Meghan Markle’s First Interaction with Kate Middleton Was “Jarring”

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton sitting next to each other, smiling
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It seems like every person who tuned into the first three episodes of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Netflix docuseries on Thursday night was looking for something different. Some wanted to hear the couple discuss racism within the royal family, others just wanted to see more photos of the Sussexes’ two children. But if you watched to hear more about Harry and Meghan’s relationship with Prince William and Princess Kate, you may have been disappointed. The Cambridges weren’t mentioned too much throughout the the first installment of the series, in fact they were only brought up once when Meghan revealed the story of the first time she met her future sister-in-law, and it actually sounds like quite the awkward experience.

Meghan met Kate for the first time when she came over with Will for dinner at Prince Harry's Kensington Palace cottage. “I remember I was in ripped jeans and barefoot,” Meghan recalled. Now, right away that sounds like a bad decision. Kate and Will have never once in their life come off as “ripped jeans and barefoot” kind of people, but it seems like that wasn’t the issue with the meeting. The problem came with how Meghan went to greet the couple.

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She recalled going in for a hug with them, which was seemingly not very well received. “I was a hugger, always been a hugger,” Meghan said. “I didn't realize that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.” It’s unclear if Kate and Will completely rejected Meghan’s hug or simply awkwardly engaged in it. Either way, the incident ending up being a moment of revelation for Meghan.

“I'd start to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside, carried through on the inside,” Meghan said. She explained that she assumed the strict etiquette rules were just for public consumption. “There is a forward-facing way of being and then you close the door and you relax now,” she said. “But that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.”

Of course, these days, Meghan is well-versed in the ways of the royal family. “It's so funny if I look back at it now because now I know so much.” In fact, she’s happy she wasn’t trained from the beginning. “I'm so glad I didn't then because I could just authentically be myself without so much preparedness.”