This article was originally published on eternallifestyle.com and has been republished here with permission.
Just when we thought Meghan Markle might take a break from being headline news, she found a way to throw herself back into the spotlight. That time it was for her 38th birthday, three years ago. The Duchess of Sussex had quite a few reasons to celebrate. Not only was it her first birthday as a mother, but it seemed she had also got quite the gift from the Queen.
Birthdays are always a reason to get excited. While it might be sad getting older, all the cake and celebrations are more than makeup for it. Plus, there are gifts from loved ones that usually put a smile on people’s faces.
Meghan Markle’s 38 birthday was the second she’s had since joining the Royal Family, and we doubt she was excited to turn 38. After all, she supposedly was spoiled by the Queen that year.
A break at Balmoral
As part of her birthday celebrations, the Duchess of Sussex has reportedly been invited to spend time at the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland. She was joined by Harry and Alfie as she took some time away from Windsor to enjoy a relaxing family vacation.
This trip was likely one of the final things that Meghan did before she came off maternity leave. For the past few months before, she spent most of her time at Frogmore cottage looking after her newborn baby. However, as the summer turns to fall, Meghan was expected to start devoting more time to her royal duties.
Their first family vacation
If this trip to Balmoral does indeed go ahead as planned, it will mark the first time that Meghan, Harry, and Alfie have all gone on vacation together. The couple’s son has mostly stayed within the grounds of the Windsor estate while his mom and dad have adjusted to parenthood.
They’ve tried to avoid taking him anywhere in public because they want to keep him away from the media as much as possible. However, he can’t stay locked up forever, and a trip to Balmoral was still offers them the privacy they desire; When the Queen’s there, the castle is off-limits to the public.
Her love for Balmoral
For the monarch to invite her granddaughter-in-law to the Scottish residence is a big deal. After all, Balmoral meant a lot to the Queen, so an invitation there isn’t something to be taken lightly.
It’s often noted how happy the royal seems to be when she’s staying at the castle. She always appears so much more relaxed and beaming with joy when she’s away from the stress of London. While the Queen couldn’t live there permanently because of her many duties, we expect she would have chosen if given the opportunity. Well, Scotland is a beautiful part of the world.
Family bonding time
Although the Queen’s gift to Meghan seemed generous, it apparently doesn’t come as a big surprise to several royal insiders. The monarch and her husband are reportedly very fond of Meghan and the bond she has with their grandson.
They also have a lot of love for little Archie, who they haven’t gotten to spend much time with. They hoped the family’s vacation to Balmoral would quickly change that. It’ll be an excellent opportunity for everyone to catch up and for the monarch to fawn over her newest relative. Archie is the eighth great-grandchild that she was welcomed into the family.
Putting his foot in it
While the passed Queen and her husband might be fans of Meghan, things weren’t always that way, apparently. Prince Phillip reportedly once suggested that the Duchess wasn’t a suitable bride for Harry because of her past career.
He supposedly said that “one steps out with an actress, one doesn’t marry them,” in response to questions about Meghan. At least if that was the mindset he had in the past, things appear to have changed as time passed.
Extending an invitation
While Prince Philip might have been wary of Meghan before, the Queen was far more welcoming. At least, that’s judging by some of her past actions. For instance, the Christmas before Meghan and Harry tied the knot, she allowed the couple to join the family celebrations at Sandringham.
That was a significant show of favor for the Duchess of Sussex, given people usually had to wait until they were married to receive such an invitation. Kate certainly did!
Quality time together
The favoritism continued a few months later when Meghan attended her first solo outing with the Queen. Not long after the couple had gotten married, the Duchess of Sussex found herself spending quality time with the monarch.
This was a stark contrast to Kate, who’d had to wait a year before getting that special moment with her grandmother-in-law. Clearly, the Queen has a soft spot for Meghan, and she isn’t afraid to show it off.
She appreciated the sacrifice
The Queen being a fan of her daughter-in-law might surprise some people, given all the criticism Meghan’s received. The Duchess of Sussex has been slammed numerous times for not being a model royal like the rest of the family.
However, while she might have developed a reputation, the monarch apparently looks past that because of everything she’s sacrificed. Meghan gave up her home and career to be with Harry, and the Queen was reportedly sympathetic to that.
First time for everything
The trip to Balmoral was the first time that Markle had ever set foot on the estate. That perhaps wasn’t a huge shock, given Meghan only married her husband in May 2018.
She wouldn’t have had many opportunities to visit in that year or so, what with having to balance her royal duties with her pregnancy. However, that just means her birthday gift from the Queen was even more special.
Space to themselves
Given that Balmoral castle is such a vast estate, Meghan and Harry didn’t have to worry about things getting cramped. The duo apparently had their own wing, meaning they had plenty of space to relax on their vacation.
