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An excerpt from Andrew Morton's unofficial biography of the future duchess tells the behind-the-scenes story. 

Elisabeth Sherman
April 17, 2018

We already know that the future wife of Prince Harry and the woman the world is probably most curious about right now, Meghan Markle, had a clandestine meeting Queen Elizabeth II last October, whose consent the first six people in line for the throne must seek before marrying. She even practiced British tea-drinking etiquette beforehand. Now, thanks to Andrew Morton, author of the unofficial biography, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, we are one step closer to understanding exactly what transpired during their meeting. Just remember that Morton’s book hasn’t been approved by the royal family or by Markle herself, so it might be best to take his version of events with a grain of salt.

The excerpt (which is featured at Town and Country) reveals that Markle practiced for the event at Rose Tree Cottage, a tea shop in Pasadena, California. Markle had to master the proper afternoon tea etiquette in order to make a good impression on her future grandmother-in-law. Though the queen was unlikely to deny Prince Harry’s request to marry (even though Markle is divorced), Molton speculates that there was probably some tension in the air the day of the meeting, because she’s denied a relative's request to marry before.

Morton writes that there was “a touch of cloak and dagger about the affair,” on the appointed date. The car they arrived in had to drive up as close to the entrance of the queen’s residence as possible so that the pair could squeeze out of the car and through the door without being detected. Even some of the palace’s senior staff weren’t informed that Markle had been there until days later.

Morton calls afternoon tea a relatively “informal occasion,” during which the queen catches up on “Upstairs gossip from her ladies‑in‑waiting.” According to Morton, Princess Diana sometimes used the occasion to try to get information about her former husband’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

While it still remains unclear if Markle and the queen exchanged any gossip (although it’s unlikely) what we do know for sure is that her corgis loved Markle, and cuddled with her during tea. That sealed Markle's fate: As we now know, the queen gladly approved the match. In just 32 days, we'll watch Markle finally get her happily-after-after.