Sarah Ferguson taught Meghan Markle how to curtsy moments before meeting the Queen, as the Duchess of Sussex reveals she went into her royal role ‘naively’.
Meghan used her two-hour bombshell Oprah Winfrey tell-all to reveal she ‘never looked up her husband online’ when they first started dating.
She admitted she ‘didn’t do any research’ into the royal family before she married into it and said she ‘didn’t fully understand what the job was’.
The Duchess of Sussex – who also used the interview to reveal her second baby will be a girl – said: ‘I went into it naively because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the royal family. I didn’t fully understand what the job was.’
Such was her naivety, that when Meghan went to meet the Queen for the first time at The Royal Lodge in Windsor, she ‘didn’t even know how to curtsey’ and was shocked when Harry explained it was expected of her.
The mother-to-be said that was the moment ‘the penny dropped’ that her perception about the Firm was ‘very different’ to the reality, and she had to learn how to perform the royal custom ‘very quickly’.
Meghan Markle had no idea she had to curtsy to the Queen and was taught by Sarah Ferguson outside Royal Lodge moments before meeting Her Majesty for the first time (pictured in a teaser clip from the interview)
Meghan told how she first met Prince Harry ‘s grandmother in a very informal manner at Royal Lodge, the Yorks’ home in Windsor, but was stunned when her husband revealed during the car journey there that she was expected to curtsy (pictured on Christmas Day in 2018
‘Right in front of the house we practiced and ran in. Fergie ran out and said, “Do you know how to curtsy?” she recalled.
‘Apparently I did a very deep curtsy, I don’t remember it, and then we sat there and we chatted.
‘I grew up in LA, I see celebrities all the time. it’s not the same. This is a completely different ball game.’
Meghan – dressed in an elegant black belted dress by Giorgio Armani – added: ‘Thank God I didn’t know about the family, thank God I didn’t research, I would have been so in my head about it.’
Fergie – as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York throughout the interview – is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty.
Fergie – as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York – is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty (pictured with Princess Beatrice at Ascot)
Despite not being an official member of The Fold for more than two decades, Fergie always enthusiastically greets her former mother-in-law with an elaborate knee bend.
During the couple’s highly-anticipated two-hour interview, Meghan hailed her ‘happy ending’ with Prince Harry and Archie now the family are in California – calling their escape from the UK ‘better than any fairy tale’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘thriving’ in the US after having ‘been through a lot’ during their time as senior royals.
Meghan hit nerves across the world in 2019 when she said ‘it is not enough to just survive something’ and instead ‘you’ve got to thrive and feel happy’ when speaking about her struggles with life in the Firm.
And now, the duchess said she, Harry and Archie are ‘on the other side’ and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring ‘we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving’.
But it their joy followed hardship, with Meghan revealing she was suicidal when she was pregnant and had warned Harry ‘I don’t want to be alive anymore’.
Meghan Markle hailed her ‘happy ending’ with Prince Harry (pictured together in 2020) and Archie now the family are in California – calling their escape from the UK ‘better than any fairy tale’ in their bombshell CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey
The duchess said she, Harry and Archie (pictured together in 2019) are ‘on the other side’ and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring ‘we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – who used their two-hour special (pictured) to reveal their second baby will be a girl – are ‘thriving’ in the US after having ‘been through a lot’ during their time as senior royals
Harry also revealed that his father Prince Charles stopped taking his calls after they decided to quit while his wife said an unnamed member of Harry’s family was ‘worried’ about how ‘dark’ their son Archie’s skin would be when he was born.
But Meghan said: ‘Now, because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving.
‘I mean, this is miracles. I think that all of those things that I was hoping for have happened, and this is in some ways just the beginning for us.
‘You know, we’ve been through a lot.
‘It’s felt like a lifetime. A lifetime.’
Oprah asked: ‘So, your story with the prince does have a happy ending.
Meghan replied: ‘It does.’
Oprah added: ‘It has a happy ending because you made it so.’
Meghan hit nerves across the world in 2019 (pictured) when she said ‘it is not enough to just survive something’ and instead ‘you’ve got to thrive and feel happy’ when speaking about her struggles with life in the Firm
Meghan replied: ‘Yeah, greater than any fairy tale you’ve ever read.’
