Princess Diana’s personal chef this morning criticised Meghan for appearing to ‘mock the Queen’ with an exaggerated curtsey in their multi-million-pound Netflix documentary – as the row over the act deepened further.
Darren McGrady, who cooked for the late Queen, Diana, William and Harry for fifteen years, took exception to a number of points in the show.
And after the Duke of Sussex’s claim that his wife was like his beloved late mother, Mr McGrady declared: ‘Your wife will never be like or similar to your mother. I knew Princess Diana for 15 years. Not even close.’
But it was Meghan’s ostentatious bow that seemed to upset him most – as it did many others – and he highlighted Harry’s demeanor in the clip, adding: ‘The look on his face when his wife laughs about having to curtsey to The Queen says everything for me.’
Meghan appears to perform a deeply exaggerated curtsey recounting what it was like when she first met the Queen, while her husband Harry watches on awkwardly
Darren McGrady, who cooked for the late Queen, Diana, Princes William and Harry for fifteen years, took exception to a number of points in the show
Mr McGrady added: ‘I’ve known Harry since I held him as a baby while Princess Diana was eating cereals in the kitchen at Windsor Castle.
‘Prince Harry, with respect sir, your wife will never be like or similar to your mother. I knew Princess Diana for 15 years. Not even close.’
He said of Meghan: ‘She CHOSE to marry into the Royal Family. She had a choice.’
His views were echoed by many on social media, who believed it was disrespectful.
Meghan recounts the first moment she was introduced to the Queen while husband Harry looks on as part of the couple’s new Netflix docu-series, released today
But the 41-year-old Duchess compared the ‘surreal’ encounter with the late Queen to a night out at American themed-dinner institution Medieval Times. She is pictured with the Queen in Chester in 2018
One added: ‘The Princess of Wales also had to learn many things when she became part of this family. But she was never disrespectful or made fun of it when she had to curtsey to Her Majesty.
‘Her Royal Highness was always respectful to the woman who dedicated her whole life to the crown.’
Tory MP Mark Jenkinson fumed: ‘The ultimate betrayal. And he just sits and watches.’
Royal author Gyles Brandreth called the demonstration of the curtsey ‘mocking’ and ’embarrassing’.
The writer and broadcaster told Vanessa Feltz’s Drivetime show on TalkTV: ‘Nobody curtsies to the Queen like that, and nobody would have advised her to do it that way.’
‘It’s embarrassing, because it is mocking – and nobody curtsies to the Queen like that, and nobody would have advised her to do it that way.’
Fergie sweeps the Queen a curtsey as she joins Andrew and their daughters Eugenie and Beatrice at Ascot
The Duchess of Sussex (pictured in 2017 with Harry, Prince Philip and the Princess of Wales, then the Duchess of Cambridge), talks about her first festive season with the Royal Family in her and Prince Harry’s new documentary
He added: ‘He [Harry] would know that the bow, as it were, is a brief nod and the curtsey is to show respect for the sovereign, and in the case of the Queen – a lady in her 90s who actually had earned respect through a lifetime of service, and that was it.
‘To do this sort of mocking thing is uncomfortable, but it is a cultural difference. It’s like you would do a curtsey if you were playing in Snow White.’
One viewer of the documentary, who called himself Jordan, was so incensed by the bow he phoned radio station LBC.
He told Nick Ferrari: ‘What depressed me the most was when I saw Meghan curtseying in front of the Queen making a mockery of our traditions.
‘I think it’s actually treason.’
This prompted a chuckle from Ferrari who said he didn’t think it was, before Jordan added: ‘I think that Parliament should be stripping her over her Royal titles.
‘Obviously it’s not a crime today but I think it’s definitely enough to strip her of her Royal titles.’
Meghan’s account of her first bow to Her Majesty also differs from her previous recollection of the day.
In 2021 she said in the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview she ‘didn’t even know how to curtsey’ and was shocked when Harry explained it was expected of her.
Meghan giggled as she admitted the whole occasion felt like a banquet at Medieval Times, a popular family dinner theatre in the US featuring staged medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting. Pictured is a dinner night at Medieval Times
Medieval Times hosts themed dinners at venues across the US, often in fake 11th century-style castles, like the one pictured
‘Right in front of the house we practiced and ran in. Fergie ran out and said, “Do you know how to curtsy?”,’ she recalled.
