The Inescapable Way Princess Diana’s Memory is Haunting Meghan Markle

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, she became a part of a royal family that has been shaped by many interesting people from its past. One of these people was Princess Diana, who passed away in 1997.

Despite the fact that Princess Diana is not here anymore, she is still admired by people all over the world and her legacy still lives on. However, sometimes Princess Diana’s influence can be a bit too much for Markle, and one has to wonder whether the Duchess of Sussex can ever escape from the public’s memory of her late mother-in-law.

Meghan Markle’s outfits are always being compared to Princess Diana’s

Meghan Markle attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.
Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

It’s clear at this point that practically everything the Duchess of Sussex wears gets analyzed. Royal fans are often curious to know which designer she is wearing at any given event, and people also love to note if her outfits are similar to something Princess Diana once wore.

While Duchess Meghan has been known to pay tributes to Princess Diana on occasions, the comparisons do occasionally go too far. For example, if Markle even wears similar patterns or colors as Princess Diana, onlookers automatically say that she is dressing like her, ignoring the fact that it is possible for women to dress alike out of mere coincidences.

Meghan Markle is a style icon in her own right

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This morning, The Duchess of Sussex went back to college!  Joining students and educators at The University of Johannesburg The Duchess was able to announce a new series of gender grants from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, of which she is patron. She was also able to announce four new scholarships to help students study in different commonwealth countries, allowing cross cultural understanding and an opportunity to deepen their educational studies abroad. One of the recipients of these grants shared his story of growing up on farmland in Kenya, where he paid for his education trading vegetables to cover schooling costs (cauliflower leaves to be exact!) He is now doing a research study on carcinogens in his country, its link to cancer – his work is helping to change practices and to save lives. The Duchess was so moved by the work being done across the education sector and to talk with such like-minded thinkers about the importance of access to education and the support needed internally. When the round table discussion this morning moved to the challenges faced in this sector and how daunting it can all seem, The Duchess said, “Sometimes access to education can seem so big, you wonder where to even begin? So you begin with one student, or one school, you simply begin. And that’s when we see change.” She continued by referencing a Martin Luther King Jr quote: “Take the first step… you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Since @the_acu_official Gender Grants were launch in 2016, 28 universities in 17 countries have benefited with a minimum of 600 beneficiaries participating in workshops supported by the grants. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images

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These comparisons to Princess Diana can be heartwarming at times, but they are also not doing Markle justice. The Duchess of Sussex has shown that she has her own style, which means that the Diana comparisons are only putting down her creativity and fashion sense.

Even before she became a royal, Markle was already a well-dressed actress in Hollywood. She donned many awe-inspiring outfits on the red carpet as well as on the TV show Suits, which she was on for about six years.

After marrying Prince Harry, her style did change a bit in order to look more regal. However, Duchess Meghan still showed that she was a fashionista capable of creating beautiful outfits. In fact, she has been known to dress and style herself on many occasions.

Something that differentiates Markle from Princess Diana and other royals is the fact that she cares a lot about brands that aim to make a difference. Since her clothes get a lot of attention, Markle has been using her fame to spread the word about ethical brands like Reformation, Outland Denim, and Kayu — most of which saw huge surges in sales after Markle wore their clothing items.

Will Meghan Markle ever stop being compared to Princess Diana?

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While in Johannesburg today, The Duchess of Sussex visited Victoria Yards, which celebrates the power of community, bringing local artisans and “makers” together to rebuild, support and learn from each other on a holistic level. It was an exceptional afternoon where The Duchess had the chance to connect with the children and founders of the phenomenal programme for kids’ development Timbuktu in The Valley. She was also struck by the local denim designer who founded eponymous brand Tshepo who shared this info about the logo for his line: “The crown on my jeans represents the three ladies who raised me. Enjoy wearing this crown.” Such a beautiful and touching sentiment! Artists, artisans, sculptors, metal workers and carpenters are all part of the fabric of Victoria Yards, but it also utilizes the power of The DICE programme which supports several other local organisations in their work with marginalised youth and women. These include: 94 Colours (run by The Duchess’ guides for the day, Hector and Sibusiso), CDP (a development programme for young unemployed and marginalised women that provides training to start creative enterprises), Enke (rebuilds the confidence and self-belief of unemployed youth through training and practical experience), 26’10 South (an architecture firm designing a local youth centre) and ReimagiNation (works with local secondary school students to create a social and creative enterprising mindset). Stay tuned for more updates from this special afternoon… #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica

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So long as the public still remembers and talks about Princess Diana, it does not seem like Markle will be able to escape those comparisons.

In fact, it is not just Princess Diana who Markle is constantly compared to. She gets pitted against her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, all the time. Royal fans often compare the two women to each other, pointing out how one is better than the other in certain aspects. The fact that they reportedly once had a feud does not help either.

It seems that these types of comparisons are an inevitable part of life when one is in the public eye. Since Markle, Middleton, and Princess Diana are known for being a part of the same royal family, many things that they do often remind people of each other.

However, of course, the comparisons can go too far, especially when they cause someone like Markle to constantly live in another woman’s shadow and she is not given a chance to shine as her own person. Ultimately, it is also up to fans to understand that not everything Markle does is a shout-out to Princess Diana nor is it in any way related to Middleton.