The Parallels Between Meghan Markle And Princess Diana Are Undeniable
Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, tragically passed away in a car accident on August 31, 1997. At the time, Harry was still a young boy and has spent the majority of life without his beloved mother. Since her passing, Harry has grown into his role as Prince and married Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
The world is enamored with the young royal couple. They’re always being photographed and people who follow the British royal family have astutely observed similarities between Meghan Markle and Princess Diana. And the more you look for it, the more you see it. Don’t believe us? Just wait until you see what both ladies wore to Wimbledon.
A Polo Trophy and a Kiss, 33 Years Apart
Just like his father, Prince Harry is an avid polo player and a talented player. He competed in a test match in Australia, Young England vs. Young Australia, and just like his father, he participates in polo matches to raise money for charity.
Here Prince Charles and Princess Diana are pictured at a polo match on June 29, 1985, in Windsor England. The moment was recreated when Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan shared a kiss on July 26, 2018, also in Windsor at a polo event at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.
Princess Diana & Julia Samuel, Kate Middleton & Meghan Markle
Before her untimely death, Princess Diana maintained a friendship with Julia Samuel. The two supported each other during difficult times, including Diana’s divorce to Prince Charles. Here they’re pictured watching a tennis match on July 3, 1994.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex also attends tennis matches with friends and family since joining the royal family. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge joined her for day twelve of Wimbledon on July 14, 2018. The two photos show the important bond between women in the royal family, as these ladies hold positions that come with great responsibility.
The Royal Wedding Kiss
BEN STANSALL,LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Here Prince Charles and Princess Diana are pictured kissing on their wedding day, June 29, 1981. An estimated 17 million people watched their royal wedding that year, which took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. An estimated 47 million tuned in to watch their much-anticipated wedding. The weddings of the two couples were 37 years apart, but not so different. Both Diana and Meghan opted not to say, “I will obey” in their vows, and Meghan’s ring included two stones from Princess Diana’s collection.
Twinning in Scotland
Plaid is a classic choice when visiting Scotland, but Princess Diana and Meghan Markle both chose a dark blue and green plaid when they paid their visit. Princess Diana wore a long-sleeved plaid dress to the Bute Highland Games in August 1987.
In February 2018, when they were still an engaged couple, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visited Edinburgh Castle in Scotland where she wore this classic coat. We wonder if Harry recognized the connection.
Black and White for Royal Ascot Horse Races
When they attended the Royal Ascot horse races in Ascot, England, both Princess Diana and Meghan Markle opted for a classic white and black ensemble. Princess Diana wore a sharp-looking sports coat and hat in 1985 when she attended the horse races.
In June 2018, Meghan also wore black and white, a look designed by Givenchy. The event marked one month since Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex. Maybe she was taking fashion cues from Harry’s mother to make sure she dressed the part.
Bringing Back the Beige
Jayne Fincher/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo
Meghan Markle’s beige trenchcoat dress resembled Princess Diana’s beige coat when she arrived at Melbourne airport in 1985. Meghan wore the beige buttoned sleeveless dress to a London event honoring the life of Nelson Mandela.
Her dress was designed by the Canadian label Nonie and she paired it with a matching clutch, just as Princess Diana kept all her accessories the same color.
Wearing Stripes to Wimbledon
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Is that the same shirt, altered? Here Princess Diana is pictured watching the tennis match between Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl at Wimbledon. The day was July 6, 1984, and she was pregnant with Prince Harry at the time.
Flash forward to July 14, 2018, and Meghan Markle is attending the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, also wearing stripes and twinning with Princess Diana. Although Meghan has never named her late mother-in-law as her style inspiration, you have to admit her outfit at Wimbledon is a page out of Diana’s book of style.
Cut From The Same Cloth?
On January 18, 2018, Meghan Markle wore an off-the-shoulder plaid top while visiting the Cardiff Castle in Wales. Princess Diana wore a very similar looking plaid coat on May 3, 1988, while visiting Paddington Station in London.
While it nearly appears that the two outfits could have been cut from the same cloth, each reflects the ladies’ personal style. Meghan is often seen with the boat neck style, while Princess Diana stayed true to late ’80s fashion with the simple turtleneck paired with a sharp coat.
Diana And Meghan Both Became Pregnant Quickly
On October 20, 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an announcement that thrilled royal watchers around the world! Five months after their wedding, Harry and Meghan told everyone that they’re expecting a little one to arrive sometime in the spring. Princess Diana and Charles made the announcement that they were expecting their first child, Prince William, on November 5, 1981 — just four months following their July 29 marriage.
At the time of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s big reveal, Meghan was 12 weeks along (meaning the baby was conceived in July) and her doctors said that she was in “good health.” Congrats!
They’re Both Humanitarians
Princess Diana was involved in dozens of charities during her lifetime and aimed to help children in need, as well as people affected by HIV, AIDs, and cancer. Her compassion for people around the world was admired by the people of the Commonwealth and beyond.
Since her passing, Prince Harry has continued his mother’s charitable legacy and found love in Meghan Markle, who is a humanitarian herself. The Duchess of Sussex has traveled the world in an effort to improve the lives of people less fortunate. Her causes include safe drinking water for Rwanda and advocating for women’s health care and equal rights in India.
Both of Their Parents Are Divorced
When Princess Diana was seven years old, her father John Spencer, and mother Frances Spencer divorced. Sadly, she described her childhood as “very unhappy and very unstable, the whole thing.”
Meghan was just two-years-old when her parents split up and divorced by the time she was age six. However, Meghan says her mother, Doris Ragland, and her father Thomas Markle were both present and helped raise her, but the experience had an impact on her life.
