Demure Duchess: Meghan wears earrings to lying-in-state service given to her by the Queen
- Meghan Markle, 40, joined Prince Harry and the royal family in the
- Queen’s funeral procession this afternoon
- The Queen will be moved to the Palace of Westminster this afternoon where she will lie in state until Monday
- The Duchess of Sussex appeared stoic as she attended the ceremony and sat in one of the vehicles
- She travelled to Buckingham Palace yesterday to join the entire Royal Family to receive the Queen’s coffin
Meghan Markle donned a pair of pearl earrings given to her by the Queen as she supported her husband Prince Harry and other members of the royal family and took part in the Queen’s funeral procession today.
The US-based Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have remained in the UK following what was supposed to be a whistlestop tour of Europe having stepped back from royal duty last year, joined other members of The Firm for the occasion in London today.
While Prince Harry, 37, marched behind the Queen’s coffin alongside King Charles and his brother Prince William, Meghan was pictured travelling in the procession by car.
The royal mother-of-two swept her dark locks into an updo, and appeared to be wearing a set of pearl earrings for the outing today.
The Duchess appeared to be wearing a set of pearl earrings which were given to her shortly after she married Prince Harry in 2018. She wore the jewels for her only solo engagement with the Queen in June 2018.
This is the last time the Queen’s body will be moved before her funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey. After the ceremony, it will be taken to her final resting place, her beloved Windsor Castle.
It comes after the couple joined other members of the royal family in receiving the Queen’s coffin at Buckingham Palace last night.
Meghan was given the earrings ahead of her first, and only ever, solo engagement with the monarch, which took place in Cheshire in 2018.
On the occasion, the two women had gone on an overnight rail trip to Cheshire in 2018, and were pictured smiling together during a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge.
They had been greeted by cheering crowds in Chester, and also joined the rest of Britain in observing a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire on its first anniversary.
During the explosive Oprah interview last year, Meghan spoke about the Queen’s gift and how much it meant to her. The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that the monarch had given her some ‘beautiful’ pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
She told Oprah: ‘The Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her.
‘We had breakfast together that morning, and she’d given me a beautiful gift, and I just really loved being in her company. And I remember we were in the car.’
Oprah asked her what the gift was, and Meghan replied: ‘She gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
‘We were in the car going between engagements, and she has a blanket that sits across her knees for warmth.
‘And it was chilly, and she was like, ‘Meghan, come on,’ and put it over my knees, as well.’ Oprah replied ‘nice’.
After sitting next to Sophie in the car on the way to the service today, Meghan joined other members in the royal family inside Westminster Hall.
The Duchess appeared sombre for the occasion, and watched on as Her Majesty’s coffin was carried into the room. She was seen dipping into a low curtsey as the coffin was carried past her inside the hall.
Following the service today, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked out hand-in-hand as they left Westminster Hall.
Today’s occasion is not only heavy with historical significance, but it saw Prince William and Prince Harry set aside their feud to support their father by marching with him behind the coffin. Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the route as they do so.
The procession poignantly passed the statue of the Queen’s parents King George VI and the Queen Mother which overlooks The Mall. The Imperial State Crown, worn by the Queen on the way back to Buckingham Palace after her Coronation, glittered in the daylight as the crowds held aloft their phones to capture the scenes.
A sombre King waved to huge crowds who had gathered along the Mall today as he arrived at Buckingham Palace hours before he was due to lead William, Harry and senior royals in a poignant procession behind the Queen’s coffin.
The crowd burst into applause and cheers as the state Rolls-Royce passed the Victoria Memorial and dropped Charles off at the royal residence.
Later, the eyes of the world were once again on the King as he walked with family members to Westminster Hall – the ancient building at the heart of the Palace of Westminster where his mother will lie in state.
The royal family accompanied their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall this afternoon where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects after queueing for hours.
Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, along with the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, are forming part of the procession.
Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence are also walking behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.
The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex are travelling by car. The procession left the palace at 2.22pm and are expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm.
Her Majesty spent her final night in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace before she was conveyed on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall – the ancient heart of Parliament – where she will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday.
t her final night in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace before she was conveyed on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall – the ancient heart of Parliament – where she will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday.
More than 1million people are expected to queue in central London for up to 35 hours to walk past her casket – but experts believe only 400,000 will make it inside meaning 600,000 people will be left disappointed.
