This Meghan Markle Slip-Up with the Royal Family Even Had Prince Harry Cringing

Louisa Ballhaus

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Prince Harry is Meghan Markle’s fiercest defender when it comes to the royal family (AKA his family), and she’s certainly needed it. The British royal family is known for loving their traditions, and everything from a curtsy to a diamond ring is subject to scrutiny for how it differs from their rigidly enforced rules. So, while Harry is normally leaping to Meghan’s side when she’s accused of flouting convention by, say, opening her own car door, there was one social slip-up of Meghan’s that had even Harry a bit red around the ears. According to new royals tell-all Royals at War, Harry was embarrassed that Meghan revealed her pregnancy at Princess Eugenie’s wedding — and if Harry was embarrassed, you know the royal family was horrified.

Per Royals at War authors Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett, Meghan’s decision to announce that she and Harry were expecting a baby at Eugenie’s wedding was hers alone, and one that made Harry uncomfortable from the get-go. “Harry would have been only too painfully aware just how big a no-no this would be, yet he went along with Meghan’s wishes,” they write.

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“Meghan put her foot in it when she decided that it would be the ideal moment to announce that she and Harry were expecting their first child,” they added. “This was a huge social gaffe, even if you were not a royal—stealing the limelight from Eugenie, who was furious, as was her mother, Sarah.”

Previous reports have denied that this was when the Sussexes told the royal family about their pregnancy. Eugenie’s wedding, on October 12, came three days before the Sussexes’ public pregnancy announcement on October 15, and it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that at least some family members found out about the pregnancy there — at which point, it’s not hard to imagine this being their reaction.

But the discussion over whether or not this was in fact something Meghan did misses the larger point, as conversation about Meghan Markle so often tends to do. Yes, any sort of pre-planned pregnancy reveal on someone else’s wedding day is embarrassing on many levels, but there’s nothing in Meghan’s past or present conduct that makes us think she would do something like that — in fact, she seems to actively avoid the kind of attention that would have brought to her pregnancy. Howard and Tillett’s Royals at War seems determined to paint Duchess Meghan as the same high-maintenance diva that UK tabloids have been fabricating for years, and we’re not buying it.

If Meghan Markle told one or two or Harry’s cousins that she was expecting, at a large royal wedding where she was likely up to her ears in royal tradition all day, does that make her a monster? Or is this yet another piece of evidence that the royal family’s conduct expectations are way out of line, especially when it comes to pregnancy and babies?

And sure, if a crying Eugenie in a wedding dress came up to cousin Harry saying that Meghan ruined her day because she overheard talk of the pregnancy, we get why he’d feel a little sheepish. But Eugenie’s married, Archie’s here, and the moral of the story is not Meghan’s “faux pas” — it’s the royal family’s massive overreaction.

Click here for the complete timeline of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

Launch Gallery: Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Relationship

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