Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has been described as ‘dictatorial’ after expressing her displeasure about her Royal Wedding Venue – the historic and picturesque St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The only problem was, apparently, the smell. According to well-placed royal sources, the musty odour of the 15th century chapel did not find favour with the soon to be Duchess of Sussex, who asked for air fresheners to be deployed before her guests arrived.
The same insiders report that Meghan’s request to use the atomisers did not find favour with Buckingham Palace, which swiftly pointed out that the chapel was a regular place of worship for the Queen – as it had been for successive monarchs since 1475 – and if it was good enough for them, it would be good enough for her.
The fascinating vignette about the royal wedding on May 19 comes amid speculation about Meghan’s friendship with her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge – which is not believed to be close – after it was announced that Meghan and Prince Harry are to move out of Kensington Palace to live in Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, early next year. There have also been suggestions that Meghan and Harry are proving unpopular with royal staff, and can be difficult and ‘dictatorial’.
It is understood that the request to use the atomisers – hand-held devices for spraying water or perfume – to create a pleasant aroma for guests at St George’s Chapel specifically came from Meghan’s office at Kensington Palace. Although she and Harry organised the wedding themselves with an in-house team, anything to do with the chapel – the venue for several royal marriages including Queen Victoria’s and burial place of ten monarchs – is a matter for the Queen, who had to give them permission to use it.
The source said: ‘Apparently Meghan didn’t like the smell of the chapel, which, as you would expect, is a little musty. It’s not unpleasant at all, though. It just smells how you would expect an old building to smell. And that’s something the Royal Family are particularly used to.
Meghan wanted staff to go around with these atomisers, like spritzer guns, and spray the chapel with scent before anyone arrived. Royal Household staff stepped in and told her office politely, but firmly, that this was the Queen’s Chapel and it simply wasn’t appropriate.
I don’t believe they said no because they thought it could affect the chapel in any way. It was simply the principle of the thing. This is a place that has held royal weddings, funerals and even contains the Royal Vault. I don’t believe a request of that nature had been made before.’
The source stressed there had been ‘no falling out’ between the two households, but that there was a certain amount of surprise at the request. ‘Frankly it was all a bit ridiculous and rather over the top,’ they said. A second source, while also confirming that atomisers had been requested, said: ‘The two households worked very well together. I don’t believe they [the atomisers] caused concern.’ St George’s Chapel was built by successive monarchs starting with Edward IV in 1475 and completed by Henry VIII in 1528.