Meghan turned to ‘confidante’ Serena Williams for advice on Prince Harry relationship

Meghan Markle and Harry’s absence is ‘telling’ says expert

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Serena Williams’ Wimbledon comeback ended in defeat at the hands of world No 115 Harmony Tan on Tuesday. The 23-time Grand Slam champion was playing her first match in a year after limping off Centre Court injured just six games into her opening round 12 months ago. After playing what could have been her last-ever Wimbledon match, Serena admitted she did not know whether she would be back at the historic tournament. 

The match marked Serena’s 22nd time competing at the Championships; she first played in the tournament in 1998. 

Since then, the tennis legend has come out on top at the prestigious competition on seven occasions. 

Serena has been cheered on at many of these matches by family and friends, including Meghan Markle, who has often been spotted supporting the sports star from the sidelines. 

Meghan and Serena first met in Miami during the 2010 Super Bowl, and they became friends four years later when they played flag football together at a celebrity game. 

Speaking about their initial encounter, Meghan wrote on her now defunct blog called The Tig: “We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girlie stuff. So began our friendship.”

She added: “She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was travelling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with just a couple weeks ago in Toronto.

“We are both the same age, have a penchant for hot sauces, and adore fashion, but what connects us more than those things is perhaps our belief in exceeding expectations — our endless ambition.”

They have since become close “confidantes”, with Meghan even turning to Serena for advice during the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry. 

In 2016, when Meghan’s romance with the prince came to light, the former Hollywood actress was thrust into the spotlight. 

Meghan went to Serena, who has spent 27 years in the public eye, for advice on how to handle some of the more extreme results of fame. 

The sports star told Vanity Fair in 2017: “I told her [Meghan Markle]: ‘You’ve got to be who you are, Meghan. You can’t hide.’”

Both Meghan and Harry admitted that they were not prepared for the onslaught of media and public attention. 

In their first sit-down interview with the BBC following their engagement, the Duchess of Sussex said: “There was a misconception that because I have worked in the entertainment industry that this would be something I would be familiar with.

“But I’ve never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree and lived a relatively quiet life.”

Harry added: “I think both of us were totally surprised by the reaction.”

Less than three years later, the duke and duchess stepped down from their roles as senior royals. 

During a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Meghan and Harry both referenced the media and public frenzy as a contributing factor to their decision to leave the Royal Family for a life in the US. 

At the time, Serena, who had remained close friends with the duchess and even attended the Royal Wedding in 2018, showed support for the couple in a post on social media. 

The tennis icon wrote a moving message, comparing her own experience to that of Meghan and Harry’s. 

She said: “Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life — and leads by example — with empathy and compassion. 

“She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. 

“Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced.”

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