Meghan Markle Was Apparently Given a 30-Point Dossier on How to Be a Duchess Before Marrying Prince Harry

Sources refute claims that Meghan was underprepared for royal life as a “total lie.”

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

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, “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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.