Meghan Markle has undergone a stunning transformation. When she made the long walk down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, she joined one of Britain’s oldest and most famous families. "The Firm," as the royal family is sometimes called, has been the subject of the public’s fascination for centuries. These days, it’s harder than ever to be a member of this famous family for a variety of reasons. As Meghan revealed in a now infamous interview, she didn’t understand the way the British paparazzi and press would hound her all day, every day.
Not only are the pressures from the press a huge change for Meghan, she’s also had to adjust to her new family members. While Meghan is a modern, forward-thinking actress from Hollywood, her in-laws have always lived lives steeped in tradition and royal etiquette. And while some of the members of the royal family have welcomed Meghan into the fold with open arms, others have been less hospitable. Here’s the truth about Meghan Markle’s relationships with each member of the royal family.
Meghan Markle is still head-over-heels in love with her husband, Prince Harry
First thing’s first: what’s Meghan Markle’s relationship like with her husband, Prince Harry? It goes without saying that this relationship is Meghan’s closest when it comes to the royal family. While some reports suggested that Harry had begun to resent Meghan since their famous move to the States, it appears that the couple is still going strong.
Apparently, Harry has been smitten with his wife since the very beginning. In fact, he once said, "When did I know she was ‘The One?’ The very first time we met." And as for Meghan, it seems that she fell in love with Harry early on, too. In 2017, she told Vanity Fair, "We’re in love." Then in 2019, the couple welcomed their son, Baby Archie, into the world, and Meghan and Harry couldn’t be happier. At the time, Meghan said, "It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing, I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy." How adorable!
As of 2020, Meghan and Harry seems to be living a happy, peaceful life in Santa Barbara (via Town & Country).
Meghan Markle has had a complicated relationship with her brother-in-law, Prince William
Prince Harry and Prince William used to be thick as thieves. However, since Meghan Markle entered the picture, rumors have spread that the brothers’ relationship has soured. But what about Meghan’s relationship with her brother-in-law? In the 2020 book Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, we get a glimpse into what their relationship has been like.
According to the book, Meghan had been nervous to meet William in 2016. As Scobie and Durand wrote, "She was self-aware enough to understand that the brothers were wary of women who were more interested in their titles than their well-being." However, when they met, William was apparently warm and welcoming and he and Meghan got "along so well." However, William was privately concerned about his brother’s relationship and he eventually voiced his concerns, which reportedly left Harry irate.
After Meghan and Harry married, her relationship with William remained pretty distant. Harry reportedly felt that his brother wasn’t supporting him and his wife. And at their last royal appearance, William all but ignored Meghan and Harry, which pretty much sums it up (via Elle).
Things between Meghan Markle and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, are reportedly very up and down
It’s safe to say that the press is totally obsessed with publishing gossip about the so-called "feud" between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton. But what actually went on between the two famous sisters-in-law? Well, according to royal experts, it’s true that the relationship is very complicated — but it might not have been quite as bad as some thought.
In the book Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors revealed that the pair have a "cordial but distant rapport." So, while Kate and Meghan aren’t exactly friends, they also aren’t enemies. Apparently, when the two duchesses first met, they were polite, but never really moved past that stage; they were often seen at events exchanging only a few words with each other. According to Scobie and Durand, their strained relationship is probably due to Prince Harry’s conflict with the royal family (via The Times).
Meghan Markle actually has a "close bond" with her father-in-law, Prince Charles
When it comes to Prince Harry’s father, it seems as though Meghan Markle actually has a pretty close relationship with him. According to a source who spoke to the Daily Mail, Prince Charles helped Meghan find her way in the royal family’s traditions. "The Duchess has shown a genuine interest in learning more about the history of the family she has married into, and her father-in-law has been delighted to impart his knowledge," the insider said.
Apparently, Charles and Meghan connected over these informal history lessons, and soon found that they share plenty of interests, such as art, culture, and history. Eventually, the pair reportedly developed a "close bond." It’s so nice to hear that Meghan and Charles have their own special relationship — especially considering the fact that Meghan’s relationship with her own father has soured since her marriage to Harry.
Meghan Markle and her step-mother-in-law, Camilla Parker Bowles, have a great relationship
Meghan Markle developed a close relationship with her husband’s father, and it looks like she’s been equally successful with his step-mother, Camilla Parker Bowles. As Express pointed out, Camilla and Meghan have a lot in common: Camilla is also a divorcee who married into the royal family. By the sound of things, she’s been keen to support Meghan.
