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10 Times Meghan Markle Reminded Us of Princess Diana, and It Made Us Feel Bittersweet

The world fell in love with Princess Diana when she became Prince Charles’ fiancée, but her work and her life have proven that she was more than just a prince’s wife. A humanitarian, fashion trendsetter, and dedicated mother — there’s so much to love about Britain’s Princess of the heart. She lived her life her way, became a royal rebel, and changed many traditions. And Meghan Markle, her daughter-in-law, is certainly taking her lead.

We at Bright Side love Lady Di and her incredible impact on the world. And it turns out Prince Harry’s wife shares many similarities with her.

1. They both had a career before they got married.

Before marrying Charles, Diana worked as a nursery teacher’s assistant in London. At the time, she was the first member of a royal family to have a paying job before getting married. Meghan also had a successful career before meeting Prince Harry. The former Suits star was an accomplished actress, and appeared in many movies, TV shows, and series.

2. Diana picked her own engagement ring and Meghan redesigned hers.

When she got engaged to Charles, Diana broke one of the royal traditions and chose her own engagement ring. Because she selected a ring from a catalog, and it was “accessible” to the public at the time, Diana stole newspaper headlines with her ring choice. Meghan also proved that she’s a rule-breaker, and after giving birth to her son Archie, she redesigned her engagement ring and added a thin pave band to it.

3. They both changed the traditional wedding vows.

At her wedding in 1981, Princess Diana made history when she famously refused to say that she would “obey” Prince Charles and rephrased her wedding vows, which caused a sensation at the time. A longtime feminist, Meghan also chose to omit “obey” from her vows, and her and Prince Harry’s wedding vows were almost identical to one another’s.

4. They both broke royal tradition when they decided to give birth at a hospital.

Diana changed how royal women give birth. Instead of having her baby at home, she gave birth to both of her sons in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital. Kate Middleton followed her example and had all 3 of her children at the same hospital. But Meghan paved her own way and decided to give birth to her son Archie at Portland Hospital in London instead.

5. They both chose hands-on parenting.

In 1983, Diana famously insisted on bringing her son William with her on her visit to Australia and New Zealand. She broke royal tradition and refused to leave her little boy with nannies. Meghan and Harry also decided to take Archie with them on their tour of Southern Africa when he was just a few months old.

6. They made their own fashion choices.

For Diana, breaking royal protocol sometimes meant going for bold colors or wearing form-fitting dresses to events. Meghan has also broken royal tradition with her fashion choices, and is often described as a rebel.

7. They both wore black in public.

Traditionally, members of the royal family don’t wear black in public, unless they are attending a funeral. Diana repeatedly wore black to events, and Meghan doesn’t follow this rule either. She has proven that she finds this tradition outdated and is fond of her little black dresses.

8. They both didn’t stick to nude nail polish.

Women of the royal family usually keep their nails short and wear neutral or nude nail polish. But Princess Diana wasn’t afraid to break this rule and was often seen wearing red nail polish. Meghan also refused to limit her nail polish choices, and often appears in public wearing dark nail polish.

9. They both weren’t afraid to speak up.

In 1995, Diana gave her famous interview to the BBC’s Martin Bashir. She was no longer “Shy Di,” and tried to take control of the media around her private life. During her tour of Africa, Meghan also gave a very emotional interview and revealed that she has struggled to cope through her pregnancy because of the media’s interest in her private life.

10. They spoke to children at eye level.

When Diana spoke to children, she always crouched to be able to see them at eye level. Before getting married, she was a Montessori teacher and learned to speak to children at eye level as a symbol of respect. William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan continue this tradition and often have cute moments when they get down to children’s levels and make eye contact with them.

What is the sweetest thing you remember about Princess Diana? Do you agree that Meghan has taken over from her when it comes to her attitude toward royal traditions?