The Daily Telegraph

Meghan joins ‘hierarchy’ in her jewellery as Sussexes pay tribute

- Camilla Tominey associate editor

Reunited with the Royal family publicly for the first time since she suggested her mere existence had “upset the hierarchy”, the Duchess of Sussex paid tribute to Elizabeth II by wearing jewellery given to her by the late Queen.

Meghan, 41, wore the elegant pearl and diamond drop earrings that had been given to her by her husband’s late grandmothe­r during their first joint solo engagement in June 2018, a month after she married the Duke of Sussex.

The Queen and the Duchess had travelled on the royal train to Cheshire, met with community leaders and saw a performanc­e by schoolchil­dren.

A lot has happened since then, and yesterday’s participat­ion in the royal procession that followed the late Queen’s casket into Westminste­r Hall is the first time the Sussexes have taken such a prominent role in a major royal event since they stepped down from public duties in January 2020.

Although they attended the Platinum Jubilee thanksgivi­ng service for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral in June, as “non-working” members of the family, they were not invited to take part in the royal procession.

While Harry, 37, joined his brother, the Prince of Wales, to follow the casket on foot from Buckingham Palace, Meghan, 41, travelled by car with the Countess of Wessex. Her sister-in-law the Princess of Wales travelled with the Queen Consort, who was wearing her own poignant piece of jewellery – a distinctiv­e stick insect shaped silver brooch that she has worn to memorial services before. Like Meghan, the Princess of Wales wore jewellery associated with the late Queen – a diamond and pearl leaf brooch given to her by the late monarch following her 2011 marriage to Prince William. She also wore a pair of pearl drop earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.

There was little show of emotion from Harry and Meghan until they left Westminste­r Hall at the end of the deeply poignant service, holding hands in a break from protocol.

Much has been made of the rift between the royal brothers and their wives – although a truce seemed to have been called after the Prince of Wales invited the Sussexes to join him and Princess Kate on a walkabout in Windsor on Saturday afternoon. The quartet, once known as the “Fab Four”, spent 40 minutes inspecting the floral tributes and meeting well-wishers in a move some have interprete­d as paving the road to reconcilia­tion.

It came after Meghan gave a 6,500-word interview to The Cut magazine last month in which she said that “just by existing” she and Harry “were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy” and suggested her husband had “lost” his father in the process of them leaving, nicknamed “Megxit”. She also spoke of her relief at being “able to tell [my] own story” before issuing what some interprete­d as a message to the family, saying she is free to “say anything” and it is taking “a lot of effort” to forgive them and her estranged family.

Yet bar a deleted tweet by their self-styled unofficial spokesman, the couple appear to be keeping a low profile while in the UK. On Tuesday, Omid Scobie, who wrote the hagiograph­y Finding Freedom, removed a photograph he had posted on the social media site “captured before the Queen’s coffin was received at the Grand Entrance” of Buckingham Palace giving a “glimpse” of “King Charles, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex”. It was taken down following accusation­s of mawkish puffery on behalf of the couple.

In the face of more criticism that they are “cashing in” on their royal status, the Sussexes are understood to have delayed publicatio­n of Harry’s memoirs until next year. Meghan has put her Archetypes podcast on hold and cancelled a planned appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,a prime-time US chat show.

Earlier this week, Oprah Winfrey was criticised for saying she hopes “burying the dead” will help the couple finally make “peace” with the Royal family – with many pointing out that their explosive interview with the chat show host 18 months ago was the catalyst for the family’s falling out.

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