Much-loved royal Duchess Sophie fails to conceal her disdain

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Duchess Sophie has made her feelings about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down as working royals very clear.

Duchess Sophie at Commonwealth Day Service 2020

Duchess Sophie of Edinburgh has become one of the most important and beloved members of the Royal Family since she married Prince Edward in 1999.

So it should perhaps come as no surprise that her reaction when hearing that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were quitting royal life was one of upmost loyalty to the Firm.

Commonwealth Day in 2020 fell on March 9 and was a significant occasion not just for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but also the rest of the royals.

It was the last royal engagement attended by Harry and Meghan and one of the last public royal events before the UK was plunged into lockdown just a couple of weeks later.

Body language expert Judi James told how Sophie has expressed her feelings towards the couple without even opening her mouth.

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Harry and Meghan at Commonwealth Day Service 2020

She said: “During the hugely awkward and painful Commonwealth Service that was Harry and Meghan’s last public appearance before they quit the UK, Edward and Sophie seemed to have been enlisted to act as ice-breakers and air-bags between the Sussexes and the Cambridges.

“But that was before the Oprah interview and Harry’s book Spare wreaked their damage.

“This cold stare or glower might possibly have preceded a warm social smile of greeting from Sophie but, even if it did, there’s a stronger possibility that she was letting her authentic feelings be known first.”

Relations between Harry and his extended family did not appear to have improved much the following year, when he travelled back to Windsor for the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip.

Harry and Meghan attend Platinum Jubilee

Ms James shared her analysis of the event: “Harry was walking out of Philip’s funeral service alone and had to pass Sophie and her daughter on the way out.

“It was hard not to feel some sympathy for Harry, who was also about to have the famous awkward chat with his brother William that Kate very carefully choreographed.

“It might have been expected that Sophie would, like Kate, take some steps to break the ice, but she didn’t appear to acknowledge Harry at all.”

Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie at D-Day service

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received a mixed reception when they flew back to London for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.

Three months later they returned for her funeral, the last time the Duchess came back to the UK, as she did not accompany Harry to the Invictus Games 10th anniversary service at St Paul’s Cathedral last month.

During his visit Harry did not meet any members of the Royal Family, as many attended a Buckingham Palace garden party which was being held at the same time as the service.

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