Did the Queen send Meghan Markle a message in her televised address?

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·5-min read

As the Queen addressed the nation and the Commonwealth in a rare televised address in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some think there might have been messages to others in the address - particularly her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.

The couple formally left their roles as senior royals on 31 March, part of what ended up being a tough week for the Queen, with her son contracting COVID-19 at the same time.

The Queen and her husband Prince Philip are isolating in Windsor Castle, where they arrived around 19 March a week earlier than originally planned.

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are starting the next chapter of their lives in California, while William and Kate are in Norfolk, and Charles and Camilla are in Scotland.

EMBARGOED: NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR ONWARD DISTRIBUTION BEFORE 2000 BST Sunday April 5, 2020. Buckingham Palace handout image of Queen Elizabeth II during her address to the nation and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Queen gave a rare address on Sunday evening. (Buckingham Palace)

Her brooch

According to Harper’s Bazaar, the brooch the Queen chose to wear during what was only her fifth ever televised address outside her Christmas messages, was not one of her favourites.

Instead of picking a best-loved piece, she picked one from her grandmother Queen Mary’s collection, who was known for her extensive jewellery collection.

Read more: Harry and Meghan reveal new organisation name - and inspiration for calling son Archie

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travels in an Ascot Landau carriage as she & Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex begin their procession through Windsor following their wedding at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The brooch was from the same collection as Meghan's wedding tiara. (Getty Images)

Queen Mary was also the proud owner of the Vladimir Tiara—a Romanov jewel she acquired from the son of the Duchess Vladimir.

It was that tiara which Meghan borrowed from her grandmother-in-law to be for her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.

Perhaps the Queen chose the piece to show a unity with her grandson’s wife, or to harken back to the past, as she did with her speech too, when she chose the words of Dame Vera Lynn to say “we will meet again”.

Her message of separation

Talking of people being separated at this time because of the government advice to self-isolate, the Queen said: “Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones.”

Of course, she was referencing her own separation from family during the Blitz in London, and the families spread far and wide who cannot meet.

Read more: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall says not hugging grandchildren is hardest part of self-isolation

8th July 1941:  Princesses  Elizabeth (right) and Margaret Rose (1930 - 2002) sunbathing outside Windsor Castle, Berkshire.  (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)
Then Princess Elizabeth (right) and Princess Margaret spent time at Windsor Castle during the Second World War. (Getty Images)

But many think she was also speaking of her recent separation from Harry and Meghan.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been living more or less full time in Canada since before Christmas, but it was 31 March that marked their final day as senior royals.

The Queen may have felt their loss more heavily that week, as it was also close to the time that her son Charles battled a mild form of COVID-19.

Her green dress

The Queen often wears bright colours, so she can be seen, and regularly chooses green or blue for her televised addresses.

According to Stylist Susie Hasler, the colour of her dress was significant because it was calming.

She told Femail: “It’s also worth noting that her colour choice is also a similar shade to what medical teams in the NHS are donning at the moment, perhaps indicating solidarity with them as they carry out their crucial work.”

Writing for the Irish Independent, Caitlin McBride said green also signalled rebirth “reflecting the world's eventual collective re-awakening when quarantines are slowly lifted”.

Her triple stranded pearl necklace

The Queen kept accessories to a minimum for the address on Sunday evening, wearing a simple pearl necklace as well as the brooch.

And McBride said the necklace was not without meaning. It’s an oft-worn piece, and dates back to her accession in 1952.

McBride notes the choice to wear it again indicates stability and endurance, and are a reminder of her lengthy reign.

Read more: Coronavirus: Queen praises 'selfless commitment' of healthcare professionals on World Health Day

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets children as she attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan also chose green for her final UK engagement. (Getty Images)

According to Harper’s Bazaar, Harry, 35, and Meghan, 37, were “both moved” by the monarch’s message, watching in Los Angeles, where they are house hunting.

The source said the Sussexes “described it as not just a demonstration of experienced leadership, but also warmth, reassurance, and comfort”.

It’s not the first time the Queen has been thought to send a special message with her sartorial choices.

In 2017, people thought the Queen was replicating the EU flag with her blue outfit worn for the state opening of parliament after the Brexit vote.

Even Guy Verhofstadt, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, noticed the yellow centres of the flowers on her hat looked like the EU stars.

Read more: Queen says 'better days will return' as she addresses nation and Commonwealth

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament in London on June 21, 2017. - Queen Elizabeth II will formally open parliament and announce the British government's legislative programme on Wednesday, two days later than planned. The state opening, a ceremony full of pomp in which the monarch reads out the Queen's Speech detailing the government's programme for the coming year, was due to take place on June 19, but was delayed after Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party lost their majority in the House of Commons in the June 8 election. (Photo by Carl Court / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP via Getty Images)
Much was said about the flowers on the Queen's hat. (Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) stands with US President Donald Trump (R) and US First Lady Melania Trump (L) in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on July 13, 2018 during an engagement on the second day of Trump's UK visit. - US President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, plunging the transatlantic "special relationship" to a new low as they prepared to meet Friday on the second day of his tumultuous trip to Britain. (Photo by Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE PARSONS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Her Majesty's brooches caught imaginations in 2018. (Getty Images)
WIDNES, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Her green outfit seemed to be a nod to remembering the victims of the Grenfell tragedy. (Getty Images)

In 2018, she wore green for her first royal engagement with new granddaughter-in-law Meghan in Chester.

The colour was significant because it was a year after the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, and green had been chosen to remember the victims.

During the state visit by President Donald Trump later in the same year, royal watchers were convinced the Queen was shading the US leader with her brooch choices.

On the first day, she wore one given to her by his predecessor, Barack Obama, while on day two, she chose one given to her by Canada, a country Trump had been sparring with. On the last day she wore one her mother wore to the funeral of King George VI.

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