Meghan Markle opens up for the first time on Queen Elizabeth II's death

Montecito, California - Meghan Markle has commented on the death of Queen Elizabeth II for the first time in a new interview with Variety.

Meghan Markle attended the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on September 19.
Meghan Markle attended the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on September 19.  © OLI SCARFF / AFP

Despite lingering rumors of a tense relationship with the royals, the 41-year-old had only the most glowing praise for the monarch.

"Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like," Markle said.

The Duchess of Sussex is a frequent target of unwarranted scrutiny, especially in regard to her relationship with the royal family. She was criticized for not accompanying her husband Prince Harry to Balmoral Castle during the Queen's final moments, yet Kate Middleton did the same without receiving a negative response.

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In the new interview, Markle puts to rest any rumors of animosity towards the late monarch.

"I feel deep gratitude to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her," she said.

Meghan Markle feels "fortunate" for her time with Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at Windsor Castle on September 10.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at Windsor Castle on September 10.  © Kirsty O'Connor / POOL / AFP

She also explained how much it meant to be able to support her husband as he mourned his grandmother. The Suits star gave a glimpse into Harry's unexpected optimism during the difficult time, revealing that he told her, "Now, she's reunited with her husband, [Prince Philip]."

The mourning period provided Markle with the opportunity to look back on her relationship with the Queen.

"I've reflected on that first official engagement that I had with her, how special that felt," she said. "I feel fortunate. And I continue to be proud to have had a nice warmth with the matriarch of the family."

Queen Elizabeth II's legacy lives on through Markle's daughter, who is named Lilibet, which was the royals' nickname for the monarch.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are both shifting their focus toward their philanthropic efforts following the Queen's passing.

"In big moments in life, you get a lot of perspective," she said. "It makes you wonder what you want to focus your energy on."

Markle is also focused on her Spotify podcast, Archetypes, which puts a spotlight on the damaging labels and stereotypes that hold women back and works to dismantle them.

Cover photo: OLI SCARFF / AFP

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