Over the years, many have drawn comparisons between the late Princess Diana and Meghan Markle. Those comparisons have only intensified as Prince Harry and Meghan debut a new documentary series, Harry & Meghan, on Netflix, the streaming platform home of The Crown, a show that dramatizes the lives of the Royal Family, including Diana herself.
However, most people can’t say they know that much about the real Princess Diana. The same can’t be said for Andrew Morton, the author of Diana: Her True Story. Not only did he write the definitive biography of Diana, but he wrote it while collaborating with the people’s princess.
Now, Morton has weighed in on comparisons between Diana and Markle. What did he have to say, and what does it mean for the future of the Royal Family? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Similarities between Princess Diana and Meghan Markle
At a glance, it’s easy to see why people so often compare Diana and Meghan. Both women were viewed as outsiders entering the Royal Family, and Diana was often smeared in the press, just as Meghan is.
On top of that, Diana, like Meghan, was very disruptive within the Royal Family itself. And much like Meghan, she had to deal with opponents within the family even as she proved to be very popular with the general public.
Of course, when it comes to comparing these two women, we can’t avoid their biggest commonality: leaving the Royal Family altogether.
“Megxit” draws continued comparisons
The fact that Princess Diana had a rocky marriage to then-Prince Charles was the world’s worst-kept secret. The two got an official separation in 1992, but they wouldn’t be officially divorced until 1996. From that separation until her tragic death in 1997, Diana was something relatively unique: a princess (she had palace permission to go by Diana, Princess of Wales even after the divorce) who is separated from the Royal Family.
Meghan Markle, along with her husband Prince Harry, eventually made the nearly-unprecedented decision to step back from most royal responsibilities and leave England, eventually settling in America. This event was dubbed “Megxit” by the press, and it drew many comparisons to Diana’s own exit from royal life.
Similar bombshell interviews
Between Diana and Meghan, they have one more important point of commonality. And that is that each of them gave bombshell interviews that forever changed how the public views the Royal Family.
In Diana’s case, she gave an interview to Martin Bashir in 1995. It was later discovered that Bashir used unethical methods to gain access to the princess, but the damage was done. In this interview, Diana spoke frankly about Charles’ adulterous relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and her own adultery while also making it clear she thought Charles would have trouble adapting to becoming king. On top of this, she spoke honestly about her struggles with her own mental health.
And in March 2021, Meghan Markle, along with Prince Harry, gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey after they fled palace life and settled in America. In this interview, Meghan was very open about her own struggles with mental health and how she needed to get away from royal life to improve it. Most explosively, she and Harry alleged that an unnamed senior royal expressed racist remarks regarding the skin color of their then-unborn first child, Archie.
The key differences between Diana and Meghan
As you can tell, there are more than a few similarities between Diana and Meghan. Because of this, many fans of both women often act as if the two were nearly the same in most major respects. However, Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton recently detailed what he sees as the key differences between the two ladies.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Morton said that, ““The big difference between Diana and Charles and Harry and Meghan is that Diana was trapped in a loveless marriage, whereas [Harry and Meghan] seem extremely happy together. That’s a huge difference.”
This is a very important point. Even though Meghan has received the majority of angry criticism over “Megxit,” Harry has been a faithful and supportive husband the entire time. This is the polar opposite of his father, Charles, who very nearly pushed Diana out of their marriage with both hands.
Meghan: more impatient than Diana?
While Morton primarily concentrated on that key difference between Meghan and Diana, he did seize on another difference. In the interview with Vanity Fair, he mentioned that both Harry and Meghan seem a bit more impatient than Diana was. “Diana gave it 10 years before she rebelled and helped me [on the book]. [Harry and Meghan] didn’t even give it 10 months,” he said. “He was meeting with Oprah in November 2018, which was six months after they married, to discuss a tell-all [interview].”
This led to an interesting theory on Morton’s part. While many of Meghan’s harshest critics think she took Harry away from his family, Morton believes Harry was already looking for a way out. “Prince Harry’s made it perfectly clear that he found the royal world suffocating and difficult to cope with. In Meghan, I think he saw a pathway out.”
Harry and Meghan certainly found that pathway and wasted no time walking it. But thanks to the continued controversies generated by their new docuseries, we can’t help but wonder if their path back to normal royal life may be closed forever.