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LONDON, England – There were audible gasps on the mall in London as the procession of cars carrying the senior royals to Westminster passed by the densely populated crowds that lined the streets of London. Not at the sight of the ceremonial splendor that London is famous for around the world, but at the sight of Meghan Markle and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The two women sat together in the car – given their history and all that has gone on previously, who figured this was a great idea?
Sophie, looking serene as ever, wore a black long-sleeved belted midi dress for the occasion, following the royal tradition of somber dressing during the mourning period. The princess accessorized minimally with a cross silver necklace and a black hat.
During the ceremony at Westminster Hall, the Countess of Wessex joined her husband and other members of the royal family, such as Kate, Princess of Wales, Queen Consort Camilla and Princess Beatrice, to honor Queen Elizabeth II. But all eyes remained on the car in which sat the former cable TV actress Meghan Markle, basking in the reflected limelight of the family she claims treated her so badly during her very short tenure within it.
Queen Elizabeth II was a great source of comfort to Sophie over many years. She and the now queen consort were the only non-blood relatives at Balmoral after the monarch’s death – with Sophie previously described as a “second daughter” to Elizabeth II. Both also shared a passion for military history and could often be found deep in researching documents in the Royal Archives at Windsor for hours on end and then discussing the findings over afternoon tea and jam sandwiches – such a close bond.
The same cannot be said for Meghan, simply because she never gave it enough time to form any bond. Meghan was welcomed with open arms by the monarch, who broke so many rules to make Markle feel special and welcome. And, of course, Meghan was able to use this material in the infamous interviews across all levels of media to explain how unwelcoming the family appeared to be, from no one offering her style or royal tips to even the words of “God Save the Queen .”
It’s a known fact that Sophie has now little time for the former actress, even making light of the situation with Meghan after she dropped that bombshell interview with Oprah.
When asked about the interview while speaking with a UK tabloid, Sophie – an ex PR pro herself – quipped “Oprah Who?” slapping down any power she figured the chat show queen Oprah Winfrey had.
But now after the sideline swipe at the very final public appearance of the Sussexes and sensing the deep hurt that Meghan and Harry had piled on the queen, Sophie could not bring herself to even look in her direction, such was the feeling on that fateful event .
Back to this picture. I am told Meghan almost buckled when informed she would be sharing a car with Sophie – after all, she had expected to drive in with her husband prince harry. But when he agreed to walk behind the coffin of the late queen all that changed, causing Meghan to have, some say, a slight “moment.”
One can only assume what her thoughts were. After all, Sophie knows more than most, having spent years in PR previous to her royal life, just how demanding, distracting and downright self-centered faded queens of showbiz can be. But to say the car ride was like a trip on a roller coaster on Coney Island would be an understatement.
No words were spoken, but it appears that it was Sophie’s choice to share the car with a relative that appears to have dented her pride in the royal family so much. Is it any wonder that Meghan was clutching her husband Harry’s hand so tightly when they were put back together in Westminster Hall?
While Sophie has remained tight-lipped about the incident to those apart from an inner circle she has, I am assured by a source, “wanted to do this personally as I do believe in facing any problem head on.” Sophie’s training in PR has put her in good stead to deal with any problems that are thrown at them but what is more interesting is that Meghan, I am told, was left “shaken” by the incident.
It is true that this is not the time for a brickbat, but let’s not forget that it was indeed Ms. Markle who put herself into this dire PR position and then, without a shred of compassion, waltzed back to the family that she trashed on TV, all while reminding the public that she was “ready to forgive” only last month with a strange yet compelling interview with the little read Cut magazine.
What Meghan failed to realize is that the family she clearly loathes, apart from her own, stick together and Sophie has proven her devotion to the late queen in stepping up and sitting in the car with someone who, along with her husband, has achieved so much damage to our beloved late queen and her monarchy – how proud she must have been that Sophie is that girl?
Finally, she could end up in the same car again at the funeral if Meghan stays, as Harry may once again be called upon to offer another duty, leaving Meghan vulnerable and very much alone with, yet again, the people who welcomed her and, according to her, treated her so badly.