When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry with all the splendor of a Disney princess in May, it was hard not to believe that she’d found her happy ending. But, as the world learned from Princess Diana’s tragic story, marrying into the “Firm” doesn’t guarantee a happy life, even if it is a luxurious one, and now Meghan has had to face up to the reality of what it involves.

As a former actress, Meghan was arguably well-prepared for a life in the Royal Family. Unlike many of Harry’s other girlfriends, she was used to dealing with crowds of people and being photographed at every available opportunity, but back then, Meghan – who is a self-proclaimed feminist – did not have her life governed by outdated and oppressive rules made by men.

Now she is not, for example, allowed to wear colored nail polish, dresses that go above her knee, and if she gets pregnant, comfortable maternity clothes are a no-no.

Prior to marrying Harry, Meghan was known for being outspoken on important issues, especially those relating to women’s rights, but now she must maintain a neutral stance on just about everything – a rule which led to her getting into hot water on a recent trip to the Republic of Ireland after she said she was “pleased” its people had voted to legalize abortion.

In the video below, politician Ann Widdecombe explains why Meghan could cause problems for the monarchy: 

Meghan is experiencing many things for the first time as a Royal, so slip-ups are inevitable, and this weekend she will be celebrating her first birthday as the Duchess of Sussex. While you might imagine that this would be quite a grand affair (I’m thinking along the lines of a croquet garden party), Meghan’s birthday will have, well, nothing to do with her.

Instead, Meghan and Harry will be spending this Sunday, August 4, attending the wedding of Prince Harry’s childhood friend Charlie Van Straubenzee to Daisy Jenks. After meeting at Ludgrove Prep School, the pair formed a bromance which is set to last a lifetime and Van Straubenzee was beaming when he attended Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May.

Royal photographer Tim Rooke revealed that Harry would be Van Straubenzee’s best man on Twitter – otherwise known as “Rookie”, he hit the headlines last week when he was almost hit by a ball at Harry’s charity polo match.

“Unfortunately I will be missing the wedding of Charlie Van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks where Prince Harry will be best man on August 4th in Churt Surrey as I will be on the beach,” Rooke wrote on Twitter. “Can’t do everything!”

Harry and Meghan, however, are not the only Royals who are expected to make an appearance at Van Straubenzee’s wedding. Prince William and Kate are also expected to attend as the groom’s older brother is one of Princess Charlotte’s godparents.

While Meghan’s birthday won’t be getting the Royal celebration you’d expect it to, there’s little doubt that the occasion will be marked by the family as her birthday holds a special place in none other than Queen Elizabeth’s heart.

This is because Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, known as The Queen Mother, was born on the same day in 1900.

The Queen Mother was famed for her love of her two daughters and she lived for a remarkable 101 years, passing away in 2002. She never expected her husband Albert to become king when they married in 1923, but her life was turned upside down when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated from the throne to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Even though she never expected to play such a significant role in the British monarchy, the Queen Mother took her unexpected job very seriously and religiously performed her duties until a few months before her death in 2002.

Naturally, the Queen will be thinking of her late mother on August 4 – as will many others as she was one of the all-time most beloved members of Royal Family – and Meghan’s birthday will give her another reason to find this day special.

So even though Meghan won’t be getting a birthday party per say on August 4, the Royals will definitely be marking the occasion in some way. Let’s just hope that Van Straubenzee’s wedding cake tastes as good as birthday cake!

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