When you marry into a family, befriending its matriarch is of the utmost importance. But it’s something which many people fail to do, and I can guarantee that someone you know has lamented their less-than-agreeable relationship with their mother-in-law. In a way, it’s understandable. They are directly responsible for the person your beau turned out to be, and because of this, they want the best for them.
So you can only imagine how much pressure Meghan Markle was under to get into Grandma Lizzie’s good books. After Diana’s untimely death, she became the longest-standing female influence in Harry’s life, and putting that to the side for one moment, she also happens to be the Queen – and not just any queen, the longest reigning monarch in history, so she’s most likely a pretty good judge of character by now.
Meghan’s mission to impress Grandma Lizzie began as soon as her relationship with Harry got serious. Thankfully, they got off to a flying start when the pair bonded over their love of dogs when they met for afternoon tea. Their initial meeting was so successful that Harry joked about how the Queen’s beloved corgis instantly took to Meghan, despite never appearing to really like him even though he’s been in their lives for years.
To see Meghan pretend to be a royal as a child, check out the video below:
It’s a good thing that their pair hit it off too because Meghan, quite literally, had to win the Queen’s approval before Harry could ask for her hand in marriage. And trust me, if she decided she didn’t like the American actress, it wasn’t outwith the realm of possibility for her to prevent her union with Harry – something which she reluctantly had to do with Princess Margret and Peter Townsend in 1955.
Meghan and the Queen met for the first time in October 2017, and Harry announced his engagement to the American actress the following month, which was a testament to how well their meeting went – afterward, Meghan described the 92-year-old monarch as an “incredible woman”.
Now a fully fledged member of the Royal family, Meghan and the Queen’s relationship has gone from strength to strength. They had their first Royal outing together earlier this month when they attended a day of public engagements in Cheshire, England.
For Meghan’s first Royal outing, she got to travel by Royal train with the Queen and helped open of the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Storyhouse, a performing-arts theater in Cheshire. They also met well-wishers and had lunch.
But what made the visit particularly notable was the fact that Meghan and the Queen appeared to be getting on particularly well, and the Royal pair were repeatedly photographed laughing and joking together throughout the day.
Happy faces aside, it’s also worth noting that Meghan was invited on her first Royal outing with the Queen the month after she married into “The Firm”. Whereas Kate Middleton had to wait 10 months before she was asked to join the Queen on a day trip to Leicester.
Meghan’s status as the Queen’s new best friend has also led to her being given a big responsibility early into her Royal career. The 36-year-old Duchess of Sussex has now been charged with welcoming those in the Queen’s Young Leaders program to Buckingham Palace.
Created by the Queen five years ago, the Express revealed that it is “said to be a job that has been close to [Queen Elizabeth II’s] heart.”
The program was created to honor young people who have made a significant contribution to their community in the fields of mental health advocacy, advocating against violence against women, and other life-saving acts of heroism, Cosmopolitan reported.
Harry himself was made a patron of the program earlier in 2018, so it’s a true reflection of the Queen’s high opinion of Meghan that she will be joining him in her place. Speaking about its importance, Harry said he was “hugely optimistic about it.”
“I have really enjoyed meeting so many of them over the past four years and their passion and understanding always leaves me hugely optimistic about the future,” Harry said.
“I have seen time and time again that today’s generation understands something very important: that to tackle a big issue, you need to focus on the root causes of the challenge and not its symptoms,” Harry continued. “The Queen’s Young Leaders are having an incredible impact in their respective countries because they have adopted this mindset.”