Meghan Markle reveals what 'Will and Kate' were like behind closed doors during first meeting

Meghan Markle recalled what it was like meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton in private for the first time

Kate Middleton and Prince William, Meghan Markle - what 'Will and Kate' were like behind closed
(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala // Image 2: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Meghan Markle’s has hinted at what Prince William and Kate Middleton are like behind closed doors, as she recalled her 'barefoot' first meeting with them in private during her and Prince Harry's Netflix series. 

Over two years since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “stepped back” as senior working royals and relocated to their beautiful Santa Barbara mansion, their love story and experience of royal life has been delved into like never before. Getting candid in their Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared enlightening insights and reflections. These included Prince Harry being terrified Meghan would be driven away by media attention when they started dating and Prince Harry and Meghan’s first date spot being revealed. 

But another focused on Meghan Markle’s "barefoot" dinner with the future King and Queen Consort, Prince William and Kate Middleton, with the Duchess sharing details of what the pair are like behind closed doors. 

Opening up in the second episode of the Netflix special, the Duchess spoke about meeting Kate Middleton for the “first time” in private and how she took a relaxed approach to hosting her and Prince William.

"Even when Will and Kate came over and I had met her for the first time… They came for dinner. I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot,” Meghan explained. 

what 'Will and Kate' were like behind closed

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The Duchess also hinted that embracing Kate and William made for a slightly awkward moment with the couple, adding, "I was a hugger, always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits."

The Duchess of Sussex then went on to reflect upon how this moment sparked a realization. According to her, Meghan Markle’s “barefoot” dinner with Prince William and Kate highlighted how the "formalities continue" for the Royal Family even away from the cameras and crowds. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend Christmas Day Church service

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

She continued, "I guess it started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside. That there is a forward-facing way of being. And then you close the door and you are like, [sighing] 'Oh, great, OK, we can relax now.' But that formality carries over on both sides."

"And that was surprising to me," Meghan reflected, considering how her initial expectations contrasted with her new perception of how "formal" things were behind closed doors. 

Prince Harry then shared an example of certain traditions within the Royal Family when he discussed how his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth was the first “senior member of the family that Meghan met”. 

Queen Elizabeth II sitts and laughs with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Describing how they’d been in the car on the way to a lunch at the Royal Lodge, Meghan added that he’d asked her if she knew how to curtsy and that she’d “just thought it was a joke” before realizing he was serious. 

Prince Harry said, "How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you would need to curtsy, especially to an American. That’s weird."

However, despite the "formality" that Meghan felt was “surprising”, her relationship with the Queen was said to have been a warm one. She told Variety in October 2022 that Queen Elizabeth was a “shining example” of what female leadership looks like and expressed “great gratitude” that she got to “spend time with her and get to know her."

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!