Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship with the royal family regularly spurs tabloid reports and books with claims of stress, estrangementand dramatic after the couple decided to step back from senior roles in their royal family in 2020 and their March 2021 interview with Oprahwhere they opened up about the racism and harassment they received as royals working from the organization and the British press.
But for Meghan’s 41st birthday today, the royals got a rare look at the current state of affairs with the Duchess of Sussex — or the version they wanted the public to see. Prince Charles; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Kate Middleton; and Prince William have shared posts celebrating Meghan’s big day on their social media accounts. Meghan and Harry, of course, don’t have social media, so they don’t react to anything.
Here’s a breakdown of the posts and what is known about the royal’s relationship with Meghan and Harry.
The Instagram of the British Royal Family, which represents the Queen, has yet to share a post dedicated to Meghan. But Meghan and the Queen’s relationship is really pretty solid. Meghan touched on it herself in her interview with Oprah. “For example, the queen has always been great to me,” Meghan said. “I mean, we had one of the first joint collaborations together. She asked me to join her, and I took the train. And we had breakfast together that morning and she gave me a beautiful gift and I really enjoyed being with her, and I knew we were in the car — Yes, she gave me some nice pearl earrings and a matching necklace — and we were in the car going between skirmishes. And she had a blanket over her knees to keep warm and it was cold and she was like, Meghan, come on, and put it on my knees. “
Harry has also been very open about how close he’s been to his grandmother lately. “We have a really special relationship,” he said told The Today Show in April. “We talked about things she couldn’t tell anyone else.”
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Clarence House’s Instagram, which represents Camilla and Charles, shared an Instagram Story wishing Meghan a happy birthday (which disappears in 24 hours) and a permanent tweet. They included a bubble emoji to give it a casual feel but keep the message as simple as possible: “Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Sussex!”
Harry, in his april Today’s show interviewhinting that things are still a bit frosty between him, Charles and William as he avoids talking about whether he has missed his father and brother.
Hoda Kotb asked Harry if he missed his family back home. “Well, I think especially in the past two years, most people, you don’t miss your family?” Harry replied. When asked if he’d missed seeing William or Charles in particular, he dodged, saying: “Look, I mean – for me, right now, I’m here, focusing on the people. this [Invictus Games competitors] and these families and give everything I can, 120 percent, to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime. That is my focus here. When I go back, the focus is on my family [Meghan, Lili, and Archie], who I miss very much. Of course I do [miss Archie and Lili]they are two little people. “
A royal source said in a sign of potentially improving relations between Harry and his father. BBC that Charles met Meghan and Harry’s daughter Lili during the couple’s trip to the UK in June , which is very, very cool,” the source said. That source did not discuss Charles’ relationship with Meghan or Harry in the long term, but the source did say, “It’s been great to meet them. It’s great that they’re back in England. The Prince and Duchess were completely moved when they saw them.” Harry and Meghan have not returned to the UK together since they stepped down from their royal family roles in 2020, in part due to the pandemic.
It is worth noting that the report of Charles meeting Lili comes at the same time the royal family revealed they will not share the results of the investigation into Meghan’s bullying. Our weekly report that the result actually removed her name, and that the Duchess of Sussex was “disappointed” the public won’t seem
“Meghan was a fair boss and never bullied anyone who worked for her at the Palace in the first place,” We‘S source said. “She is happy that her name has been removed from the defamatory statements. She and Harry are looking forward to getting things sorted out and are happily continuing their lives in Montecito. “
A second source added, “The couple are very disappointed that the results of the investigation will not be shared.”
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate and William also just gave Meghan an Instagram Story rather than a permanent grid post. They also tweeted a tribute to her with the same message, which will be updated on their accounts. Their greeting was also as basic a birthday greeting as possible: “Happy birthday to the Duchess of Sussex!”
Meghan and Harry returned to the UK in June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee events but kept a low profile, returning home before the festivities were over. “They are not part of the [working] royal family too, and that’s the decision they made — but maybe [the public] have not fully accepted that yet,” a source told People The public expects that Meghan and Harry will appear at more events. “That’s right, they don’t matter. They paid their respects and went home.”
“They actually came here to see the Queen, and they did,” the source added.
Meghan and Harry celebrated their daughter Lili’s first birthday in the UK, but Kate and William notably not at the party because they had a royal engagement elsewhere that day. A source close to the royal family told Tonight’s reception that they did not intend to offend. “It was simply a coincidence that they fell on the same day,” the source said of Lili’s birthday and Kate and William’s events in Wales causing them to miss the party. “No intention at all.”
Kate, Meghan, Harry and William were not photographed together during the trip There were also no reports of them spending time together while Meghan and Harry were there.
The royal happy birthday messages to Meghan today were their first public statement about her in months. They’re short, civil, and polite — do as you please. (For comparison, this is what they did last year: They also mostly do IG stories.)
Of course, it’s possible royal sources will discuss what the family has done privately to celebrate Meghan’s birthday in the coming days. But direct details from the royals themselves are not too likely. Never complaining, never explaining after all is the age-old policy of the family.
Alyssa Bailey is senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royalty (especially Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at In style and Around the world. When she’s not working, she enjoys running around Central Park, getting people to take #ootd pictures of her, and exploring New York City.