The American actress (36) moved to London last year before announcing her engagement to the 33-year-old royal and has been slowly inching her way into public life with carefully choreographed appearances alongside her fiancé around the UK. While royal watchers have praised her natural confidence at such engagements, Markle is said to be slow in adjusting to her new way of life.
She no longer enjoys the anonymity of her former life in Toronto, where she filmed hit US show Suits, and is instead relatively confined within the gates of Kensington Palace, where she and Harry live in a two-bedroom property Nottingham Cottage.
Prior to him popping the question, she could be pictured shopping around London in low-key fashion, without the glare of the world’s media following her every move. And she has turned to Harry’s stepmother Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, for practical advice.
“Meghan may appear confident when on royal walkabouts, but she does have some pre-wedding butterflies – not about Harry, but about her new life,” a source told the Mail on Sunday.
“As Diana once famously said, ‘there is no manual’, so Camilla is the best thing Meghan has. Camilla is happy to help.”
The tv star is also reportedly turning to her future sister-in-law Kate Middleton, who had 10 years to adjust to the realities of public scrutiny before marrying Prince Wililam in 2011, but the couple are busy with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and preparing for another new arrival in April.
“KP [Kensington Palace] is beautiful, but when Meghan wakes up she has nowhere to go, really,” the insider added.
“She can’t potter about on the High Street, attend gym classes, or jog around Hyde Park. Instead she is confined to yoga at home or visits to Kate and William in Apartment 1A.”
Last month, a body language expert suggested that Meghan is nervous at official engagements, crediting her habit of fidgeting with her hair a telltale sign.
Elizabeth Kuhnke, author of Body Language for Dummies, told Femail that fidgeting with hair is a tactic women often use to settle themselves when they feel under pressure or uncomfortable.
“It’s the adult version of a child clutching favourite toy, mother’s skirt or father’s hand when feeling anxious and not knowing what to do or say,” she said.
“When feeling nervous – knowing millions of people are watching and judging – tilting one’s head down and playing with hair is a tell of the psychological state of the need to shield or protect herself.”