Much has been made of the similarities between Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with their late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. The People’s Princess, as Diana was dubbed, was beloved for her charitable work, her activism, her style and her grace — all qualities that her daughters in law embody. But there’s one more thing Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother shares with Kate and Meghan: a distinct penmanship.
It’s common knowledge at this point that Meghan used to moonlight as a calligrapher before her acting career took off, but Kate and Diana’s handwriting are also stunning in their own right. How could it not be with all the notes the royals write. A royal biographer once revealed Diana — with a bit of help from her staff — personally wrote the 47,000 thank you notes that went out after her wedding to Prince Charles.
We spoke to Sheila Lowe, a forensic handwriting examiner and author, to see what we could glean from the three women’s handwriting style and signatures. How are they different? How are they similar? And what does their personal writing style say about their personalities. The answers were quite surprising.
“On a spectrum, we have Meghan at one end with the strong reserve and need to control her image (not in a negative way),” Lowe said of her initial reaction in a correspondence with SheKnows. Adding, “Kate more-or-less in the middle is more willing to be spontaneous. Diana, at the other end, with her relaxed, curvy handwriting is far more willing to wear her heart on her sleeve.”
Ahead, Lowe’s close examination of the three women’s handwriting.
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“Meghan’s beautiful writing has many flourishes that on one hand draw attention to her, but on the other, there is a formality that also keeps a distance,” Lowe told SheKnows for a previous article about Meghan’s handwriting. “What this tells us is, Meghan wants to project an image of beauty, perfection and uniqueness, which serves to hide some insecurity. The degree of control seen in this handwriting reveals a woman of strong emotion who works to hold back the tide and only show what she wants others to see,” Lowe says. “She is comfortable in the spotlight because she has control over her image.
“Kate’s handwriting couldn’t be more opposite from Meghan’s. Not that it’s ‘better’ or ‘worse,’ just reflects a very different personality from her sister-in-law. Kate’s writing is flexible, forward-leaning, simplified, original, which indicates her strong need for a conflict-free environment and desire to create harmony wherever she is. This ability to adapt, shown in loose writing rhythm and rightward trending writing, allows her to glide around difficulties and continue on to meet her objectives with a combination of sound, pragmatic common sense, which we see in the way the letters connect to each other and quick connections in the upper area of writing — a lively, intuitive way of reaching for new ideas.”
“Ah, Diana. Her handwriting is so recognizable. The large, round, openness of it reveals a woman who needed love, affection, attention and approval in a very big way. Her rounded, soft writing has few angles and shows that, like Kate, an abiding need for harmony prompted her to do her best to create a serene backdrop for her life. The horizontally expanded writing indicates that freedom was a powerful imperative for her.”
“The change in her signature reflects a greater need for privacy, which makes sense, given her life now under the microscope,” Lowe said of Meghan’s post-nuptials signature. “Just using her first name, as of course Prince Harry does, allies her with him. The change in her signature after her marriage suggest an identification with her husband, an aligning herself with him.”
“A warm sense of humor is manifest in open writing but the strongly connected letters put the brakes on a light-hearted approach. The upright ‘slant’ to her writing shows that even in the heat of emotion, a quiet little voice inside her head guided her to be cautious. Her ability to compromise helped to work things out when a situation might suddenly change, which is seen in the low degree of angles but lots of curved strokes. This also suggests a talent for capitalizing on the strengths of others.”
“Again, the soft, rounded letters and expanded writing with upright slant, when applied to social relationships, we know that she was the type who would willingly share whatever she had to offer with anyone in need. Her number one priority was to keep things upbeat and friendly (people with few angles in their writing like to keep the peace). The lower ‘loops,’ which are formed like a cradle and point to the left, which represents the past, suggest that Diana was easily hurt by negative comments or criticism. It would deeply affect her sense of well-being if she thought someone didn’t like who she was or what she stood for.”
As unique as the three women may be, they each carved a similar path in their adoptive life as royals. Diana was a renegade, eschewing protocol in favor of modern motherhood and activism. Like her, Kate and Meghan have tweaked and adjusted royal tradition to suit their life and family. A move Diana would surely approve of.