Despite frequent comparisons to her husband’s mother Princess Diana, Kate has “never tried to emulate Diana”, a royal author has argued. Now stepping into the role of Princess of Wales, a position last held by Diana, Kate has made it “her own” – with her particular way of doing things “knocking Harry and Meghan into second place”, according to a former BBC royal correspondent.
The comments come as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix documentary invited comparisons between Diana Spencer and the Duchess of Sussex.
Princess Diana earned the nickname of the “People’s Princess” during her period of marriage to then-Prince Charles. Ms Spencer earned worldwide recognition for her relatability and her unparalleled charm when meeting people from across the world for her role.
Royal author Katie Nicholl, writer of new book ‘The New Royals’, told OK!: “She has always made sure she honours Diana’s memory. Whether that was through pieces of jewellery that she’s worn or keeping memory boxes for the children, in order to keep the memory of the grandmother they never knew alive.
“But she never tried to emulate Diana. She found her own stride, her own role – and she’s been incredibly successful at doing that.”
Kate has frequently been spotted paying tribute to her late mother-in-law with her clothes and jewellery, which is often similar to that of Diana.
Ms Nicholls added: “She follows in great footsteps as the new Princess of Wales, because the last Princess of Wales was Diana – a title Camilla deliberately never took – but I think she’ll make it her own and make a great success of it.”
She also referred to the additional “weight on their shoulders” after Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties in 2020 – but said the Cambridges “carried the weight of that extra workload with a sense of duty very much at the forefront, with a smile on their faces.”
The wives of both of Diana’s sons have faced comparisons to the former Princess of Wales – with Harry making a direct comparison regarding the press scrutiny which faced Meghan during her time as part of the Firm.
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The Duke said during the documentary: “So much of what Meghan is and how she is, is so similar to my mum. She has the same compassion, the same empathy, the same confidence. She has this warmth about her.”
He added: “I accept that there will be people around the world who fundamentally disagree with what I’ve done [breaking away from the Royal Family] and how I’ve done it, but I knew I had to do everything I could to protect my family, I didn’t want history to repeat itself.”
However, some commentators have disagreed with the comparison.
Body language expert Believing Bruce, spoke in a YouTube video about a “conflict” which can be observed between Diana and Meghan as Princess Diana was known to be “strongly trying to get her and the kids out of the cameras”. Meghan, in this aspect “seems to be the total opposite,” he claimed.
He said: “I get it, she’s an actress, she’s used to the limelight, she needs the cameras, it has been part of her career.”
But he concluded that “when it comes to that aspect, the difference between Diana and Meghan couldn’t be more poles apart.”
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Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond argued the Cambridge duo had even knocked the Sussexes documentary into “second place” with the success of their US tour.
Ms Bond told OK!: “I don’t believe Harry and Meghan’s documentary shadowed things in the States, as the biggest news over there was William and Catherine’s visit”.
She said: “”They never went into so much detail about Harry and Meghan, so it kind of knocked them into second place.”
The pair had visited Boston to present the Earthshot Prize – which Ms Bon described as a “great success”, adding: “They’ve also sort of snubbed Harry and Meghan with how under-played they carried out the tour in terms of extravagance. You had the recycled clothes, the recycled red carpet, the hired frock for £74 and I believe it to be true that William and Catherine came back overnight on a British Airways scheduled flight.
“They weren’t on a private jet swanning in from California to New York as Harry and Meghan did a few days later. I think the more you look at William and Catherine, the more full of integrity they are.”