In 2021 and 1995, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex delivered tell-all interviews in which their powerful and tragic revelations stunned the world. Although their circumstances and tales differ greatly, the world is starting to notice the apparent parallels between the two women. The intense mental-health issues, onslaught and unrelenting scrutiny from the British tabloids, and lack of support and understanding from other members of the royal family: their own family. Altogether, their revealing statements about the truth behind their perceived fairy tales were and are enough to see the British royals in a whole different light.
Before their tell-all interview aired on Sunday, March 5th, many still viewed the marriage and journey of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to be a fairytale come to life. As their happiness and love emanated from the photos of their extravagant wedding, it could even be said that Meghan’s story of the ordinary American girl to Duchess, dared the world to dream. Now 9 days later, the world is still reeling from learning the truth about the dark backstories behind the perceived façade of royal bliss. A moment that I think stuck with many was when Meghan talked about the events just hours before her and Harry’s appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019. While her friends had congratulated her later on “how great she looked” Meghan said that when she looked back at photos of that day, all she could see was “how tightly he [Harry] was gripping my hand.” However, it is also important to recognize Meghan and Harry’s new path in life of freedom and rejuvenation is a path that sadly Diana never got to live out fully. Paying homage to the late Princess of Wales and some speculated many others too, Meghan’s outfit brimming with rich symbolism and sentimental pieces from the past shows how far the Duchess has come and that she is ready for her new chapter.
The main centerpiece was Meghan’s black Armani dress with a white and light blue lotus detailing on the right shoulder. The dress had a beautiful flowy silhouette which accentuated her baby bump with a belted waist, and deep v-neckline. A member of the Duchess’s team spoke with The Telegraph and confirmed that Meghan was bearing the symbolism in mind saying, “The Duchess understands that a lotus seed can withstand thousands of years without water, able to germinate over two centuries later.” As follows, the lotus symbolizes rebirth, enlightenment, and persistence among other things. Throughout the interview, in which she described “clear” and “methodical” suicidal thoughts among other tragic topics, Meghan’s ensemble maintained a look of serenity and stability cementing how the couple has moved to a better place mentally and physically.
The next part of Meghan’s outfit is an aquamarine and gold necklace designed by Pippa Small. Much like Michelle Obama’s VOTE necklace by ByChari that she donned for the 2020 Virtual Democratic National Convention, the brand has seen an uptick in sales and popularity since the Duchess’s appearance. Small spoke to Town and Country saying that “it…certainly gives us a boost.” She also spoke to The Telegraph about the symbolism behind the aquamarine stone: “It’s a hopeful stone, there’s something very pure about it.” Princess Diana also had a liking to the stone, in the form of her famous Asprey ring. As a likely homage to the late Princess, Meghan wore the ring at her wedding reception for her “something blue.”
Speaking of Princess Diana, Meghan wore a piece that belonged to her at the interview as well: a Cartier tennis bracelet. Meghan and Harry have honored Diana in many ways through Meghan’s jewelry. In the interview, Harry spoke on how he saw “history repeating itself,” in the form of the media and the family’s treatment towards both his mother and his wife. The prince also spoke on how hard everything must have been for Diana without a partner, saying that at least he and Meghan have each other.
As said before, Meghan and Diana are from separate eras and while their circumstances cannot be compared, a valuable and tragic conclusion can be drawn. Diana was stripped of her HRH titles after admitting to adultery and revealing her husband’s. It was a symbolic outcasting from the family, showing that she had publicly betrayed them. Similarly, the firm allowed damaging tales about Meghan to be spun in the British press which frequently painted her as a villain, differing greatly from those written about her sister-in-law: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The question could be asked: why? Why won’t the royal family extend public protection to all members of their family even in the face of public controversy? If there is one family motto that has been presented throughout the time it is that family sticks together. One would think that one of the most public and important families would be the epitome of upholding this motto.
The reason is that the British Royals are not just a family. They are the living embodiment of an archaic institution of duty. A duty that runs over everything, including family. Some could criticize the family’s chokehold on tradition to be their outdated archaic nature, or even condemn the entire institution. However, the truth is that the family is as much trapped by the people as the people are by them. This does not excuse the unimaginable horrors that Harry and specifically Meghan went through but merely provides depth into the everlasting family business that is the house of Windsor.