Royal Family Members Send Well Wishes for Meghan Markle's 39th Birthday
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have officially stepped down as senior royals earlier in March this year, but Queen Elizabeth has made it clear that they will always be part of the royal family.
Despite recent controversies that arose from the couple’s upcoming biography Finding Freedom and court documents from Meghan’s lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday that claims she was “unprotected” by the institution, Buckingham Palace took to Instagram on August 4 to wish the Duchess of Sussex “a very happy birthday”.
The message was accompanied with a photo of the Queen and Meghan in better times—when they visited Cheshire on a joint royal trip in 2018. During the official engagement, the Queen and Meghan opened the Mersey Gateway Bridge and also toured the Storyhouse Theatre in Chester. And despite it being their first official engagement together, the pair were photographed looking genuinely happy and enjoying each other’s company.
Brother- and sister-in-law Prince William and Kate Middleton also reached out via their Instagram page to wish Meghan a happy birthday, alongside a photo of Meghan smiling at a young girl during the Sussexes’ surprise appearance at a meeting for military families.
Once known as the Fab Four, rumours of a royal rift between the Cambridges and the Sussexes have been sparked as early as 2018, and was fuelled further when the two couples separated their Instagram accounts and offices in 2019. Harry did not deny this in 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, saying that “inevitably, stuff happens. But look, we’re brothers… I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me.”
(Related: What We Learned About Prince Harry And His Wife Meghan Markle Through Their New Documentary)
In excerpts from Finding Freedom, the book claimed that the rift began festering when William cautioned Harry not to rush into marrying Meghan, saying, “Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.” Harry was described to have taken offence at William’s warning, finding his brother’s choice of words for “this girl” to be condescending and snobbish.
While the Sussexes have distanced themselves from the biography and stated that they were not interviewed for the publication, the fact that its authors had access to the couple’s circle of friends and that Harry and Meghan had not issued any statements to clarify the book’s content has led many to see it as a silent approval from the Sussexes.
Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan in Their Own Words, shared his concern with New Idea that the biography “will sadly do little to heal the relationship between Harry and his blood family”. He told the Australia-based magazine that Harry and William “are speaking at the moment, but the conversations are stilted and difficult.”
(Related: How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are Transitioning from Royals to Activists)
Meanwhile, father- and mother-in-law Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also sent their birthday wishes via Instagram, simply posting a candid portrait of Meghan smiling.
Meghan spent her 39th birthday in Los Angeles after the family relocated from Vancouver Island in Canada. UK-based royal correspondent Neil Sean told Fox News, “she does not want anything big or fancy as she feels this will read badly in the present climate,” according to a source.
Meghan and Harry officially filed paperwork to shut down their Sussex Royal charity in July, and are currently building up the foundations of their new LA-based non-profit organisation, Archewell. While the charity is yet to launch, the couple has been spotted out and about, volunteering and speaking out for social issues such as Black Lives Matter.