Meghan Markle’s encounter with a royal aide during the royals’ walkabout at the weekend has sparked fierce debate on social media, with some accusing her of seeming “passive aggressive”.
The 41-year-old Duchess of Sussex made a surprise show of unity alongside Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton to meet mourning fans outside Windsor Castle on Sunday after the Queen’s deathmarking their first public appearance together in over two years.
One moment in particular showing Meghan’s conversation with an unidentified male aide is attracting millions of views on Twitter, and it certainly has punters divided.
Some accused the mother-of-two of being “rude” to the aide, who was trying to relieve her from carrying bouquets of flowers, until she noticed she was being filmed.
“She was rude to the aide when he went to take her flowers and she wanted to hold onto them for a PR stunt later. In mid sentence she saw the camera and put on her phony thank you, I appreciate it act,” one user wrote.
“She was unnecessarily rude. His job was to relieve them of their bouquets so they could shake hands, etc. and there was a woman doing the same. I don’t think he went near her again,” another added.
A third said, “Who needs to read the bullying report when you can watch footage like this? Now imagine her behavior (sic) behind closed doors.”
Others leapt to Meghan’s defence, arguing she said to the aide, “I told them (the fans) I’d place them over there. Thank you. I appreciate it though.”
Given highly-publicised frosty relations between the once-close brothers and their wives, naturally, every single moment from the rare outing is being pored over by fans eager to get an insight into their current dynamic.
In another awkward encounter to emerge from the reunion, the newly-minted Prince and Princess of Wales convened at their car with Harry and Meghan to wave goodbye to the crowds.
Eagle-eyed fans have noticed William saying something inaudible to Meghan, which appears to make her uncomfortable.
One Twitter user believes she can hear the Prince saying, “Stand back from me”, however, others argue he clearly says, “Wave with me.”
While all eyes were understandably on Meghan, who has been outspoken about her time in the British royal family since moving to the US two years ago, William has also not escaped criticism.
Social media users erupted at the Prince of Wales, the next royal to inherit the crown, for his apparent lack of chivalry with Katea stark contrast to Harry’s clear show of devotion to his wife.
In the viral footagePrince Harry can be seen ushering his wife to their shared car after the walkabout, attentively opening and closing the door for her, while the Prince and Princess of Wales separately enter the car.
Fans eviscerated the elder monarch, with one Twitter user simply writing, “Harry holds the car door open for his wife. Makes sure she’s safe. Wills does not. Case closed.”
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Several users reflected on the incident, drawing comparisons between William and his father, King Charles III, with Harry and his mother, the late Diana.
One user wrote, “Harry is a gentleman. William however acts like his father.” Another person added, “Harry is a true king and son of Diana. Look how he cares for his wife.”
Another Twitter user said, “One thing is for sure: He is not going to treat his wife like his father did his mother. That’s what the British public don’t get. He opened the door for his wife on his own accord, and his wife responded by saying thank you. That’s mutual respect.”
It’s likely not the last time the former “fab four” will convene, with the Queen’s funeral set to take place on September 19 and the Sussexes expected to remain in the UK until then.