Prince Harry hints at unease as Meghan Markle mocks Royal protocol in Netflix documentary

Learning new names and faces is often part of meeting your partner's family, but for Meghan Markle, she had to acquire a completely different skill when she met Prince Harry's late grandmother, the Queen. In their explosive Netflix series, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex describe this significant moment.

Meghan's unexpected lesson in curtsying came about during an impromptu visit by the Queen while she and Harry were lunching at the Royal Lodge with Princess Eugenie.

Harry, confronted with explaining a peculiarly British tradition to his American girlfriend, said to the programme: "How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you will need to curtsy. Especially to an American. That's weird."

But Meghan soon grasped the gravity of the situation, stating: "Now I'm starting to realise 'This is a big deal'. I mean, Americans will understand this... We have medieval times, dinner and tournament. It was like that."

The Netflix show captured Meghan's re-enactment of the moment, complete with an overelaborate curtsy and giggle as she greeted the Queen with a "Pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty", with Prince Harry watching on.

Meghan spoke about her unexpected lesson in curtsying -Credit:Netflix
Meghan spoke about her unexpected lesson in curtsying -Credit:Netflix

Body language expert Judi James has analysed the couple's demeanour, suggesting Prince Harry showed signs of "discomfort" during a particular moment in their interview.

Speaking to the Mirror, she observed: "Meghan is the more chatty and natural speaker during their interview and here she sits talking confidently and readily in a slightly gossipy style as though talking to a girlfriend she is keen to amuse", reports the Mirror.

"Her joke is self-effacing as she speaks about her curtesy when she first met the late Queen. Her smile becomes asymmetric, pulling up on one side to register a shared joke. Harry, however, is already watching her carefully, turning to gaze at the side of her face with his own facial expression looking less turned to 'fun' than hers."

"Meghan does an extravagant mock-curtsey that does, as she says, look Medieval. It takes her eight seconds to perform, making it a long joke but there is no change in Harry's more serious facial expression until the end, when he lets out a small, mirthless laugh.

The pair told cameras about the first time Meghan had a royal interaction -Credit:Netflix
The pair told cameras about the first time Meghan had a royal interaction -Credit:Netflix

"As Meghan mentions 'Your Majesty', the direct reference to the late Queen, it does seem a small step too far for Harry who quickly drops his head down to perform a cut-off ritual that partially hides his face, suggesting some discomfort at this point."

The second episode delivered a particularly notable moment when Meghan expressed surprise at the level of "formality" within the Royal family, recollecting an uncomfortable encounter while having dinner with Prince William and Kate. She made clear that: "When Will and Kate came over, and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot."

"I was a hugger. I've always been a hugger, I didn't realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits. I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside.

"There is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and go 'You can relax now', but that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me."

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