Queen Elizabeth II was relieved her granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle didn’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral last year as tensions escalated within the royal family, a new book claims.
Markle wasn’t there in person as the royals memorialized Elizabeth’s husband on April 17, 2021, though her husband, Prince Harry, returned to the UK for the occasion.
“Thank goodness Meghan is not coming,” the Queen told aides inside of Buckingham Palace as she prepared for the services, according to Tom Bower’s new book “Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors.”
The memorial for Philip followed a bombshell March interview with Oprah Winfrey where Harry and Markle said racism was “a large part” of why they left the UK for the US.
Markle had told Winfrey that an unnamed person raised “concerns” about son Archie’s skin color.
“About how dark your baby is going to be?” Oprah asked Markle.
Queen Elizabeth II allegedly said “Thank goodness Meghan is not coming” to the funeral.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
“Potentially, and what that would mean or look like,” Markle answered.
Excerpts of the book, published by the Times of London on Friday, portrayed the memorial service as an awkward affair for Harry, who’d given up his royal duties and was on the outs with his dad Prince Charles and brother Prince William.
Harry had been stripped of his military titles since stepping away from his family and couldn’t wear a British military uniform to the service. Rather than ostracize the estranged Harry, the rest of the men wore suits instead of uniforms themselves as they walked to St. George’s Chapel, the excerpt said.
Prince William and Prince Harry attend the funeral of Prince Phillip.Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Things were already uncomfortable at the service, but grew more awkward a month later when Apple TV aired the special “The Me You Can’t See” in which Harry complained about feeling trapped during his upbringing and said he was handed down a “cycle” of “genetic pain and suffering.”
But the book claims Harry and Markle remained focused on appearing close with the Queen for their own “status.”
When the Queen’s June 2022 jubilee was in the planning stages, the couple was intent to appear alongside Elizabeth on the balcony – though Charles wasn’t keen on that idea, the book reports.
He preferred his son and daughter-in-law were kept in VIP sections and left out of riding the royal carriage, according to the book.
Queen Elizabeth II attends the funeral of Prince Philip at St. George’s Chapel.Yui Mok/AP
“In Meghan’s view those optics were unsatisfactory, partly because her value to Netflix was to stand near the Queen,” the excerpt said.
Harry and Markle named their daughter Lilibet – a nickname of Elizabeth’s used by her father and close family – but the palace later told the BBC the Queen hadn’t been asked about using the name, the book states.
A separate excerpt publsihed by the Times outlines Markle dishing about her and Harry’s relationship to Vanity Fair in a 2017 issue – despite Harry wanting his name kept out of the article.
Harry had agreed to the article believing it would focus on Markle starring in the series “Suits,” which was celebrating its 100th episode at the time. Markle was told by Harry and her father not to talk about then-President Donald Trump, race or their relationship, the book claimed.
Instead, the cover story was titled “She’s Just Wild about Harry.”
“We’re a couple. We’re in love,” she said of her then-secret fiancé.
The story’s focus angered Markle, who reportedly expected it to focus on her activism and philanthropy, the excerpt said.