Ever since she entered the royal family fold, Meghan Markle has made an indelible impression on the world. She’s certainly left her own unique impact, and we have a feeling the Duchess of Sussex is just getting started when it comes to her post-royal life. Yet, despite being her own distinctive person, with a bold voice and confidence all her own, there’ve been so many times Meghan Markle reminded us so much of the late Princess Diana.
From the time she married Prince Harry in May 2018, Meghan made it clear service was front-of-mind. Much like her late mother-in-law, Meghan’s interests have always leaned towards humanitarian efforts, and using her platform to shed light on issues that are so important to her.
It’s not just her philanthropic endeavors that strike us as very Diana-like, though. From her fashion to her compassion for children, her hands-on parenting style, and so much more, there’ve been a number of times Meghan made us think of Diana. Even the youngest son of the late royal sees the similarity.
“So much of what Meghan is and how she is, is so similar to my mum,” Prince Harry says in the first episode of Harry & Meghan. “She has the same compassion. She has the same empathy. She has the same confidence. She has this warmth about her.” Take a look at the 10 times Meghan Markle reminded us of Princess Diana.
A version of this article was originally published on Jan 2023.
Their Frustration With Royal Protocols
Both of them reportedly found the restrictions from the British royal family’s extensive protocols to be frustrating, leading both of them to repeatedly break it while in the Windsor House.
Their Life Beyond the House of Windsor
We can only imagine what Princess Diana’s post-royal life would look like today. But we have a feeling it wouldn’t be dissimilar to that of Harry and Meghan’s. In the final episode of Harry & Meghan, the Duke of Sussex commented that his mom might’ve ended up in Santa Barbara one day. But beyond where they settled, Meghan’s continued philanthropic and humanitarian efforts remind us most of Diana’s post-royal life.
Even the Duchess of Sussex remarked in Harry & Meghan that if the couple are going to have a microscope on them after taking a step back as members of the royal family, they’re going to use their platforms for good — something we think Diana would be proud of.
When Prince Harry Talked About Their Personalities
We can’t get over how much Meghan reminds us of Diana’s personality once she finally came into her own. During his engagement interview with Meghan Markle, Prince Harry commented that his late mother and now-wife would have been “thick as thieves.”
And like we said at the top of this round-up, Harry can’t help but see the similarity between his mom’s personality and that of his wife. “So much of what Meghan is and how she is, is so similar to my mum,” he says in the first episode of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan. “She has the same compassion. She has the same empathy. She has the same confidence. She has this warmth about her.” Indeed, there is a warmth and personability to Meghan, one we’ve seen before in Diana.
Their Hands-On Parenting
Practically everything we ever saw of Princess Diana, and all the photos and clips we’ve seen of Meghan have shown that these two women are hands-on parents. Diana was always so openly affectionate with her boys, Princes William and Harry, and always made them her first priority. With Meghan, it’s no different.
From her trip to South Africa with little Archie, to the clips and photos we’ve seen of her with both her son and daughter Lilibet, it’s clear that Meghan is a very hands-on mom, something reiterated in Harry & Meghan. Plus, Meghan isn’t afraid to be protective of her kids, like Princess Diana. Keeping Archie and Lilibet’s lives as private as possible is of the utmost importance to her, reminding us just how much Diana fought for her own sons to have as normal a life as possible.
Their Successful Tours of Australia
Following their weddings, Princess Diana and Meghan Markle embarked on tours of Australia — something of a tradition for newlyweds in the royal family. All eyes were on the women and their husbands, and both tours were practically perfect. The tours were a huge success, and announced Diana and Meghan as two influential royal family members.
Their Relationship with the Press
One of the more heartbreaking similarities between Diana and Meghan is their relationship with the press — especially tabloid media. The late Princess of Wales was constantly hounded by paparazzi, with varying degrees of headlines written about her. What once was an adoring press often turned harmful, not dissimilar to Meghan’s experience.
As chronicled in Harry & Meghan, the global reaction to Meghan was so warm. But as Meghan’s time as a prominent member of the royal family continued, the headlines became intrusive and painful. Both women simply wanted to retreat from the flashing cameras and constant attention, trying to regain any semblance of control over their lives.
When They Spoke About Their Humanitarian Work
There was one moment during the Duke and Duchess’ November 2021 trip to NYC that struck us as so similar to Princess Diana. During her conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin, the editor-at-large, columnist, and founder of DealBook with the New York Times, Meghan was asked whether or not she saw her advocacy for paid parental leave as inherently political. “I don’t see this as a political issue, frankly,” she said. “There’s certainly a precedent amongst my husband’s family, and the royal family of not having any involvement in politics. But I think this is, I mean, paid leave, from my standpoint, is just a humanitarian issue.”
Meghan’s words immediately brought us back to Princess Diana’s visit to Angola in the mid-’90s. Commenting on the “distraction” that the perception of her work was political, Diana said, “I’m not a political figure; I am a humanitarian figure and always have been and always will be.”
When They Meet Kids on Their Level
Some of the most memorable images of Princess Diana feature the late royal with children. Diana always met kids on their level and never shied away from showing them affection. It’s a quality Meghan possesses, too, and one we love to see time and again.
When They Called Out the Institution
While there was a time Meghan and Diana felt they didn’t have a voice in The Firm, they most certainly regained it once they separated themselves from the royal family. In her controversial interview with Martin Bashir, Diana was hardly hesitant to share her thoughts on the monarchy; how they had failed her, didn’t prepare her for the role, and how they didn’t protect or support her when she needed it most.
Meghan, and even more so her husband Prince Harry, has also spoken about how the conflicts between the family members and the institution often made for unhealthy situations. Between her struggles with her mental health and the family’s supposed lack of protection from an over-eager British press, Meghan, like Diana, saw for herself how difficult it is for an outsider in the royal family.
When They Were Vulnerable About Their Mental Health
Even though we’d like to think conversations about mental health are more open than ever before, the stigma still exists and persists. Both Princess Diana and Meghan Markle opened up about their struggles with their mental health. They sought support from Buckingham Palace during their respective struggles, and each dealt with suicidal ideation.
“All of this will stop if I’m not here,” Meghan said in Harry & Meghan, recalling just how dark her thoughts became while she was a senior working royal. “And that was the scariest thing about it because it was such clear thinking.”
During Diana’s controversial interview with Martin Bashir, the late Princess of Wales disclosed her suicide attempts.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Their Style Icon Status
It doesn’t take much imagination to see this similarity. Meghan Markle and Princess Diana are both total fashion icons. To this day, Princess Diana’s style has stood the test of time, even influencing her daughters-in-law.
While Meghan has a style all her own, it’s always so classic and elegant with a contemporary spin. We’ve seen Meghan pay homage to Princess Diana with her sartorial statements before, and there’s no denying both these women have set trends and become fashion inspirations.
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