‘Apparently I did a very deep curtsy, I don’t remember it, and then we sat there and we chatted.’
Meghan met the Queen for the first time during a lunch at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, shortly after her and the Duke revealed they were dating, in 2016.
But she said the whole occasion felt like an antiquated banquet at Medieval Times, a family dinner theatre in the US featuring staged medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting.
The Queen was the first senior member of the Royal Family that Meghan met after she and Prince Harry announced their relationship in 2016.
‘She had no idea what it all consisted of,’ Harry tells the docu-series, as he sits with his arm around his wife. ‘So it was a bit of a shock to the system for her.’
Grinning, Meghan added: ‘I mean. it’s surreal. There wasn’t like some big moment of ‘Now you’re gonna meet my grandmother’.
‘I didn’t know I was going to meet her until moments before. We were in the car and we were going to the Royal Lodge for lunch, and he [Harry] was like, “Oh, my grandmother is here, she’s gonna be there after church”.
‘I remember we were in the car, driving and he’s [Harry] like, “You know how to curtsey, right?”. And I just thought it was a joke.’
The Duke continued: ‘How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother? And that you would need to curtsey, especially to an American. That’s weird.’
Meghan then tells the documentary: ‘Now I’m starting to realise this is a big deal. I mean, Americans will understand this. We have Medieval Times dinner and tournament. It was like that. Like, I curtsied as though I was like… Pleasure to meet you your Majesty.’
‘It was so intense. And then when she left, Eugenie and Jack and Fergie say “you did great!”. Thanks. I didn’t know what I was doing.’
Meghan and Harry’s Netflix documentary was out yesterday and begins with an attack on Buckingham Palace’s decision not to co-operate with the series that declares a fresh war on the Royal Family and the media.
The highly-anticipated series is being put out in two parts, with the first three episodes of the six-part docu-series now available to stream.
The series contains tears from Meghan, who Harry repeatedly compares to Princess Diana claiming that both his mother and wife were being hunted by the press.
There are also a series of jibes at his father, King Charles, and brother Prince William as well as speaking about alleged racism and ‘unconscious bias’ in the Royal Family.
‘It was nothing like the Princess Diaries’ – Meghan said she received no training unlike Anne Hathaway’s character in the 2001 film (pictured)
Dame Julie Andrews, who played the Queen regent of Genovia (pictured) gave Hathaway’s character guidance on royal protocol. The clip was shared in Harry & Meghan on Netflix
During the second episode, Meghan speaks about the ‘formality’ of the royals behind closed doors, saying she was ‘surprised’ by this.
‘I was a hugger always being a hugger I didn’t realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits,’ she added.
‘I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside.
‘That there is a forward-facing way of being. And then you close the door and you are like (sighs) ‘Oh great. Okay, we can relax now’. But that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.’
The Duchess admitted that joining the Royal Family was nothing like The Princess Diaries as she said she did not receive training on royal protocol.
Meghan referenced the 2001 coming-of-age comedy about an American high school student who discovers she is heir to the throne of Genovia, a fictional European kingdom, as she spoke about struggling to adapt to life as a working royal.
The Disney film, based on Meg Cabot’s 2000 novel of the same name, was a commercial success, grossing around 165 million US dollars worldwide.
During the third episode of her Netflix docuseries, Meghan said: ‘Joining this family I knew that there was a protocol for how things were done. Do you remember that old movie Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway?’
The episode featured a clip from the film in which Hathaway, in character as gawky teen Mia Thermopolis, discovers her ancestry and exclaims: ‘Me a princess? Shut up.’
Dame Julie Andrews, playing her grandmother, the Queen regent of Genovia, promises to help her adapt to royal life.
She tells her: ‘I can teach you to walk, talk, sit, stand, eat, dress like a princess.’
Meghan said of her arrival to the British royal family: ‘There is no class and some person who goes, ‘Sit like this, cross your legs like this, use this fork, don’t do this, curtsy then, wear this kind of hat’. It doesn’t happen.
‘So I needed to learn a lot including the national anthem.’
