Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are very close to Princess Eugenie, and the Queen’s granddaughter played a key role in paving the way for their secret visit to the UK
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have shocked royal fans when they rocked up in Windsor for their secret UK visit, but their trip was far from surprised by their family.
The flying visit, which was planned several weeks in advance, gave the couple a chance to catch up with the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla.
It’s the first time Meghan has returned to England since she quit The Firm in 2020.
But it has now been reported that a fifth royal played a huge role in the secret visit – Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie.
According to the Mail’s Richard Kay, she played a big role in setting up the Sussexes’ trip to Windsor behind the scenes.
He writes: “It was also the first time Meghan had seen any of her royal in-laws since March 2020. Intriguingly it involved a fifth member of the Royal Family who was not present at either meeting – Princess Eugenie.
“The princess who is temporarily living in her cousin’s Frogmore Cottage with her husband Jack Brooksbank and their son August, is thought to have played an ‘encouraging’ role behind the scenes.
“She is Harry’s closest royal ally – she and Jack visited the Sussexes in California earlier this year – and is also close to the Queen.”
Eugenie is very close to Harry and Meghan, and is believed to be the only royal who has the chance to visit their daughter Lilibet when she visited the US earlier this year. Harry and Eugenie were photographed together watching the Super Bowl.
After moving to the US, Meghan and Harry gave her their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage where she has now based her new family.
The Sussexes stayed with Eugenie, Jack and August during their brief time in the UK.
Harry and Eugenie have been close since they were children, when their mums Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson were good friends. The families would often go on holiday together and were seen giggling together at engagements.
As they grew older, the royal cousins hit the London club scene together and they were regulars at the popular London club, Mahiki, sneaking in the back entrance.
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Insiders say that of all of the Queen’s grandchildren, Harry and Eugenie had the “most natural connections” and are the “closest of friends.”
In their book Finding Freedom, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claim Harry and Eugenie’s roles within the royal family was the basis of their close relationship.
They write: “Like Harry, Eugenie also struggled to carve out her own identity growing up.
“Not being in a senior role meant that she had to go out into the world and find her own path, which she has done, moving to New York in 2013 to work at Paddle8, the auction house run by Misha’s husband and Harry’s friend Alexander .
“Harry had always confided in his cousin when it came to the women in his life.
“Not only did he trust her implicitly, but friends say that she gives great advice and has always been “beyond wise” for her years.”
And due to this bond, Eugenie was one of the first people Harry told about Meghan, and he was keen to introduce them.
Eugenie reportedly told a friend Meghan was “just the tonic” for her cousin.