Happy Birthday, Princess Diana: 10 Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Her Late Mother-in-Law
There’s no denying it: Meghan Markle is the modern-day people’s princess, just like her late mother-in-law. From her pre-royal philanthropic work to her warm, relatable personality, it seems Markle has more in common with Diana than we ever would've guessed. But the biggest similarity between Prince Harry’s late mum and his wife? Their sense of style. Here, ten times the Duchess of Sussex was directly inspired by the ultimate fashion icon, Princess Diana.
Sunshine Yellow Dresses
Never one to shy away from color, we have to think the duchess, who wore this gorgeous yellow Brandon Maxwell sheath to the Youth Challenge reception in July of last year, opted for a Diana-approved hue for one of her first royal events sans Queen Elizabeth.
Red & Purple
It’s pretty clear that these two have a thing for color. This particular combo of violet and red has historically symbolized royalty (naturally). Markle’s iteration was also a definite nod to Diana, who wore the bold hues together on more than one occasion.
Satin details, a wide collar, a coordinating clutch and matching heels: Markle may not have recreated this look in the same shade of teal, but the similarities between her mother-in-law’s formal outfit and her own version are striking.
White Button-Downs and Light-Wash Denim
For Markle’s first public date with Prince Harry, she dressed down in a loose white button-down and ripped MOTHER jeans to watch a wheelchair tennis match at the Invictus Games Toronto. The combo is a riff on Diana’s go-to casual look, which the people’s princess wore during a trip to Bosnia in 1997.
Black Wide-Brim Hats
Accessories are a princess’s best friend, especially when they’re perfectly coordinated with an outfit. For the solemn Anzac Day services, which honors Australian and New Zealand casualties in World War I, Markle wore a black dress and gray coat with a floppy black topper. Diana wore a similar hat, by Philip Somerville, during a visit to Munich.
Green Maternity Coats
Two months before baby Archie’s birth, Markle wore a green Erdem coat and coordinating dress to a Commonwealth Day event at Canada House in London. Diana’s maternity style, by Bellville Sassoon, was worn while the Princess of Wales was six months pregnant with Prince William. Both had matching sleeve and collar embroidery details, though Markle's featured black beading while Diana's featured velvet embellishments.
Markle is no stranger to British plaids (she appropriately donned a blue and green tartan in Scotland), which is why this sartorial nod to the U.K. was so fitting during her and Prince Harry’s visit to Cardiff, Wales. Diana, too, rocked the woven twill design in Paddington Station in London. (Ohhh, and hello, Diana’s Fendi logo clutch.)
Form-Fitting White Gowns
Both royal ladies know the value of an elegant white gown to turn heads. While Diana wore her beaded Catherine Walker sheath in Budapest in 1990, the duchess rocked her Stella McCartney satin gown for her royal wedding reception last May. (In fact, you can buy her exact gown here!) The addition of white shoes by both royals lends itself to a stunningly crisp silhouette.
Bow down to the queens of sequins. In an obvious nod to her late mother-in-law, Markle donned a navy sequin Roland Mouret gown for her and Prince Harry’s date night at a Cirque du Soleil performance. Diana, on the other hand, wore her sparkly getup, another Catherine Walker gown, to the Diamond Ball in 1990.
Belted Button-Front Dresses
We think Archie’s grandmother would be so proud of her daughter-in-law...and her sartorial choices. Markle wore this trench dress just days after the royal baby’s birth. The designer, Grace Wales Bonner, is a young mixed-race Brit whose work is lauded for blurring gender lines, breaking down stereotypes and honoring her own African heritage. Diana wore her button-front dress to a Hindu temple in London, and removed her shoes as a sign of respect. Brava, you two.