29 million people watched Meghan Markle say, "I do," to Prince Harry on May 19th, 2018. While British supermarket checkouts had actual "Meghan and Harry" stands selling everything from mugs to scarves, the internet itself was bursting at the seams. From the minute Meghan and Harry "dating" rumors began, Meghan became one of the most Googled actresses of 2016. That's a job description Meghan has had to leave behind, though.
Meghan and Harry are now officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and we've already seen the complete 180 Meghan has done from a carefree California girl to a prim and proper royal. Here's the thing, though. She isn't the first "prim and proper royal." More importantly, Meghan is already being compared to Harry and William's late mother, Princess Diana. Those who aren't British might not know that Princess Diana basically trumped them all. Diana was so adored, she was known as "The People's Princess." The tragic loss of Diana in a 1997 Paris car crash remains one of the most-mourned royal moments in history. The outpour of grief following it saw Brits leave half a mile worth of flowers outside Buckingham Palace. Diana may no longer be alive, but her legacy is.
As millions of us watched Meghan walk down the aisle in her custom-made gown (and its 15-foot train), one thing was being scrutinized above anything else. Meghan wasn't even a royal yet, but she was already being pitted against Princess Diana. These two have way more in common than most would think, though. From their facial features, food tastes, and workouts to their behaviors and upbringings, here are 20 surprising things Meghan Markle has in common with Princess Diana.
20 SAME COVER, SAME POSE, SAME MAKEUP ARTIST
Most might not know that even before Meghan married Harry, the Prince issued a statement requesting that the press "stop battering" his future bride? Ironically, that statement came straight from Vanity Fair– the very magazine that both Meghan and Diana graced the cover of (in creepily similar ways). In 1997, just months before her life ended, Princess Diana featured on the cover of the iconic magazine, Vanity Fair.
Exactly 20 years apart, these two covers were a "one in, one out" story. Meghan was joining the royal family, but Diana had already left it. Same magazine, same pose, and even the same makeup artist. Two peas in a pod.
Diana's cover story wasn't a happy one, though. Diana had already divorced Harry's dad, Prince Charles after the biggest royal scandal in history saw her kicked out of the royal family. Every media outlet, including The Telegraph, was reporting that Diana's marital straying had broken down the marriage, and the cover story was: "The mystery man who stole Princess Diana's heart." You'll find out further down why Meghan chose Mary Greenweel– the same makeup artist Diana did for her cover. Despite 20 years of fashion, technological advancement, and trends separating them, Diana and Meghan are virtually the same people here. And we're only just getting started...
19 MEGHAN "BINGE WATCHED" DIANA AS A KID
This one is all kinds of creepy. How many American kids do you know who chose to spend their afternoons "binge-watching" Princess Diana's wedding? Probably none. What were you watching as a kid? The Simpsons? Full House? Whatever it was, you definitely weren't sitting on your parents' couch obsessively watching Princess Diana walk down the aisle. One kid was, though, and her name was Meghan.
The world was shocked when The Mirror revealed that Meghan "binge watched" Princess Diana's 1981 wedding as a child. Talk about a parallel universe.
We all saw Meghan's mother, Sonia Ardakani, proudly watch her beautiful daughter marry her Prince Charming at the royal wedding. It was heartbreaking for Meghan not to have her dad there, as he was too sick to attend. Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle. But did Charles have any idea that his future daughter-in-law had spent those childhood years "watching reruns" of his own wedding to Diana? Meghan's mom told The Mirror that a young Meghan was completely "obsessed" with Princess Diana. Little did Meghan know that her own life would see her walk down that exact same aisle, let alone marry into the family she was so obsessed with. The next one just blows our minds...
18 THEY HAVE SIMILAR HANDWRITING
Obsessively watching Princess Diana as a child is one thing. Growing up to have similar handwriting to her? That's the kind of similarity you couldn't force if you tried. Everyone's handwriting is unique. So what does it mean when two women separated by several decades and an entire ocean end up having both the same family and the same handwriting? If you think this is just some rumor tweeted by an overwhelmed fan, think again.
