Prince Philip's Scathing Secret Nickname for Meghan Markle Revealed in New Book
The Duke of Edinburgh called out what he saw as a similarity between Markle and another royal.
There's a lot that's been said about Meghan Markle, from contrived tabloid stories, to gossip about her past, to name-calling. And, according to a new biography, a senior member of the royal family got in on the action, too, making up his own sarcastic moniker for the Duchess of Sussex. As reported by the New York Post, Prince Philip had a scathing nickname for Markle that was inspired by another member of the royal family.
In the new book My Mother And I: The Inside Story of the King or Our Late Queen, royal biographer Ingrid Seward writes that Philip, who died in 2021, called Markle the "Duchess of Windsor," which was the title of Wallis Simpson upon her marriage to Edward, Duke of Windsor.
Edward became King Edward VIII in January 1936 following the death of his father, King George V. Edward wanted to marry Simpson, who had already divorced her first husband and was in the process of divorcing her second. But, because the governments of the U.K. and other dominion countries opposed the marriage and because, as king, Edward was the head of the Church of England, which did not permit divorced people remarrying if their ex-spouse was still alive, Edward abdicated the throne less than a year after becoming king. He and Simpson then married and moved to France.
According to Seward, Philip found Markle's resemblance to Simpson "uncanny" from early on in her and Prince Harry's relationship.
Seward writes (via the Daily Mail), "While the Queen continued to champion Harry's new love, he warned his wife to be cautious. It was uncanny, he told her, how much Meghan reminded him of the Duchess of Windsor. He wasn't simply referring to the fact that both were pencil-slim, dark-haired and glamorous American divorcees. There was a wealth of subtext in his barbed remark." (Markle was married to movie producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2014.)
Philip couldn't have known at this point that Markle and Harry would end up stepping down as working members of the royal family in 2020, moving to the U.S., and having an on-going rift with other royal family members, but the book implies that he suspected they might not be content in their roles.
The book notes that Queen Elizabeth was "perfectly aware what Philip meant when he drew parallels between Meghan and Wallis" because she had "lived through this tumultuous period of royal history, and been directly affected by it." Elizabeth's father, King George VI, only became king because his brother abdicated. Elizabeth would never have been queen if it weren't for Edward's abdication. On top of that, Simpson and Edward were otherwise scandalous figures due to their connection to Nazi Germany.
Seward continues, "Indeed, much later, [Elizabeth] would remark in her clipped way that perhaps Harry had been 'too in love' with the American actress. As for Prince Philip, he never appeared to change his mind about Meghan. From the moment he detected her apparent similarity to Wallis, he referred to her as DoW (short for Duchess of Windsor)."
Seward writes that Elizabeth also acknowledged Markle being divorced, but in a different way. The author claims that the late monarch told a close friend that she thought Markle's dress for her 2018 wedding with Harry was "too white" for someone who had already been married. "In the monarch's view, it was not appropriate for a divorcee getting remarried in church to look quite so flamboyantly virginal," the book reads.