MEGHAN Markle has hardly put a foot wrong as she gets used to life as a senior royal. But her biggest test could be yet to come.
The Duchess of Sussex is reportedly going to visit the royal family’s summer getaway, Balmoral. It will be the first trip to the Scottish estate she and husband Prince Harry have made since their wedding in May.
It is not thought to be Meghan’s first visit — Prince Harry reportedly introduced her to the Queen there last year — but it would be her first as a royal, and part of her “initiation”, according to a royal expert.
“An invitation to Balmoral, where the Queen is expected to remain until September, is traditionally part of the initiation into the Royal family,” Richard Fitzwilliams told the Express in London.
The experienced royal commentator said a stay at Balmoral as the monarch’s guest was first used as an initiation of a non-royal partner when Harry’s mum, Princess Diana, was introduced there in the early 1980s.
She passed with flying colours — but later told friends she was unhappy and bored there.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Andrew and his two daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie will also make an appearance.
Author of At Home with the Queen Brian Hoey said outdoor meals were prepared by the usual staff who then “move to a discreet distance where they can keep an eye on things and be within calling range if needed.”
The Queen is said to take active role in hosting her family, and hides small gifts for them.
Almost as anticipated as Meghan’s arrival will be that of the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate has rarely been seen in public in recent months apart from at Meghan and Harry’s wedding and at Wimbledon.
The 36-year-old has been holidaying with Prince William and their three children on the private Caribbean island of Mustique.
She and William had been expected at the wedding Meghan and Harry attended at the weekend. Royal watchers were disappointed not to see the Cambridges, and it is still unknown if they attended and managed to avoid cameras or if they stayed away.
The Queen and Meghan reportedly get along well, and were photographed smiling and enjoying each other’s company in Cheshire in June.
Reports in the UK suggest the monarch gave Meghan and Harry Adelaide Cottage, on Windsor estate, to use as a second home. It is close to where they held their wedding reception in May and is on private land, so will be away from the photographers who follow the couple’s every move.
Balmoral is also off-limits to media and the public, but the royals are regulars at church in nearby village of Crathie, Aberdeenshire.
The Queen has already been pictured at a service there this week. Her official summer holiday began when she arrived at Balmoral on Monday. The 92-year-old arrived alone as husband Prince Philip is recovering from hip surgery, and it has not been confirmed when — or if — he will make the trip this year.
Balmoral is said to be her favourite place to stay, and she hosts a wide variety of guests — from members of her own family to British Prime Minister Theresa May.
While the royals are at Balmoral, official engagements are not ordinarily carried out. For the Queen at least, the break is the only time apart from Christmas she has away from royal duties.
And if her newest family member passes her initiation, Her Majesty will have even more reason to relax this year.
Originally published as Meghan Markle’s royal ‘initiation’