After Meghan’s wedding, Camilla revealed that she’d been worried about how the day would go. "We all wondered whatever would happen next and then everything went right," she said.
According to a friend of Camilla, who spoke to the Daily Mail, "Much like Meghan, Camilla had experienced a lot of negative press and hostility from courtiers due to her relationship with Charles when he was still married to Diana." Additionally, "she was very sensitive to Meghan and provided her with support, advising her to ride out the storm and that it would pass" (via Vanity Fair). It appears Camilla took Meghan under her wing and tried to help her through the negative press — it’s nice to hear that someone was on her side from the beginning.
Meghan Markle had a positive relationship with her grandmother-in-law, the Queen
When it comes to Prince Harry’s grandmother, Meghan Markle actually had a pretty strong, positive relationship with Queen Elizabeth II. As Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers, told She Knows, the Queen was eager to welcome Meghan into the family. "There’s a political sense…in which the Queen welcomed her as a first mixed race recruit to the royal family," he said (via Express). It sounds as though the Queen saw Meghan’s arrival as an opportunity to modernize and popularize the royal family.
Sadly, Harry and Meghan decided to step back from the royal family. As Lacey said, "It must be distressing for the Queen that 30 months later, this recruit and her son Archie are no longer classed as royal."
According to body language expert Judi James, Meghan and the Queen did have a close relationship at first, but over time, they grew apart. In fact, James claimed that Meghan and the Queen had an instant bond as she was welcomed into the family. However, as Meghan and Harry began to plot their exit, she naturally drifted away from the Queen (via Express).
Meghan Markle and her grandfather-in-law, Prince Philip, initially had a close relationship
In the case of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband and Prince Harry’s grandfather, it seems as though Meghan Markle’s once close relationship with him has soured. In the biography Prince Philip Revealed by Ingrid Seward, a pretty shocking detail about Philip’s relationship with her granddaughter-in-law was revealed.
Apparently, Philip was initially close with Meghan. He even made the effort to attend her wedding shortly after a hip operation. However, since Harry and Meghan’s departure from the royal family, his opinion of Meghan has reportedly changed. As Seward wrote in her biography, "For Philip, whose entire existence has been based on a devotion to doing his duty, it appeared that his grandson had abdicated…for the sake of his marriage to an American divorcee in much the same way as Edward VIII gave up his crown to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936" (via Vanity Fair). As fans of the royals will know, Philip comparing Meghan to Simpson is clear evidence that he thinks of her in a pretty negative light.
Things got a little awkward between Meghan Markle and her cousin-in-law, Princess Eugenie
Princess Eugenie — who’s undergone a stunning transformation — is the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, and the cousin of Prince Harry. While not a great deal is known about Meghan Markle’s relationship with her cousin-in-law, one awkward etiquette misstep from Meghan suggests that their relationship is likely pretty strained.
As Express reported, Eugenie initially welcomed Meghan into the family as she is said to be very close with Harry. She even "told friends she loved Meghan," and thought she was perfect for Harry. However, Meghan may have breached protocol when she chose Eugenie’s wedding day to announce her pregnancy. In Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the announcement "did not go down particularly well" with her cousin-in-law. In fact, she was so upset, she reportedly vanished at her own wedding to go yell at Meghan and Harry. Oops! Hopefully, Eugenie and Meghan have mended things since that poorly-timed pregnancy announcement!
Meghan Markle might be a bit jealous of her cousin-in-law, Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie’s sister, seems to have forged a pretty positive relationship with Meghan Markle.
Nevertheless, according to The Sun, there may be a little bit of jealousy on the part of Meghan. In 2020, Meghan released legal papers which named Beatrice as an example of a royal family member who’s allowed to undertake paid work. In the document, Meghan laid out what she saw as an unfair system that denied her the same opportunity.
When Harry and Meghan left the family and their royal duties behind, their relationship with Beatrice seems to have gotten worse. As one friend of Beatrice said to Page Six, "It’s fair to say the relationship is not what it was." It sounds like their departure was seen by Beatrice as a step too far. Even though Meghan and Harry didn’t attend her wedding, in 2020, they reportedly sent their congratulations to Beatrice on her wedding day (via People).
