A timeless wardrobe and individualistic sense of style, a passion for philanthropy, ceaseless adoration for Prince Harry — those are just a few of the things that the late Princess Diana and the Duchess of Sussex have in common. If you’ve ever wondered why Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, it turns out those striking similarities may have had something to do with it. In fact, according to the late princess’ former butler, Harry likely fell for Meghan because her character strongly resembles his mother’s. (Elite Daily has reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment on these quotes, and did not hear back in time for publication.)
Paul Burell served as Diana's trusty butler for 10 years until her death in 1997 — so, it’s safe to say he knew her pretty well. In a recent interview with Closer magazine, he noted that Harry “married Meghan because she’s like Diana.”
"Both women who would always stand up for what they believe in and wouldn't be pushovers,” he reportedly told Closer.
In fact, the two ladies are both so strong-willed that he suspects they may have “clashed” if they were to meet.
"I imagine it would have been two strong, independent women with different views on things — it would have been a battle between Meghan's way and Diana's way,” he reportedly explained, according to the magazine.
While Burell acknowledged that the two women have a lot in common, he also pointed out what he believes to be a key difference between them: that Meghan always has a “game plan,” whereas Diana was “young and naive.” He noted that unlike Meghan, Diana had not been exposed to the media before becoming a royal.
"[Diana’s] strong-mindedness meant she cared and she felt the people of the country had a right to know what had gone on behind closed doors,” he explained to Closer.
One thing’s for sure: both women suffered immense scrutiny from the media — which seems to be one of the key reasons why Harry and Meghan decided to step down from their royal roles. In October 2019, months before the couple announced this transition, Harry penned an emotional statement in which he compared the tabloid’s coverage of his wife to the way his mother was treated by the press and announced he would be taking “legal action” to protect his family. He went so far as to say that their "ruthless campaign" against Meghan felt like "history repeating itself" given that when his mother’s fatal car crash happened, she was being chased by paparazzi.
"I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces,” Harry wrote.
Not only did Harry’s late mother and wife have to endure this same poor treatment from the tabloids, but Meghan even hired Princess Di's former laywer, David Sherborne, to represent her in her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers.
The truth is, it's not all that surprising that Harry might fall for someone who reminds him of his mother. A 2018 study published in Current Psychology asked participants to self-report on how their romantic partners were like their parents across various categories and revealed that people to tend to choose mates who are similar to their opposite-sex parents. Researchers theorized that this may be because people are hard-wired to be attracted to what is familiar to them.
While it’s impossible to say how these two would have gotten along, they seem to share several traits. I don't know about you, but I bet they would have loved each other.
Geher, G. (2018). Perceived and Actual Characteristics of Parents and Partners: A Test of a Freudian Model of Mate Selection. Love, Romance, Sexual Interaction, 75–102. doi: 10.4324/9781351309561-4