We expected that the couple would appreciate having some privacy whenever they need it, too. Plus, if Archie ever gets restless or has a crying fit during their stay, they can calm him down without disturbing The Queen.
What’s on the agenda?
Spontaneity is not something the Queen was known for. She preferred to have things planned out so she knew what she was doing at every moment of the day. That’s why an itinerary for Meghan and Harry’s reported trip has already been made.
The list featured several things, including an afternoon tea supposedly scheduled for early on in the couple’s vacation. Well, these are British royals that we’re talking about here, so of course, that’s on the agenda.
It’s the place to be
When Meghan went on her trip to Scotland, she was able to add herself to the long list of royals who have vacationed at Balmoral. Many of the Queen’s relatives have made numerous trips to the estate, both as adults and children.
Princess Eugenie is one such person, and she’s always spoken fondly of the time she’s spent there with her family. Balmoral was also the place where Charles and Diana went on their honeymoon shortly after getting married.
Winning over the public
With any luck, this generous gift from the Queen may well change people’s perceptions of Meghan. So far, reception towards the Duchess of Sussex has been mixed, with some people skeptical of her suitability as a royal. And it is no surprise she decided to quit the royal family duties and titles.
However, if the monarch shows that she doesn’t have an issue with Meghan, then the public will likely start following suit. It might not win everyone over, but it would likely put the Duchess in a better position than she was in.
Meghan’s reputation with the public hasn’t been helped by her supposedly rocky relationship with the other royals. Plenty of the negative press surrounding the Duchess has focused on the fact she apparently wasn’t getting along with her in-laws.
The bond – or lack thereof – between her and Kate has been of particular interest to the media. They reportedly haven’t been getting along for months, and that’s forced royal supporters to take sides between the two duchesses.
The sparring sisters
The strain between Meghan and Kate supposedly started before the former even got married. The Duchess of Sussex reportedly reduced her sister-in-law to tears during a dress fitting for Princess Charlotte, and they haven’t been the same ever since.
Rumors of their feud have been swirling around for so long that it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t apparently fighting. However, given that neither woman has spoken about a rift, there’s a chance it doesn’t actually exist.
A broken brotherhood
Unfortunately, the rumored feud has apparently gotten so bad that even William and Harry felt the force of it. The two brothers are also reportedly at war with one another, and Meghan is supposedly the reason for it.
It’s believed that the older royal had fears about Harry marrying the actress, and he said as much to his sibling. Unsurprisingly, his comments weren’t too well received, and it’s seemingly damaged their relationship forever.
As if all this wasn’t enough to damage Meghan’s relationship with the public, she also had to deal with reports about her being a diva. Her apparent rude behavior has earned her a number of unpleasant nicknames, including Me Gain, Duchess Difficult, and the degree wife.
The suggestion that she’s challenging to work with certainly hasn’t done her any favors, especially given all the people who have quit recently. Her staff turnover rate seems to be concerningly high.
A life spent traveling
That trip to Balmoral was likely the first of many for Archie, who learned of the benefits that come from royal life. While most of the family’s business is done in London, they have a habit of traveling all over the world as part of their duties.
Whenever Meghan and Harry go away somewhere together, we expect they’ll be taking little Archie and Lilibet with them. After all, the Duchess can’t seem to bear being away from them.
Off to Africa
Among the couple’s travel plans was a trip to Africa the following fall. It was unclear when exactly the family traveled to the continent, but it was believed their main base would be in South Africa.
Meghan apparently remained there throughout her stay while Harry made additional trips to Angola, Botswana, and Malawi. Africa was a very special place for Diana, so Harry desired to go there with his family was no huge surprise.
Desperate to leave
News of a trip to Africa comes at a time when Meghan is supposedly desperate to leave the UK. According to royal insiders, the Duchess of Sussex really wanted to get away from her new home, possibly for good.
Naturally, something like this would be a huge issue, given the Royal Family’s base of operations is in the UK. However, because Meghan was raised in the US, she didn’t feel the same connection to the country as her husband.
An expert gift-giver
Perhaps all the Duchess needed was a break in Balmoral to clear her head. We weren’t sure back then how long she and Harry were expected to be there, but we imagine the time away will be appreciated nonetheless.
The Queen seemed to have a habit of giving the pair great gifts, with her reported housewarming present also quite remarkable. It was believed that she allowed the couple to choose a painting from the Royal Collection to have in their home.
A well-deserved break
Considering that Meghan’s birthday was on August 4th, there was not much longer to wait until the Duchess got her birthday gift. We hoped it ends up being as exciting as it sounds, especially after the hectic few months Meghan and Harry have had with Archie after his birth.
While we’re sure that parenthood is all they wanted it to be and more, we doubt it’s been without its difficulties. Luckily, a good family vacation can solve most problems.