A teenager said she shared a hug with Meghan Markle outside Windsor Castle on Saturday because she wanted to show the Duchess of Sussex she was welcome there after “everything that’s happened.”
Over the weekend, Meghan accompanied her husband, Prince Harry, and his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton, in a surprise joint appearance outside the English royal residence to honor Queen Elizabeth II following her death on Thursday.
As they walked and greeted members of the public, Meghan was seen sharing an embrace with a girl in the crowd.
“We were just waiting for her to come, and she came in and asked my name and how my day was, how long I was waiting,” the teen told CNN in an interview about the exchange.
“And I asked her if I could have a hug, and she hugged me back. So, that was just quite an amazing moment. I’m still shaking now. I can’t really explain what the feeling was when she did it, but it was really nice.”
Asked why she wanted to hug the duchess, the teen said, “I guess I felt like I needed to in a way.”
“I just really wanted to at least hug her because I look up to her in some ways, and it just felt like it was the right thing to do,” she said.
She said she felt sympathy for Meghan both because of the death of the queen and the tumultuous relationship she’s had with the British royal family.
“It’s still such a sad thing that is happening now,” the teen said. “Because the queen died and also because of everything.”
“It was quite nice to see William and Kate and Meghan and Harry together,” she added. “I just wanted to show her that she’s welcome here, I guess. I wanted to hug her after everything that’s happened.”
Harry and Meghan have faced renewed hostility from some members of the media since their return to the U.K. more than two years after they announced their decision to step back as working members of the royal family and move to the U.S.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Harry compared the hate his wife had faced on both social media and from traditional media with the experience of his mother, Princess Diana.
“My biggest regret is not making more of a stance earlier on in the relationship with my wife in calling out the racism when I did,” he said.
“History was repeating itself. My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t white, and now look what’s happened.”
Diana died of injuries in a 1997 car crash in Paris while trying to escape paparazzi. Her partner, Dodi Fayed, died in the crash.
A clip of Harry’s comments has gone viral again this week in the wake of fresh attacks on the couple from certain commentators.