Meghan Markle ‘idolised Diana as a child’ amid claims she knew little of Royal Family

Meghan and Harry: Diana 'would enjoy Oprah interview' says expert

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Prince Harry and Meghan opened up to the US TV legend in a bombshell interview that aired on ITV on Monday night. During their extended chat, the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah that she went into her union with Harry “naively” because she had not grown up knowing much about the Royal Family. She even claimed she had never done any research on what it would mean to marry a royal, or looked up Harry online at all.

She said: “I will say I went into it naively because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the Royal Family.

“It wasn’t something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn’t something that we followed.

“My mum even said to me a couple of months ago: ‘Did Diana ever do an interview?’

“Now, now, I can say yes, a very famous one, but my mum doesn’t even know that.”

However, according to people who knew Meghan when she was young, she was inspired by Diana’s style and compassion in her humanitarian work as a young girl.

Meghan reportedly owned Diana’s biography, felt her death in a “keenly personal way” and cried watching her funeral.

In his book ‘Meghan: A Hollywood Princess’, renowned royal biographer Andrew Morton said that, according to family friends, Meghan was “intrigued” by Diana and saw her as a role model.

She started collecting clothes and toys for less privileged children with her friend Suzy Ardakani, a move that was inspired by Diana.

Suzy’s mother Sonia Ardanaki even bought Meghan Mr Morton’s biography ‘Diana: Her True Story’ to read, which delved into what life was really like as a royal bride behind Palace walls.

Ninaki Priddy, who was Meghan’s best friend growing up and maid of honour at her wedding to her first husband, told Mr Morton: “She was always fascinated by the Royal Family.

“She wants to be Diana 2.0.”

The Princess of Wales died in a tragic car accident in 1997 when Meghan was 16 years old, and she was apparently devastated by the news.

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She watched the funeral with her friends and cried when she saw Prince Harry’s note to his ‘Mummy’ on top of the coffin.

According to Mr Morton, she felt the loss in a “keenly personal way”, and related it to her philosophy studies.

He wrote: “During this philosophy course, Meghan and her classmates were faced with a real life paradox: namely, how could a young mother, a glamorous humanitarian in the prime of her life, die in the cruel banalty of a car accident?

“She and her friends watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in early September 1997, tears coursing down their cheeks at the poignant moment when the camera zoomed in on the royal coffin.

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“Perched among the white flowers was an envelope with one word on ‒ ‘Mummy’ ‒ containing Prince Harry’s last note to his beloved mother.”

He said Meghan asked herself how this tragedy could befall “a living icon”

After they heard the news, Meghan and Suzy sat watching old videos of the 1981 wedding between Prince Charles and Diana.

Yet, Meghan claimed she did not grow up paying attention to the Royal Family, nor did research later when she was dating Harry.

She said: “I didn’t do any research about what they would mean.

“I’ve never looked up my husband online.

“I just didn’t feel the need to because everything I needed to know he was sharing with me, or everything that he thought I needed to know, he was telling me.”

She also explained that she never got lessons on how to be a royal and had to do that work behind the scenes herself.

Meghan: A Hollywood Princess was written by Andrew Morton and published by Michael O’Mara in 2018. It is available here.

Oprah With Meghan and Harry is on ITV at 9pm on Monday March 8. You can watch the full interview afterwards on the ITV hub.

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