William ‘recoiled when Meghan went to hug him … maybe he expected her to curtsy’ – Harry


Prince William “recoiled” when Meghan Markle attempted to hug him during their awkward first meeting, Harry reveals.

In his b0mbshell memoir Spare – which became Britain’s fastest- selling non-fiction book ever yesterday – the Duke of Sussex, 38, describes the moment he introduced his brother to his girlfriend as a “classic collision of cultures”.

He explains: “I introduced Meg, who leaned in and gave him a hug, which completely freaked him out. He recoiled.”

Harry continues that his brother wouldn’t normally hug somebody he didn’t know, while it was Meghan’s normal way of greeting strangers.

He adds: “Maybe Willy expected Meg to curtsy? It would have been protocol when meeting a member of the Royal Family for the first time, but she didn’t know and I didn’t tell her.”

William greets Meghan

William greets Meghan (Image: Jonathan Brady/PA)

Elsewhere in the book, Harry recounts having to remind the then Suits actress that she would need to curtsy for the Queen when they first met at Windsor Castle in 2016.

However, he didn’t feel the need for her to do that when meeting William because he “loved Suits”.

During their Netflix TV special, Meghan said she was surprised by how formal the family was in private.

“Even when Will and Kate came over and I was meeting her for the first time I remember I was in ripped jeans, I was barefoot,” she said. “Like I was a hugger, I have always been a hugger. I didn’t realise that is really jarring for a lot of Brits. I started to understand that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside”.

In his book, Harry says Meghan bonded with his late grandmother over a mutual love of dogs and his wife’s desire for children.

“We talked about how much I wanted to be a mum and she told me the best way to induce labour was a good bumpy ride!

“I told her I’d remember that when the time came.”

The conversation happened a month into Harry and Meghan’s marriage.

Five months later the couple announced they were expecting their first child, first to the King and the Prince of Wales, and then to the rest of the family during a drinks reception for Princess Eugenie’s wedding in October 2018.

Their son Archie was born at Portland Hospital on May 6, 2019, with Harry saying he doesn’t remember if the couple tried his grandmother’s recommendation of inducing labour with a bumpy ride.

In contrast, Harry said the pair felt “safer and calmer” going into their daughter Lilibet’s delivery two years later.

The Duchess of Sussex also recalled meeting the Queen for the first time in 2016 in their Netflix series. The clip – which many viewers labelled “disrespectful” – shows Meghan recreating an extremely deep curtsy she performed for ­Her Majesty at the Royal Lodge ­in Windsor.

The only member of the public to buy a copy of Spare

The only member of the public to buy a copy of Spare (Image: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty)

Harry’s publisher said his memoir was the UK’s fastest-selling non-fiction book ever, recording figures of 400,000 copies so far across hardback, ebook and audio formats on its first day of publication. Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld Penguin Random House, said: “We always knew this book would fly but it is exceeding even our most bullish expectations.

“As far as we know, the only books to have sold more in their first day are those starring the other Harry [Potter].”

Bookshops opened early but queues were sparse after days of leaked excerpts from the memoir.

Just one person was waiting outside the flagship Waterstones shop in London’s Piccadilly when it opened at 8am.

Caroline Lennon, 59, said she started walking the two miles from her home in Bethnal Green, east London, at 6am.

She said: “People will criticise me and say, ‘What an idiot for ­liking Harry. What an idiot for queuing up’, but I don’t care what anyone says.”

Other fans had queued for midnight store openings, with a handful waiting outside WH Smith in London’s Victoria station to be one of the first to buy a copy.


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