Ever since the world caught a glimpse of Meghan's handwriting, people were talking. They didn't have long though, as Meghan and Harry are no longer allowed to sign autographs, according to People. Still, Good Housekeeping called in the experts. Professional handwriting expert and graphologist, Michelle Dresbold got straight to work comparing Meghan's penmanship to Diana's.
Her conclusions were staggering. "The whip stroke at the tail end of [Meghan's] name indicates that she's very hard on herself and trying to grasp how she wants to be perceived by the public," Michelle said. The comparisons are apparently visible if you "take a close look." To top it off, Meghan herself worked as a professional calligrapher before her own acting career took off. You could say that one was "written in stone..."
17 THEY EVEN HAVE THE SAME UPPER LIP FRECKLE
You'll really need to peel your eyes for this one, but it's there. This similarity might be the most subtle one of all, but it's also one of the strangest. Diana was known for her effortless beauty, captivating gaze, and deep eyes. That wasn't all, though. Look at the upper right-hand side of Diana's mouth. See the freckle? Now glance over to Meghan. Do you see it? The distinctive beauty spot that Diana had is in exactly the same place as Meghan's. Amazingly, Meghan has actually said that she grew up finding her freckles "an issue."
In exactly the same place on the upper right-hand side of their mouths, both Meghan and Diana have the same freckle spot. "My dad told me: 'A face without freckles is a night without stars,'" Meghan said.
In an interview with Allure, Meghan said that it took her a long time for the media to "embrace her freckles." Meghan said: "To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot." Reflecting on something her dad had told her when she was young, Meghan quoted him: "A face without freckles is a night without stars." Just like Diana, Meghan became a star. The freckle, though? They both had it from birth.
16 MEGHAN JOINED THE FAMILY AT 36 (WHEN DIANA LEFT IT)
The most you can call this is "bittersweet." Meghan was 36 years old when she joined the royal family. Diana was that exact same age, in 1997, when she lost her life– Will and Harry were still kids. In an interview with The Independent, royal biographer, Andrew Morton, drew some comparisons between the two. "Seeing something of Diana" in Meghan is what he said drew Harry to the actress.
"I do find it interesting that Diana was 36 when she [passed away] and Meghan is 36 when she enters the royal family," the royal biographer said. He added: "It's kind of spooky, isn't it?!"
If you want to know more about Diana's loss, you've come to the right place. The writer of this article is British and she remembers the exact day it happened. First, there was total shock. People just stopped what they were doing and turned on their TVs. If you want an idea of the grief that the British people felt, here is a picture of the flowers that were laid out of respect outside Buckingham Palace. You might read about the paparazzi for Hollywood celebs, but it was a chasing paparazzo who caused the accident, according to Time.
15 SIMILAR STYLE FILES
It's like looking at the same woman. As Meghan inched her way closer to the royal family, every stylist out there was waiting, pen in hand. Who Meghan would look up to (and turn to) for fashion advice seemed a bit of a mystery. The reason? Meghan already had her inspiration from Princess Diana. Take the black dress. When Diana showed up to a summer soirée in London's Kensington Gardens in 1994, she chose a daring little black dress with a statement off-the-shoulder finish. While The Mirror frequently reported that Diana's style wasn't "pleasing to the Queen," it was Diana's own.
Or was it? Millions of women turned to Diana for the style icon she was, and Meghan was definitely one of them. Her little black cocktail dress here isn't just a similar length. It's got the same, off-the-shoulder cut. And that's just the black. Meghan has been spotted wearing similar red gowns– both just below the knee, sleeveless, and accessorized with court shoes.
