Meghan has today lifted the lid on what it was truly like to meet the Royal Family – as she compared her first encounter with the Queen to a themed dinner at America’s ‘Medieval Times’.
The Duchess of Sussex described the pomp and ceremony of meeting the senior members of the Royal Family as part of Harry and Meghan’s explosive Netflix documentary, which saw the first three episodes released on Thursday.
In it, the 41-year-old described her first ‘amazing’ Christmas at Sandringham, where she was sat next to the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip
And she recounted the ‘intense’ moment of meeting Her Majesty for the first time during a lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, joking that the whole occasion felt like an antiquated banquet at Medieval Times, a family dinner theater in the US featuring staged medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting.
Beaming: Meghan recounts the first moment she was introduced to the Queen while husband Harry looks on as part of the couple’s new Netflix docu-series, released today
Meghan, pictured, demonstrates how she curtsied to Her Majesty during a lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor in 2016
But the 41-year-old Duchess compared the ‘surreal’ encounter with the late Queen to a night out at American themed-dinner institution Medieval Times. She is pictured with the Queen in Chester in 2018
Meghan giggled as she admitted the whole occasion felt like a banquet at Medieval Times, a popular family dinner theater in the US featuring staged medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting. Pictured is a dinner night at Medieval Times
The Queen was the first senior member of the Royal Family that Meghan met after she and Prince Harry announced their relationship in 2016.
‘She had no idea what it all consisted of,’ Harry tells the docu-series, as he sits with his arm around his wife. ‘So it was a bit of a shock to the system for her.’
Grinning, Meghan added: ‘I mean. it’s surreal. There wasn’t like some big moment of “Now you’re gonna meet my grandmother”.
‘I didn’t know I was going to meet her until moments before. We were in the car and we were going to the Royal Lodge for lunch, and he [Harry] was like, “Oh, my grandmother is here, she’s gonna be there after church.”.
‘I remember we were in the car, driving and he’s [Harry] like, “You know how to curtsy, right?”. And I just thought it was a joke.’
The Duke continued: ‘How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you would need to curtsy, especially to an American. That’s weird.’
Meghan then tells the documentary: ‘Now I’m starting to realise this is a big deal. I mean, American’s will understand this. We have Medieval Times dinner and tournament. It was like that. Like, I curtsied as though I was like… “Pleasure to meet you your Majesty.”
Grinning, Meghan told the Netflix documentary she had to learn how to curtesy just minutes before meeting Her Majesty
Pictured: Meghan shows off her deep bow and curtesy during the Netflix documentary as she admitted the whole experience of meeting the Queen for the first time was ‘so intense’
Medieval Times hosts themed dinners at venues across the US, often in fake 11th century-style castles, like the one pictured
‘It was so intense. And then when she left, Eugenie and Jack and Fergie say “you did great!”. Thanks. I didn’t know what I was doing.’
Meghan and Harry’s Netflix documentary is out today and begins with an attack on Buckingham Palace’s decision not to co-operate with the series that declares a fresh war on the Royal Family and the media.
The highly-anticipated series is being put out in two parts, with the first three episodes of the six-part docu-series now available to stream.
The series contains tears from Meghan, who Harry repeatedly compares to Princess Diana claiming that both his mother and wife were being hunted by the press.
There are also a series of jibes at his father, King Charles III, and brother Prince William as well as speaking about alleged racism and ‘unconscious bias’ in the Royal Family.
During the second episode, Meghan speaks about the ‘formality’ of the royals behind closed doors, saying she was ‘surprised’ by this.
‘I was a hugger always being a hugger I didn’t realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits,’ she added.
‘I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside.
‘That there is a forward-facing way of being. And then you close the door and you are like (sighs) “Oh great. Okay, we can relax now”. But that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.’
The Duchess of Sussex (pictured in 2017 with Harry, Prince Philip and the Princess of Wales, then the Duchess of Cambridge), talks about her first festive season with the Royal Family in her and Prince Harry’s new documentary
Happy couple: Prince Harry pictured with Meghan in 2017. The pair have today released the first three episodes of their six-part docu-series on Netflix
Meghan, Prince Harry and Prince Philip at the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham, Norfolk, in 2017
Recalling her first Christmas at Sandringham, Meghan said she found it ‘amazing’ as she was ‘with a big family like I always wanted.’
