Experts previously noted that the Countess, who is in the spotlight, “would have wanted” Prince Philip and helped “keep his memory alive”.
At a service for her mother-in-law near Balmoral, the Countess of Wessex was seen in tears as she knelt to admire tributes – showing the depth of their relationship, which had progressed to the point where she was ostensibly as the “second daughter” of the Queen.
The Queen looked after Sophie in 2005 after her mother Mary Rhys-Jones, 77, died of stomach cancer.
Prince Edward and Sophie’s home, Bagshot Park, is a short drive from Windsor, meaning the Queen’s youngest son and his family would visit regularly.
Walking their dogs was a popular pastime for the couple. They also shared a love of military history and would spend hours poring over old documents in the Royal Archives at Windsor, where Sophie and her mother-in-law indulged in their shared hobby of researching military history.
Though she wasn’t able to see the Queen in person – Sophie used to call “mama” every day – and she was the first Queen to speak out about Prince Philip’s death.
And in 2021, a tearful countess described the Queen as “amazing” as she and husband Prince Edward comforted Her Majesty at Windsor Castle after the death of her husband Prince Philip.
She has also become an adviser to the new Princess of Wales, who admires how Sophie balances her royal duties with motherhood.
• Adapted from Robert Jobson’s ‘Our King: Charles III – The Man And The Monarch Revealed’, to be published by John Blake on 13 April for £22. © Robert Jobson 2023. To order a copy for £18.70 (offer valid until 9 May 2023; UK P&P free on orders over £20), visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937 .
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