The etiquette expert who taught Meghan Markle key British etiquette rules about how to properly take tea with the Queen has said he’s “disappointed” with the way she and Prince Harry have handled their departure from the Royal Family.
Edmund Fry, who owns the authentic English tea room Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena, California, said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a “great opportunity” to make a positive change in the world, but believes they have squandered that chance with the comments they have made about The Firm in the media.
The 83-year-old expert and Royal fan also claimed clients who visit his tea room regularly feel let down by the couple too, as he said the “majority of people were appalled” by the content of the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winfrey and Harry’s subsequent book, Spare.
Speaking to The Sun, Mr Fry said: “When they were first talking [about leaving], they were talking about being ambassadors to the world, helping out the Commonwealth, being involved with disabled people. They had a great opportunity. There’s not really been much heard from them on anything like that.
“Ever since the Netflix thing came up and the Oprah interview and things were being mentioned about racism in the royal family and so on, it tainted it.”
The man added he was “heartbroken” to see how fractured the Royal Family was during King Charles’ Coronation, which saw Prince Harry make a brief appearance for the coronation itself, while Meghan stayed at home in California to celebrate their son Archie’s fourth birthday.
And since the Sussexes moved to the US, customers at Mr Fry’s tea room have made it clear to the owner and his wife, Mary, that they “don’t even want to talk about” the couple.
He explained: “You couldn’t give a book away on Meghan anymore. Not here. It’s a different story now to how things were. Totally. It is a done deal. Positive comments about Harry and Meghan are out the window now; gone completely.”
Instead, he says his customers are more interested in King Charles, and especially want to know what Queen Camilla plans to do now that she has been coronated alongside her husband.
But despite tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family still running high, Mr Fry remains hopeful that they will “settle down” in the future – although he has no idea how long it will take.
“They’re getting on with their life and that’s wonderful”, Mr Fry said, “And they’ve made a tremendous amount of money and the success with it. So I hope they can use that money like my wife Mary and I have to start a school for just 12 children in Kenya, which now has 800 [pupils].”
Edmund Fry first made headlines in 2017 when Meghan popped into his tea room to tuck into a traditional afternoon tea of cucumber and roast beef finger sandwiches, as well as scones with jam and cream, before asking about royal protocol ahead of her first meeting with the now-late Queen Elizabeth.