Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Were 'Happy' at Trooping: 'It Was a Real Moment of Continuity'
Missing was any sign of interpersonal fallout from last month's announcement that Prince Harry and Prince William were dissolving the Royal Foundation charity that the two couples shared
The royal sisters-in-law delighted fans during their Trooping the Colour appearance on Saturday. Not only was it Meghan’s first appearance since introducing son Archie to the world, but she and Prince Harry rode in the same horse-drawn carriage as Kate and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on their way to Buckingham Palace. (Last year, Meghan and Harry rode separately in their own carriage, while Kate and Camilla sat together.)
“Everybody was smiling and looked happy,” Emma Forbes, a U.K. journalist whose father, filmmaker Bryan Forbes, had ties to the royal family, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It was a real moment of continuity.”
Missing was any sign of interpersonal fallout from last month’s announcement that Harry and his brother, Prince William, were dissolving the Royal Foundation charity that the two couples shared. (A source called the move, which followed the brothers’ separating their joint court at Kensington Palace, “a natural progression.”)
“Meghan was chatting to the Duchess of Cambridge, and they were getting on well,” says Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty.
Adds royal photographer Mark Stewart: “Meghan was animated and happy to be there honoring the Queen.”
Just as it was for last year’s Trooping celebrations, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex weren’t as prominent on the balcony as Kate and Prince William — and it all came down to a royal “pecking order” — and a desire to have the kids be the focus.
Although the brothers and their wives stood close together in 2018, the couples ended up on different sides of the Queen to watch this year’s flypast. After all, Meghan has a year of royal know-how under her belt now.
“I think in the beginning, Kate was really sweet,” says Forbes. “Meghan doesn’t come from that or wasn’t born into that type of lifestyle, so I think Kate was very much a role model in the beginning of what you do. I mean, imagine how daunting it must be to go from being an actress to being a part of the English royal family and knowing exactly what to do at events.”
She adds, “You saw Kate at certain events last year very much showing her the ropes.”
Kate and Meghan, both 37, also now share a new bond: motherhood. The Duchess of Sussex welcomed her first child on May 6 and has been spending time with her son at their Frogmore Cottage home since, although Harry has skipped a formal paternity leave and carried out several engagements in the past month.
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Although Archie didn’t participate in the festivities, all eyes were on the little royals — especially 1-year-old Prince Louis, who made the most of his balcony debut by excitedly waving to the crowds (when he wasn’t busy sucking his thumb!).
The whole family was amused by his enthusiasm, says Stewart: “Meghan was laughing, and Prince Charles was really tickled. We have a new star in the royal family. He’s a little live wire.”
Stewart adds, that the Duchess of Sussex “looked very contented. Hopefully it won’t be too many years before Archie’s out on the balcony.”