The Duchess of Sussex has rejected the Queen’s advice ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry, according to a bombshell new book serialized in the Daily Mail.
Her late Majesty had recommended that Meghan, then her grandson’s fiancée, seek help from her daughter-in-law, Sophie, now Duchess of Edinburgh, ahead of her wedding day.
Sophie Rhys-Jones, 58, married Prince Edward in a lavish ceremony at St George’s Chapel in 1999 and weathered her own share of scandals – but became a ‘second daughter’ to Queen Elizabeth II and is now a trusted senior royal.
But Meghan only offered a curt response to the monarch, saying: “I have Harry.”
The revelation comes in Robert Jobson’s new book, Our King: Charles III – The Man And The Monarch Revealed – part two of which is published in the Mail on Sunday this weekend.
Prince Edward was promoted to Duke of Edinburgh to mark his 59th birthday, meaning Sophie is now also a Duchess. The former Countess of Wessex previously had a duty to defer to Prince Harry’s wife (pictured together in 2019) who, as Duchess, was of a higher rank
Meghan and Sophie walk past Westminster Abbey on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral and burial in September 2022
In March 2020, Prince Edward was praised for dispelling any possible tension as he took his place between the Sussexes and the Prince and Princess of Wales during the Commonwealth Day service that year (pictured)
The Queen had been determined to get Harry and Meghan’s marriage off to a good start and offered the Duchess the help of one of her most trusted assistants in Sophie.
She had no doubt expected her kind offer to be gratefully received and was surprised to be rejected by the American actress, who believed her husband’s help would be enough.
Queen Elizabeth II firmly believed that Meghan – a divorced, mixed-race American actress – would be a breath of fresh air and a great asset to the monarchy.
And while things started off positively, after the royal couple stepped down from their duties in early 2020, their relationship with the rest of the family began to disintegrate.
The Duchess of Edinburgh, who was recently brought up, became a mainstay in the Queen’s household following the death of Prince Philip.
It was said after securing her new rank, alongside her husband Prince Edward, who inherited the title from his father, that the new Duchess was ‘relieved’ she would no longer have to curtsy to Meghan.
Sophie previously had a duty to defer to Prince Harry’s wife who, as Duchess, was of a higher rank.
Queen Elizabeth II ‘wanted Meghan Markle to be successful in her new role’ and suggested Sophie (pictured together in 2018) as a mentor – but the Duchess of Sussex said she ‘got Harry’, a new book reveals
‘FIRST ROYAL FAMILY TO VISIT AFTER ARCHIE’S BIRTH’
Sophie was the first member of the royal family to visit the Sussexes after the birth of their son Prince Archie in 2019, traveling to the couple’s Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, according to Valentine Low, writing in The Times.
A source told the outlet that Sophie is “normal” and has an empathy that perhaps others in the business “don’t naturally have.”
They said, ‘She did the right thing. She got in the car and drove off. She has the empathy and warmth that people who grew up in this family might not have naturally.
“Normal people would think: this is what you do. You go; you make sure the new mom is okay and you see the baby.
A friend of the couple said: ‘Sophie is relieved. She no longer has to curtsy to someone in the family who has not only stepped down from royal duties, but has spent the past three years criticizing the institution Sophie works so hard to support.
Meghan, 41, a mother of two, explained the intricacies of bowing in her recent Netflix docuseries.
The Sussexes revealed that before a meeting with the late Queen, Harry asked Meghan: “You know how to curtsy, don’t you?”
Meghan told the cameras, “I just thought it was a joke”, before re-enacting the exaggerated bow she gave Queen Elizabeth II and laughing.
It is, however, a tradition that the royal family takes seriously. Princess Anne was seen making a poignant bow to her mother’s coffin as it entered the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
Experts have previously noted that the Countess was in the spotlight, which is what Prince Philip “would have wanted” and helped to “keep his memory alive”.
At a service for her mother-in-law near Balmoral, the Countess of Wessex was seen with tears in her eyes as she knelt to admire the tributes – showing the depth of their relationship which had progressed to the point where it was said that ‘She was treated as a ‘second daughter’ by the Queen.
The Queen cared for Sophie in 2005 after her mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, 77, died of stomach cancer.
Prince Edward and Sophie’s home, Bagshot Park, is just a short drive from Windsor, meaning the Queen’s youngest son and his family would visit regularly.
Walking their dogs together was a favorite pastime for the couple. They also shared a love for military history, spending hours perusing ancient documents at the Royal Archives in Windsor, where Sophie and her mother-in-law indulged in their shared hobby of researching military history.
Although she was unable to see the Queen in person – Sophie would always make sure to call ‘mum’ every day – and she was the first royal to speak about Prince Philip’s death.
And in 2021, a tearful Countess described the Queen as ‘incredible’ as she and husband Prince Edward comforted Her Majesty at Windsor Castle following the death of her husband Prince Philip.
She has also become a source of advice for the new Princess of Wales, who admires the way Sophie balances royal duties with motherhood.
• Adapted from Our King: Charles III — The Man And The Monarch Revealed by Robert Jobson, out from John Blake on April 13 at £22. © Robert Jobson 2023. To order a copy for £18.70 (offer valid until 9 May 2023; free UK delivery on orders over £20), go to mailshop.co .uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.
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