Meghan Markle reveals gift Queen bought her before their first engagement

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·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
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Watch: Harry has a 'really good' relationship with the Queen

Meghan Markle has revealed the Queen gave her pearl earrings and a matching necklace as a gift before the two women carried out their first engagement, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The pair visited Chester together in 2019, soon after Meghan married Harry, in a move seen as an early show of support for the Duchess of Sussex by the monarch.

Ahead of the trip, Meghan revealed she received "some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace" from Her Majesty.

Meghan, 39, lavished praise on the Queen in the interview but was more disparaging about the Royal Family as an institution.

She reflected on the first time she met the Queen, which was during a lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, where Prince Andrew and his former wife Sarah Ferguson live.

WIDNES, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Meghan with the Queen at their first joint engagements in June 2018. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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She told Winfrey: "I remember Harry and I were in the car and he said: ‘My grandmother is going to be there so you are going to meet her.’

“I said: ‘Great’.

“He said: ‘Do you know how to curtsey?’

“I didn’t think it’s what happened inside.

“I said: ‘It’s your grandmother.’

“He said: ‘It’s the Queen.’

“That was the first moment that the penny dropped.”

She said they practised, adding that Ferguson also helped with her preparation to meet the Queen.

But of the first meeting, Meghan added: "We sat there and we just chatted. And it was lovely and easy."

Meghan also admitted to being naive about the role and the Royal Family when she started dating Harry.

Meghan said: “I will say I went into it naively, because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the Royal Family.

“It wasn’t something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn’t something that we followed.”

Adding that she didn't do any research, she said: “I didn’t fully understand what the job was, what does it mean to be a working royal, what do you do?

“I didn’t romanticise any element of it, but I think as Americans especially – what you know about the royals is what you read in fairy tales.

“It’s easy to have an image of it that’s so far from reality and that’s what was really tricky over those past few years, when the perception and reality are different things and you’re being judged on the perception but you are living the reality of it, there’s a complete misalignment and there’s no way to explain that to people.”

Watch: Meghan and Harry on Oprah: All the key quotes from bombshell interview

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While Meghan's husband Prince Harry was open about rifts with his brother Prince William and his father Prince Charles in the interview, he was complimentary about his grandmother, who he said he has a lot of respect for.

He said he has a "really good relationship" with the Queen. Previously, in an interview with James Corden, Harry, 36, revealed he had been able to have video chats with the Queen and Prince Philip, his grandparents, even sharing that Philip ended calls by closing the laptop instead of pressing the leave button.

Meghan also revealed she had called the Queen when she and Harry heard that Philip, 99, was admitted into hospital.

Philip is still in hospital, making it nearly three weeks since his first admission. It's his longest spell yet.

However while Meghan and Harry spoke positively about the Queen, they were open about the problems they said they faced in their time as senior royals.

Meghan claimed that Harry had told her some members of the family had asked what colour Archie's skin might be before he was born, and that they struggled to get her the support she needed when she faced suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy.

Harry declined to add more detail to the conversation about Archie's skin, saying it was not something he would ever discuss, but admitting it was "awkward".

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