Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has shown Meghan Markle how to curtsy to the Queen as Markle makes her first public appearance with the royal family for Christmas service on Monday.
Few months to her wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has spent her first Christmas with the British royal family.
And unlike Kate Middleton who could spend Christmas with the family only after officially getting married to Prince William, Meghan broke the protocol.
But, obviously, Markle’s enormous red carpet experience has not prepared her for the formalities of a royal life.
Her countenance while around the Queen made that quite obvious – even the smile was mechanical, more like a thing that says, ‘I hope this is the way!’
However, Kate Middleton, having had a similar experience about six years back, came to Meghan’s rescue, especially when it came to executing her curtsy.
Meghan had to bank on the encouragement she got from the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton who showed her how the curtsy should be done.
And despite this, to be frank, Meghan’s curtsy to the monarch gave her away, it has to be her first time – it was more of a wobbly bob.
The curtsy, correctly done, involves placing the right foot behind the left and bending briefly at the knees while keeping the upper body straight.
While Kate wore a relaxed smile during her curtsy to the Queen, Meghan looked like someone who wanted to get everything over with.
And as soon as the Queen got into the car, Meghan quickly went back to clutching Prince Harry’s arms.
Now, there is a place a woman runs to when she’s scared!
The American actress and humanitarian and her fiancé Prince Harry are spending Christmas with the Cambridges at Anmer Hall, their mansion on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Meghan is already easing her way into the royal family – she and Prince Harry made a fetching sight alongside the Cambridges.
The two couples kept their Christmas low-key at the Anmer Hall, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
They only joined the rest of the royal family for Church and lunch on Christmas Day.
As you know, Kate is pregnant with her third child, and being away from the ‘big house’ must have made it quite a simple festive season which would allow her some time to relax.
And for Meghan Markle, well, it must have been a time to wet her feet in the ways of the Royal Family – while avoiding all the formalities.
But beyond these, being at the Anmer Hall is significant of what the future would be like.
Talk about William, Kate, and Harry, they have declared their intentions to run things their ways.
And this has brought them into conflict with other members of the royal family, including Charles.
This has created the impression that the four of them will make quite a formidable team.
Now, start from here; Prince William and Kate are by nature and position more formal and reserved.
Completing the team with the addition of Prince Harry and Meghan, the four appear ready to take the dynasty into the second half of the century.
If you judge by their appearance and body language on Monday, the four of them seem to get on famously.
Talking about breaking the protocols, apart from Meghan spending the Christmas with family before getting married to Harry – remember that Kate had this opportunity after her wedding to William (and they dated for about a decade!) – William and Kate held hands in public as they walked to church.
It is even more obvious for Harry and Meghan, they could barely keep their hands off each other on Monday.
Meghan’s outfit on Christmas day included a wide collar, camel wrap coat by Sentaler, a chestnut-brown felt hat and a pair of coordinating £630 Stuart Weitzman’s Hiline high-heeled suede boots.
Before making her first public appearance with the royal family for the St Mary Magdalene Church Christmas service on Monday, Meghan and Her Majesty had met privately.
And that was before her engagement to Prince Harry was announced.
After the queen departed, and the curtsy behind Meghan (no matter how imperfect it was), Meghan seemed to loosen up while greeting well-wishers and accepting gifts from them.
She and Harry accepted bouquets from the crowd as they walked back to Sandringham House.
The couple also stopped to chat with some of the crowd who came to see them attend church together.
And Meghan has obviously made a good impression on the crowd.
Among the crowd was Judith Wallis, who is staying at the neighboring Park House Hotel on her first Christmas Day visit to Sandringham.
Judith said Prince Harry recognized her teddy bear and her hat which bore the Gurkha regiment emblem.
She also spoke of how ‘very very lovely’ Meghan spoke to them.
Also speaking of Meghan Markle, Tess Gilder, manager of Park House, said:
‘She was just so natural, so lovely. I think they just wished us a Happy Christmas and were interested in whether we had been before.’
Apart from having impressed the crowd, Markle is unarguably warmly accepted by the Queen.
Her Majesty made mention of Markle in her Christmas message, saying she looked forward to welcoming ‘new members’ into the family in 2018.
Markle also appeared with Prince Harry in a framed photograph that was displayed with other family pictures as the monarch spoke.
She also featured alongside Prince Harry in video footage aired at the end of the festive broadcast.
Apart from learning how to curtsy to the Queen, Meghan will have to adjust the royal family’s idiosyncratic ways and customs, ingrained in centuries of tradition.
This is also the first time Meghan is pictured with Duchess Kate who taught her how to curtsy to the Queen.