How Does Meghan Markle’s First Official Year in the Royal Family Compare to Kate Middleton’s?

Two of the highest-profile women in the royal family could not possibly be more different. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are often pitted against each other by certain unscrupulous members of the media, but it seems like there’s no real feud between the two duchesses.

However, there are very distinct differences in their personalities, style, and upbringing, which means their introductions into the royal family have been very different indeed.

Kate Middleton knew Prince William for years

Kate Middleton was widely referred to as a “commoner” when her relationship with Prince William went public in the early 2000s but in fact, she is a part of a distinguished upper-middle-class family. She met Prince William in college, and the two were even roommates for a time before they started officially dating.

During this time, Middleton became very familiar with Prince William’s unique world and the responsibilities that awaited the young future king.

Although the couple experienced their share of ups and downs during their first few years together and even broke up briefly before ultimately reconciling, Kate Middleton and Prince William seemed a perfect match from the start. Prince William never really seemed to consider any other girl as his bride-to-be, and their engagement in 2010 didn’t really surprise anyone.

Their wedding in 2011 was a huge media event, which people tuned in all over the world to watch as it happened on live television, and there was a lot of support both in England and abroad for Kate Middleton as she officially joined the royal family.

Her first year of marriage to Prince William was certainly eventful. Middleton, at the age of 29 when she was married, took her time easing into her royal duties and seemed to undertake every task with gravity and grace. 

Meghan Markle was a complete outsider

Meghan Markle had a completely different introduction into the royal family than Kate Middleton. Markle grew up in California, a child of divorced parents, and made her way into acting through grit and determination.

She met Prince Harry through a mutual friend and they became inseparable almost immediately. When they got engaged in 2017, after about two years together, people were shocked – Markle was American, an actress, and had been married before. All of these factors meant the British public would react very differently to Markle than they did to Kate Middleton.

Markle and Prince Harry got married in May 2018, and unlike Middleton’s first year of marriage, Markle got started working right away. Prince Harry had been a working royal for quite some time, which meant his new wife would be joining him immediately for his various charity functions, royal gatherings, and trips abroad.

Also quite unlike Middleton’s first year of marriage, Markle got pregnant almost immediately, with the couple announcing the pregnancy in October 2018. Kate Middleton, by contrast, didn’t give birth to Prince George until several years after her wedding.

Which royal had a more difficult first year?

While both women certainly had their share of challenges and struggles as they adapted both to marriage and to life as a member of the royal family, it seems pretty clear that Meghan Markle has had a more difficult first year. The Duchess of Sussex has had to deal with an unprecedented amount of negative online publicity, including continuous drama from her estranged family and racist rants from haters on social media.

In spite of all that, Markle seems truly happy with her new husband, as they both await the arrival of their baby, due any minute now. No doubt in the days surrounding the birth, she will be reaching out to her sister-in-law for advice and family support.