Let's be honest — who didn't look up to the most beloved royal of all time before her 1997 death? Long before Meghan Markle even met her fiancé, Prince Harry, the princess-to-be was allegedly inspired by his late mother, Princess Diana.
In Andrew Morton's new book, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, which is due out in the US on April 17, the author claims Meghan "was intrigued by Diana not just for her style but also for her independent humanitarian mission." And according to the excerpt in The Sunday Times, "She saw her as a role model."
Perhaps that's why Harry's former butler, Grant Harrold, said Meghan is already acting just like Di with her "modern approach" to being royal. During one of her recent royal outings, Meghan adorably spoke with (and hugged!) a little girl who wants to become an actress — and the gesture reminded Harrold of how Diana always acted so sweetly towards her fans.
Though Harrold described Meghan's hug as "really, really sweet," he noted the action is not "normally" something older members of the royal family — like Queen Elizabeth, for example — would ever do in public. "It's something younger people do. She's got her own way of doing things... You look at the energy of Princess Diana and she was very much somebody that would hug people. She was famous for it, wasn't she?"
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"None of the rest of the royal family hugged. It just wasn't the done thing. Now the younger royals, Prince William and Harry, you see them hugging... So it's their way of doing it. They are very much copying what their mother did, which is fantastic," Harrold told E! News during a recent interview. Harrold — who previously worked for the crown for seven years until 2011 — also noted it will be more difficult for Meghan to adapt to a royal way of life since she is American.
"It's a different way of life, a different culture, completely different upbringing. So it's probably more difficult that she's got to learn not just about how to be a royal, but also learn the British way of life. [But] she's got a wonderful sister-in-law, [Kate Middleton], who she can speak to, follow her lead and watch how she does it," he continued.
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"She has to be careful what she says, how she says it, and how it's taken because after the [her wedding on May 19], it will be very much the reflection of the royal family. It's everyday things — from the way she walks, the way she speaks, the things she does, how she eats, how she holds her cup, how she dresses — everything will be looked at the right way or the wrong way... There will be a lot for her to adapt to," Harrold added.
Harry's former butler isn't the first person to notice how much his stunning fiancée, Meghan, has reminded the world of his late mother, Diana. In another interview, a childhood friend of the Suits star revealed Meghan wants to be "Princess Diana 2.0" for the British people. "I’m not shocked at all [by the engagement]. It’s like she has been planning this all her life," Ninaki Priddy told the Daily Mail.
Priddy also shared that she and Meghan once visited England as teenagers and immediately fell in love with the royals. "She was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0. She will play her role ably," she said. During her first official interview with Harry following their November 2017 engagement, Meghan herself expressed how growing up in the US shaped her own views of the British monarchy.
"Because I’m from the States, you don’t grow up with the same understanding of the royal family. And so, while I now understand very clearly there is a global interest there, I didn’t know much about [Harry], and so the only thing that I had asked [a friend] when she said she wanted to set us up was, I have one question: 'Well, is he nice?' Because if he wasn’t kind, it just didn’t seem like it would make sense." We're so excited for Meghan to officially join the royal family in just a few weeks!
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