Meghan Markle absolutely adores her nephews and niece
Even though Meghan Markle reportedly has a tense relationship with Prince Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, it seems that her relationship with their children is a lot more positive. In 2017, the Mirror reported that Meghan had met Harry’s nephew and niece for the first time (Kate Middleton’s youngest, Prince Louis, wasn’t yet born). Apparently, Meghan was "totally taken" by Prince George and Princess Charlotte. She even offered to babysit.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Meghan continued to dote on the kids after marrying Harry. A source claimed that the duchess often visited Kate and her children, bringing them home-cooked treats. According to other reports, Meghan and Harry actually love giving the three kids thoughtful gifts, such as an electric SUV and a tricycle (via Hello!). How cute! George and Charlotte were even included in Meghan’s wedding party. By the looks of things, she’s an amazing, loving aunt to her two nephews and her niece.
Meghan Markle has an uncomfortable relationship with her uncle-in-law, Prince Andrew
Even though Meghan Markle tends to have positive relationships with most of the royal family, at least in public, there’s one member of the family that she ‘s openly distanced herself from: Prince Andrew. In 2019, Andrew reportedly faced renewed allegations of sexual abuse and trafficking. In a now infamous interview on Newsnight on the BBC, the Prince denied the allegations.
For Meghan, her uncle-in-law’s interview was apparently the last straw in her relationship with him. As The Telegraph reported, Meghan was "horrified by the manner in which the Duke of York dismissed allegations." The publication went on to explain that the Andrew’s interview left Meghan, who’s a proud supporter of female victims of sexual abuse, feeling "uncomfortable." It’s safe to say that after this interview and Meghan’s relatively public reaction to it, these two don’t have much contact.
There’s a bond between Meghan Markle and her aunt-in-law, Princess Anne
Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter, is known for her bluntness and unflinching honesty. In the ITV documentary Anne: The Princess Royal at 70, she made a comment that suggested how she feels for Meghan Markle. "The pressure that is applied to the younger members of the family, it’s always worse," she explained. "That’s what the media is interested in. That’s hard sometimes to deal with." (via the Daily Mail).
It sounds like Anne understands what a difficult time Meghan must have had entering "The Firm." And as Robert Hardman, who interviewed Anne for the documentary, told Today, "She does [have sympathy for Harry and Meghan], and she talks about it."
Nevertheless, even though Anne seems to understand Meghan’s unique difficulties, she’s also expressed a wish that the younger royals would stop trying to "reinvent the wheel." In a Vanity Fair interview, she said she often finds herself telling Meghan and the other younger royals, "Don’t forget the basics."
Meghan Markle probably isn’t that close with her cousin-in-law, Zara Tindall
We don’t know a great deal about Meghan Markle’s relationship with Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter and Prince Harry’s cousin. However, reports do suggest that their relationship certainly isn’t that close.
According to Sean Smith, the royal biographer behind Meghan Misunderstood (via Express), Zara wasn’t too impressed with Meghan’s wedding plans. In fact, she may have even made fun of the duchess-to-be at the time; as Smith wrote in the biography, Zara was "pompous" upon hearing the actress’ plans. "Prince Charles read and re-read the order of service as if it was the latest fascinating issue of Country Life magazine," he revealed. "His wife Camilla and Kate Middleton were desperately trying not to make eye contact with each other."
Smith went on to describe how Zara’s reaction was "best of all." As he put it, she was "gobsmacked." If these reports are true, it sounds like Zara comes from a totally different world than Meghan — so they probably struggle to see eye to eye.
Meghan Markle got some advice from Mike Tindall, Zara Tindall’s husband
While Zara Tindall and Meghan Markle may not be incredibly close, it sounds like Zara’s husband, Mike Tindall, was perhaps a little more welcoming to the newcomer. Mike, who also married into the royal family, spoke to Good Morning Britian (via Express) before Meghan’s wedding. It seems as though he had every faith that Meghan would do well in the family. "I think she’ll be nervous, but coming from her background in TV she’s used to the public spotlight," he said. "She’ll be fine and I think she’s experienced enough to know that all she can do is enjoy the day."
Mike went on to explain that he thought the family would be eager to help her feel at home. "Hopefully they’ll live happily ever after," he added. What a lovely message! Even though Meghan did struggle with the press after marrying Harry, it’s clear that Mike was always supportive.