If there’s one thing Meghan Markle hasn’t given up since becoming a member of the British royal family, it’s her faith, pals say.
After maintaining their silence for nearly two years, five women who are part of the 37-year-old’s inner circle have spoken to People magazine Wednesday to “stand up against the global bullying we are seeing and speak the truth about a friend.”
The women have requested anonymity to protect their identities and private relationships with Markle, who married Britain’s Prince Harry in May 2018.
The former “Suits” star’s friends said that while Markle has always remained private about her faith, it’s an essential part of her life.
“Meg is extremely faithful,” a longtime friend told the publication. “We pray a lot together. We meditate. She has had, and especially has now, a very close relationship with God.”
According to People, Markle was baptized into the Church of England in a secret ceremony last spring ahead of her wedding to Harry, 34. The intimate service paid tribute to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who is the head of the Church of England.
“A deep sense of gratitude and humility has guided her,” the friend continued. “We can still be modern women and feel all the feels with feminism and be strong moms and strong wives but understand that [our] relationship [with God] is so critical.”
The magazine shared Markle has also developed a strong bond with Archbishop Justin Welby, who not only conducted her baptism but also officiated her wedding.
Another close confidante said she was baffled to hear rumors that Markle had demanded St. George’s Chapel to be sprayed with air freshener ahead of the ceremony, calling it “outrageous.”
“I can’t think of anything more ridiculous,” said the friend. “If people knew how spiritual she is and how serious and respectful she takes her relationship with God — she would never ask for something like that. The day after the wedding I said, ‘You were so serene.’ She has a huge loving fondness for Archbishop Welby.”
“She’s like, ‘I’m there, I’m with Harry, I’m with you guys, and I’m with the leader of my church,’” continued the friend about the American actress. “She doesn’t think about the narrative; ‘What will people think?’ She doesn’t do that. She really lives in the current moment. And when you do that, there’s no fear. She and Harry are both very grounded. She has a firm understanding of the things she can and can’t control. And she tries not to put any effort into the things she can’t control.”
The confidante insisted it's Markle’s dedication to her faith in God that has helped her navigate her new life as the Duchess of Sussex.
“Her lifestyle can be very isolating,” she explained. “The rest of us get to go out, see each other for coffee, just go, ‘I’m having a [bad] day, I’m going to have lunch or do a little shopping.’ She can’t. So you kind of have to look inward and go, ‘How can I be part of my own solution?’ And that’s really challenging.”
The article was quickly slammed by Markle’s half-sister.
"#PeopleMagazine this article is total bulls*** there are plenty of text messages and receipts to prove otherwise. Stop the PR crap #Fake News," Samantha Markle, 54, tweeted Wednesday.
She also posted a meme reading, "When a narcissist has lost control over you, they try to control how others see you," captioning it, "And if the narcissist is wealthy they pay very expensive PR teams to change the way people see you."
Samantha then posted several memes, including one that read, "She has a disease. It's called lie-abetes."
Markle is due to give birth to her first child with Harry sometime in the spring of this year.
Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report.