Houndstooth prints are another look that both women have worn. Think it ends there? When Meghan rocked up to the Invictus Games in an embellished burgundy lace dress, fans were quick to notice that Diana had worn an almost identical design as she stepped out of a car. Meghan's own dress sold out within hours.
14 SIMILAR CASUAL LOOKS
The royal wardrobe doesn't give many opportunities to dress down. Kate Middleton has already proven that–as has Meghan. Both girls have had to ditch their formerly casual wardrobes of short skirts, tight dresses, and leggings. As Meghan stepped out for her first official visit as the Duchess of Sussex, the world saw just how much of a 180 she's had to make. Almost unrecognizable under her Philip Treacy hat and matching beige outfit, Meghan looked exactly how she should— 100% royal. Sadly, Princess Diana was long gone by the time Meghan was wearing her 20's and 30's wardrobes. For Will and Harry, the tragic loss of their mother has never been forgotten. Harry told Country Living:
"I hope she is looking down at our family with tears in her eyes being incredibly proud of what we've established." Harry, you made her proud.
The Suits actress won't have many chances to wear jeans, though. According to Hello, Kate is "allowed" to wear jeans for walking the dogs. Aside from a few occasions where she's been permitted to dress down, the wardrobe is strictly formal– even when you're pregnant. Of course, the beauty of Meghan and Harry being newlyweds is that they have their lives ahead of them. Will we be seeing a Meghan baby bump soon?!
13 HARRY PERSONALLY SAID THEY'D BE "THICK AS THIEVES"
Most guys struggle to find common ground between their fiancée and their own mother. It was a really touching moment when a loved-up Meghan and Harry gave their first official interview as an engaged couple, back in 2017. Surrounded by cream fabrics and classic lamps, a shy Meghan didn't seem quite used to the fancy surroundings, but it was clear this girl was in love. As Harry told BBC about the engagement ring sitting on Meghan's finger, you could see how much he missed Diana. Harry had designed the ring himself.
"Oh, they'd be thick as thieves," Harry said about Meghan and his late mother. "[Diana] would be over the moon, jumping up and down with excitement."
You could see in Harry's eyes, though, how painful it was for him not to have Diana there. "The little diamonds either side are from my mother's jewelry collection to make sure she's with us," Harry said. When the interviewer asked Meghan what it meant to have Diana's precious stones on her fingers, Meghan looked down, blushed, and said:"It's so important for me to know that she's a part of this with us." Harry added: "It's days like today when I really miss having her around."
12 THEY BOTH GREW UP IN BROKEN HOMES
Growing up in a broken home tends to be kept on the down-low. While Suits fans know that Meghan saw her parents get divorced when she was still a kid, not many people know that Diana experienced the exact same thing. Although Diana grew up in a more privileged home, we all know that money doesn't buy happiness. Diana's parents divorced in 1969. According to The Washington Post, Diana's father left the family for another woman. While Diana's mom remarried, she was deprived of the one thing she wanted– just to raise her kids. The result was total misery for Diana, according to an interview with The Telegraph.
Diana called her stepmother a "bully" who "pushed her down the stairs." Watching their parents divorce, Meghan and Diana both grew up in broken homes.
Meghan's parents divorced when she was just six years old. According to The Mirror, Meghan "maintained a good relationship with both her parents," but the split shaped the former actress. "I was young and it was rough," Meghan said. Having separated parents allowed Meghan to travel a lot with her mom (who worked as a travel agent), but it made keeping in touch with her dad hard. Everyone's hearts, including Meghan's, broke when her dad couldn't attend his own daughter's wedding. Both ladies walked down the royal aisle, but they also both started with similar parents.
11 SAME TASTE IN FOOD
Copying a celebrity's diet these days is easy. All you need to do is hit up their Instagram and you've got it on a platter. Smoothie bowls? Avocado on toast? Sushi? This one goes way beyond time travel. Not only did social media not exist back when Diana was alive, nobody really knew what she ate because royals are so private.
