It’s only been a year and a half, but ever since Meghan Markle hit the scene on the arm of Prince Harry, she’s melted our royal-loving hearts. Which reminds us of another royal we fell in love with fast: Princess Diana. But before you get all bent out of shape about the comparison, hear us out. Meghan’s similarities to the ever-charming, giving, and compassionate Di are all hard-earned – and the best kind.
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Meghan’s Not Afraid to Speak Her Mind
According to a recent biography called Meghan Markle: An American Princess, Meghan (much like Diana) has always been passionate about social welfare. In 1990, the actress-turned-royal organized a protest against the Gulf War while she was in elementary school. She also started numerous letter-writing campaigns at the encouragement of her dad, Thomas Markle, all to voice her concern over issues like sexism and gender inequality. Diana followed a similar path, speaking out about divorce, HIV, and AIDS at a time when princesses just didn’t do such things.
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Meghan Acts on Behalf of Causes She Cares About
Pre-Prince Harry, Meghan served as a global ambassador for World Vision, traveling to Rwanda in 2016 to help campaign for clean water. She was also an advocate for the United Nations (seriously, just watch her speech on women’s empowerment here), and has big plans to continue these efforts – and more – in her new role as Duchess of Sussex. Flashback to Diana’s philanthropic campaigns as princess, which, FYI, went above and beyond the typical royal. She walked across a partially cleared minefield in Angola, and spoke up passionately about mental health issues, including her own bulimia battle, just to spread awareness. (Her sons and daughters-in-law are continuing her efforts.)
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She Has a Similar Approach to Style
Like her mother-in-law, Meghan has an affinity for button-downs and jeans. And she’s also made it her mission to “shop local,” and is known for supporting Canadian designers. (Ahem, remember her engagement coat?) As a reminder, Diana did the same for the Brits, regularly wearing iconic labels like Catherine Walker and Bruce Oldfield, a move she made to help boost the local economy.
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She Knows the Value of Bonding with Her Sister-in-Law
Princess Diana famously took Sarah Ferguson (a.k.a. Fergie) under her wing after introducing her to Prince Andrew. The pair were friends from the polo circuit, and Di scored Fergie an invitation to sit beside the queen’s second son at a house party at Windsor Castle in the ’80s. After Fergie wed Andrew, Diana continued to show her the royal ropes, though the media frequently played the duo against each other, touting Fergie’s fun-loving ways and Diana’s more reserved demeanor as her path to the throne was laid out for her. Kate Middleton appears to be doing the same with Meghan, welcoming her and helping guide her as she navigates the royal clan. (Hey, they’ll be Kensington Palace neighbors, after all.)
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She’s Warm & Approachable
Royal protocol? Just like Diana, Meghan is not afraid to bend the rules just a bit. She signed an autograph on a recent trip to Cardiff, Wales; she’s a hugger – a royal no-no for security reasons, but a rule she ignored when she met a commoner in Scotland; and she doesn’t shy away from a little PDA. Ditto Diana, who was famous for crouching to the eye level of every child and sick person she met, including a seven-year-old battling AIDS whom Diana met in a hospital corridor and immediately scooped up into her arms.
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Even Her Besties Think She’s Diana 2.0
As her BFF Priyanka Chopra put it in the love letter she penned to Meghan as part of her profile in Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2018” list, the new Duchess of Sussex is a “princess of the people.” Has a Diana ring to it, does it not?