‘I remember so vividly the first Christmas at Sandringham,’ Meghan said. ‘Calling my mom, and she’s like, “How’s it going?” and I said, “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. It’s just like a big family like I always wanted”.’
And she recounted a lighter moment with the late-Prince Philip, who she sat next to during the royal festive lunch.
‘There was just this constant movement, energy and fun,’ she added, ‘and at dinner I was sat next to H’s grandfather and I just thought it was so wonderful and I was like ”we chatted about this and this”… and he [Harry] was like ”you had his bad ear he couldn’t hear anything you were saying” and I was like ”oh… well I though it went really well.’
The Royal Family seemed ‘incredibly impressed’ with Meghan during the early days of their relationship, added Prince Harry,
But the Duke also claimed his family thought the relationship with the former Suits actress would never never last.
‘I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed. Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves… They were surprised that the ginger could land such a beautiful woman. And such an intelligent woman.
‘But the fact I was dating an American actress, was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else in the beginning: “Oh, she’s an American actress, this won’t last”.
Meghan added: ‘The actress thing was the biggest problem, funnily enough. There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint – Hollywood – and it’s just very easy for them to typecast that.’
The first volume of the six-part docuseries dropped on the streaming service today, with three explosive episodes available so far
This image released by Netflix shows promotional art for the documentary Harry & Meghan
Elsewhere in the third episode, the Duchess of Sussex said she didn’t know what a royal walkabout was – where royals meet members of the public who have gathered on the streets – before going on her first one.
‘I never saw pictures or videos of a walkabout. Like, what’s a walkabout?’ she said.
Harry explained: ‘I could talk her through as much as I knew from my own experience of what I’d seen. The piece I really didn’t know about was the style, right, and what a woman needed to, how they needed to dress and all that.’
Meghan added that before her first walkabout in Nottingham, her zip broke on her ensemble and had to be safety pinned, to which Harry said: ‘The whole thing was just ridiculous.’
The duke recalled: ‘Everybody was just so excited and pleased and happy. And I think people looked at it and went, “Wow, what a breath of fresh air”.’
The timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell documentary series released today on Netflix
September 2020 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s production company, Archewell Productions, signed a reported $100million deal with the streaming giant.
July 2021 – Meghan announces first project with Netflix – an animated series called Pearl. She was taking on the roles of ‘creator and executive producer’ – marking the first time the former actress and Suits star would work in the position of EP.
September – Spotted filming in New York at the Global Citizen Live event
April 2022 – Spotted filming at the Invictus Games in the Hague
May – Reports emerge Netflix are hoping for an ‘at-home with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex-style’ docuseries
Meghan’s animated series Pearl is dropped by Netflix as part of a wave of cutbacks prompted by the streaming service’s drop in subscribers.
June – Couple were told they wouldn’t be able to film while attending Jubilee celebrations
August – Meghan hints that the documentary could focus on their ‘love story
September – The Queen dies. Reports emerge the the couple want to ‘downplay’ what they’ve said about the royal family in the documentary
October – It was reported how the Duke and Duchess were ‘at odds’ with the production staff on their Netflix docuseries because the ‘panicked’ couple wanted to make ‘such extensive edits’ that the team believe the project could be ‘shelved indefinitely’.
Meghan then appears to try to distance herself from the project during an interview.
She suggested that its direction was in the hands of left-leaning filmmaker Liz Garbus ‘even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it’.
At the end of the month, it’s announced Prince Harry’s memoir will be released on January 10 and will be called Spare.
November – It was reported Prince Harry was trying to get Netflix to postpone the documentary until after Christmas so it was released at around the same time as his bombshell memoir.
It is claimed Prince Harry and Meghan first hired Oscar-nominated director Garrett Bradley for the series – before they had a falling out and she left.
Meanwhile Netflix face heavy backlash over the fifth series of The Crown, and reports suggest the streaming platform might push back the release date of Harry and Meghan’s series in response.
However, it is then revealed the couple will release the documentary on December 8.
December 1 – First trailer is released, showcasing a number of highly personal images
December 8 – Part one of the documentary is released
December 15 – Part two of the documentary is set to be released
January 10 2023 – Prince Harry’s memoir Spare is due to be released