Many years after Diana's passing, the palace's chef revealed what Diana ate every day to The Daily Mail– including her favorite foods. Darren Grady was Diana's chef. "For [Diana's] potatoes, I'd parboil them with egg whites. She cut out the fat so it was always poached chicken, no skin, no fatty potatoes," he said. Hello reported that Meghan is "very healthy," and much like Diana, she starts her day with eggs.
Both Meghan and Diana also share a love for roast meats. Darren spent 11 years prepping Diana's meals. When Clint Eastwood joined Diana for dinner, she reportedly "requested a lamb roast." Meghan? "There is nothing as delicious as a perfectly roasted chicken," she told Good Housekeeping. Harry even proposed as the two were making a roasted chicken together. "Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan! I always knew roast chicken had magic powers," one fan tweeted.
10 SAME CARTIER WATCH (BEFORE MEGHAN COULD HAVE KNOWN)
Accessories are a very personal thing. Sure, the choice turns more varied when you're rich, but there's a limit to how similar two women can be. Or is there? After they lost their mother, Prince William and Harry only requested two things from their late mom. The first was Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring. The other was an 18-carat gold Cartier watch, which had been a gift from Diana's father, Edward Spencer. According to The Express, the brothers "reached an agreement" whereby whoever first proposed would take the ring, leaving the watch for the remaining brother.
Here's the really creepy part. Meghan actually already owned a Cartier Tank watch before she even met Harry. According to People, Meghan treated herself to the watch back when Suits was picked up for a third season. "I totally splurged," Meghan said. "I had it engraved on the back," adding: "I plan to give it to my daughter one day."
The watch retails for anywhere between $7,000 and $10,600. There was no way Meghan could have known about this as she purchased her own Cartier watch. Diana actually had a quirk– wearing two watches at once. Fans are now wondering if Meghan will do the same. It would be so sweet for Meghan to wear her own Cartier watch, plus Diana's.
9 SAME DEEP COMPASSION FOR SUFFERING AND POVERTY
Diana wasn't called "The People's Princess" for nothing. She was arguably the first royal to take her humanitarian work well beyond the standard royal visits, and she didn't care if it caused scandal. In 1987, Diana made major headlines for removing her gloves to shake hands with HIV-positive children in Africa. Diana campaigned for human rights from landmines to leprosy, and she was a patron of over 100 charities over the globe. Meghan was already digging deep before she even knew Harry.
As Meghan traveled the world campaigning for clean water, impoverished children, and UN Women, Diana had been doing the same decades earlier. When Diana removed her gloves to shake hands with HIV-positive children, the press called it "a scandal."
The Mirror reported that the palace was "not impressed" with Diana's charitable statements. Fortunately, the world received more encouraging statements from the UK Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers. Their director, Stephen Lee said that Diana's overall effect was "probably more significant than any other person's in the 20th century." Over in the 21st century, Meghan is doing the same. In an essay for Elle, Meghan wrote: "With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility– to advocate, share, and focus less on glass slippers." Meghan and Diana had the same heart.
8 TO CAP IT ALL OFF (LITERALLY)
Baseball caps are mostly seen on the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, or Drake. Well, that and actual basketball players. It looks like Meghan and Princess Diana shared a love for headwear, though. Diana was known for her truckers cap– fans often suspected that the Princess wore caps to stay out of the public eye. This pic of Meghan in an L.A. Lakers cap wasn't just a similar fashion choice. It was taken while Meghan was in London.
Funny we should mention Rihanna. In 2013, FEMAIL ran a story on how Princess Diana had influenced Rihanna's style. Rihanna personally said: "You know who is the best who ever did it? Princess Diana. Every look was right. She was gangsta [sic] with her clothes. She had these crazy hats. I loved everything she wore."
