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It’s only been a year and a half, but ever since Meghan Markle hit the scene on the arm of Prince Harry, she’s melted our royal-loving hearts. Which reminds us of another royal we fell in love with fast: Princess Diana. But before you get all bent out of shape about the comparison, hear us out: Meghan’s similarities to the ever-charming, giving and compassionate Di are all hard-earned—and the best kind.

RELATED: How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Paying Tribute to Princess Diana at the Royal Wedding

princess diana meghan markle charity
Ben Stansall/Getty Images; Tim Graham/Getty Images

Meghan’s Not Afraid to Speak Her Mind

According to a recent biography called Meghan: An American Princess, Meghan (much like Diana) has always been passionate about social welfare. In 1990, the actress-turned-royal organized a protest against the Gulf War in school and also started numerous letter-writing campaigns—at the encouragement of her dad Thomas Markle—all to voice her concern over issues like sexism and gender equality. Diana followed a similar path, speaking out about divorce, HIV and AIDS...in a time when Princesses just didn't do such things.

diana meghan markle speaking up
Courtesy of World Vision; Tim Graham/Getty Images

Meghan Acts on Behalf of Causes She Cares About

Pre-Prince Harry, Meghan served as a global ambassador for World Vision, traveling to Rwanda in 2016 to help campaign for clean water. She was also an advocate for the United Nations (seriously, just watch her speech on women’s empowerment here) and has big plans to continue these efforts—and more—in her new role as Duchess of Sussex. Flashback to Diana's philanthropic campaigns as princess, which, FYI, went above and beyond the typical royal: She walked across a partially cleared minefield in Angola and spoke up passionately about mental health issues, including her own bulimia battle, just to spread awareness. (Her sons—and daughters-in-law—are continuing her efforts.)

diana meghan markle style
Karwai Tang/Getty Images; Mirrorpix/Getty Images

She Has a Similar Approach to Style

Like her Mother-in-Law, Meghan has an affinity for button downs and jeans. And she's also made it her mission to shop local, and is known for supporting Canadian designers. (Ahem, remember her engagement coat?) As a reminder, Diana did the same for the Brits, regularly wearing iconic labels like Catherine Walker and Bruce Oldfield, a move she made to help boost the local economy. 

sisters in law diana and meghan
Chris Jackson/Getty Images; Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

She Knows the Value of Bonding With Her Sister-in-Law

Princess Diana famously took Sarah Ferguson (aka Fergie) under her wing after introducing her to Prince Andrew. The pair were friends from the polo circuit—and Di scored Fergie an invite to sit beside the Queen's second son at a house party at Windsor Castle in the '80s. After she wed Andrew, Diana continued to show Fergie the royal ropes—although the media frequently played the duo against each other, touting Fergie's fun-loving ways and Diana's more reserved demeanor as her path to the throne was laid out for her. Kate Middleton appears to be doing the same with Meghan, welcoming her and helping guide her as she navigates the royal clan. (Hey, they’ll be Kensington Palace neighbors after all.)

RELATED: Quiz: Are You a Kate or a Meghan?

meghan markle diana approachable
Max Mumby/Getty Images; Tim Graham/Getty Images

She’s Warm and Approachable

Royal protocol? Just like Diana, Meghan is not afraid to bend the rules just a bit. Case in point: She signed an autograph on a recent trip to Cardiff, Wales, she’s a hugger—a royal no-no for security reasons, but one she ignored when she met a commoner in Scotland—and doesn’t shy away from a little PDA. (Queen Elizabeth would never!) Ditto Diana. She was famous for crouching to the eye level of every child and sick person she met including a seven-year-old battling AIDS who Diana met in a hospital corridor and immediately scooped up into her arms.

meghan markle diana shaking hands
Jeremy Selwyn/Getty Images; Georges de Keerle/Getty Images

Even Her Besties Think She’s Diana 2.0

As her BFF Priyanka Chopra put it in the love letter she penned to Meghan—a part of her profile in Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2018” list—the new Duchess of Sussex is a “princess of the people.” Has a Diana ring to it, does it not?

RELATED: Welp, Meghan Markle Just Tipped Her Hat to Major Royal Fashion History

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