Prince Harry Says Meghan Markle Mistook Prince Andrew for the Queen’s Assistant When They First Met

“She definitely hadn’t Googled us.”

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

Some of the bits from leaked portions of Prince Harry’s memoir Spare are heavy—but this one is pretty funny: Apparently when Meghan Markle met the Queen for the first time, she mistakenly thought Her late Majesty’s son Prince Andrew was her assistant. (That’ll keep a royal humble!)

“After a moment, Meg asked me something about the Queen’s assistant,” Harry writes in the book, out on Tuesday. Initially having no idea who Meghan was referring to, she continued “that man holding the purse. That man who walked her to the door.”

Harry, according to Us Weekly, promptly informed Meghan that “that man holding the purse” was Andrew, the second son of the Queen, and a high-ranking senior royal (keep in mind, this was over six years ago, in October 2016—a different time, indeed).

“She definitely hadn’t Googled us,” Harry writes.

At this meeting, Harry and Meghan joined the Queen, Andrew, Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and their daughter Princess Eugenie and her then-boyfriend Jack Brooksbank for lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.

“It was all very pleasant,” Harry writes, noting that his then-girlfriend executed a near-flawless deep curtsy when she met Her late Majesty for the first time.

Meghan revealed in the couple’s docuseries Harry & Meghan that she didn’t know she would be meeting the Queen until they arrived in Windsor.

“There wasn’t some big moment of, like, ‘and now you’re going to meet my grandmother,’” Meghan said. “I remember being in the car and [Harry] was like, ‘you know how to curtsy, right?’ and I just thought it was a joke. Americans will understand this—we have Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. [My first curtsy] was like that. Like, I curtsied as if I was [bowing down to the floor].”

After Meghan apparently nailed her curtsy, the couple exchanged pleasantries with the Queen, discussed Her late Majesty’s attendance at church that morning, and Meghan’s then-home of Toronto, where she filmed Suits.

The Queen left the lunch about 20 minutes later, and Andrew escorted her out.

“Everyone flooded into the room after she’d driven away,” Harry writes. “The whole vibe changed”—and the group toasted the occasion with a round of drinks.

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.