Meghan wasn't following in Diana's footsteps when she wore this cap, though. It was an L.A. Lakers cap. This was Meghan's own style. Of course, when it came to "the big day," Meghan paid homage to Diana with a more personal (and far more precious) piece of headwear. The tiara Meghan wore while marrying Harry was also worn by Diana on her wedding day. "Meghan will not own the tiara but will have the choice to wear it if she wants to," the Will & Harry biographer told Us Weekly. Meghan chose right.
7 MEGHAN HAD DIVORCE BEHIND HER, DIANA HAD IT IN FRONT OF HER
It's no secret that Meghan is a divorcee. In fact, the Queen held out an olive branch to Meghan by letting her previous divorce slide– a divorcee technically isn't allowed to marry a royal in the Church of England, according to The Huffington Post. Before meeting Harry, Meghan was married to the actor and producer, Trevor Engelson. They married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in 2011, but the marriage was over by 2013.
While Meghan joined the royal family with a divorce behind her, Diana had one in front of her. As Diana lost her title, a 14 year-old Will said: "Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king."
Diana's divorce was incredibly messy, not to mention incredibly public. As The Independent reported a "miserable marriage" with a lack of faithfulness from both Charles and Diana, the late Princess personally said: "There were three people in this marriage." After 11 years of marriage, the Queen wrote letters to both Diana and Charles, "ordering" them to divorce. As Diana lost her title of Princess, a 14-year-old William said: "Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king."
6 SIMILAR WORKOUT CHOICES
Just wow. While Diana lived out her fairytale dream to marry a Prince, she was robbed of her real dream– to become a ballerina. Not many people know that Diana was an aspiring dancer, although, Good Housekeeping reported that ballet was Diana's "passion." To be fair, they didn't need to say it. We can see it for ourselves. Diana reportedly wanted to pursue dance as a career, although, separate reports from Woman's Day suggested that at 5ft 10 inches, Diana was too tall. Diana went on to support the English National Ballet, although, secret tapes of her dancing her heart away with the famous dancer, Wayne Sleep, were leaked to the press in 1995.
Requiring the same balance, poise, and posture, Meghan is a huge yoga nut. Meghan's mother, Doria was a yoga instructor and introduced Meghan to the zen exercise at a young age, according to Business Insider. Meghan personally told Women's Health that yoga "is in my blood."
The similarities don't end there. When Diana was criticized for her fashion choices after leaving a gym in shorts, she wasn't just wearing sportswear. She was running. When Shape interviewed Meghan about her workout routine, Meghan said that she "relies" on running. "I need it as much for my head as for keeping in shape."
5 BOTH HAVE BEEN CRITICIZED FOR THE WAY THEY DRESS
People can be so harsh. Having terrible fashion sense or wearing inappropriate clothing is one thing. Meghan has been nothing but a style icon, and Diana was the same. You certainly never saw either stepping out in revealing leathers or plunging necklines. Still, both Meghan and Diana faced severe criticism for the clothes they were wearing. When an engaged Meghan attended the 2017 Invictus Games with Harry in casual jeans and shades, Twitter trolls slammed Meghan for "being inappropriate."
When a 1997 photo of Diana leaving a gym is shorts and a Harvard University hoodie was circulated, the palace was reportedly "less than impressed," according to Tatler. Diana had already left the royal family by this point, but she was still being scrutinized. "She did clearly have fun with fashion," Vogue reported. "And she took risks... and experimented with her style."
They added: "She was the first member of the royal family to be photographed wearing trousers to an evening event." Meghan will have to be careful with her fashion choices now that she's a spokesperson for the royal family, but enough Suits episodes are around to show that this girl loved skirt and pantsuits. Both women were pressured, criticized, and scrutinized just for what they wore.
4 SAME EVENT, SAME STATUS, SAME VENUE
Between the similar dress sense, food tastes, and owning the exact same watch, Meghan and Diana's fans were losing their minds. With every day that passed, more similarities seemed to be coming out of the woodwork, and it was no different when it came to events. Meghan's first evening event as an engaged woman was in the exact same venue as Diana's– back when she was engaged to Prince Charles.
