Jill Biden was 'in on the joke' when Meghan sent a basket of lemons

EXCLUSIVE: Jill Biden was ‘in on the joke’ when Meghan Markle sent her a basket of lemons as a thank you for wearing Oscar de la Renta patterned dress

  • The day after Harry and Meghan’s explosive Oprah interview aired in 2021, Jill Biden wore an Oscar de la Renta dress with a lemon pattern to a public event 
  • It was the same print that Meghan wore for her first public appearance after quitting royal life and folks online saw it as a subtle nod of support from Jill
  • DailyMail.com previously revealed Meghan even sent the First Lady a basket of lemons as a thank you 

Jill Biden was ‘in on the joke’ when Meghan Markle sent her a bunch of lemons in a wink at social media speculation that the First Lady was on Team Sussex.

After Prince Harry and Meghan’s now-infamous Oprah Winfrey interview, their fans saw something that made them believe that Jill was sympathetic to the Duke and Duchess.

The day after the explosive interview aired in 2021, Jill wore an Oscar de la Renta dress with a lemon pattern to the State Department’s International Women of Courage Awards. She even topped it off with a matching face mask which she removed before speaking at the event.

The frock was similar to a $2,890 dress from the same designer that Meghan had worn a month before.

The day after Harry and Meghan’s explosive Oprah interview aired, Jill Biden wore an Oscar de la Renta dress with a lemon pattern to the State Department’s International Women of Courage Awards in 2021

Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey was in May 2021, and the next day the First Lady appeared to show her support of the couple  

Meghan wore the same print and designer for her first appearance after quitting the royal family. Pictured: Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry at Spotify event 

Jill Biden ‘was in on the joke,’ a source close to her said. Jill is pictured delivering remarks at the International Women of Courage Awards  

Twitter saw Jill’s outfit as a subtle nod of support to Team Sussex even though the First Lady had worn the dress on several occasions before that and since then.

And, as DailyMail.com revealed exclusively, Meghan even sent the First Lady a basket of lemons in thanks.

Jill ‘was in on the joke,’ a source close to her told DailyMail.com.

It’s unclear what happened to the lemons after their arrival at the White House and the First Lady’s office didn’t respond to inquiries on the matter.

It’s also believed Jill, who is known for being thoughtful, would almost certainly have sent Meghan a thank you note for the gift.

The move could have been an effort on Meghan’s part to grow closer to the First Lady, who enjoys a good relationship with Prince Harry.

Despite their 33-year age gap, Jill and Harry have formed a bond over their shared interest in veterans’ affairs. She is the mom of a veteran – the late Beau Biden served in Iraq as part of the Delaware National Guard – and started Joining Forces, an initiative to help veterans and their families. Prince Harry served in Afghanistan.

And the First Lady, a voracious reader, is known to have read Prince Harry’s memoir Spare.

In fact, Jill was supposed to attend the September 2021 Warrior Games in Orlando, Florida, with Harry, who was already living in California.

Harry was inspired to start his Invictus Games after he attended the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013. However, the 2021 games were changed to a Zoom event when in-person events were canceled due to Covid.

Their longstanding friendship stretches back to May 2013 when they met at a reception for US and British wounded soldiers in Washington, D.C.

They appeared to strike up an immediate bond as the following year Jill travelled solo to London for Harry’s inaugural Invictus Games, where they were pictured beaming together during several of the events.

Prince Harry and Jill Biden have enjoyed a close friendship for several years, with the First Lady regularly showing her support for the Duke’s Invictus Games

Despite their 33-year age gap, Jill and Harry have formed a bond over their shared interest in veterans’ affairs. They are pictured at the 2017 Invictus Games  

The duo both have strong ties to the armed forces; Harry spent 10 years serving in the British Army (left), while Jill’s late stepson Beau was a major in the US Military (right) 

In September 2014, Jill flew to London to attend the inaugural Invictus Games, and her clear bond with Harry prompted Joe to joke that he was ‘a little worried’

Joe Biden even joked he was ‘a little worried’ about how much time Harry and Jill were spending together, a gag the then-Vice President repeated in 2016 when his wife again met the Prince at the Games in Orlando.

