Joining the royals. Amid Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s early courtship, she impressed his regal family members — including his father, King Charles III.
The Duke of Sussex introduced his father — who succeeded Queen Elizabeth II as monarch in September 2022 — to the Suits alum in November 2016 after nearly five months together.
“I’d call the visit a coming-out party,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly at the time, noting the then-dating couple attended a birthday bash for Harry at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. “It would have been the first time some of his close friends got to meet her. It’s been important for Harry to introduce Meghan to the people he cares about.”
Harry and Meghan eventually got engaged nearly one year later at their Nottingham Cottage residence.
“I wanted to do it earlier, because I had to ask permission from my grandmother, [Queen Elizabeth II],” the Invictus Games cofounder recalled of his proposal during the second episode of the couple’s Harry & Meghan docuseries, which premiered in December 2022. “I couldn’t do it outside of the U.K.”
He added: “I did pop a bottle of champagne while she was roasting the chicken, and that kind of slightly gave the game away. She was like, ‘You don’t drink champagne, what’s the occasion?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know, just had it lying around, whatever.’”
Ahead of Harry and the Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding, news broke that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, would not attend the big day or walk his daughter down the aisle. (The former lighting director had been accused of staging paparazzi photos weeks before the ceremony.) Instead, Meghan asked the former Prince of Wales to escort her to the altar.
“Prince Charles was very touched to be asked by Meghan to walk her down the aisle and he is very much looking forward to welcoming her into the family,” a Buckingham Palace source exclusively told Us in May 2018. “There is a real growing affection between Charles, [Queen Consort] Camilla and Meghan, which of course extends to Doria [Ragland, her mother] too.”
Charles — who even nicknamed Meghan ‘Tungsten’ for her toughness — and the California native eventually hit a rough patch after she and Harry decided to take a step back from their roles as senior working royals. A source told Us in January 2020 that the British sovereign was “livid” with his youngest son — whom he shared with the late Princess Diana — over the decision.
Harry and Meghan eventually settled in Montecito, California, where they are raising their children: son Archie, born in 2019, and daughter Lilibet, born in 2021. The married couple have also started several joint business ventures, including their Archewell foundation and inked production deals with Netflix and Spotify.
After the couple’s move, the Spare author alleged in their joint March 2021 CBS interview that his father had financially cut them off and stopped speaking to them. After years of distance, the king offered an olive branch to Harry and Meghan in his first speech as the reigning monarch.
“I think the king has made it very clear that he wants to heal the rift. Family dynamics, of course, are always complicated, but I think we can all see that there’s a great deal of pain,” royal expect Gareth Russell exclusively told Us in September 2022 of Charles offering his “love” to the couple amid their overseas life. “The king, even when he was Prince of Wales, I think has made it very clear that he would, he would like a better relationship with the Duke of Sussex. So let’s hope that the olive branch is something that works.”
Harry and Meghan attended the queen’s state funeral later that month, where they were seated directly behind Charles and Camilla. In May 2023, however, the former actress was not present for the new king and queen’s coronation in London, which her husband attended solo.
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