Meghan Markle, 42, Sees Herself as Princess Diana’s ‘Heir’: Royal Expert Explains the Sign

In the realms of royalty and celebrity, few figures have captivated the public imagination as deeply as Princess Diana and Meghan Markle. Now, a royal expert has weighed in on Markle’s mindset.

Since the beginning of her relationship with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has been heavily scrutinized by the public. Some have compared her to Princess Diana and others have said she could never measure up to her late-mother-in-law.

Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) during a trip to Canada, May 1986. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)

Markle, an American actress turned Duchess of Sussex, has carved her own path, challenging norms and facing intense scrutiny while navigating her role within the same institution.

Recently, Markle, at the age of 42, embarked on a new venture, launching her lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard. This move, rich in ambition and personal expression, has reignited conversations about her connection to Diana’s legacy, stirring insights from royal experts and evoking varied reactions from the public.American Riviera Orchard represents Markle’s latest step in crafting a life that merges public influence with private entrepreneurial ambition.
The brand, which will offer an array of homewares products, signifies her commitment to creating a legacy that transcends her royal title.Notably, the brand’s launch coincided with The Diana Award ceremony, a decision that royal expert Tom Quinn suggests is no mere coincidence.

According to Quinn, Markle sees herself as “Diana’s heir,” a woman who, like her late mother-in-law, faces the media’s glare but strives to leverage her platform for personal and broader societal gain.

However, this alignment with Diana’s legacy has sparked debate, with some viewing it as a respectful nod to the past, while others criticize it as capitalizing on royal connections.The parallels drawn between Markle and Princess Diana are not new. Prince Harry himself has often highlighted the similarities between the two most influential women in his life.

In their Netflix documentary series, “Harry & Meghan,” Harry emphasized Markle’s compassion, empathy, and warmth, traits he deeply associates with his mother.

Meghan Markle and her son, Archie, at the Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town on September 25, 2019 | Source: Getty Images
This comparison extends beyond personality traits, touching on their shared experiences with media scrutiny and their desire to use their public platforms for advocacy and change.

In an excerpt from the documentary, Prince Harry recalled a night when he and Meghan were staying in a room at Buckingham Palace following a royal engagement.

Although most royal family members were there, including his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, the person the media chose to portray on the front page was Markle.

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace as the Royal family attend events to mark the Centenary of the RAF on July 10, 2018 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Many royal fans accused Markle of trying to steal the spotlight from other royals, but Prince Harry clarified that the media chose who they put on the front page, not the royals.

Yet, this connection to Diana’s legacy is a double-edged sword, offering both a source of inspiration and a potential point of contention within and outside the royal family.

Critics argue that Markle’s business endeavors, particularly the timing of her brand’s launch, reflect a calculated move to align her image with Diana’s enduring influence.

Princess Diana Serpentine Gallery, London, in June 1994 | Source: Getty Images
This perspective suggests a complex navigation of personal ambition and public perception, where every decision is scrutinized for its authenticity and respect for royal traditions.

Yet, supporters see Markle’s actions as a continuation of Diana’s legacy, a way of honoring her memory by embodying the same spirit of independence and social consciousness.

The launch of American Riviera Orchard, therefore, is more than just the introduction of a new brand. It’s a statement of identity and purpose from Markle, a declaration of how she wishes to be seen and remembered.

By aligning her entrepreneurial ventures with Diana’s legacy, Markle is carving a space where her work can be both personally fulfilling and beneficial to others.

Meghan Markle greets Yuliia ‘Taira’ Paievska during the Swimming Medals Ceremony during day seven of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 on September 16, 2023 in Duesseldorf, Germany | Source: Getty Images
However, the path she navigates is fraught with comparisons and expectations, where her every move is seen through the lens of her late mother-in-law’s shadow.

As Markle continues to build her brand and define her public persona, the conversation around her connection to Princess Diana’s legacy is unlikely to wane.

The move to start a business comes at the same time as Markle carving out her identity on hers and her husband’s new website. We previously reported that the pair launched a new website in which Markle altered her publicly-used name.

As Prince Harry and Markle launched the new website, they transitioned from the Sussex Royal URL handle to simply Sussex. Despite stepping back from official royal duties, they continue to use their titles. The website includes a section designed to offer the public more insight into their lives and work.

Notably, Meghan’s page introduces her using only her first name, omitting her family name. This decision reflects a common practice among British Royals, who are frequently referred to by their first names and titles.

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