Prince Harry Recalls Kate Middleton Not Laughing at Meghan Markle’s Trooping the Colour Joke

TL;DR: 

  • 2018 marked Meghan Markle’s first Trooping the Colour. 
  • Prince Harry recalled Kate Middleton asking what Meghan Markle thought of the sovereign’s 2018 birthday celebration in Spare
  • Meghan Markle, Prince Harry claimed, replied with a joke that resulted in an awkward “silence.” 
  • Fan reactions to Spare’s Trooping the Colour anecdote have been mixed. 
Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry, who said Meghan Markle's joke ended in awkward 'silence', during Trooping the Colour 2018
Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince Harry revisited an awkward moment from 2018’s Trooping the Colour between himself, Meghan Markle, and Kate Middleton in Spare. Ahead, the question his sister-in-law asked and the Duchess of Sussex’s joking reply. 

Meghan Markle attended Trooping the Colour for the first time in 2018

Not long after their May 2018 royal wedding, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex observed another special family event. They, and other British royals, stepped out for Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday with Trooping the Colour. 

Held annually in June, Trooping the Colour is the royal family’s official way of celebrating the monarch’s birthday. The June 2018 festivities were a first for Meghan. Never before had she taken part in the parade’s carriage rides, stood on Buckingham Palace’s balcony, or witnessed crowds gathered along The Mall. 

For her Trooping the Colour debut, Meghan wore a bespoke light pink outfit by Carolina Herrera, complete with a matching fascinator. After a carriage ride, she and other royals stood on the palace balcony as the Royal Air Force performed a special flypast. 

Meghan Markle jokingly told Kate Middleton 2018’s Trooping the Colour was ‘colourful’

In Spare, Harry recalled Meghan’s first Trooping the Colour experience in 2018. They’d recently returned from a 10-day honeymoon in the Mediterranean when they attended the event, marking one of their “first public appearances as newlyweds.” 

Harry remembered that “everyone present was in a good mood, upbeat” during the ceremony. However, he claimed the mood changed after Meghan made a joke when her sister-in-law asked for her thoughts on the festivities. 

“But then: Kate asked Meg what she thought of her first Trooping the Colour. And Meg joked: Colourful,” Harry wrote. 

The now-father of two continued, saying a “yawning silence” that “threatened to swallow us all whole” followed. 

Meghan’s since attended Trooping the Colour twice. She — and Harry — were there for the celebration in 2019 and, most recently, in 2022 during Platinum Jubilee weekend. However, in 2022, the pair didn’t take part in the parade or join fellow royals on the palace balcony. Instead, they watched it from a nearby building. 

The internet is divided on Meghan’s Trooping the Colour joke

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who, according to 'Spare', made a joke about Trooping the Colour that Kate Middleton didn't find funny, ride in a carriage at the 2018 Trooping the Colour
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Fans have been split on Meghan’s Trooping the Colour comment since Spare’s Jan. 10 debut. Conversations online have seen criticisms of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well as the royal family (via Independent). 

Some felt Meghan’s joke was “quite funny” with one person wondering why the royal family had been “so offended.” Others felt it wasn’t the right moment for Meghan to make such a remark, calling it “crass” and “inappropriate.” 

Some blamed Meghan’s “gaffe” on Harry, saying he should’ve explained to her the importance of the event. Others said Meghan’s one-word reply didn’t exactly invite Kate to take part in a friendly conversation. 

The Trooping the Colour anecdote with Meghan and Kate is just one of many in Spare that show the divide between the two women. Elsewhere in the book, Harry recalls the flower girl dress drama and arguing with Kate and William.