Skip to main content


  • Prince William “recoiled” when Meghan Markle greeted him with a hug when they first met, according to Spare
  • “The moment was a classic collision of cultures,” Prince Harry wrote. 
  • Prince Harry also noted he didn’t tell Meghan Markle curtsying would’ve been protocol before meeting Prince William. 
Meghan Markle, who 'completely freaked' Prince William 'out' when they met, according to Prince Harry's 'Spare', walks with Kate Middleton, Prince William, and Prince Harry
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry opened up about Meghan Markle meeting Prince William — and those “jarring” hugs — in Spare. What the Duke of Sussex had to say about his now-wife meeting his brother, plus, what he originally thought of as “fun and charming” might’ve been something “more.” 

Prince William ‘recoiled’ when Meghan Markle hugged him, according to ‘Spare’

Not long after meeting Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother, the Duchess of Sussex met the now-Prince of Wales. 

“Meg and I popped over one afternoon, shortly before he and I were due to leave on a shooting trip,” Harry wrote in his memoir, which debuted Jan. 10. “Walking up to apartment 1A, under the huge arch, through the courtyard, I felt more nervous than I had before the meeting with Granny.” 

They rang the doorbell, and “after a while,” Harry’s “big brother” answered. “The door opened and there was my big brother, a bit dressed up. Nice trousers, nice shirt, open collar,” Harry wrote. 

Then came the introductions. Harry recalled introducing William to Meghan, who hugged her now-brother-in-law. “I introduced Meg, who leaned in and gave him a hug, which completely freaked him out. He recoiled,” the Duke of Sussex wrote. 

“Willy didn’t hug many strangers. Whereas Meg hugged most strangers,” he explained. “The moment was a classic collision of cultures, like flashlight-torch, which felt to me both fun and charming.” 

Prince Harry later thought William’s reaction to Meghan’s hug might’ve been ‘more’ than a culture difference

Prince William, who was 'completely freaked' when Meghan Markle hugged him when they first met, according to Prince Harry's 'Spare', touches Meghan Markle's arm
Prince William and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Although Harry initially thought the hug Meghan gave William — and his brother’s reaction to it — had been “fun and charming,” Harry confessed he thought there might’ve been “more” to it. 

“Later, however, looking back, I wondered if it was more than that,” he wrote. “Maybe Willy expected Meg to curtsy? It would’ve been protocol when meeting a member of the royal family for the first time, but she didn’t know, and I didn’t tell her.” 

“When meeting my grandmother [Queen Elizabeth II], I’d made it clear — this is the queen,” Harry said. “But when meeting my brother, it was just Willy, who loved Suits.”

Harry continued, saying William “got over” the hug. He “exchanged a few warm words with Meg” while his wife, Kate Middleton, was “out” with their three children; Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. 

After saying their goodbyes, Harry and William went on a shooting weekend while Meghan spent her first night alone at Nottingham Cottage or “Nott Cott.” Now that the budding romance wasn’t a secret, Harry confessed he couldn’t stop talking about Meghan. 

“To his credit,” Harry wrote, William “didn’t tease, didn’t tell me to shut up. On the contrary, he said what I’d hoped he’d say, even needed him to say. ‘Happy for you, Harold.’” 

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s reaction to Meghan Markle dating news ‘baffled’ Prince Harry

The Prince and Princess of Wales were stunned when Harry revealed he’d been dating Meghan, Harry claimed in Spare. Before the introductions — and the hugs — Harry sat down with the two and gave them an update on his love life. He recalled the pair telling him it was “impossible” he could be dating the then-Suits star. 

“I was baffled, until Willy and Kate explained that they were regular — nay, religious — viewers of Suits,” Harry said. “Great, I thought, laughing. I’ve been worrying about the wrong thing. All this time I’d thought Willy and Kate might not welcome Meg into the family, but now I had to worry about them hounding her for an autograph.”

Harry also shared he’d told William he hoped they’d “become a foursome.” 

“I’d said this to Willy so many times, and he’d always replied: ‘It might not happen, Harold! And you’ve got to be OK with that,’” Harry wrote. “Well, now I felt that it was going to happen and I told him so — but he still said to slow down. ‘She’s an American actress after all, Harold. Anything might happen.’”

Meanwhile, in Netflix’s Harry & Meghan, Meghan shared that the “biggest problem” when she met the royal family had been her acting career.