Here's what Queen Elizabeth thought about Meghan's Africa attire

It's been a rocky year in the press for Meghan Markle. In the year-and-a-half since her marriage to Prince Harry was viewed by royal watchers across the globe, the British media has repeatedly and heavily criticized the newly crowned duchess (via Harper's Bazaar). And while it's more than normal for the royal family to be under a lot of scrutiny purely because of who they are, Markle being American, divorced, and bi-racial has made her an easy target. 

It comes as no surprise, then, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent tour of Africa has been making headlines, especially after clips of the couple expressing their struggles in the recent documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, came to light (via Slate). Fans and critics alike have been watching their every move — and one of those people watching is none other than Queen Elizabeth herself. 

Although it may seem stressful to have the eyes of the queen on you at all times, Queen Elizabeth II apparently sympathizes with the duchess' situation. Express reported that the matriarch was quite "thrilled" with the tour, and royal experts are calling the trip a "brilliant success." 

Why did Harry and Meghan go on a royal tour of Africa?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (along with baby Archie) embarked on the 10-day royal tour of Africa as a way to deepen the ties between the United Kingdom and Africa, CNN reported. The trip started on September 23 in Cape Town, South Africa and concluded on October 2 back in a township near Johannesburg. 

During the trip, the couple visited Botswana, Angola, and Malawi, meeting with many different organizations both together and on their own. Prince Harry spent time at the Chobe Tree Reserve and planted trees alongside local schoolchildren, and he visited a project run by Sentebale, a charity he co-founded with Lesotho's Prince Seesio. Meghan spent time with Mothers2mothers, a charity that employs women living with HIV as health workers for the community, and stopped by the Woodstock Exchange to meet women tech investors and entrepreneurs. 

The prince also notably spent the fourth evening of the tour at a new HALO Trust de-mining camp in Angola, where he aimed to continue the work his mother Princess Diana famously supported in 1997 (via Town & Country). 

Meghan Markle's wardrobe was the crown jewel of the tour

In addition to making connections with the local communities and officials, Markle's wardrobe was a hit, especially with the queen, Express reported. The tour didn't require any formal attire, as there were no official receptions scheduled, and the duchess commendably wanted to keep the focus on the work she and Prince Harry were there to support instead of what she wore

To accomplish this, she kept all of her looks casual. She even recycled some of her previous outfits and opted for low-key brands like Madewell and Sam Edelman. According to the Daily Mail, just over £4,100 was spent on her wardrobe for the entire visit. 

Vanity Fair reports that Markle's back-to-basics look on the tour has gone over well among senior royals, including the queen. "I expect the queen will be pleased to see that Meghan has been taking a leaf out of her book, wearing outfits more than once and taking the advice of trusted aides like Sam," a royal source said, referring to Markle's private secretary Samantha Cohen.

In an interview with the publication, etiquette expert William Hanson noted, "It is understandable that Their Royal Highnesses want the press attention to focus on the issues and causes that they are there to champion... There is also a larger amount of poverty in South Africa and so to arrive wearing expensive designers and high fashion may be somewhat jarring."

The queen also reportedly enjoyed the informality of the tour. Royal expert Neil Sean weighed in to Express, saying, "We've seen Meghan and Harry dancing, clapping, all that sort of stuff — it's not the sort of things the queen would necessarily do... But she does like the fact that members of her family do interact when they are on tour. This is what makes the royal tours a very big success."

Meghan Markle's relationship with Queen Elizabeth is said to be good

Getting the queen's seal of approval can't be easy, especially if it's about who's going to join the royal family. If you're going to produce an heir to the throne, you have to be royal family material.

But it actually appears that Queen Elizabeth II not only likes Meghan, but there are rumors that suggest she might favor the new duchess over Princess Kate, according to British tabloid Express, anyway. The queen has reportedly gone out of her way to make the duchess feel welcome, from inviting Meghan's mother Doria Ragland to spend Christmas with them in England to making solo appearances with Meghan mere weeks after the royal wedding, while it took Kate an entire year before she was asked to make an appearance with the royal matriarch (via Daily Mail, Express). 

We love hearing that the queen is making the Duchess of Sussex feel welcome, especially given what Meghan has been going through, and we definitely can't wait to see what she wears on the next royal tour.