While no one is likely ever fully ready to marry into the royal family, according to insiders, Meghan Markle was given a “30-point dossier on how to be a Duchess” six months before she married Prince Harry in May 2018, multiple outlets report—arguing that Meghan’s claim that she was given inadequate preparation for marrying into the royal family is a “total lie,” according to The Sun.
The information sheet was apparently given to her by Harry’s then-private secretary Ed Lane Fox—known as Elf—and covered everything from fashion to ladies-in-waiting to arts in the U.K. and how to navigate public life.
In the newly released Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, Meghan said she didn’t know what a walkabout was, how to curtsy, and admitted to having to Google the national anthem before marrying Harry. “Joining this family, I knew that there was a protocol for how things were done,” she said. “I remember that old movie Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway. There’s no class or some person who goes ‘sit like this,’ ‘cross your legs like this,’ ‘use this fork,’ ‘don’t do this,’ ‘curtsy then,’ ‘wear this kind of hat.’ It doesn’t happen. So, I needed to learn a lot.”
But, according to The Times (opens in new tab), “there was prep for everything, walkabouts—even though she was engaged to someone who’d done hundreds of them—clothes, everything. The level of support was intense.” The source added of the dossier specifically, “it was huge. The amount of work Elf put into getting her access to anyone—and he gave her books on the stuff.”
Yet, despite ample access, Meghan apparently only had two meetings with experts: one with Her late Majesty’s private secretary, then Sir (now Lord) Christopher Geidt, and the other with a “very well-connected, trusted fashion person” for advice on her wardrobe.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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