The Duchess of Sussex also used the interview to liken herself to Disney’s The Little Mermaid, a princess who loses her voice when she marries a prince.
While standing in the family’s chicken coop, Meghan told Oprah: ‘I was sitting in Nottingham cottage, and The Little Mermaid came on.
‘Now, who as an adult really watches The Little Mermaid? But it came on, and I was like, “Well, I’m just here all the time, so I may as well watch this.”
‘And I went, “Oh, my god! She falls in love with the prince, and because of that, she has to lose her voice.”
‘But by the end, she gets her voice back.’
Meghan cited this event at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2019, claiming she was forced to go when struggling with her mental health
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have insisted their interview with Oprah Winfrey would be the ‘last word’ on them quitting as senior royals. Pictured: Meghan and Harry in a teaser trailer for the interview
The main bombshells from the Oprah interview
– Meghan’s mental health
The Duchess of Sussex revealed she had suicidal thoughts and said: ‘I just didn’t want to be alive any more.’
She said she begged for help, and asked to go somewhere to get help, and approached one of the most senior people in the institution, but was told it would not look good.
The duchess said: ‘I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.’
– Baby Sussex is a girl
Harry and Meghan revealed they are expecting a baby girl.
The duke joined his wife in the second half of the interview, and told the chat show host: ‘It’s a girl.’
He said his first thought was ‘amazing’ when he discovered they were having a girl, adding: ‘Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing.
‘But to have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for? Now we’ve got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.’
Asked if they were ‘done’ with two children, Harry said ‘done’ and Meghan said: ‘Two is it.’
She also confirmed the baby is due in the ‘summertime’.
– Royal family accused of racism
Meghan said, when she was pregnant with Archie, an unnamed member of the royal family raised ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.
Asked whether there were concerns that her child would be ‘too brown’ and that would be a problem, Meghan said: ‘If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.’
Pushed by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan refused to say, adding: ‘I think that would be very damaging to them.’
She added: ‘That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations.’
– Archie’s title
Meghan suggested she and Harry wanted Archie to be a prince so he would have security and be protected.
The duchess expressed her shock at ‘the idea of our son not being safe’, and the idea of the first member of colour in this family, not being titled in the same way as other grandchildren.
Archie, who is seventh in line to the throne, is not entitled to be an HRH or a prince due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by King George V.
He will be entitled to be an HRH or a prince when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.
As the first born son of a duke, Archie could have become Earl of Dumbarton – one of Harry’s subsidiary titles – or have been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, instead at the time of his birth, a royal source said Harry and Meghan had decided he should a regular Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
– The Prince of Wales
The Duke of Sussex said his father the Prince of Wales stopped taking his calls while Harry and Meghan were in Canada ‘because I took matters into my own hands. I needed to do this for my family’.
He said Charles wanted him to put his plans in writing.
– The Queen
Harry denied that he had ‘blindsided’ his grandmother Queen with the bombshell statement about stepping down as senior royal.
The duke said he believed the report probably could have come from ‘within the institution’.
– The Duchess of Cambridge
Meghan said Kate made her cry ahead of her wedding.
Reports circulated ahead of the Sussexes’ nuptials that Meghan left Kate in tears at Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.
But Meghan told Winfrey the ‘reverse happened’.
Meghan said she was not sharing the information to be ‘disparaging’, but added it was ‘really important for people to understand the truth’.
‘She’s a good person,’ the duchess added.
Oprah said: ‘And this is what happened here. You feel like you got your voice back’, to which Meghan replied: ‘Yeah.’
The Sussexes also used the interview to reveal they were already planning ‘Megxit’ just six months after they married in May 2018.
Describing how she considered ending her life believing it ‘was better for everyone’, Meghan said: ‘I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.
‘And I remember – I remember how he just cradled me. I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help.
‘I said that “I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere.”
‘And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution’.
She added: ‘I don’t want to put more on my husband’s shoulders. He’s carrying the weight of the world. I don’t want to bring that to him’.
The Duke of Sussex also said his family had ‘cut him off’ financially in early 2020, claiming that they had to sign multi-million dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify because he was relying on spending his inheritance from Princess Diana.
In the biggest royal interview for decades, Meghan claims Harry’s family were worried about how ‘dark’ their son’s skin would be. Harry also accused the family of failing to ‘show support’ for his wife when she suffered racism, and said he was ‘trapped’ in the Royal Family until he met Meghan.
