The Queen celebrates Meghan Markle's birthday with touching royal nod

The Queen has made a statement about Meghan Markle's royal status with a sweet birthday message

WIDNES, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images))

The Queen has sent Meghan Markle a sweet message in celebration of her 40th birthday—and made a subtle statement about her royal status in the process.

Meghan Markle will wake up this morning to a touching message from the Queen, who has already shared her birthday wishes with her great-granddaughter-in-law from across the Atlantic. 

Her Majesty took to Twitter to send the Duchess of Sussex, who turns 40 today (4 August), a sweet note in celebration of reaching the milestone age—as well as a touching reminder of her place in the Royal Family. She added three photos to the post, including a candid shot of herself with Meghan at their first joint public engagement back in 2018. There was also an adorable picture of Meghan and Harry with their son, Archie, as well as a snap of the couple attending an awards show in London in early 2020. 

"Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very Happy Birthday today!" the Queen captioned the mini collage, adding a cute red balloon emoji to the post. 

See more

Her Majesty notably used Meghan's royal title in the message—a nod that's likely to raise some eyebrows from the American actress's army of critics. 

The withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as senior royals in January 2020 prompted major backlash from monarchists, who disagreed with the couple's desire to hold onto their titles whilst living in the US. After they were officially stripped of their royal patronages and appointments in February 2021, rumors began to swirl that they may also lose their aristocratic names. 

However, it looks like the Queen has no qualms about continuing to call Meghan and Harry by the historic titles. Her Majesty granted her grandson the dukedom of Sussex when he married Meghan in 2018, as well as the subsidiary titles of Earl of Dumbarton in Scotland and Baron Kilkeel in Northern Ireland. While the couple doesn't expect to be addressed as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in casual conversation, they do go by the title for work projects and at public engagements. In May 2020, it was revealed that the Queen is ‘very unlikely’ to strip Prince Harry and Meghan of their wedding gift Sussex titles, due to the complicated nature of such the process. 

The iconic monarch isn't the only family member to respect Meghan and Harry's royal status. Prince William and Kate Middleton also used it in their birthday message to the former Suits star, which included a sweet photo of Meghan wearing a Lei on her trip to Australia with Harry in 2018. 

See more

The kind birthday message points at the possibility of a reconciliation between Prince Harry and Prince William, who have reportedly been at odds with each other for the past several months. The sibling conflict is said to have been heavily escalated by allegations made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their bombshell Oprah interview, including unfavourable remarks about Kate Middleton and the operation of Buckingham Palace

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.