It was, as Prince Harry put it himself, one of the most consequential moments of his life: the day that future wife Meghan Markle met the late Queen, his grandmother.
Not that Meghan seemed daunted, reacting to news of the meeting with the words ‘Fun! I love grandmas.’
There would be as a little more to it than that, of course, as the prince explains in his blockbuster memoir, Spare.
And there was one trap in particular that he urged Meghan to avoid.
Meghan first met Queen Elizabeth in October 2016. They are pictured together here in June 2018 in Widnes, the month following Meghan’s marriage to Prince Harry
The meeting took place at Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew’s home in Windsor Great Park
Meghan Markle seen curtseying to the Queen at Sandringham on Christmas day 2017
According to Harry, the meeting came about in October 2016, not long after their burgeoning relationship had become public.
The Prince and Meghan had been planning to call on Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park – the home she still shares with former husband Prince Andrew – but had been surprised to hear that his grandmother would also be there, paying a visit on her way back from church.
When they arrived, writes Harry, Sarah Ferguson demonstrated how to do a curtsey before Meghan met the Queen.
Harry explained that she should be addressed as ‘Your Majesty’ on the first exchange then ‘Ma’am’ to rhyme with ‘ham’ subsequently.
But what really mattered was this, as the prince and Sarah told her simultaneously: ‘Just whatever you do, don’t talk over her’ -a rarely discussed sensitivity, perhaps, but one important enough to be at the forefront of her grandson’s mind.
Needless to say, Meghan did not talk over the Queen and, according to Harry, curtsied beautifully – something she demonstrated ontheir Netflix documentary.
‘Everyone complimented Meg on her curtsey. So good!’ Harry writes in Spare. ‘So deep!’
Duke and Duchess of Sussex sitting with Prince Andrew during the Commonwealth Day Service. She initially thought that Prince Andrew was the Queen’s assistant
As it drew to a close, there was one more memorable aspect to the 20 minute encounter, as he explains:
‘After a moment, Meg asked me something about the Queen’s assistant.
‘That man holding the purse. The man who walked her to the door.’
‘That wasn’t her assistant. That was her second son, Andrew.
‘She definitely hadn’t google us,’ he writes – an apparent reference to claims that his future wife had done thorough research on the Royal Family before she met the Prince (claims, she denies).