‘Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent too much damn time with Prince Harry,’ he said.

Both Joe and Jill Biden attended the Games in Toronto in 2017 – the same year that Harry stepped out in public with Meghan for the first time. It’s unclear if the Bidens met Meghan then.

But Jill has been a public supporter of the prince’s passion for helping veterans.

During a June 2020 visit to the United Kingdom for the G7 summit – where she had separate meetings with Kate Middleton, then-the Duchess of Cambridge, and  Queen Elizabeth – Jill Biden touted the great work of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games when she met with British veterans as part of her Joining Forces Initiative.

Harry and Meghan had formally stepped aside from their royal duties at that point.

She had kind words for the games Prince Harry established for disabled veterans and for Walking with the Wounded, another veterans group championed by him.

‘I’ve done a lot with the Invictus Games and Walking with the Wounded. Joe and I met with them. So there’s so many connections and that’s why it was important to hear their stories and hear how they’ve triumphed,’ she said of her interest in veterans’ matters.

Jill Biden served as patron of Walk of America, a 2018 expedition led by Walking with the Wounded, a group Prince Harry was patron of. Harry walked with six veterans – three Americans and three British – during one of their UK legs.

Meghan may be trying to establish her own relationship with the First Lady – hence the lemon basket gift.

It still remains unclear exactly how the Duchess got the lemons to Jill Biden.

Typically, any mail sent to the White House, including gifts, goes to a center in suburban Maryland where it under goes a screening process that includes heat and radiation testing to counteract any potential toxic substances, such as anthrax.

The procedure – which also applies to mail going to members of Congress – was put in place after the September 11 attacks and after anthrax was sent to offices on Capitol Hill.

The high temperatures used to screen for toxins can literally burn pieces of mail black and would destroy any perishable substance.

However, as a VIP, Meghan likely had a different way to send her gift.

For friends and families of the President and First Lady, items are usually sent to a point of contact, typically a staff member, who then brings it directly to the White House. It would still be screened but the process is more direct, less cumbersome and the gift is just x-rayed, not fried.

There are strict rules for official gifts to the President and First Lady. Any gifts from a foreign official, for example, are given to the State Department and considered a gift to the nation. The president and First Lady do have the option of personally paying for anything they wish to keep.

But, when it comes to personal gifts, the rules are a little different. The first couple can ‘receive unrestricted gifts from relatives and gifts that are given on the basis of personal friendship’, according to federal regulations.

DailyMail.com revealed Wednesday that Harry and Meghan requested a ride back to the US on Air Force One after Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

Joe and Jill Biden wave as they board the presidential plane at London’s Stansted Airport after the Queen’s memorial service in September 2022

The request received an immediate no with Biden’s staff recognizing it was a bad idea. ‘It would have strained relations with the palace and the new King,’ a source told DailyMail.com

Perishable items like food are a bit more complicated. But it’s not unheard of for any White House to receive them.

For example, during George W. Bush’s presidency, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle wanted to see her state’s Kona coffee served at the White House so she started a lobbying campaign, including personally bringing some of the beans to then-First Lady Laura Bush, who served it a National Governor’s Association dinner.

Harry and Meghan have tried their own lobbying campaign with the White House, including wanting a ride back to the United States on Air Force One after the Queen’s funeral – a request that was denied, as DailyMail.com exclusively revealed.

The Duke and Duchess were no longer working members of the Royal Family at the time but instead were private individuals.

Sources with knowledge of the decision said there was barely any discussion on the issue, just a general agreement that the request was a ‘non-starter.’

Months earlier, Jill Biden was also invited to attend Harry’s Invictus Games – but the idea was killed amid concerns that the Royal Family may have been offended by her presence there.

The April 2022 Invictus Games, held in The Hague in the Netherlands, was the first games since the Sussexes had exited the Royal Family.

The First Lady wanted to attend, per a source close to her.

However, British officials, in a working level conversation, conveyed to National Security Council staff that they thought the idea would land badly, a source said.

‘She wanted to go,’ a person familiar with the event told DailyMail.com of the First Lady, but noted the East Wing was concerned the Palace could be hurt if she attended.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten led the US delegation instead.

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