It is the roll-up to the Royal Wedding – in less than a month Meghan Markle will marry Prince Henry of Wales, and the world is excited. There is not a day when there is not another article somewhere on the internet about the couple, speculations, and commentaries. The net though is really a sort of a wild-wild-west. I have noticed lately a lot of articles about how Meghan and to a lesser extent, Katherine, is a lot like Princess Diana. “Meghan Markle’s Stephen Jones beret was a nod to Princess Diana” ; “She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0, says Meghan’s childhood friend …” and the list goes on.
I am a bit appalled by the references, and here is why.
- Princess Diana cannot be replaced. She was an individual, of her time and moment, and what she meant to the public, as well as her family was unique. To say that someone wants to replace her – really, this is not possible.
- Why do we think Markle is trying to replace Diana? Why would a highly intelligent and stable person want to become her husband-to-be’s mother? What woman would want to become their husband’s mother? Seriously, how creepy is that?
So what is going on here?
I think a lot of people like to say silly stuff because they cannot think of anything else to say. Excitement for the wedding brings in readers. Readers mean income. I get that. There is a lot of interesting things to say without having to resort to this kind of commentary.
As Meghan Markle sets out on a new journey, with her husband, in a new role, in a new country, she has to set her own path. She has already said what she wants to represent, maybe we should listen to her rather than dumping the legacy of her deceased mother-in-law on her, a woman she never knew. The commentaries which link her to Princess Diana in such a strange way belittle both Meghan and Diana. Treating them as mere objects to which we impose superficial narratives is just another way that women are portrayed in the press.
As for the references that clothing that either Katherine or Meghan have chosen to wear is a nod to Diana, I take them with a grain of salt. Was the beret a nod to Diana? Unless Meghan says it is, I am more inclined to believe that she chose it because it was a good look. Many members have worn berets before and after Diana, and their choice was not linked to the fact that Diana wore one once and a while. Diana made a lot of fashion choices over her lifetime, and as fashion cycles, it is possible that the ladies will choose a style that with a bit of research might look like something Diana wore. I find it hard to credit that they sit down and study Diana’s wardrobe with such intensity and choose items which are imitations of their mother-in-law. I think they choose items which suit their tastes, circumstances and the occasion. Full stop.
Is it possible to look forward to a Royal Wedding without being fluffy? Can we not be happy for them and not speculate that they are guided by psychics, aliens, or morbid fascinations with the dead? Can we not discuss protocols, history and tradition without being silly?