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  • Author Tina Brown says Meghan Markle proved “more unmanageable” than Princess Diana because she joined the royal family already a “strong” woman.
  • The royal biographer claims “We don’t want another Diana” was the palace’s “most repeated” refrain in her book, The Palace Papers
  • Brown says The Firm and Meghan Markle could’ve done things differently. 
Meghan Markle, who often gets compared to Princess Diana, looking to the side and slightly smiling
Meghan Markle | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“We don’t want another Diana.” The phrase allegedly was often heard at Buckingham Palace, according to royal expert Tina Brown. Then, Meghan Markle came along. And the royal family got “it all over again” — though the situation was different in some ways, per the author. According to Brown, the Duchess of Sussex proved to be “more unmanageable” than Princess Diana

Author says the royal family ‘thought they did everything’ to prevent another Princess Diana

Brown dissects what’s recently happened with the royal family in her book, The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor—the Truth and the Turmoil. It, of course, includes Meghan Markle marrying Prince Harry and their subsequent exit from royal life. 

Speaking to Marie Claire about history repeating itself, Brown claimed Meghan became another Diana for the royal family. This was something Queen Elizabeth II’s advisers desperately wanted to avoid, Brown said. 

“Ever since the death of Diana in 1997, the Queen had made it clear to all those who advised her that it could never happen again—the it being Diana’s explosive celebrity,” Brown wrote in The Palace Papers. “The refrain most repeated at the pinnacle of the Palace was ‘we don’t want another Diana.’”

Asked what the royal family has done to prevent another Diana, Brown told the publication, “They thought they did everything.” 

Brown continued: “For 20 years, they’d been chugging along, trying to make the point that everyone was now in line. The Firm got itself in shape. We had the glory years, which I write about: the 2011 period of the Queen going to Ireland, Harry serving in the army—all of it seemed as if it were righting itself.” 

But then things changed. “The great and fascinating thing about this family saga, which is why it makes such interesting material, is fate steps in and introduces Meghan to Harry. And all of the sudden they have it all over again,” she said. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, whom a royal author called 'more unmanageable' than Princess Diana, at the 2020 Invictus Games
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Meghan Markle proved to be ‘more unmanageable’ because she was already a strong, charismatic woman when she married Prince Harry

Brown said Meghan was “more unmanageable” than Diana because of where Meghan was at that time in her life. When Meghan married the Duke of Sussex in 2018, she was the oldest woman to marry into the royal family at the age of 36. 

She’s a “celebrity, a woman who has a lot of her own charisma and a strong will of her own, a strong sense of independence, who is not going to be subservient to this concept of hierarchy and monarchy,” according to Brown.

“They had it all over again, and, in a way that was almost more unmanageable because Diana was a child, really, when she married,” she added. 

Harry’s mother had been 20 when she wed Prince Charles in 1981, having celebrated her birthday four weeks earlier.

Author suggests ‘slower’ would’ve been better for Meghan Markle


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Meghan and Harry stepped back from their roles as senior royals in 2020. Now they have a new life in California, where they reside with their two kids. But could things have worked out with the royal family? “I think it could have been made to work extremely well,” Brown said. 

Her suggestion? Meghan taking “things much, much slower than she did.” She “really did want to come out with guns blazing as the new global royal,” the author added, saying Meghan “needed to absorb more of the culture of the Palace and understand the minefields there.”