Was Prince Harry Looking to Replace His Mother Figure With Meghan Markle?

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have faced harsh criticism about their relationship from the moment it began, more or less. In fact, the cruel comments and prying attempts to dig into their personal lives was a big part of the reason the royal pair took the unprecedented move to voluntarily step away from their royal duties.

One might think that as everyday citizens, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would finally be able to escape the constant analysis of their relationship, but it seems not to be the case. There is new speculation about the pair’s marriage, and some believe that Prince Harry was seeking a replacement for his mother — the late Princess Diana — when he chose Meghan as his bride. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had a lavish wedding

Dating a member of the British royal family is no small ordeal. When things became serious between Meghan and Prince Harry, there was concern over whether the pair would even be allowed to marry. Prince Harry had to receive permission from his grandmother, the Queen, and Meghan had been married once before, causing a bit of a barrier to their happily ever after.

Luckily, however, Meghan did not have any children from her previous marriage, and this made things much simpler. Because any children Meghan has with Prince Harry will be included in the complicated line of succession for the throne, children from her earlier relationship could have given the Queen reason to deny the marriage. 

With his grandmother’s blessing secured, Prince Harry married Meghan on May 19, 2018. Their historic and breathtakingly beautiful wedding went against royal protocol in some surprising ways.

They bucked tradition and chose to get married on a Saturday instead of a Friday, which meant the historic event was not declared a holiday for Brits. Instead of the traditional fruitcake, they had a lemon elderberry cake. Perhaps one of the most interesting changes to tradition was that Meghan, who has had conflicts with her own father, was walked down the aisle by Prince Charles. 

Baby Archie expanded the royal family

Just a little under a year after their wedding day — on May 6, 2019 — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their first child, a son named Archie. The public was absolutely smitten with the little boy, but his parents did their best to protect his privacy by keeping him out of the public eye. Of course, many weren’t pleased about this development and insisted on more access to the child. 

Prince Harry was reportedly quite worried about how fame and attention would impact his son. Since he had lost his own mother, Princess Diana, in a car accident that has largely been blamed on aggressive paparazzi, it’s understandable that he would be especially sensitive to the need for space away from the prying public.

As word got out about the shocking decision to step away from royal duties in order to have more privacy, many focused on Prince Harry’s own childhood tragedy in losing his mother. 

Did Prince Harry try to replace Princess Diana? 

Prince Harry hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws
Prince Harry | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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Princess Diana was a beloved figure who has gone down in history after her untimely death. Many see similarities between the late princess and Meghan. Princess Diana was often seen to “behave like a celebrity” — whatever that means — and Meghan was a Hollywood celebrity before taking up the life of a royal.

Another way that Meghan is similar to Princess Diana is in her commitment to causes beyond herself. Both women stand out as dedicated to charities and activism, showcasing inspiring altruism. 

Some have taken these similarities as an opportunity to play armchair psychologist. Journalists Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett have published an explosive new book called Royal At War, dipping their toes in the popular — and lucrative — field of royal gossip. The pair write that Prince Harry was “subconsciously . . . seeking a figure to replace the mother so cruelly torn from him at a vulnerable age.” They further speculate that he stepped away from royal duties to protect his wife because he “feels he couldn’t protect his mother.”