Meghan Markle Breaks Her Silence on Queen Elizabeth II’s Death

The Duchess of Sussex opened up about her friendly relationship with her grandmother-in-law, and how her husband has been coping with the loss.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, may have clashed with a handful of royal family members after marrying Prince Harry in 2018—King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla among them—but the one royal she says she always got along with? Family matriarch Queen Elizabeth II.

In a recent interview with Variety, Markle opened up about their relationship, noting that despite the rift they faced with the rest of the family after abdicating their titles in 2020, there was nothing but warmth between the two of them.

What did Meghan say after the Queen’s death?

“I feel deep gratitude to be able to have spent time with her and get to know her,” Markle said of Queen Elizabeth II. “I’ve reflected on that first official engagement that I had with her, how special that felt. I feel fortunate. And I continue to be proud to have had a nice warmth with the matriarch of the family.”

This wasn’t the first time she spoke fondly of her grandmother-in-law. During Markle’s famous sit-down with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, she said the Queen had “always been wonderful to me.”

“I just really loved being in her company,” Markle told Winfrey. “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.”

“It made me think of my grandmother, where she’s always been warm and inviting and really welcoming,” she said.

In the Variety interview, Markle also said that she couldn’t have respected the Queen more, regarding her history-making reign. “Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like.”

Prince Harry had something sweet to say, too

After the Queen’s death on Sept. 8 at age 96, just a year after her husband, Prince Philip, died at age 99 on Aug. 9, 2021, the Duchess of Sussex says Prince Harry was so thankful for the “love and support” they received from around the world.

“I’m really grateful that I was able to be with my husband to support him, especially during that time,” she said. “What’s so beautiful is to look at the legacy that his grandmother was able to leave on so many fronts.”

As for how Harry has been coping since the loss, Markle says he’s been able to gain a lot of perspective on what he wants to focus on next, including their philanthropic endeavors. “It’s been a complicated time,” she said. “But my husband, ever the optimist, said, ‘Now she’s reunited with her husband.'”


Gillian Telling
Gillian Telling is a New York–based entertainment journalist who, for the past 15 years, has covered the entire spectrum of pop culture as a writer and editor. She's interviewed hundreds of celebrities throughout her career, ranging from Alex Trebek to Jennifer Lawrence, and prides herself on being the first person to ever declare that Schitt's Creek was an amazing new show (five years before everyone else caught on!).