It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 20 years since Princess Diana was taken from us. The People’s Princess died in a car crash in 1997, but her legacy lives on, in her family and in the world.
Her newest daughter in law, Meghan Markle, seems to be a remnant of that legacy. Fans of the royal family can’t help but compare the two women, who are similar in a lot of ways. Both buck tradition and engage with common people on a personal level.
Unfortunately, both have been hounded by tabloids, and both have endured quite a lot of criticism from the media.
During Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, it was common knowledge that she and her mother in law, Queen Elizabeth, didn’t get along. Now that the Duchess of Sussex has joined the family, the queen seems to have taken the younger woman under her wing.
That leaves fans wondering: Why didn’t Princess Diana receive the same treatment from the queen?
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana clashed
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The Duke of Cambridge has today become Patron of homeless charity The Passage – here His Royal Highness is pictured with The Duke of Sussex and their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in an early visit to @passagecharity. Swipe ? to see a visitor’s book entry made by The Duke of Cambridge and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1993. The Duke has made additional visits to the charity at various points over the last 25 years.
Since her passing, royal insiders have come out admitting that the queen was “baffled” by Princess Diana and her behavior. Princess Diana just didn’t do things like everyone else. She connected with people on a personal level. The queen isn’t mad about that, it’s just not her style.
Even though the narrative today is that the queen and the princess just had a difference of opinion, history indicates that the drama may have been more intense than that. Princess Diana’s brother used her eulogy to fire parting shots at the royal family, including the queen. He bashed the ill-treatment of his sister during her life.
The queen was understandably upset, but he may have had a point. Apparently Queen Elizabeth did not comfort her son when he found out the mother of his children had died in the car crash. Instead, Camilla Parker Bowles was left to comfort Charles, despite the fact that she had been the other woman in their marriage.
In fact, the queen was the one who formally requested her son to divorce Princess Diana after Princess Diana gave a candid radio interview about her marriage. All this points to something more than bafflement at the princess’ behavior.
The queen seems to have changed her tune for Meghan Markle
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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
Royal watchers speculated that the queen would not approve of Prince Harry’s choice in a bride. The American actress he married is a lot like his mother. She engages in the royal traditions that suit her and ignores the ones that don’t. Duchess Meghan is also hounded by the press constantly, and she doesn’t always play nice with them.
Just like Princess Diana, Markle doesn’t play by the queen’s rules. However, even so, Markle isn’t subjected to that same treatment the queen gave Princess Diana.
Is Meghan Markle the queen’s favorite grand-daughter-in-law?
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While at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg this afternoon, The Duchess of Sussex had the opportunity to learn more about the importance of, and how to enable a ‘wellbeing economy’ thanks to Co-Director of the Maker’s Valley Partnership, Simon Sizwe. Simon was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Young African Leaders Initiative programme initiated by President Obama, and he explained that by investing in the overall well-being of a community and its people, and focusing on that economy, you can enrich everyone for a better quality of life. She also met with the owners of Sobae Frozen, an entrepreneurial duo who created their small business as a solution to food waste, creating vegan sorbet from unused fruit from Victoria Yards. At the end of her visit, The Duchess was moved by the original poetry of Belita Andre, the winner of the Poetry Grandslam. In her reading she said: “The Maker’s Valley is a social and enterprise hub, a wave between my corner of the world and yours. Insisting that beyond the anchors of survival. How to make sure that everyone gets to shore, pass around an ocean of stars, not because our sleepless nights are equal but because our dreams are.” • #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica
Kate Middleton met Prince William when she was still in college. They married soon after, and according to sources close to the royal family, the queen did not like this. She felt that Middleton didn’t have enough of an established identity before getting married.
The queen appreciated that Markle was just the opposite. She was successful in her own right, without Prince Harry.
Princess Diana was also quite young when she and Prince Charles married, so the queen’s disapproval of her could be related to her lack of life experience.
The relationship between Duchess Kate and the queen is more formal, while the queen and Duchess Meghan are more casual. This may reveal something about the relationship between the queen and Princess Diana as well.
The queen knows the Duchess of Cambridge will be queen herself someday, and that means she puts more pressure on her. The same may have been true for Princess Diana. The Duchess of Sussex, however, is pretty far removed from the throne. That allows the queen to have a more normal relationship with her.
Princess Diana was being groomed by the queen to take on her role one day. When Princess Diana didn’t fit into the role the way the queen would have liked, their relationship became strained. To the queen, Markle is not the future of the throne — she is just a granddaughter in law.
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