The Duchess of Sussex (formerly and still often referred to as Meghan Markle) has become one of the most recognizable figures in the world since her high-profile marriage to Prince Harry of the United Kingdom.
The American-born former actress has already made an impact on the royal family. As a newcomer to the famously private Windsor clan, she has fundamentally altered both the family dynamic and public perception of its members.
In fact, many of the Duchess' early achievements and obstacles are similar to those experienced by Princess Diana after to marriage to Prince Charles in 1981. Of course, Markle will never achieve the same titles or rank as Diana. But the parallels between the two women are nonetheless striking.
TL;DR Listed below are 7 similarities between the Duchess of Sussex and late Princes of wales, their achievements, and obstacles.
Below are seven apt comparisons between the Duchess of Sussex and late Princess of Wales. During her lifetime, Diana transformed the monarchy and royal family. Meghan seems poised to do the same.
She's a progressive disrupter
Markle has become a refreshing, subtly subversive force in Kensington Palace. While she earns public acclaim for her work ethic, public outreach, and protocol-breaking outfits, for example, other members of the royal family are reportedly put off by these efforts.
Reports also suggest that members of her own staff have quit over professional differences. The Queen herself disapproves of Markle's American, "Hollywood" style, according to the Mirror.
Princess Diana, too, brought a shot of energy and progressivism to the royal family. Her willingness to embrace and engage with members of the public made her one of the most adored figures of the twentieth century.
According to USA Today, it was Diana's openness that forced the family to reimagine its image and role in the contemporary era.
Markle, like Diana, is proving that it is again time for the royal family to modernize.
Treatment by the media
From the very moment she entered the royal family through marriage, Diana was the subject of intense media scrutiny. Tabloids fabricated narrative arcs to explain rumours and cast the Princess as a hero one week and villain the next.
As with Diana, publications lose sight of the fact that Markle is just human, with the same feelings as everyone else.
She doesn't get along with everyone in the royal family
British media went into a frenzy over reports that the Duchesses of Sussex and Cambridge (the former Kate Middleton) do not get along.
To be clear, Markle is under no obligation to love every member of her family. All families are composed of individuals with purely cordial associations.
But this enmity between Markle and Middleton does seem to have caused a bit of a rift between brother Princes Harry and William. The Queen even had to step in to encourage all parties to resolve their disagreements.
Drama between the Duchess of Sussex and the Markle family have only compounded the perception of family rife with conflict. Markle's father was mysteriously unable to attend her wedding after reports surfaced claiming that the patriarch conspired with the paparrazi to stage seemingly candid photos of himself. Meghan's step-siblings, meanwhile, have repeatedly disparaged her.
Diana famously disliked other members of the royal family, especially the queen. Markle's relationship with her kin has not deteriorated to such an extreme low and likely never will, but the parallels between media coverage of her and Diana's family ties are striking.
She's frustrated by royal life
The web of rules, relentless scrutiny, and restrictions on self-expression are reportedly annoying the Duchess. Protocol and staff govern everything from her daily schedule to the way she displays affection toward her husband. Markle is also reportedly skeptical of whom she can trust in the world of royal intrigue.
All of that, in addition to an inability to speak out, can be discouraging. Diana also grew disillusioned with princess life. In contrast to Markle, however, she became scandilously vocal about her frustrations.
The Duchess of Sussex is still in an adjustment period and it's likely she'll adapt to her role in the coming year. Though, her current frustrations are understandable.
It's unlikely that her dissatisfaction will escalate to the point that she, like Diana, begins to publicly denounce the instutition of the royal family. But in their discontent, both the Duchess and Princess have highlighted issues with the sometimes unfair expectations both the family and public hold for royals, especially royal women.
She has become a celebrity
Markle's trajectory has made her a celebrity in the eyes of the public. From a working-class American background, she reached her professional peak as an actress on the show Suits, which filmed in Toronto. She would eventually date and, in an elaborate 2018 ceremony in Westminster Abbey, marry Prince Harry. Markle has been henceforth known as the Duchess of Sussex.
This modern fairytale-like plot drew the attention of millions of jealous and ambitious fans of the royal family. With connections in the United States, Canada, and UK, Meghan has also become a multinational figure and, in North America, a claim to royalty.
Diana became a similar icon when, at just age twenty, she married Prince Charles. Quickly, however, her notoriety matched her fame. These competing public images would follow the Princess throughout her marriage.
While Meghan's celebrity is entirely different from Diana's, public attention to their stories and activities is certainly of note. Markle has received more scrutiny, for example, than even Kate Middleton.
The Duchess of Sussex also has an avid and growing fan base. Entire Twitter accounts are devoted to her every move. Her celebrity is only going to grow.
People obsess over her fashion
Opting for business-chic attire and muted colours, the Duchess of Sussex has developed a signature style. Since her wedding ceremony, tabloids, designers, and common folk, alike, have obsessed over her every outfit.
Diana, too, became a style icon. Her gowns and more casual clothes defined the fashion of the 1980s.
Markle's style perhaps also speaks to larger social and fashion trends. Her elegant sleek suits and coats give her an impressive, commanding presence at a cultural moment that rightfully celebrates powerful women.
She yearns for some privacy
Last week, a leaked photo that showed Harry and Meghan's private country home offered the first glimpse of the couple's private life. The home was, in fact, surprisingly normal.
Royal excl: first picture of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s Cotswold pad. It’s a gorgeous £2.5million Grade II listed farmhouse and barn conversion. pic.twitter.com/IL11GMdcVC— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) January 9, 2019
The image was a welcome perspective on the royal duo, but also indicated their desire for some privacy. The modest farmhouse is far from the inquisitive eyes of curious fans, neighbours, and paparazzi.
The desire for privacy may also be the motivating factor behind Meghan and Harry's decision to move out of Kensington Palace, where many other members of the family also reside.
Diana similarly fought for privacy from often vicious family members and invasive press. And while Meghan's struggle for privacy is much less intense than Diana's, the issue, which is likely to persist for years, may eventually transform the monarchy and its relation to the public.
Recall that Diana effected a shift in the way the press interacts with the royal family and, in turn, the expectations members of the family hold for each other. In her work to attain privacy, Meghan is bracing to do the same.