Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth II are basically the best of friends, in case you haven't noticed. The Suits actress has spent time bonding with the monarch since joining the royal family in May 2018, and now Markle is getting a "special gift" from the Queen for her birthday that proves just how tight the pair have become. After welcoming her first child this year, and dealing with the negative opinions of the public, the 37-year-old deserves a little rest and relaxation, and it looks like that's exactly what the Queen wants her to have for her 38th birthday.
Markle has reportedly been invited by Queen Elizabeth II to spend a couple of days at her Scottish hideaway at Balmoral Estate, according to The Sun, as a gift in honor of her big day (August 4th). Doting husband Prince Harry will be there as well to celebrate, and the trip will be baby Archie's first, as he's expected to join Markle and Harry.
A source close to the couple told The Sun that Markle, Prince Harry and Archie will be staying in their own wing in the estate. They'll still be spending plenty of time with Queen Elizabeth II during the trip, however, as they've planned a traditional afternoon tea with the great-grandmother (including a birthday cake, of course). The trip is said to be a big deal — Queen Elizabeth II doesn't invite just anyone to spend time with her at Balmoral Estate.
"The Queen and Prince Philip adore the couple and, of course, their new great-grandson Archie, and they have invited them to Balmoral for a few days," the insider told The Sun. "It's a testament to Meghan that she has been given this invite. It's a huge honor."
For now, Markle and Prince Harry are simply enjoying parenthood. The duke celebrated his first Father's Day on Sunday, marking the occasion by sharing a new photo of Archie with the world, according to CNN. The photo appeared on Markle and Prince Harry's Instagram account, and showed Archie holding tight to his father's finger. The young royal is in his father's arms in the photo, peeking out from behind his dad's hand at the camera. While his whole face isn't visible in the photo, it's clear that he's absolutely adorable.
Surely the little one will only bring Markle and Queen Elizabeth even closer together, though they seemed to connect right away. Not long after the former Hollywood starlet married Prince Harry, she attended her first solo engagement with the Queen, according to E! Online. Markle was photographed sitting alongside her husband's grandmother during an appearance in Cheshire, England, wearing a pair of pear-and-diamond earrings the Queen gifted her. The duo shared lots of laughs during the event, which was pretty much the cutest thing ever.
It was previously reported that Queen Elizabeth II gave Markle her stamp of approval ahead of their marriage. This was super important for Harry, who wanted to be sure his now-wife would fit in with the family, Fox News reported. Royal expert Katie Nicholl told the outlet that several members of the family, including Prince Charles, Prince William, and Kate Middleton, told Harry they liked Markle... but it was the Queen's approval that really assured him.
"I think what was most surprising, and refreshingly so, was how warmly included and accepted Meghan was," Nicholl told Fox News. "It was very important, I was told, to [Prince] Harry that he had the seal of approval from his father, from his brother and sister-in-law, but also from Her Majesty the Queen."
"Harry has a very close relationship with his grandmother," Nicholl added. He wanted the Queen's approval. It's why he took Meghan to spend time in Windsor and a lot of their courtship was conducted in Windsor. It's why he took Meghan to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace. I have been pleasantly surprised by how readily the Queen, particularly, has welcomed Meghan into the royal family."
Sounds like Markle's birthday getaway will be a family vacay to remember.