Queen's subtle message to Meghan in TV speech

Lifestyle Team
·5-min read

As the Queen addressed the nation and the Commonwealth in a rare televised address in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some think there might have been messages to others in the address - particularly her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.

The couple formally left their roles as senior royals on 31 March, part of what ended up being a tough week for the Queen, with her son contracting COVID-19 at the same time.

Buckingham Palace handout image of Queen Elizabeth II during her address to the nation and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Queen gave a rare address on Sunday evening. Photo: Buckingham Palace

The Queen and her husband Prince Philip are isolating in Windsor Castle, where they arrived around 19 March, a week earlier than originally planned.

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are starting the next chapter of their lives in California, while William and Kate are in Norfolk, and Charles and Camilla are in Scotland.

"Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones, but now as then, we know deep down that it is the right thing to do," the Queen said in her speech.

"While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time, we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us,” the Queen said.

Of course, she was referencing her own separation from family during the Blitz in London, and the families spread far and wide who cannot meet.

But many thought she was also speaking of her recent separation from Harry and Meghan.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets children as she attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020 in London, England.
Fans thought the Queen was referencing Meghan and Harry's exit in her TV speech. Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been living more or less full time in Canada since before Christmas, but it was 31 March that marked their final day as senior royals.

The Queen may have felt their loss more heavily that week, as it was also close to the time that her son Charles battled a mild form of COVID-19.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, Harry, 35, and Meghan, 37, were “both moved” by the monarch’s message, watching in Los Angeles, where they are house hunting.

The source said the Sussexes “described it as not just a demonstration of experienced leadership, but also warmth, reassurance, and comfort”.

It’s not the first time the Queen has been thought to send a special message with her sartorial choices.

In 2017, people thought the Queen was replicating the EU flag with her blue outfit worn for the state opening of parliament after the Brexit vote.

Even Guy Verhofstadt, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, noticed the yellow centres of the flowers on her hat looked like the EU stars.

Her brooch

According to Harper’s Bazaar, the brooch the Queen chose to wear during what was only her fifth ever televised address outside her Christmas messages, was not one of her favourites.

Instead of picking a best-loved piece, she picked one from her grandmother Queen Mary’s collection, who was known for her extensive jewellery collection.

Queen Mary was also the proud owner of the Vladimir Tiara—a Romanov jewel she acquired from the son of the Duchess Vladimir.

It was that tiara which Meghan borrowed from her grandmother-in-law to be for her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travels in an Ascot Landau carriage as she & Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex begin their procession through Windsor following their wedding at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The brooch was from the same collection as Meghan's wedding tiara. Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps the Queen chose the piece to show a unity with her grandson’s wife, or to harken back to the past, as she did with her speech too, when she chose the words of Dame Vera Lynn to say “we will meet again”.

Her green dress

The Queen often wears bright colours, so she can be seen, and regularly chooses green or blue for her televised addresses.

According to Stylist Susie Hasler, the colour of her dress was significant because it was calming.

She told Femail: “It’s also worth noting that her colour choice is also a similar shade to what medical teams in the NHS are donning at the moment, perhaps indicating solidarity with them as they carry out their crucial work.”

Writing for the Irish Independent, Caitlin McBride said green also signalled rebirth “reflecting the world's eventual collective re-awakening when quarantines are slowly lifted”.

Her triple stranded pearl necklace

The Queen kept accessories to a minimum for the address on Sunday evening, wearing a simple pearl necklace as well as the brooch.

And McBride said the necklace was not without meaning. It’s an oft-worn piece, and dates back to her accession in 1952.

McBride notes the choice to wear it again indicates stability and endurance, and are a reminder of her lengthy reign.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Her green outfit seemed to be a nod to remembering the victims of the Grenfell tragedy. Photo: Getty Images

In 2018, she wore green for her first royal engagement with new granddaughter-in-law Meghan in Chester.

The colour was significant because it was a year after the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, and green had been chosen to remember the victims.

During the state visit by President Donald Trump later in the same year, royal watchers were convinced the Queen was shading the US leader with her brooch choices.

On the first day, she wore one given to her by his predecessor, Barack Obama, while on day two, she chose one given to her by Canada, a country Trump had been sparring with. On the last day she wore one her mother wore to the funeral of King George VI.

Words by Rebecca Taylor

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