Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Hug Mourners, Break Protocol

Powerful gestures. Meghan Markle Princess Kate each offered their sympathies to mourners in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death — and ignored royal protocols while doing so.

The Suits41-year-old alum. Prince HarryKate, 40, joined us. Prince William for a walkabout around the Windsor grounds on Saturday, September 10, two days after Buckingham Palace confirmed the queen’s death at age 96. The Fab Four made a rare appearance outside the estate, greeting the crowds. Some citizens even had heartfelt exchanges of words with the two couples.

How Meghan and Kate Broke Royal Protocol While Greeting Queen's Mourners

Meghan Markle and Princess Kate
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Both Meghan and Kate were photographed hugging some well-wishers on Saturday as they grieved the royal family’s great loss. After a video of the Bench author being embraced by a teenage girl at gates went viral, the 14 year-old spoke out about the special moment during a CNN interview.

“We were just waiting for her to come, and she just came near me. [She] asked my name, how my day was, how long I was waiting,” the U.K. native explained. “It was really nice. … I look up to her in some ways and it just felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The newly-named Princess of Wales was seen comforting the crowd as they accepted flowers and sympathies. It’s unusual for members of the royal family to exchange hugs with everyday people during their engagements, with the late queen often only shaking hands while wearing gloves throughout her 70-year tenure on the throne.

William, 40 invited Harry, 37 and Meghan to walk around the palace grounds Saturday. “They were delayed in arriving while they arranged the plans,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly of the public reunion.

How Meghan and Kate Broke Royal Protocol While Greeting Queen's Mourners

Princess Kate
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After she had been placed under medical supervision by her doctors, the brothers ran to Scotland to say goodbye to the monarch. Harry and other royals — including King Charles III — left Balmoral one day later to return to London as the country entered its official mourning period.

William and Harry’s reunion comes after several years of tension between the siblings. Drama ensued after Meghan, a former military pilot, and William announced in January 2020 that the couple would be stepping down from their senior royal duties and moving to the U.S. later in the year. The couple is now raising their son Archie, 3 years old, and their daughter Lili, 15-months, in California.

Although their relationship has seen many highs and lows over the years, William and Harry were close to Elizabeth before her passing. They each reflected on her lasting impact — both as queen and as their grandmother — in emotional statements as they continue grieving.

“She was by my side at my happiest moments and she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” the Prince of Wales wrote on Saturday. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”

The BetterUp CIO, for his part, remembered all of the “special moments” he’d shared with Elizabeth over the years. “She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy,” he wrote on Monday, September 12. “Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: ‘Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.’”