Queen Elizabeth Prepared Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Quite Differently for Life in The Firm

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle had completely different paths to the royal family, in no small part to how Queen Elizabeth treated them as they prepared to enter the royal family. Not only did they come from opposite backgrounds, but they were both reportedly advised quite differently before they married into “The Firm.” With Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leaving the monarchy at the end of March, here is what Queen Elizabeth told her and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, when they were getting ready to become royalty.

Queen Elizabeth Meghan Markle Kate Middleton
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton | Neil Mockford/GC Images

Kate Middleton waits on Prince William

Middleton met Prince William when they were attending the University of St. Andrews in the early 2000s. What started out as a friendship quickly turned romantic, and by their second year in college, they were already dating.

After they went public with their relationship upon graduation, royal watchers expected William to propose at any minute. But it took Prince William a whole 5 years to introduce Middleton to Queen Elizabeth. In fact, the two experienced a few ups and downs — including a breakup in 2007 — before he popped the big question in 2010.

Because she waited so long for William to propose, the media started calling Middleton “Waity Katie.” The future Duchess of Cambridge also came under intense media scrutiny and it took her a while to adjust to her new life under the spotlight.

Although Middleton and Prince William seemed destined to be together, Queen Elizabeth reportedly had some reservations about her joining the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth wanted Middleton to have a career

Once things started to get serious between Middleton and William, Queen Elizabeth reportedly fretted over her lack of a career. Her Majesty felt as though Middleton should have a better work history before marrying William, and advised her to start some charity work.

“Privately [the Queen] had grave concerns and believed that Kate needed to have a job and an identity in her own right before an engagement was announced,” royal author Katie Nicholl wrote in The Making of Romance. “The Queen is one of the hardest-working royals, despite her age, and that a future member of the Royal Family was without a full-time job was unacceptable to her.”

Before tying the knot with William, Middleton worked for a company called Starlight, which helps children who are terminally ill. She also took a job at her parent’s company, Party Pieces.

Queen Elizabeth was reportedly quite pleased by Middleton’s work and happily welcomed her into the royal family when she wed William in 2011. Since then, Middleton has continued her charitable work with a focus on early child development and education.

Although things worked out for Middleton, the same cannot be said of Markle. This past January, the former actress and her husband, Prince Harry, formally announced that they are leaving the royal family for a quieter life in North America.

Queen Elizabeth offers Meghan Markle different advice

In stark contrast to Middleton, Markle had an established career in Hollywood when she started dating Harry. Apart from starring in the popular legal drama, Suits, Markle had already done a lot of charitable work, including being a women’s advocate for the UN.

Markle was also very outspoken about politics and social issues. In 2016, for example, she lashed out at Donald Trump for being “divisive” and “misogynistic” in his campaign for the presidency.

According to Express, Queen Elizabeth asked Markle to tone things down when it was clear she was going to marry Harry. Paul Burrell, who used to be the butler to Princess Diana, claims that Markle would have been required to “toe the party line” at the behest of Her Majesty.

“What comes with maturity is a set of beliefs and they don’t sit well with the Royal Family. She has to toe the party line,” Burrell explained.

Whereas Kate Middleton was asked to increase her workload and establish a career, Markle was pretty much advised the opposite. Although Markle did her best to satisfy the royals, things have not turned out well for her and Harry.

Inside Kate Middleton’s relationship with Meghan Markle

To make things even more complicated, Markle and Middleton never really hit it off. They first appeared in public in 2017 shortly after Harry proposed. Their first joint outing without their husbands was in 2018 when they watched a few tennis matches at Wimbledon together.

One reason Markle and Middleton were not fast friends is that they did not share a lot of things in common. They also barely got to know each other as Harry and Markle’s relationship moved very fast.

“Meghan and Kate have known one another for a relatively short period of time. Though they both clearly adore their husbands, they are hugely different people,” author Nigel Cawthorne shared.

Despite their differences, Middleton reportedly did her best to welcome Markle into the family. In fact, when she was engaged to Harry, Markle admitted that his family had been great at making her feel at home.

Queen Elizabeth has not commented on the reports about the advice she gave Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle when they were joining the royal family.