The Queen arrived at Buckingham Palace last night to tears and cheers from the huge crowds who stood in the pouring rain to welcome her home after her death at Balmoral last Thursday.
The route from RAF Northolt to the palace was packed. There was a wave of lights as many raised their mobile phones in the air to film the hearse as it passed.
As the hearse drove through the gates, Charles could be seen bowing his head with Harry and Meghan stood solemnly behind the monarch.
At 2.22pm exactly this afternoon, the Queen’s coffin will be placed on a gun carriage and lead a procession down a packed Mall, along Whitehall and then into Parliament Square before entering the Palace of Westminster followed by her son, the new King, and her children and grandchildren.
The near 1,000-year-old Westminster Hall is where her father King George VI would lie in state in 1952 and where the public could pass the coffin of her mother, the Queen Mother, in 2002. Her Majesty’s closed coffin will be placed on a catafalque – a raised platform, covered in the Royal Standard with the orb and sceptre placed on top.
Charles, William and Harry – along with the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex – will follow the coffin on foot as it makes its 38-minute journey in front of thousands of mourners lining the streets in central London.
For William and Harry it will bring back painful memories of when they, aged 15 and 12, walked behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana in 1997.
Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also walk in the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.
The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex will travel by car.
The procession will leave Buckingham Palace at 2.22pm borne by gun carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The route will take the coffin through the Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards Parade and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.
Today’s appearance comes after Meghan was faced with an awkward moment when she was completely snubbed by a member of the public after trying to shake the woman’s hand.
A video clip shared on social media captures the uncomfortable interaction between the Duchess of Sussex, 41, and the unnamed woman – who refused to put out her hand when Meghan went to shake it, and then turned her head away from the former Suits star altogether.
The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon at Windsor Castle after Meghan and Prince Harry, 37, joined the Prince and Princess of Wales for a walkabout, during which the foursome greeted members of the public who had turned out to pay their respects to the late Queen.
Meghan received a generally warm reaction from the crowd as she made her way down the line of adoring fans, shaking hands and chatting with the hoards of people lined up to get a glimpse of the royals.
However, one person standing at the front of the crowd seemed to be particularly unhappy with her attendance, and when the former Suits star approached her, she looked away, avoiding eye contact, and did not extend her hand.
Meghan handled the moment like a pro and appeared unfazed as she moved past the lady and continued on with the public appearance.
Afterwards, the woman could be seen chatting with a friend, as the two giggled over the icy moment.
Prince Harry and his wife-of-four-years sparked controversy back in 2020, after they announced that they were stepping away from their royal duties and leaving the monarchy behind to relocate to the states – a move that left many people in the UK unhappy and appears to still be a source of tension in the country, as seen by the woman’s reaction on Saturday.
The couple, who are now raising their two kids, Archie, three, and Lilibet, one, in a $14 million mansion in Los Angeles, California, later released a series of bombshell interviews – during which Meghan claimed Kate Middleton once made her cry over a bridesmaid dress and that there were ‘concerns and conversations’ about how dark Archie’s skin would be before he was born.
The appearance was plagued with more controversy when some online users noticed an apparent disagreement between Meghan and royal aides, after she collected flowers from some onlookers and didn’t know what to do with the bouquets.
When Meghan was approached by an aide who wanted to take the growing number of floral tributes from her, footage showed her telling him that she wanted to continue to hold on to them and would place them at the gates herself afterwards.
Moments later, however, a second member of staff approached her and appeared to tell her that they had to take them from her, and this time, the Duchess handed over the blooms.
The walkabout was the first time that Prince Harry and Meghan were seen publicly alongside Prince William and Kate since March 2020, and has marked an apparent thawing between the brothers and their wives.
A Kensington Palace source said that William invited Harry and Meghan to join him and Kate at the event just hours before, and while the Sussexes’ friend and preferred journalist Omid Scobie said the invitation was made at the ’11th hour,’ he added that it could serve as an olive branch between the families.
He declared: ‘It is, without a doubt, a significant moment in the history of the relationship between the two brothers.’
It has also been reported that William and Harry could walk side by side behind the Queen’s coffin at her funeral next week in a potential royal truce.
If so, it would mark a significant improvement in their relationship – at the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip, in April last year, the pair were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips.
An insider told the Sun: ‘We are certainly not in the same place as Philip’s funeral when William and Harry didn’t walk side by side.
‘Things haven’t changed but it is not as intense and they can co-exist.’