"Meghan is living the life Diana should have," said poet and activist Amanda Gorman echoing voices of thousands of other common people who could notice the striking similarities between the life of Princess Diana and Meghan Markle. As Meghan appeared for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, her revelations rekindled memories of Diana's experiences within the Royal family. From admitting that she was unprepared for what was coming her way to detailing her struggle with British media, Meghan mirrored Diana's admissions from her 1995 interview.
The very first and clear similarity was the bold decision to sit down for a televised interview and level criticism against the Royal family, which Princess Diana had paved the way for through her interview about 25 years back. When Meghan spoke her heart out, she reminded people of the bold spirit and many struggles of her mother-in-law as a royal wife.
Even Harry made the comparison explicit during the interview when he invoked his mother and spoke about “constant barrage” of criticism on Meghan, similar to what Diana had been subjected to.
“What I was seeing was history repeating itself,” he said. “When I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my mother,” Harry said. “When you can see something happening in the same kind of way, anybody would ask for help.”
Harry expressed that he could feel her "presence throughout this whole process." He further admitted that they have been in the "toughest" phase and said he couldn't imagine what his mother must have been through "all by herself".
"So, you know, touching back on what you asked me, what my mum would think of this, I think she saw it coming. And I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process," he said.
"Because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago, because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other," Harry added.
Americans don’t have royals; we have celebrities. We love Meghan with open arms & Harry is what a father should be. Thank you, Princess Diana for saving your baby. pic.twitter.com/xHKvfZhbCp— Adore Delano (@AdoreDelano) March 9, 2021
When Meghan appeared for the interview, she wore Diana's bracelet and many could even feel that her choice of outfit echoed Diana's 1995 interview look. Meghan wore the sparkling diamond tennis bracelet once owned by her late mother-in-law. According to the French luxury brand Cartier, it was worn in public by Diana several times before her death. Besides the black outfit, Meghan's black eyeliner also seemed to be inspired from Diana, exuberating confidence.
Diana in 1995, Meghan in 2021 —— michelle (@ddarveyy) March 4, 2021
she told us, & yet 26 years later NOTHING has changed. Harry was far from wrong when he said his biggest fear was “history repeating itself” pic.twitter.com/wTAkCWXMFC
In her 90-minute interview, Meghan made several revelations from her mental health to feelings of loneliness and depression which were similar to Diana’s struggles as a royal wife that consumed her during her own marriage. Both of them claimed that they had desperately sought help from the family, only to be ignored.
Meghan: "As an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people expect it to be, it's really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I'm ready to talk."
Diana: "Maybe people have a better understanding, maybe there's a lot of women out there who suffer on the same level but in a different environment, who are unable to stand up for themselves because their self-esteem is cut into two."
Meghan: "I didn't grow up knowing much about the royal family. It wasn't something that was part of conversation at home. It wasn't something that we followed. I didn't do any research about what that would mean ... I didn't fully understand what the job was, right? What does it mean to be a working royal? What do you do? What does that mean? ... I think there was no way to understand what the day-to-day was going to be like."
Princess Diana, who grew up in an aristocratic family, also revealed that she did not know much about the Royal family. She was just 20 when she entered the family as a non-royal and married Prince Charles.
Diana: "At the age of 19, you always think you're prepared for everything, and you think you have the knowledge of what's coming ahead. But although I was daunted at the prospect at the time, I felt I had the support of my husband-to-be."
Meghan: There was no guidance, as well, right? There were certain things that you couldn’t do. But, you know, unlike what you see in the movies, there’s no class on how to . . . how to speak, how to cross your legs, how to be royal. There’s none of that training. That might exist for other members of the family. That was not something that was offered to me.
Diana: "No one sat me down with a piece of paper and said: `This is what is expected of you.' But there again, I'm lucky enough in the fact that I have found my role, and I'm very conscious of it, and I love being with people."
Both Meghan and Diana spoke about having fairytale idea about a royal wedding in their interviews. But while Mehan described her relation to Harry as "greater than any fairy tale you've ever read," Diana's "fairy tale had come to an end."
Meghan: "I think as Americans, especially, what do you know about the Royals? It's what you read in fairy tales."
Diana: "I asked my husband if we could put the [divorce] announcement out before the children came back from school for Christmas holidays because they were protected in the school they were at ... I heard it on the radio, and it was just very, very sad. Really sad. The fairy tale had come to an end, and most importantly our marriage had taken a different turn."
Meghan: "Those tours are — I'm sure they have beautiful pictures and it looks vibrant, and all of that is true. It's also really exhausting. So, I was fried, and I think it just hit me so hard because we were making it look like everything was fine. I can understand why people were really surprised to see that there was pain there."
Diana: "The pressure was intolerable then, and my job, my work was being affected. I wanted to give 110% to my work, and I could only give 50. I was constantly tired, exhausted, because the pressure was just, it was so cruel."
‘They will look after the heir and I will look after the spare.'— Brianna Michelle (@QueenBriDC) March 8, 2021
The money she saved for Harry is being used to protect her grandchildren. May we all have the foresight of Princess Diana. #HarryandMeghanonOprah #OprahMeghanHarry pic.twitter.com/AOzQyWiJqe
Meghan: "I just didn’t . . . I just didn’t want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought."
Diana: "I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses, post-natal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time. You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself."
"My grandmother has been amazing throughout. You know, my father, my brother, Kate, and all the rest of the family, they were [supportive]. They were really welcoming. But it really changed after the Australia tour, after our South Pacific tour," Prince Harry said in the tell-all interview with Oprah.
"That's when we announced we were pregnant with Archie. That was our first tour," Markle added.
Diana: "We had a six-week tour — four weeks in Australia and two weeks in New Zealand — and by the end, when we flew back from New Zealand, I was a different person," Princess Diana said.
Meghan: "I would sit up at night, and I was just — I don't understand how all of this is being churned out — and again I wasn't seeing it — but it's almost worse when you feel it through the expression of my mom or my friends or them calling me crying like, 'Meg, they're not protecting you.' And I realized it was all happening just because I was breathing."
Diana: "The most daunting aspect was the media attention, because my husband and I, we were told when we got engaged that the media would go quietly, and it didn't; and then when we were married they said it would go quietly and it didn't. Then it started to focus very much on me, and I seemed to be on the front of a newspaper every single day, which is an isolating experience, and the higher the media put you, place you, is the bigger the drop."
Meghan: "We never left the family. We were saying, 'OK, if this isn't working for everyone, we're in a lot of pain, you can't provide us with the help that we need, we can just take a step back. We can do it in a commonwealth country.' We suggested New Zealand, South Africa."
Diana: "The pressure was intolerable then, and my job, my work was being affected. I wanted to give 110 percent to my work, and I could only give 50. I was constantly tired, exhausted, because the pressure was just, it was so cruel. So I thought the only way to do it was to stand up and make a speech and extract myself before I started disappointing and not carrying out my work. It was my decision to make that speech because I owed it to the public to say that, you know, 'Thank you. I'm disappearing for a bit, but I'll come back.'"