Prince Harry Meghan Diana
Prince Harry, seen with Meghan Markle (left), and with his mother, the late Princess Diana (right).

AP Photo

  • Meghan Markle is engaged to Prince Harry.
  • Prince Harry said in an interview that Markle and Princess Diana would be “best friends,” if his mother were still alive.
  • Markle and the late princess have a number of things in common, from a love of fashion to a dedication to humanitarian work.

Meghan Markle has more in common with Princess Diana than immediately meets the eye.

On Monday, news broke that Prince Harry was engaged to marry American actress Meghan Markle. The prince designed Markle’s engagement ring himself, using two diamonds from the jewelry collection of his late mother, Princess Diana.

When asked what his mother would have thought of Markle, Prince Harry told the BBC that he thought she would have been “best friends with Meghan.”

“Oh, they’d be thick as thieves, without question,” Harry said. “I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me.”

Markle and the late Princess Diana come from very different backgrounds. However, taking a closer look at the pair, it’s clear why the prince believes they would be best friends.

Diana’s and Markle’s lives started very differently.

Diana's and Markle's lives started very differently.
Family album picture of Lady Diana Spencer in Berkshire in 1968.

AP Photo

Diana was born in 1961, into the Spencer family, a British aristocratic family with royal ancestry. She grew up on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth’s private estate, Sandringham, in Norfolk.

Markle, meanwhile, was born in Los Angeles in 1981.

Markle, meanwhile, was born in Los Angeles in 1981.

The Sun

Markle comes from a more modest background. Her mother, Doria Ragland, is a yoga instructor and clinical therapist, while her father, Thomas W. Markle is a lighting director, the Telegraph reported. Ragland is African-American, and Markle is Caucasian.

Both Markle and Diana’s parents split when their daughters were young. Diana’s parents separated in a high-profile case when she was six years old, and Markle’s separated when she was just two.

Markle’s and Diana’s paths to a royal engagement couldn’t be more different.

Markle's and Diana's paths to a royal engagement couldn't be more different.
Britain’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer pose together following the announcement of their engagement.

Ron Bell/AP

Diana was just 16 when she met Prince Charles. According to The Daily Times, Charles — who was 28 at the time — was visiting the Spencer “ancestral home” and actually dating Diana’s elder sister at the time.

The pair didn’t grow close until a few years later. In her late teens, Lady Diana was working low-paying jobs and living relatively simply, despite her aristocratic heritage. Before Charles proposed in 1981, Diana was working as an assistant kindergarten teacher and living in a London apartment with three other women.

Markle, meanwhile, is an established actress who has been married previously.

Markle, meanwhile, is an established actress who has been married previously.

AP Photo/Katy Winn

Markle is best known for her role in the legal drama “Suits,” but she has also acted in a long list of shows like “CSI: NY” and “Castle,” as well as films including “Get Him To The Greek.”

She also founded the now-shuttered lifestyle website The Tig and has worked as a women’s rights activist, as a part of the UN’s Women’s Political Participation and Leadership program.

Markle and Prince Harry met in 2016, reportedly being set up at Harry’s request when the prince was in Toronto to help plan the Invictus Games. The duo kept their relationship secret for roughly six months before going public.

Once their relationships went public, both Diana and Markle were thrust into the spotlight.

Once their relationships went public, both Diana and Markle were thrust into the spotlight.
Lady Diana Spencer, then-fiancée of Britain’s Prince Charles, attends her first official engagement, a charity event at the Goldsmith’s Hall, in London.

AP Photo

“Today, she is known to millions as ‘Lady Di’. Her photograph graces countless tea towels, calendars and coffee mugs, and her brow-sweeping hairstyle is a national fad,” The Daily Times reported in July 1981.

Markle’s profile similarly exploded as rumors of her relationship with Prince Harry grew in 2016.

Markle's profile similarly exploded as rumors of her relationship with Prince Harry grew in 2016.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

She became the most-Googled actress of 2016, as rumors of the romance exploded and were eventually confirmed late in the year.

The burgundy dress that Markle wore to the Invictus Games in September, her first public appearance with Prince Harry, sold out in hours. The Telegraph called her influence “The Meghan Effect,” as items that she wore or endorsed have skyrocketed in popularity.

However, from the beginning, fame came with dark undertones.

However, from the beginning, fame came with dark undertones.
Lady Diana Spencer, then-fiancée of Britain’s Prince Charles, attends her first official engagement, a charity event at the Goldsmith’s Hall, in London.

Peter Skingley/AP

When Diana wore a strapless dress to her first official public appearance post-engagement, it was front-page news — and that was just the start. Lady Diana was stalked by reporters, including one who slipped through a bathroom window in her kindergarten class to get a photo, according to The Daily Times.

The media was especially obsessed with Diana’s sexual history, reports Vanity Fair. The fixation was so great that her uncle, Lord Fermoy, was forced to read a statement publicly, declaring her a “bona fide” virgin.

While at the time The Daily Times reported that Diana seemed unfazed by the attention, Vanity Fair reported that the lady was severely bulimic prior to the wedding, linking the eating disorder to the intense pressure.

Markle’s treatment shares some sickening similarities — though, this time,…