The Markle Sparkle: Meghan Markle Might Just Be Britain's New Princess Diana
For Britons who were around during the reign of the beloved Lady Di, this is a particularly emotional realization to come by. Royal-to-be Meghan Markle, perhaps knowingly, seems to be carrying the torch of the original People's Princess, and it's impacting the British public on a scale she couldn't have predicted.
The bi-racial actress made headlines late in 2016 when she and fiancé Prince Harry (Princess Diana's youngest son) officially came out with their relationship. 18 months later, they announced their engagement, and the world has been watching her every move since—and falling deeper and deeper in love with the woman who might just be the royal to carry out, and live out, the legacies of Princess Diana.
As they count down the days to their feverishly anticipated May 19 wedding, the royal couple has been touring different parts of the United Kingdom to familiarize Meghan with her future responsibilities. While 33-year-old Prince Harry had always been considered an approachable bloke, people were quick to notice how Meghan's charisma and ability to connect with others outshone her husband-to-be's jovial aura.
In each of their official royal engagements (there have been four so far), Meghan has been photographed shaking hands with sincerity rather than routine formality, taking the time to converse with the old and young alike, listening intently to well-wishers' messages for her, accepting flowers and other small trinkets, and even signing autographs, posing for selfies, and returning hugs—the last three even being considered breaches in royal protocol and whom her future sister-in-law, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, does not do.
Prince Harry's fiance Meghan Markle hugs socialbite co-founder Alice Thompson after a visit to socialbite in Edinburgh's rose st #britishroyal #britishroyals #meghanmarkle #princeharry #socialbite #edinburgh #engagement #royalty #bbcscotlandpics #bbcscotland #insta_edinburgh #insta_scotland #royalvisit
Many of those who have had the pleasure of meeting Meghan during an official visit have had nothing but praise for her, consistently remarking on her humility, friendliness, and authenticity. The effect Meghan has had on fans of the royal in and outside the UK even has a name: the Markle Sparkle.
Meghan's undeniable popularity has caused her followers to compare her to the late Princess Diana, who became known as the Princess of Hearts because of her warmth and love for her people. Britons will forever remember—and adore—her for shaking the dust off of the British monarchy by injecting much-needed doses of relatability and modernity in its veins. But more than her congeniality, Princess Diana will always be in the hearts of people all over the world because of her inextinguishable sense of charity and advocacy.
The Princess was the first British royal to insist on going on fieldwork to further her causes, the most important of which were raising awareness of HIV and AIDS, helping eradicate landmines in Angola and Bosnia, removing the taboo of leprosy and effectively helping individuals afflicted with the disease, and improving the state of homelessness among young adults.
Also worth mentioning is how Princess Diana made it a point to expose her sons to what life was like outside palace walls by taking them to charity visits with her. The Princess who was once a kindergarten teacher instilled the same values in her boys, and now that they've grown, perhaps Prince Harry might have seen that same genuineness and generosity of spirit his mother had in Meghan.
When it comes to Meghan's similarities with Princess Diana, it was noted how she and Prince Harry's first official public engagement was at the World AIDS Day event organized by HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust More, possibly as a tribute to the Princess. More recently, the 36-year-old was also discovered to have secretly visited victims of the Grenfell Tower fire to offer words of support and comfort. Much like Diana who pursued charitable work even without the presence of cameras and reporters, Meghan went on this trip without a media frenzy, crowds to greet her, or photographs to promote a positive image of her.
Meghan is known to be an admirer of Princess Diana's work, and as a participant in humanitarian efforts like Canada's World Vision Clean Water campaign, One Young World Summit, and UN Women, it comes to no surprise that the American charmer has a heart that beats for the disadvantaged, just like the mother-in-law she would have had.
In fact, Prince Harry is sure that Meghan and his mother, who passed away in car accident in 1997, would have gotten along. The playful Prince said that "they'd be thick as thieves, without question" during their first interview as an engaged couple with BBC.
It's only the beginning of Meghan's new life, and yet it appears that she's already carved a reputation for herself as the next People's Princess. Much more is expected of Meghan, but with her ability to gracefully handle attention and concentrate on the things that matter the most, the world has complete confidence in Meghan. Those who miss Princess Diana have found comfort in Meghan who, despite the difference of her background and upbringing, exudes an aura and persona similar to their irreplaceable Princess of Hearts.
As Meghan once wrote in a 2016 article for Elle, "With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility—to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings."
Photos from @theduchessmeghan