Both Women Have Been Divorced
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Marrying into the royal family is a big deal and before anyone pops the question, a lot is taken into consideration. One taboo is if the person has been previously married, which Meghan Markle had been. She had a short marriage to director-producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013.
Princess Diana experienced the much more difficult task of divorcing out of the royal family during 1995-1996. After Diana came clean about her and her husband’s extramarital affairs on television, the Queen advised the couple to divorce. The divorce was finalized on August 28, 1996.
Both Ladies Became Engaged Quickly
Princess Diana met her future husband, Prince Charles when he was dating her older sister. Charles first spent time with Diana and began seeing each other in the summer of 1980. After dating for around six months, Princes Charles proposed on February 6, 1981, and the couple was married July 29, 1981.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry also had a quick engagement. They began a relationship in June 2016 and were announced as engaged on November 27, 2017. They were married on May 19, 2018.
They Are Recognized for Being Approachable
Princess Diana was nicknamed the “People’s Princess” for her approachable personality and willingness to speak with and connect with people from all walks in life. She lit up around children and often comforted them. The same has been said for Meghan Markle, who since joining the royal family has been open to greeting people who’ve lined up to see her and crouch down to speak to children.
The people of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth did not embrace Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall when Princes Charles remarried. Since Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton joined the royal family, the people now have two popular duchesses they adore.
They Both Attended All-Girls Schools
Princess Diana came from a wealthy background and was already connected to the royal family before she and Princes Charles began dating. She attended Riddlesworth Hall School in Norfolk, beginning when she was nine. The school was all-girls and afterward, she moved on to West Health Girls’ School.
Meghan Markle was raised in Los Angeles, where her father worked as a lighting director on the set of Married… With Children. She began attending a private school when she was five years old and was a student at Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls private school in LA.
They Are Both Strong and Elegant
As a girl, Princess Diana was an excellent swimmer and diver. She also studied ballet and tap dance and worked as a dance instructor before meeting Prince Charles. Diana would often dance with guests at events at Buckingham Palace and the White House. Actor John Travolta said dancing with the Princess, “was one of the highlights of my life.”
Meghan has a close relationship with her mother, Doria Ragland, who is a yoga instructor. Meghan also practices yoga and has been spotted walking with her yoga mat, leaving the studio.
Paparazzi Car Chase
Many will remember the day Princess Diana passed away following a horrific car crash while her driver was trying to get away from the paparazzi. Sadly, her son, Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan Markle, and his mother-in-law, Doria, experienced a similar incident in May 2023.
A spokesperson for the couple said, “Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi. This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers.”
Diana & Meghan Are Feminists
Princess Diana famously omitted the word “obey” from her vows to Prince Charles on their wedding day. It was a bold move for Diana, who was only 20-years-old at the time, marrying the Prince who was 13 years older. The public and the media didn’t know what to think of her at first. To which Diana replied, “I think it’s the strength that causes the confusion and the fear.”
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, followed suit and also omitted “obey” from her vows. An outspoken feminist, Meghan is an advocate for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. After traveling to India to support women’s rights, she contributed an op-ed article for Time magazine where she touched on the stigmatization of women and their menstrual health.
Both Women Helped Modernize and Rebrand the Royal Family
Princess Diana’s strength, coupled with her independent personality, as she mentioned earlier, was startling to the public in the 1980s and ’90s. While other women of the royal family sat quietly and performed their duties, Princess Diana forged her own path, and wouldn’t wait for anyone. She famously visited the Taj Mahal alone, after Prince Charles failed to keep his promise of taking her to see it.
Likewise, Meghan Markle joining the royal family was monumental. The Duchess of Sussex is the first biracial person marrying into the family, and the news wasn’t free of criticism. While she was still dating Prince Harry, Kensington Palace released a statement urging people to stop harassing Meghan. Now that’s she’s officially in the family, the public has embraced her diverse background and what it means to have a biracial person representing the UK and Commonwealth.
They Both Hold An Interest In International Relations
Princess Diana proved that she was never afraid to step outside her comfort zone. Whether she had Prince Charles at her side, or she was traveling solo, Diana traveled the world, undertaking royal duties as a representative of the Queen. While many were frightened of the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic, Diana stepped up to raise awareness and surprised everyone when she reached out a hugged a seven-year-old child with AIDS.
Likewise, Meghan acts as a citizen of the world, traveling overseas to help communities and women in need. She attended Northwestern University where she double majored in theater and international studies. Meghan also served as an intern at the American embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
They Sought to Stop Stigmas
Just because someone is in a certain situation, or is facing a terrible disease, doesn’t mean that they’re any less of a human being or that they shouldn’t be treated with the same respect. This is a strongly held belief of both Princess Diana and Meghan Markle.
When Diana was traveling to Africa to raise awareness of Leprosy, she touched those affected by the disease. She said, “It has always been my concern to touch people with leprosy, trying to show in a simple action that they are not reviled, nor are we repulsed.” Likewise, Meghan traveled to India to study the stigma that women in the region face when they are menstruating and is advocating for cultural change.
Like His Father, Prince Harry Took a Gap Year in Australia
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After graduating from Elton in June 2003, Prince Harry took a gap year before beginning his military career. His father, Prince Charles, had done the same, and the two men went to the same place: Australia. Prince Charles played polo while he was there.
While in Australia, Prince Harry humbly worked on a cattle station. He also worked with orphaned children in Lesotho, where he filmed the documentary The Forgotten Kingdom to raise awareness of their situation.