As a California girl through and through, Meghan Markle has a bit of catching up to do when it comes to the British way of doing things - especially where the Royal Family is concerned. As a result, the 36-year-old former actress is being schooled in etiquette so that she won’t put a foot wrong when she marries Prince Harry and joins “the Firm.”
L.A.-born Meghan has already adopted a more formal style of waving to fans when she’s out on official visits with her royal fiancé. She’s also adopted the so-called “duchess slant” when she sits – knees together, ankles crossed and legs slanted to the side, as championed by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Meghan also now knows the words to “God Save the Queen,” which she sang alongside Harry at Westminster Abbey last month. She has been received into the Church of England – and in addition, has perfected the art of the curtsy.
“A great part of what Meghan is being taught at present will include the basics, such as how to wave, how and whom to address, how to curtsy, what to carry in her handbag," author and etiquette expert Liz Brewer tells Hello! “There will also be huge emphasis on protocol, especially tradition and formality, which gives correct order to formal occasions such as state and diplomatic events and also includes behaviour within royal gatherings.
“Even at informal occasions, Meghan would have already experienced this, beginning with her stay with the Queen over Christmas. So she would learn about arriving in a room in order of succession to the throne, where to sit, when to stand, when to leave and even when to speak. She will also learn diplomacy with emphasis on not giving a personal opinion in relation to politics, government and also how to avoid controversy,” adds Liz. “Above all, she will learn to give scrupulous attention to her dress, timing and health. There will never again be an excuse for being late.”
THE ART OF GIVING
Meghan is also working hard to establish the causes that she’ll support after her wedding, when she will join the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Lorraine Heggessey, the foundation’s chief executive, speaks highly of Meghan’s “passion” for charity.
“She’s already shown that in the past and that’s one of the things Prince Harry and she have spoken about and they’ve bonded over,” said Lorraine. “She’s just dying to get up and running, which is wonderful for us. She wants to make a difference, and she will make a difference.”
Under the radar, Meghan has been making private visits to a number of places in need, including London’s Al Manaar community mosque, which has been helping people afflicted by last year’s horrific Grenfell Tower fire. “She is going around familiarizing herself with the landscape in this country,” explains Lorraine.“She’s meeting groups and wants to do that privately so she can get to know people. “All the principal royals do private visits so they can properly get an understanding of the issues so they can make a difference.” Judging by her post-engagement appearances thus far, Meghan is a very fast learner!