Meghan Markle’s relationship with Prince William and Kate Middleton has never been an easy one. In fact, royal expert Katie Nicholl says her relationship with the senior royals was “cool from the start.”
Nicholl spoke with ET’s Kevin Frazier following the release of Meghan and Prince Harry’s new Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, on Thursday, in which Meghan detailed her awkward first meeting with the couple.
“Meghan’s recollection of meeting William and Kate for the first time rings very true to me, because I remember speaking to my sources when I was researching my book about those early meetings, and being told that William did find her a big personality, and clearly, Meghan said she went in for the hugs and everything else,” Nicholl explained, referencing Meghan’s less-than-warm first encounter with the pair.
She continued, “She’d expected the formality that she recognized in them as a royal couple sort of not be extended behind the closed doors of Kensington Palace, and in fact it was, and so, I think our suspicions about this being a pretty cool relationship right from the start have been confirmed here.”
The first meeting also confirmed something Nicholl said we’ve always known, that Meghan and Kate are two very different women.
“I think it also confirms what we’ve always known, which is that Meghan and Kate are two very, very different women, but that’s why they were never going to be best friends,” Nicholl said. “Meghan, she interpreted that as coolness, but as far as Kate is concerned, it’s not natural for her to go and give a great big bear hug to someone that she hasn’t met before. So again, I think those sort of cultural clashes were clearly there, and I think [it’s] just different people here.”
In Volume 1 of the docuseries, the Duchess of Sussex details her first encounter with her future brother and sister-in-law.
“Even when Will and Kate came over and I had met her for the first time… They came for dinner,” the mother of two recalls. “I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot. I was a hugger, always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.”
As Nicholl shared, it didn’t take long for Meghan to realize was that William and Kate and other members of the British royal family were formal both in public and behind the scenes.
“I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside,” she says. “That there is a forward-facing way of being. And then you close the door, ‘Oh, great. OK, we can relax now.’ But that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me.”
Meghan’s meeting with the late Queen Elizabeth II, who was the first senior member of the royal family she met, was equally as formal, with Harry calling it a “shock to the system.”
“She had no idea what it all consisted of. So it was a bit of a shock to the system for her,” Harry admits of Meghan meeting his grandmother and other important members of his family.
“I didn’t know I was gonna meet her until moments before,” Meghan says of the late monarch. “We were in the car, driving and he’s like, ‘You know how to curtsy, right?’ And I just thought it was a joke.”
Meghan compares the moment she met the queen to a scene out of Medieval Times, a popular dining experience in America. She even imitates the deep curtsy she made as Harry looks on amused.
That being said, he adds, “But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgement more than anything else in the beginning.”
Meghan, who starred on USA’s Suits, agrees, saying, “The actress thing was the biggest problem, funny enough.”
Volume I of Harry & Meghan is currently streaming on Netflix, while Volume II will be released on Dec. 15.
Source: ET Online