Asked how she learned the anthem, then God Save The Queen prior to the late monarch’s death, Meghan replied: ‘Oh, I Googled it. I Googled it and I would sit there and I would practise and practise and practise.’
Later, the 41-year-old described her first ‘amazing’ Christmas at Sandringham, where she was sat next to the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.
Happy couple: Prince Harry pictured with Meghan in 2017. The pair have today released the first three episodes of their six-part docu-series on Netflix
Meghan, Prince Harry and Prince Philip at the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham, Norfolk, in 2017
Recalling her first Christmas at Sandringham, Meghan said she found it ‘amazing’ as she was ‘with a big family like I always wanted.’
‘I remember so vividly the first Christmas at Sandringham,’ Meghan said. ‘Calling my mom, and she’s like, ‘How’s it going?’ and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. It’s just like a big family like I always wanted’.’
And she recounted a lighter moment with the late-Prince Philip, who she sat next to during the royal festive lunch.
‘There was just this constant movement, energy and fun,’ she added, ‘and at dinner I was sat next to H’s grandfather and I just thought it was so wonderful and I was like ”we chatted about this and this”… and he [Harry] was like ”you had his bad ear he couldn’t hear anything you were saying” and I was like ”oh… well I though it went really well.’
The Royal Family seemed ‘incredibly impressed’ with Meghan during the early days of their relationship, added Prince Harry,
But the Duke also claimed his family thought the relationship with the former Suits actress would never never last.
‘I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed. Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves… They were surprised that the ginger could land such a beautiful woman. And such an intelligent woman.
‘But the fact I was dating an American actress, was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else in the beginning: ‘Oh, she’s an American actress, this won’t last’.
Meghan added: ‘The actress thing was the biggest problem, funnily enough. There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint – Hollywood – and it’s just very easy for them to typecast that.’
Elsewhere in the third episode, the Duchess of Sussex said she didn’t know what a royal walkabout was – where royals meet members of the public who have gathered on the streets – before going on her first one.
‘I never saw pictures or videos of a walkabout. Like, what’s a walkabout?’ she said.
Harry explained: ‘I could talk her through as much as I knew from my own experience of what I’d seen. The piece I really didn’t know about was the style, right, and what a woman needed to, how they needed to dress and all that.’
Meghan added that before her first walkabout in Nottingham, her zip broke on her ensemble and had to be safety pinned, to which Harry said: ‘The whole thing was just ridiculous.’
The duke recalled: ‘Everybody was just so excited and pleased and happy. And I think people looked at it and went, ‘Wow, what a breath of fresh air’.’
The show later saw the Duchess of Sussex’s mother speaking out for the first time about her daughter’s relationship with Prince Harry, saying the past five years have been ‘challenging’.
Doria Ragland recalled the moment she heard the couple were dating. She said: ‘The last five years have been challenging. I’m ready to have my voice heard, that’s for sure. A little bit of my experience as her mum.’
The first volume of the six-part docuseries dropped on the streaming service today, with three explosive episodes available so far
This image released by Netflix shows promotional art for the documentary Harry & Meghan
Meghan pictured with her mother. Doria Ragland, who has spoken out for the first time about her daughter’s relationship with Prince Harry
Asked in an interview for the show if she remembered first hearing about the relationship, Ms Ragland said: ‘When she told me, we’re on the phone and she says, mummy I’m going out with Prince Harry.
‘I started whispering ‘oh my god!’.’
During that first call, Meghan told her mother she needed to keep her relationship a secret. Ms Ragland went on: ‘I remember when I first met him (Harry) too, a 6’1 handsome man with red hair, really great manners.
‘It was just really nice and they looked really happy together, like he was the one… Once it was announced that they were together it seemed kind of like a novelty.’
She went on to say her Meghan was ‘very mature’ and ’empathic’ as a child and that the Duchess saw her as a ‘controlling older sister’ rather than a mother.
Old pictures and footage of Meghan as a child were shown during the episode.
Ms Ragland said paparazzi would take pictures of deprived neighbourhoods in Los Angeles to say that was where Meghan grew up.
She told the Netflix documentary: ‘They would take pictures of different parts of say Skid Row and say that is where I lived and that is where she was from.’