Prince Philip Warned the Queen about Meghan Markle

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Feb 09, 2024

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was known for his unfiltered opinions and, it seems, his instinctive reservations about Meghan Markle drew a parallel with a controversial figure from the past: Wallis Simpson.

This comparison wasn’t just casual gossip but a profound concern from a senior royal figure, hinting at potential discord within the palace.

The Duchess Comparison

Meghan Markle’s arrival into the royal family invited comparisons with Wallis Simpson, another American divorcee whose love story once rocked the British monarchy to its core.

Wallis Simpson offers to 'withdraw', 8 December 1936. Article on the front page of the 'Daily Express' about American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Source: Daily Express/Wikimedia Commons

Prince Philip’s dubbing of Meghan as “DoW,” for Duchess of Windsor, was laden with historical weight, suggesting a fear of repeat turmoil (via Express). His comparison was derived from the understanding of how personal choices can intersect dramatically with royal duties, echoing concerns of past royal crises.

The Queen's Warm Welcome

In stark contrast to Prince Philip’s wary stance, Queen Elizabeth II offered Meghan Markle a warm and hopeful welcome into the royal family (via Us Weekly). Her acceptance and the high hopes she harbored for Meghan’s potential role within the Commonwealth underscored a generational divide in perspective.

Queen Elizabeth attends a service at St Paul's Cathedral in London

Source: WPA Pool/Getty Images

The queen’s optimism highlighted her ability to see beyond past precedents and embrace the possibilities of what Meghan and Harry could achieve together, signaling a forward-thinking approach to royal traditions.

A Love Story Amid Royal Duties

Prince Harry’s journey to marry Meghan, detailed in his memoir “Spare,” mirrored the royal family’s historical conflicts between personal desires and public duties.

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018.

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

This narrative wasn’t just about love; it was a reflection on the constant balancing act required by members of the royal family, showcasing the tightrope walked between personal happiness and the expectations of royal protocol.

The Oprah Interview Fallout

The Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 was a watershed moment for the royal family, revealing deep-seated issues and further straining relationships, particularly with Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.

Source: Karwai Tang/WireImage

The interview’s fallout brought to light the delicate balance between royal privacy and public persona. The queen’s reported dismay at the couple’s candidness also highlighted the challenges she faced in safeguarding the monarchy’s legacy while managing familial bonds.

An Unwelcomed Comparison

The comparison of Meghan to Wallis Simpson by Prince Philip was telling of his deep concerns about the potential for disruption within the royal family.

Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex wave as they leave Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Source: Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

This analogy went beyond surface-level similarities to suggest a fear of Meghan as a divisive figure, reminiscent of the turmoil that Simpson’s relationship with King Edward VIII had caused decades earlier (via Brides).


The Queen's Hopes and Disappointments

Queen Elizabeth’s initial optimism about Meghan’s impact on the royal family and its connection with the younger generations of the Commonwealth faded as tensions arose.

Queen Elizabeth II pictured as she arrives for the state banquet in her honor at Schloss Bellevue palace

Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Her disappointment following Harry and Meghan’s departure from senior royal duties, and their decision to publicly share their grievances, reflected a clash between expectations and reality.


Historical Echoes

The saga of Edward VIII’s abdication for Wallis Simpson cast a long shadow over Harry and Meghan’s relationship, serving as a historical backdrop to the modern-day drama unfolding within the royal family.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry walking together. Meghan is wearing a brown hat and light brown coat and Harry is wearing a gray jacket and blue tie.

Source: Mark Jones/Wikimedia Commons

This parallel between past and present showcased the enduring tension between personal autonomy and royal duty, demonstrating how the echoes of history continue to roam within the walls of Buckingham Palace.


The Fallout of a Royal Departure

Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from their roles as senior royals and relocate to the U.S. marked a major moment for the royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in black formal attire, standing in front of a window with drapes drawn back.

Source: Commons

This move not only challenged traditional expectations but also sparked a global conversation about the role of modern monarchy, the pressures of living under intense media scrutiny, and the pursuit of personal freedom versus public duty.


The Royal Family's Public Image

The Sussexes’ candid discussions about their experiences within the royal family, including their interview with Oprah, have ignited debates over the monarchy’s relationship with the public and the media.

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Prince William stand together during a ceremonial event. Prince Harry is dressed in a black military uniform adorned with medals, while Prince William is in a red ceremonial uniform with decorations. Kate Middleton is in between them

Source: Wikimedia Commons

These revelations have prompted discussions about the need for modernization within the institution, highlighting the delicate balance between upholding tradition and adapting to changing societal norms.


Queen Elizabeth's Stoic Leadership

Throughout the unfolding drama, Queen Elizabeth II remained a figure of stoic leadership, her dedication to duty and the monarchy unwavering.

Queen Elizabeth II wearing a blue hat and blue suit dress, smiling at someone out of frame.

Source: UK Government/Wikimedia Commons

Her handling of the situation, juggling her personal affection for her family with the responsibilities of her position, showed how she was the glue that held the royal family together — managing the challenges of a modern monarchy while trying to keep everyone united and respected by the public.


A Legacy of Love and Duty

The story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, set against the backdrop of Prince Philip’s warnings, encapsulates the ongoing struggle within the royal family to balance love and duty.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in an open-carriage procession after their wedding.

Source: Londisland/Wikimedia Commons

This saga is not just about the individuals involved but about the broader challenges facing an institution trying to maintain its relevance and integrity in a rapidly changing world. It’s a narrative of personal choices, public and internal perceptions, and the idea of history repeating itself.