Prince Harry says William physically ‘stood back’ when Meghan Markle greeted him during the first meeting

Prince Harry signed in Spare parts that his brother Prince William and wife Kate Middleton were majors Suit fansbut when William met Harry’s then-partner Meghan Markle for the first time, things started off on a very awkward note. Harry detailed, via Page six, that his brother was physically “blown away” when the American actress gave him a hug to say hello.

“[It] completely freaked him out,” Harry wrote of the hug, “he pulled back. Willy didn’t hug many strangers. Whereas Meg hugged most strangers.”

William expected Meghan to decline, but Harry had advised her against it as he didn’t think the casual meeting warranted it. “Will had hoped she would greet him with the usual deference of protocol because she didn’t know and I hadn’t told her,” Harry wrote, according to the newspaper. “When I met my grandmother [the late Queen Elizabeth II]I had made it clear [curtsying was needed]– this is the queen, but when I met my brother, it was only Willy who loved Suit.” Harry added that Kate Middleton had also been in attendance with her children outside.

Kate also wasn’t keen on Meghan hugging her during their first meeting, Meghan itself revealed in her and her husband’s Netflix docuseries Harry and Meghan, released last month. Hugs as a greeting in general is not so common in the UK as it is in the US and is typically reserved for friends or close family.

“Even when Will and Kate came over and I had met her for the first time, they came over for dinner,” Meghan recalled. “I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot. Like I was a hugger, I’ve always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that it’s really jarring to a lot of British people. I guess I started very quickly to understand that the formality on the outside was accomplished inside. That there’s a forward-looking way of being. And then you close the door and you say, ‘Oh, great. Okay, we can relax now.’ But that formality carries over to both sides. And that was surprising to me.”

Harry later added in his memoirs, per Us Weekly, that William would not end up supporting his relationship with Meghan too much. William told him not to propose to her too soon (the two finally got engaged in November 2017a little over a year later they started dating in the summer of 2016).

“It’s too soon, he told me. Too soon,” Harry claimed. “In fact, he’d actually been quite disheartened that I’d dated Meg myself. One day, sitting together in his garden, he had predicted a host of difficulties I could expect if I ended up with an ‘American actress’, a phrase he always managed to make sound like a ‘convicted felon ‘.”

Senior news and strategy editor

Alyssa Bailey is senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees celebrity and royal coverage (especially Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She has previously held positions at With style and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, getting people to take #ootd pictures of her, and exploring New York City.

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