Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are sharing new details about the royal family's reaction to their relationship.
Meghan, a California native, says in the couple's Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," that she had a casual first meeting with her future sister-in-law Kate, the Princess of Wales.
"Even when [Prince] William and Kate came over and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, and I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot," said Meghan, who added that she quickly realized her casual informality differed from the traditions of the U.K. and the royal family.
"I was a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that is really jarring for a lot of Brits," she continued. "I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside, that there is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and you go, ‘Oh, alright, OK, I can relax now,’ but that formality carries over on both sides, and that was surprising to me."
Before she met William and Kate, the first senior royal Meghan met was Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, according to the couple.
Meghan said she met the queen, who died in September at age 96, unexpectedly when she and Harry went to lunch one day at Royal Lodge, located on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
"It was so intense," said Meghan. "I didn't know what I was doing."
Harry commented that he had a difficult time explaining the intricacies of royal life to Meghan.
"How do you explain that to people? How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother and that you will need to curtsy?" he said. "Especially to an American, that is weird."
Both Harry and Meghan said his family had a hard time accepting that Meghan was an American actress. At the time that she and Harry met, Meghan was starring on the TV show "Suits" and splitting her time between California and Toronto, where the show filmed.
- 2November 30, 2022
"The actress thing was the biggest problem, funny enough," Meghan said. "There’s a big idea of what that looks like, from the U.K. standpoint, Hollywood, and it’s just very easy for them to typecast that."
Harry recalled his family being "impressed" with Meghan but unsure that their relationship would last.
"I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed," Harry said. "Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves, so I think they were surprised, maybe surprised that the ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman."
He continued, "But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning: 'Oh, she’s an American actress. This won’t last.'"
Members of the royal family have not publicly commented on the Sussexes' docuseries.
The docuseries also mentions that members of Britain's royal family "declined to comment on the content within this series."
Royals sources however tell ABC News “that neither Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace nor any members of the royal family were approached for comment on the content of the series."
When contacted by ABC News, both Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the docuseries.
Harry's father King Charles III walked Meghan down the aisle at her 2018 wedding to Harry, and both William and Kate and their children played roles in the wedding as well.
Harry and Meghan named their daughter Lilibet after the queen, whose family nickname was Lilibet.
Since Harry and Meghan stepped down from their senior royal roles in 2020, the couple has faced tensions with Harry's family.
Harry and Meghan were last seen together with William and Kate in September for the queen's funeral, their first joint public appearance in over two years.
When William and Kate were in Boston last week -- their first trip to the U.S. in eight years -- they did not see Harry and Meghan, an apparent sign of the ongoing rift between the two couples, according to ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy.
"William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan put on a real show of unity for the queen's funeral but I think that was always a show of unity," Murphy said. "And we see now, with this documentary coming out, with Harry's book coming out, just how raw those disagreements still are, and I think they could get even bigger depending what is in this documentary, what is in the book."
Harry's book, a memoir titled "Spare," will be released on Jan. 10, 2023.
Harry and Meghan's Netflix docuseries is part of a deal the couple inked in 2020, shortly after they stepped down from their royal roles. The Sussexes now helm a California-based production company, Archewell Productions.