A new book by Tom Bower, which documents the fractures in Britain’s Royal Family caused by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, claims that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II expressed her relief that her grandson’s wife didn’t attend the funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh.
According to the bombshell book, Queen Elizabeth II expressed her relief to her aides on the day of the funeral that Markle’s pregnancy meant she couldn’t fly to the United Kingdom for the ceremony.
Prince Philip passed away on April 9, 2021, at age 99.
“The rehearsals displayed faultless military drill. Few would not be touched by the perfection of British ceremonial tradition. The weather was forecast to be outstanding. The only uncertainty was the relationship between Harry and his family. How would he cope with his father and brother?” Bower writes in the book.
“In Windsor Castle the Queen was preparing to face the public on one of the saddest days of her life. Philip had been her rock for the previous 70 years. To comply with Covid restrictions she would grieve alone inside the chapel. ‘Thank goodness Meghan is not coming,’ the monarch said,” the book continues.
Meghan Markle officially became a member of the Royal Family when she married Prince Harry, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, on May 19, 2018. Less than two years later, however, Meghan and Harry announced that they would “step back as senior members” of the British Royal Family and become financially independent.
In 2021, the Queen officially stripped both Harry and Meghan of their royal titles.
Why the Queen’s Comment Matters
Under royal convention, working members of the Royal Family do not make explicitly political statements – and while Her Majesty’s comment about Meghan is not political, it does reflect the fact that Meghan herself ignored this important convention.
Throughout the early days of her time as a royal, Meghan repeatedly made the headlines after making political statements. From her advocacy of feminist issues in public life and on her website to explicitly telling members of the press that her husband Prince Harry “is a feminist,” Meghan made life difficult for the royals on an almost daily basis.
The Queen’s comments, while made in private and never intended to be heard publicly, reflect her commitment to avoiding the airing of dirty laundry publicly as well as her commitment to avoiding politics and negative press.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.