Prince Harry says Meghan Markle once mistook Prince Andrew for the Queen’s assistant

Prince Harry has recalled the moment Meghan Markle met the royal family for the first time, in which she mistook Prince Andrew for Queen Elizabeth II’s personal assistant.

In an extract from his forthcoming memoir Spare, which was obtained by the Daily Mail, the Duke of Sussex writes that his future wife was underprepared during her first meeting with his grandmother at the Royal Lodge in October 2016.

“After a moment, Meg asked me something about the Queen’s assistant. I asked who she was talking about,” Harry writes in the book, which hits shelves on 10 January.

“‘That man holding the purse. That man who walked her to the door. That wasn’t her assistant? Who was it?’” he recalled Meghan asking.

Harry informed his then-girlfriend that the man holding the Queen’s purse was his uncle, Prince Andrew, telling Meghan: “‘That was her second son. Andrew.’”

He wrote: “She definitely hadn’t googled us.”

This is not the only time Prince Harry discusses his uncle, the Duke of York, in his memoir. Harry reportedly opens up about Prince Andrew’s sexual assault scandal, writing that he “never imagined” he’d lose palace security after his uncle was permitted to retain it, according to US Weekly, which said it had obtained an advanced copy.

When Harry and Meghan stepped down from their positions as senior members of the royal family and relocated to the United States in 2020, the couple also lost their taxpayer-funded police protection.

The royal reportedly writes in his book that Meghan worried their family would be left unprotected after they moved to Montecito, California. Harry reassured her, writing: “Never. Not in this climate of hate. Not after what happened to my mother [Princess Diana]. Also, not in the wake of my Uncle Andrew.”

“He was embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of the sexual assault of a young woman and no one had so much suggested that he lose his security. Whatever grievances people had against us, sex crimes weren’t on the list,” the excerpt read.

In January 2022, Andrew was stripped of his royal title after he was accused of sexual assault by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s trafficking victims, Virginia Guiffre. He previously claimed he had no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre and denied Giuffre’s allegation.

Meghan Markle previously described the moment she first met Queen Elizabeth during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix docuseries, Harry and Meghan.

In the second episode of the royal couple’s docuseries, which premiered on 8 December, Meghan recalled her first meeting with Prince Harry’s grandmother shortly after they began dating in 2016.

Meghan said she wasn’t prepared to be introduced to the British monarch and didn’t know she was going to be meeting the Queen until just “moments before”. She recalled Prince Harry asking her if she knew how to “curtsy” while they were on their way to meet the Queen.

“We were in the car, driving and he’s like: ‘You know how to curtsy right?’ and I just thought it was a joke,” Meghan said in the docuseries.

Prince Harry acknowledged the difficulty of explaining the royal protocol to his American girlfriend, telling the camera: “How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you would need to curtsy, especially to an American. That’s weird.”

Meghan then appeared next to Harry on the interview couch and reenacted the dramatic curtsy, bowing her head and spreading her arms wide. The duchess compared the protocol to “Medieval Times, Dinner and Tournament,” a dinner theater featuring staged medieval-style games such as jousting.

The clip received mixed reactions from viewers, who called the curtsy “disrespectful and offensive” to the late Queen.