She’s quite the modern monarch! Queen Elizabeth has been the head of the British crown for more than 65 years but that doesn’t mean the 92-year-old royal is against changing with the times. 

“She’s insuring the future of the monarchy by being open and flexible and adapting. She’s allowing it to rebrand,” former palace staffer Colleen Harris told People in a new interview. “The Queen is allowing the royal family to modernize. We have come a real long way. They are not stuffy and immovable.”

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According to Harris, some people around the palace were “quite shocked” when Queen Elizabeth gave her grandson and future King, Prince William, permission to marry Kate Middleton prior to their 2010 royal engagement. Since Kate was “an ordinary middle-class girl with no background in royalty or aristocracy, people then sort of thought, an ordinary person can grow up and marry into the royal family. How exciting, how different!”

Then, when Prince Harry began dating California-born actress Meghan Markle, the Queen proved she was a modern monarch yet again. Not only is the 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex a divorcée, but she is also biracial. “With [Meghan], that takes it even a step further,” Harris noted. 

Shortly after Meghan and Harry announced their royal engagement in November 2017, Katie Nicholl — author of Harry: Life, Loss, and Love revealed that the Queen belives Meg is a “positive person” in her grandson‘s life. “When you look at Meghan on paper she is not necessarily what you might expect of a conventional royal fiancée and that she’s American, she’s a well-known face,” Nicholl began. 

“She’s filmed some pretty racy sex scenes that we’ve all seen in Suits. Everything from being a divorcée to being a bit older then Prince Harry, to coming from a dual heritage family, you might wonder if the Queen being of a certain generation and, of course, being the Queen might have been at all concerned,” Nicholl explained. “But everything I heard from the sources I spoke to was that she really felt from the outset that Meghan was a positive person in Prince Harry’s life. That she made him very happy and that she was really very supportive.”

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