Meghan Markle shared the story of meeting the queen for the first time, complete with a dramatic recreation of her curtsy, during the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan. The moment was interesting to one body language expert because he is certain she’s told that joke to her American friends before the docuseries.
Meghan Markle said it was ‘surreal’ meeting the queen for the first time
In the documentary, Meghan called the moment she met the queen “surreal.” Prince Harry said Meghan “had no idea what it all consisted of” because of the royal protocol involved. “So it was a bit of a shock to the system for her,” he explained.
Meghan noted, “I mean, it’s surreal. There wasn’t like some big moment of ‘And now you’re gonna meet my grandmother.’ I didn’t know I was going to meet her until moments before. We were in the car and we were going to Royal Lodge for lunch, and he’s like, ‘Oh, my grandmother is here, she’s gonna be there after church.’”
She continued, “I remember we were in the car, driving up and he’s like, ‘You know how to curtsy, right?’ And I just thought it was a joke.”
Meghan Markle recreated the curtsy moment
Meghan said the idea of bowing felt reminiscent of something you’d see at a medieval-themed restaurant. “Now I’m starting to realize this is a big deal,” she said. “I mean, Americans will understand this. We have Medieval Times dinner and tournament. It was like that.”
She recreated the moment by performing a very drawn-out bow. “Like, I curtsied as though I was like [motions the curtsy] ‘Pleasure to meet you, your Majesty,’” Meghan said.
She added, “It was so intense. And then when she left, Eugenie and Jack and Fergie say ‘You did great!’ Thanks. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Expert believes Meghan has told this joke before
Body language analyst Spidey took a closer look at the documentary moment in a video posted on The Behavioral Arts YouTube channel. He broke down the clip about Meghan meeting the queen and pointed out something interesting about her storytelling — she’s likely told the story in exactly the same way before.
Spidey noted that she first performs a “stop gesture with her hand” as if to say, “This isn’t for the English people, this joke is only for Americans.”
He continued, “And then she proceeds to mock something that is traditionally something that the British do — curtsy, bowing. This is something that shows respect.”
Spidey said he’s “so convinced” this isn’t the first time Meghan has shared her curtsy story. “She’s told this joke before this way to American friends of hers and it hit, it landed well,” he explained. “And that’s why she’s presenting it with such confidence and saying, ‘This is for the Americans.’”
He added, “To me, it just feels a little disrespectful to mock this tradition that’s so important… to your husband’s family.”
He called her story “kind of a misplaced mockery” and looked at Harry’s reaction in the moment. “At first he’s not smiling and you can’t really see the left side of his face, but you can almost feel that that left side [has a] contemptuous look,” the expert explained. “You kind of feel it in the way he’s looking at her.”
The body language analyst continued, “And then he kind of forces out like a smile but it’s not a genuine, happy ‘I find this funny’ smile. It’s kind of an awkward, tight-lipped kind of, ‘OK, let’s move on from this’ smile. I don’t think he’s loving this at all, nor should he.”
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