Meghan Markle’s royal curtsies have become the subject of a new viral video, after the duchess sparked controversy in 2022 over a dramatic recreation of the gesture made in her hit Netflix docuseries with Prince Harry.
Curtsies are a traditional reverential gesture and are the female alternative to a bow. The movement sees the participant place one foot behind the other while bending from the knee and bowing the head.
Curtsies were commonplace gestures offered to members of the royal family, however, today there is no expectation for members of the public to do so, unless they personally wish to.
The gesture is most often seen today being performed by members of the royal family to the king and queen.
When she married into the royal family in 2018, Meghan was seen on a number of occasions offering curtsies to Queen Elizabeth II in public, most notably at Christmas events and at the ceremonies connected with the monarch’s death in September 2022.
Uploaded to TikTok by user, queen.lilibethwindsor, on September 9, Meghan’s first and one of her last public curtsies to Elizabeth have been highlighted in a new viral clip that has been viewed more than 750,000 times on the social media platform so far.
The first clip shows Meghan at St. Mary Magdalen church on the royals’ Sandringham estate in England on Christmas day 2017. Not yet a fully fledged member of the royal family, Meghan and Harry had announced their engagement just a month earlier.
The Christmas appearance with members of the royal family saw Meghan perform her first public curtsy to the queen in front of news crews.
Wearing a brown coat and matching hat, the future duchess performed her reverential dip, taking her lead from Harry who bowed his head first.
In the second clip included in the viral video, Meghan is shown at Elizabeth’s state funeral, which took place at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022.
Dressed in black, Meghan performed a solemn curtsy alongside other female members of the family, including Queen Camilla, Princess Catherine and the Duchess of Edinburgh.
The video has received in excess of 87,000 likes and over 300 comments, many of which have praised Meghan.
“I love her curtsy,” wrote on TikTok user.
“That last bow… Deep reverence and sorrow,” posted another, with a further comment reading: “The last one was so regal.”
A number of other users referenced the controversy sparked by Meghan in the eponymous Harry & Meghan Netflix show, which debuted in December 2022.
During an episode focusing on the couple’s early relationship, she described that on first being asked to curtsy to her boyfriend’s grandmother she thought it was a joke.
“I remember in the car driving up [to Windsor], and he [Harry] said, ‘You know how to curtsy right?'[…]And I just thought it was a joke,” Meghan told viewers, with Harry adding: “How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother and that you will need to curtsy? Especially to an American, like, that’s weird.”
Meghan then appeared onscreen performing an exaggerated medieval style bow as she recounted first meeting the queen.
“Sorry, but I still remember how she made fun of bowing before the Queen in front of the camera,” one TikTok user wrote of the new viral video.
“Her curtsy was always really good….until she disrespected the curtsy and ruined it all.”
Meghan has not yet been seen curtsying to her father-in-law, King Charles III.
James Crawford-Smith is Regalrumination.com’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Regalrumination.com’s The Royals Facebook page.
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