In her revelatory interview with Oprah on Sunday, Meghan Markle described in great detail her first time meeting Queen Elizabeth II, and how it signalled the profound changes her life would soon undergo. "In everybody's family, the grandmother is the matriarch, known in many families as the queen," Oprah noted, to which Meghan replied, "She was one of the first people I met."
Meghan first met the queen while visiting the Royal Lodge, the official residence of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, with Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie, and Jack Brooksbank. (Meghan actually knew Eugenie before meeting Harry.) The two couples were planning to get together at the historic Windsor home when they learned the queen would be stopping by for lunch following a church service nearby. Meghan said, "There wasn't actually a huge formality the first time I met Her Majesty the Queen."
"I thought that was part of the fanfare. I didn't think that's what happens inside."
In the car ride over, however, the importance of the meeting sunk in as Harry asked Meghan, "Do you know how to curtsy?" She told Oprah, "I thought genuinely that that was what happens outside. I thought that was part of the fanfare. I didn't think that's what happens inside. I said, 'But it's your grandmother.' He goes, 'It's the Queen.' That was really the first moment that the penny dropped." Meghan ended up learning how to curtsy just before entering. "I learned it very quickly right in front of the house," she said. "I went in and I met her, and apparently I did a very deep curtsy. I don't remember it. Then we just sat there and we chatted, and it was lovely and easy."
Though she was used to being around celebrities having been an actress and grown up in Los Angeles, Meghan soon realised the royal family received a very different level of fame and attention. "This is not the same," she said. "It's very easy, especially as an American, to go, 'These are famous people.' No, this is a completely different ballgame."