It’s Meghan Markle 39th birthday today.
The Queen’s social media team marked the occasion by posting a sweet picture of the pair on social media.
The photo, taken during Meghan and the Queen’s royal visit to Cheshire in June 2018, had a simple caption: “Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday!”
Kate Middleton and Prince William also posted a photo of Meghan with the almost identical caption, “Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Sussex today!” And Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles sent birthday wishes too, writing, “Happy Birthday to The Duchess of Sussex
What sets the Queen’s message and photo choice apart, however, is the event at which the photo was taken. Reports are circulating that some members of the royal family have reacted negatively to Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as senior royals but the Queen’s post could be read as a message of support.
The Queen used a picture from her and Meghan’s joint royal trip to Cheshire, during which they opened the Mersey Gateway Bridge and toured the Storyhouse Theatre in Chester, was a momentous one.
Not only was it the Duchess and the monarch’s first official engagement together, but it marked Meghan’s first royal engagement without Prince Harry, and took place right after the Sussexes’ royal wedding.
And it was a resounding success for Meghan, who officially joined the royal family less than a month prior. BBC reporter Kaleigh Watterson observed, “Meghan seemed like a natural in her new royal role and looked genuinely happy as she stopped to chat and shake hands with those assembled.