Meghan Markle faced backlash on social media after a clip from a new Netflix documentary featuring her and Prince Harry showed her making an exaggerated curtsy while imitating how she acted when she first met the late Queen Elizabeth.
In the documentary, Harry prompts Markle's curtsy as he recalls their conversation before meeting his grandmother.
“I mean, it’s surreal,” Markle said, according to the Daily Mail. “There wasn’t like some big moment of ‘Now you’re gonna meet my grandmother.' I didn’t know I was going to meet her until moments before. We were in the car and we were going to the Royal Lodge for lunch, and he was like, ‘Oh, my grandmother is here, she’s gonna be there after church.'”
Markle's imitation of the curtsy was met with condemnation from Tory MP Mark Jenkinson, who called it "the ultimate betrayal. And he just sits and watches.”
Darren McGrady, a former chef for Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana told the Mail, “The look on his face when his wife laughs about having to curtsey to The Queen says everything for me. … I’ve known Harry since I held him as a baby while Princess Diana was eating cereals in the kitchen at Windsor Castle. Prince Harry, with respect, sir, your wife will never be like or similar to your mother. I knew Princess Diana for 15 years. Not even close.”
Royal author Gyles Brandreth also weighed in, saying that the curtsy is simply a "brief" show of respect for the sovereign.
“He would know that the bow, as it were, is a brief curtsy. It is just a curtsy to show respect for the sovereign, and in the case of the queen, a lady in her 90s who had actually earned respect through a lifetime of service, and that was it. And to do this sort of mocking thing is uncomfortable,” said Brandreth.
In the documentary, Markle mentioned the movie "The Princess Diaries," saying, "When I joined the royal family, I knew there was a protocol for how things were done. Remember that old movie, 'The Princess Diaries?' It's not like that. No one comes in and says, 'Sit like this, cross your legs like this, use this fork, don't do that, curtsy, wear this kind of hat.' It just doesn't happen.”
“I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed. Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves,” Harry reportedly said, “They were surprised that the ginger could land such a beautiful woman. And such an intelligent woman.”