Meghan Markle’s childhood ‘parallels’ with mother-in-law Princess Diana helped her form a bond with Prince Harry

"Diana and Meghan both identified as outsiders within the Royal Family"

Princess Diana and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images and Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women)

A historian has claimed that Meghan Markle’s childhood ‘parallels’ with her mother-in-law, Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana helped her to 'understand' her future husband and bond with him when they first met. 

The world may have lost Princess Diana 25 years ago, but her legacy can still be tangibly felt both within the Royal Family and the public consciousness. From fans recreating the surprisingly ‘normal’ childhood meals she fed her two sons Prince William and Prince Harry to the sweet traditions she began that her children carry on with their own families, Diana's impact has been long ranging. 

And, according to one royal historian, that deep-running legacy may have also helped Prince Harry in his love life and allowed him to develop a closer bond with his wife Meghan Markle. 

The couple met back in 2016, then tied the knot in 2018 and now share two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. While they 'can't agree' on this very important aspect of their parenting and a royal expert has warned the couple that their children could feel ‘trapped’ in America, overall, the couple's love story has been a romantic tale for the history books, or for another Netflix movie. 

But how did Diana influence that story? According to historian Tessa Dunlop, Meghan 'feels she relates to Princess Diana' due to their similar 'childhoods' and this allowed her to better bond with Prince Harry. 

Princess Diana

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Dunlop told OK! Magazine that because both Meghan and Diana 'came from places of pain in terms of their childhood,' with Harry also facing public troubles at young age, Harry and Meghan were better able to develop a close bond as they 'understand' each other better. 

Diana's parents went through an incredibly public divorce when she was younger, something Dunlop said Diana struggled to process when she was sent off to boarding school. The story mirrors Prince Harry's ordeal exactly, with Diana and King Charles III officially divorcing in 1996. 

Meghan's own childhood was not dissimilar. As Dunlop revealed, Meghan faced a 'different set of challenges' to her husband and mother in law but they were 'parallel' storylines. 

Meghan's parents also split when she was a child and she has since had an incredibly fractured relationship with her estranged father Thomas Markle Sr. The relationship is now non-existent with the 79-year-old missing Meghan and Harry's wedding and he has also never met his two grandchildren Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

(Image credit: RT YOUTH POWER FUND)

Dunlop shared, "When you have that growing up slightly as an outsider within the family, you can see that slightly parallel in the way in which Diana and Meghan both identified as outsiders within the Royal Family."

Following the end of Diana and Charles' marriage, the expert said that Diana would have further felt like an outsider and was forced to then 'find a path outside the Royal Family,' much like Harry and Meghan have both done since stepping down as senior royals and moving their family to LA

The expert added, "If you can find someone who understands them, that's really helpful and I think Harry found that with Meghan and I think Meghan would also share that with Diana."

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.