Princess Diana ‘would have loved’ daughter-in-law Meghan Markle and taught her how to ‘survive’ life as a royal

“She had to learn as Diana had to learn, by being thrown in the deep end”

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

Princess Diana's former royal butler has claimed the late Princess ‘would have loved’ her daughter-in-law Meghan Markle and done everything she could to help her ‘survive’ life in the Royal Family.

With Prince Harry preparing to touch down in the UK to attend tomorrow's [7 September] WellChild Awards, and the first anniversary of the late Queen's death to be marked the following day, royal fans and experts alike are reminiscing on the many royal trials and tribulations we've witnessed over the past few years. 

For many, the first and biggest feud that springs to mind is that between Prince Harry and the rest of the Royal Family. With reports that Prince William was left 'irritated' by Harry's upcoming UK visit and speculation flying around that Harry won't be meeting with his father King Charles III as the father and son remain 'as far apart as ever,' the long-standing disagreements between the once close-knit unit continue to spark disappointment. 

Now, Princess Diana's former royal butler Paul Burrell, who worked for the late Princess during the last decade of her life and became one of her closest friends, has revealed his belief that things would look a lot different if the late Princess was still alive as Diana 'would have embraced' her daughter-in-law Meghan Markle and 'tried to understand her' so she better navigate life in The Firm.

Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation)

Burrell told The Mirror, “I think Diana would have embraced Meghan, I think she would have tried to understand her. Diana loved America, she loved Americans. And she understood it was a different culture."

The former aide also shared his belief that Diana's helping hand  could have helped Meghan and Harry 'survive' in the UK and within the Royal Family by taking her daughter-in-law 'under her wing' and 'educating her' when she first started dating her son, likely preventing them from stepping down as senior royals in 2020 and moving their family to LA

He said, "She would have loved Meghan. She would have embraced her. She wouldn't have agreed with everything that's happened since but in the initial days she would have encouraged her, educated her and embraced her.

"If Diana had been here, she would have taught Meghan how to survive. Because one thing Diana knew was how to survive. Meghan never had that in the royal family, there wasn't a book for her to read on how to be a royal princess.

“There were no rules written down. She had to learn as Diana had to learn, by being thrown in the deep end. But Meghan couldn't cope. Diana had to cope. And she learned fast.

"What a pity that Diana wasn't here to educate her daughter-in-law because things would have been so have different."

Princess Diana

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

But while some things may have been different, Burrell believes that the couple may still have moved to LA as Diana herself would have been thrilled for the family and even wanted to move to the US herself. 

He revealed that Diana was looking at a property in Malibu that was situated on a picturesque stretch of coast. The building itself, according to the aide, was a 'white building clinging to the side of a cliff' not far from where Prince Harry and Meghan have settled with their family.

Diana's love for America and its culture was likely a drawing factor to the country for Harry, Burrell shared. He added, "Diana was thrilled at the thought of going to live for some of the year in America. There was no way she would have decanted full time because she was proud of her association with the royal family. But she thought a bolthole as somewhere to escape to, she would love to escape to America.”

According to the butler, Harry 'must have known' about his mother’s 'fondness' for the US and this was likely at the forefront of his mind when he met Meghan. “In his own way, he's thought well, Meghan's American and my mum would have loved Meghan,” Burrell says.

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.