The Royal Family Reprimanded Meghan Markle For Wearing a Necklace With Harry's Initial

Meghan Markle was criticized by palace aides after she and Prince Harry went public with their relationship, for wearing a necklace with the couple's initials.

london, england march 09 meghan, duchess of sussex attends the commonwealth day service 2020 on march 09, 2020 in london, england photo by samir husseinwireimage
(Image credit: WPA Pool)
  • Meghan Markle was criticized by Kensington Palace aides  (opens in new tab)shortly after she and Prince Harry went public with their relationship, for wearing a necklace with the couple's initials.
  • A senior palace aide called Meghan and told her the jewelry would encourage paparazzi, according to royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
  • Meghan "felt damned if she did and damned if she didn't," Scobie and Durand report.

Well, this sounds incredibly unpleasant. According to royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, Meghan Markle was criticized by palace aides (opens in new tab) a few months after she and Prince Harry went public with their relationship—for wearing a necklace featuring the couple's initials. "She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images—and new headlines," Scobie and Durand report in their new book Finding Freedom, in an excerpt published by People (opens in new tab).

Said necklace, which you can see Meghan wearing here (opens in new tab), is positively miniscule, by the way, and must have required a pretty intense zoom for paparazzi to spot in the first place. Not, of course, that that should matter—can't a woman in love wear a cute necklace in peace?! 

The incident upset Meghan, Scobie and Durand recount in the book. Contacted by a senior Kensington Palace aide, she "said little during the call, choosing instead to simply listen to the counsel," they write. "But after hanging up, she felt frustrated and emotional. While she knew the aide had good intentions, the surreal experience of having someone from her boyfriend's office tell her what kind of jewelry to wear or not to smile at a photographer was too much."

Subsequently, Meghan called a friend, saying, "I can't win. They make out like I'm to blame for these pictures, that it looks like I'm encouraging them, that me even acknowledging the cameras may not be sending the right message. I don't know what to say. It was only yesterday that people online were saying I look miserable in pictures, because I was trying to just ignore the [photographer]."

The future Duchess of Sussex "felt damned if she did and damned if she didn't," according to Scobie and Durand. And seriously, who could blame her?

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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.