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Meghan rewrites the rules of royal engagement

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Did Meghan Markle appear via video link at this week's Sandringham showdown? Even if she didn't, in my head she did. In my head, she didn't even just "dial in", but was beamed into the Queen's Long Library from the Canadian waterfront mansion in which she's sought refuge, like a Hollywood A-lister picking up an award from a provincial backwater it wasn't worth making the trip to.

Meghan and Harry with newborn son Archie at Windsor Castle last May.Credit:PA

"I'm so sorry I couldn't be with you today," she would have begun, unleashing that expensive Hollywood dentistry. "I'm on mom duty, as you know. So if Archie suddenly needs a change, you may all just have to bear with me." Then a slanting of the brows and widening of the eyes - the way she was told, "to emphasise sincerity", in drama class. "But this moment means so much to me. Really."

One would hope so. There's little doubt it was Meghan who brought about the summit in the first place. Harry, bless his cotton polo shirts, won't even know what "progressive" means. And that the Duchess of Sussex wouldn't make the effort (or was too cowardly) to fly in and thrash out a plan with the Queen - but was happy to fly to New York to watch her pal Serena Williams in the........

© The Age