As a 36-year-old, Meghan retraced the steps of a 19-year-old Diana at The Royal Opera House. Both girls attended the same venue for their first evening event as a royal fiancée. "I'm sure [Diana] is longing for me to have kids," Harry said. We all are.
While Diana wore a black gown to the event and Meghan donned a sharp pantsuit, both women were reportedly "shy," according to The Express. Diana was just a teenager, and completely unprepared for the media scrutiny– "a horrible experience" is how Diana later described it. While Meghan portrayed a little more confidence, she was still shy. Like Diana, Meghan wore black. Despite nearly 20 years separating the event, both girls ended up in the same venue for the same occasion. "Behind the media glare, to us, two children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world," Harry said in a speech. Now he has found the best wife in the world.
3 SIMILAR PERSONALITIES
You've got to be a whole lot of warm and loving to be dubbed: "The People's Princess." Much like Meghan, Diana was an approachable, loving, and caring person. Diana adored her two sons, but love was more than a family deal for Diana. "She was our guardian, friend, and protector," Harry said in a speech honoring the 10th anniversary of his mother's loss. "She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or undemonstrated."
A body language expert told The Express: "This type of spontaneous and natural response completely mirrors the kinds of behavior that Diana used, and which earned her the tag: The People's Princess."
Harry has made no secret of how much of his mother he sees in Meghan. He sees Diana's kindness and that huge heart. "The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was sort of confirmation that all of the stars were aligned, everything was perfect," Harry told Good Housekeeping. Meghan's kindness wasn't just for Harry's eyes, though. In Meghan's first public appearance as an engaged woman, she greeted wild fans. At one moment, according to The Express, Meghan crouched down to talk to some children and she even picked up a kid's glove.
2 SAME PRIVATE, ALL-GIRLS EDUCATION
Here's another similarity that Meghan couldn't have controlled if she tried. Although Meghan was voluntarily "obsessively binge-watching" re-runs of Diana's wedding as a child, it was Meghan's parents who chose where she went to school. Meghan's educational background completely lines up with Diana's. They both attended private, all-girls schools. When Diana was nine years old, she was sent to Riddlesworth Hall School– a private, all-girls school in the British town of Norfolk. Diana later attended West Heath Girls' School.
Meanwhile, over in the US, Meghan was doing something pretty similar. Meghan attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles– and yes, you guessed it— the school is a private, all-girls institution. According to ABC News, Meghan had also previously attended private schools from the age of five.
While Diana went on to visit and help build schools in the poorest parts of the world, Meghan had been an advocate for education in African countries, as well as clean water. Meghan also suggested to Esquire that her education helped her get a feel for the role of Rachel Zane in Suits. "We pride ourselves on being well-educated. And we don't sell ourselves short," Meghan said. Meghan even admitted to having read Lean In, the book written by Facebook's female executive, Sheryl Sandberg.
1 A CREEPILY SIMILAR ENGAGEMENT PATTERN
Speculation about Meghan and Harry's romance was all anyone could talk about through 2016. Now that they're married, fans can't help but notice the similar engagement pattern that both Meghan and Diana share. For starters, both girls started dating their princes in the summer. While Diana began her romance with Prince Charles in the summer of 1980, Meghan and Harry met in the summer of 2016, according to Vanity Fair. Completely aligning in the pattern, both Meghan and Diana met their princes in the summer. They also both announced their engagements after one year of dating.
By February 1981, Diana and Charles were engaged. The same one-year pattern applies to Meghan and Harry. Although Harry and Meghan met on a blind date set up by mutual friends, Diana's romance came with a little more scandal. According to People, Charles was actually dating Diana's sister before ultimately choosing Diana some years later. We're unlikely to see Harry date his brother's girl– Will and Kate have been married since 2011. Still, that's one similar pattern.
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