The two other Windsors who fled to the US before Meghan and Harry

2013: Sophie Winkleman stars as Big Suze in Peep Show

Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor married at Hampton Court Palace in 2009 but shortly after moved to sunny California. Lord Frederick, who celebrates his 44th birthday on Thursday, April 6, is the only son of Prince and Princess Michael. He married Sophie Winkleman, 42, an English actress who has led a successful career in the entertainment industry.

Sophie has made several on-screen appearances in shows such as Two and a Half Men, Peep Show, Death in Paradise, Trust, This Is Going To Hurt, and Sanditon.

After their wedding in September 2009, she and Frederick relocated to California so Sophie could focus on her acting career.

Born in Primrose Hill, London, to Cindy Black and Barry Winkleman, Sophie is the half-sister of Strictly Come Dancing and Traitors host, Claudia Winkleman.

Sophie made a name for herself when starring as Big Suze in Peep Show, the elder version of Susan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. When she and Frederick crossed the Atlantic, she landed the role as Zoey in Two and a Half Men.

Lady Frederick Windsor, as she is officially known, studied at Cambridge University, and it was there that she met her future royal husband.

During their time in California, the couple welcomed their first daughter Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina Windsor, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre on August 15, 2013. Maud was baptised at St James’s Palace in December of that year and Princess Eugenie was named as one of her godparents.

Sophie continued to pursue her acting career, appearing in the likes of the American sitcom Hot in Cleveland and the animated comedy series Milo Murphy’s Law.

However, by 2016, Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor had permanently returned to London.

Their second daughter, Isabella Alexandra May, was born on January 16 of that year at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and was later baptised at Kensington Palace in June 2016 with Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef and a close friend of her mother, serving as one of the godparents.

Now residing in the UK, Sophie has starred in several British television series like the detective drama Endeavour, the Jane Austen adaptation Sandition, and the medical miniseries This Is Going to Hurt. Most recently, she landed an exciting new role in the second series of ITV’s Belgravia.

She balances her acting career with life in the most famous family in Britain, having joined the royals on Buckingham Palace’s balcony many times before and regularly attending national events.

In June last year, she attended the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and, three months later, was present for her funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Sophie has spoken openly of her experience marrying into the Royal Family, several times praising the Firm for welcoming her. During an interview with the The Times in 2020, she said: “I’ve been incredibly welcomed with open arms by all of them. I haven’t had a single negative experience. The Queen’s been wonderful, Charles has been wonderful, William’s been heaven.”

She went on to say the royals had not made any attempts to curb her professional pursuits: “They’d never tell me off at all if I wanted to play some [racy] role. Everyone’s looked after me,” she said.

Unsurprisingly, parallels have been drawn between the Windsors and another royal couple who left the UK to forge new lives in California.

In January 2020, years after Lord and Lady Frederick had returned to London, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, announced they would be stepping down from their senior royal positions and relocating to North America.

By the summer of that year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had purchased a home in Montecito, an affluent neighbourhood in Santa Barbara, California.

Don’t miss…
Diana’s ‘savage’ move put strain on her and Fergie’s friendship [INSIGHT]
POLL: Should Prince Andrew be allowed to stay at Royal Lodge? [POLL]
Fergie leaves fans in ‘turmoil’ over ‘complex role’ as Andrew’s ex [LATEST]

Meghan, who had a recurring role in the hit legal drama Suits, gave up her acting career ahead of her and Harry’s wedding in 2018.

During the couple’s engagement interview in 2017, she confirmed she was leaving the show after seven seasons to become a full-time working royal.

She explained why she made the decision to quit acting: “What’s been really exciting, as we talk about this as the transition out of my career… is that the causes that have been very important to me, I can focus even more energy on. You realise that as you have access, or a voice that people are willing to listen to, [it comes with] a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously.” 

Asked about choosing to give up her career, she responded: “I don’t see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change. It’s a new chapter. And keep in mind I’ve been working on my show for seven years. We were very fortunate to have that sort of longevity on a series. For me, once we hit the 100-episode marker, I thought, I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work we’ve done there and now it’s time to work as a team with [Harry].”

By some accounts, the Royal Family had encouraged Meghan to continue her acting career, in keeping with the Firm’s treatment of Sophie Winkleman.

According to the book, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, by author and friend of the royals Gyles Brandreth, Queen Elizabeth II did “everything she could” to ensure Meghan’s happiness, including telling her she could continue in her former career.

He wrote: “She did everything she could to make her future granddaughter-in-law feel welcome. She was concerned for her future happiness. At their first meeting, the Queen said to Meghan: ‘You can carry on being an actress if you like — that’s your profession, after all.’

“But Meghan was ready for royal duty and, of course, the Queen was delighted by that. She was particularly delighted by the enthusiasm Meghan showed for the Commonwealth and the commitment she made to the Queen to do ‘whatever you think we should be doing for the Commonwealth’.”

Similarly, Andrew Morton, who wrote the biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, told the Royally Obsessed podcast in 2021: “In fairness to the Royal Family, in fairness to the Queen, she did give them that opportunity to go wherever they pleased. And also, they did say to Meghan, ‘If you don’t want to embrace royal duties full time, please be our guest and continue your acting career’ — those opportunities were open to her.”

However, since then, it has been claimed that the royals’ encouragement may have been less about Meghan and more about the Firm. In both his tell-all memoir and interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry asserted the Royal Family suggested his wife carry on acting “because there was not enough money to pay for her”.

Nonetheless, unlike Sophie, since marrying into the monarchy, Meghan has not returned to the screen.

In fact, in an interview with Variety magazine last year, the Duchess of Sussex said she was “done” with acting, telling the interviewer: “I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not.”

That being said, in recent weeks, it has been claimed Meghan could be eyeing up some “prominent” Hollywood roles “thanks to her new connections”.

The former actress has reportedly hired Hollywood dealmaker Adam Lilling, who has worked with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Nicole Kidman.

A leading celebrity publicity expert told The Mirror: “Allegedly, by hiring Adam Lining, known as Hollywood’s ‘fixer’, Meghan could be looking for a career in Hollywood. Acting is what she’s trained in, therefore, it’s viable she may have a cameo in a film or even TV.”

PR expert Mayah Riaz added: “If it is true the couple have hired Adam Lining, then I’m sure we can expect some prominent Hollywood roles.”

Source: Read Full Article