Sophie Wessex was spotted making a touching peacemaking gesture to Meghan Markle during the Queen's lying-in-state procession yesterday.
The pair travelled together in the ceremonial procession, following behind the Queen Consort and the newly-appointed Princess of Wales.
In Westminster Hall, the four women came together and stood close to the door where the Queen's coffin was and waited for their husbands to arrive.
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Kate was also spotted talking briefly to Camilla and Sophie, while at other times her eyes were trained on the floor.
Having been in the hall, royal writer Rebecca English observed there was a "notable gap between Sophie and Meghan" at first, "while the three working royals bunched together".
She said: "Meghan, 41, looked decidedly self-conscious from my vantage point, just above her in the 900-year-old building, the oldest on the parliamentary estate.
"Shoulders back, clutching her programme and bag, she was the most stylish and striking of them all. She wore a pair of pearl earrings given to her by the Queen as a wedding present.
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"But there was something self-consciously awkward about her posture, demonstrating the depth of the rift between herself and the rest of the Royal Family even if you happened upon them without any prior knowledge of the acrimony of the past four years.
"Indeed Meghan, who was holding black leather gloves, seemed so lost for something to do that at one point she rested her left hand in her pocket."
It was then that "peacemaker" Sophie leaned over to chat to Meghan.
English recalled: "Meghan, who had travelled in a car with Sophie from Buckingham Palace earlier – while the Queen Consort and Kate, as the two most senior women now in the Royal Family, went ahead together – a reason to move slightly closer to her husband's aunt."
Sophie has always had a reputation for being diplomatic within the Royal Family and was the first royal to visit Meghan and Harry after Archie was born.
Sophie, 57, married Prince Edward, 58, in 1999, and the couple have two children together including the Queen's so-called "favourite" granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor, 18.
She and the now Queen Consort were the only non-blood relatives to go to Balmoral to be by the Queen's side as she died, and Sophie has been described as a "second daughter" to the late monarch.
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