He said: ‘My father and brother. They’re both trapped. They don’t get to leave’. He added that his mother Diana would be ‘angry and sad’ that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but ‘she saw it coming’. Harry said: ‘All she’d ever want for us is to be happy’.
Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking, adding: ‘There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship’.
Harry also said the couple left because of the media in Britain and because of a ‘lack of support and lack of understanding’ from his family, and revealed that his father refused to speak to him after they left for Vancouver. And in a sign that his relationship with his brother William is strained, claiming he ‘didn’t have anyone to turn to’ and was ‘ashamed’ to admit his wife struggling.
He said: ‘I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths’. Harry added: ‘My family literally cut me off financially. Members of my family were suggesting that she [Meghan] carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her. There was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard’.
Meghan also revealed that Kate Middleton made her cry before she married Harry in a row over flowergirls’ dresses, and claims she called the Queen when she heard Prince Philip was admitted to hospital almost three weeks ago.
In the sensational interview she also accused the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.
The Duchess of Sussex also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied him the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect their son Archie by denying him 24/7 security.
Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie’s skin colour, claiming it would be ‘damaging’ to the person in her husband’s family who raised it.
When Oprah asked if she was denied the title because of he is mixed-race, Oprah asked if the palace had concerns Archie would be ‘too brown’, Meghan said: ‘In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we have in tandem, the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title,’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.
Oprah then interrupted and said: ‘Hold on. Hold up. Stop right now. There’s a conversation… about how dark your baby is going to be?’ Meghan replied: ‘Potentially, and what that would mean or look like’.
‘And you’re not going to tell me who had the conversation?’, Oprah asked. To which Meghan replied: ‘I think that would be very damaging to them. That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him’.
Much of the two-hour show was about the Royal Family, but there was no mention of Meghan’s rift with her father and a brief mention of her mother Doria.
Meghan As Oprah wrapped up the interview the couple insisted that they had had a ‘happy ending’ by moving to LA, with Harry saying he had ‘no regrets’. But his wife added: ‘My regret is believing them [the Royal Family] when they said I’d be protected.’
Fergie’s Royal Ascot curtsies
The perfect curtsy is a fine art to perfect – but there is one former member of the Royal Family who has become legendary for her sweeping bows.
Despite not being an official member of The Fold for more than two decades, Fergie always enthusiastically greets her former mother-in-law with an elaborate knee bend.
The Duchess of York, 60, appears to long-look forward to her afternoon at Royal Ascot, often excitedly waving at the monarch to welcome her into the Parade Ring.
In 2018, Fergie and Beatrice held hands as they curtsied to the Queen today on her arrival in the parade ring at Royal Ascot
This year is her fifth attending the Berkshire racecourse event, and she has become famed among royal fans for her enthusiastic displays at the occasion.
In 2018, she joined ex-husband Prince Andrew and their daughter Princess Beatrice, proving she hadn’t forgotten how to curtsy as she bobbed in deference to the monarch.
Clutching her daughter’s hand, she swept into a low curtsey as her former mother-in-law rode past in the royal carriage.
It was a similar scene in 2017, when Fergie appeared alongside Beatrice at the event and was seen enthusiastically waving to the Queen before bending into a low curtsy.
Fergie looked ecstatic in 2017 as she welcomed the Queen to Ascot with a very enthusiastic wave, joined by her daughter Princess Beatrice
On this occasion, she appeared to call out to Her Majesty as she rode past in her carriage.
Meanwhile in 2016, the mother-daughter duo were once again joined by Fergie’s ex husband Prince Andrew.
The Duchess of York beamed at the Queen as she rode past, curtsying low while Beatrice and Andrew proudly looked on.
On the rainy summer day, Fergie used her umbrella to assist in helping her curtsy as low as she could.
In 2016, the Duchess of York showed that she hasn’t forgotten royal protocol today as she curtsied to the Queen as her carriage arrived at Royal Ascot
And in 2015 it was a proper family affair at the event, as the usual trio were joined by Princess Eugenie and her now-husband Jack Brooksbank.
Fergie appeared to have perfected the curtsy even then, dropping one knee low to the ground while Prince Andrew offered a respectful bow.
Dropping down: Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, sweeps the Queen a low curtsy while ex-husband Prince Andrew bows in 2015