Long before her wedding day, Meghan Markle has been making her mark on the royal family. The former Suits star has also often been likened to husband Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, which isn't all that surprising. After all, the Duchess of Sussex is fashionable, she's poised, and she's driven. But beyond sharing similarities, Meghan Markle has also honored Princess Diana several times since joining the royal family, and everyone seems to take notice when she does because it's always so touching.
Though unsurprising given the media attention paid to her, Markle is apparently aware of the comparisons between herself and Princess Diana, and takes that into consideration, according to ELLE. "Meghan's very aware of how any photo taken of her will be part of the history books for a lifetime, so she's always careful not [to] hop on flash trends or look at that season's runways for inspiration," a source supposedly close to Markle told ELLE back in April. "Looking back to outfits that have stood the test of time is often a safe bet."
Markle's choices — whether it's fashion, a flower, or her son's name — are always talked about, but it's the symbolism and tiny touches hidden within them make them all the more special. And here are eight times Markle has honored her late mother-in-law with her thoughtfulness.
1. Baby Archie's Name
Royal fanatics were kind of shocked when Prince Harry and Markle announced that they'd decided to name their son Archie, which isn't the most royal choice, of course. Indeed, many expected them to go the traditional route, according to TIME, and most thought they'd pick a name like Alexander, or honor Princess Diana with the name Spencer — her surname. They did not go that route, but it appears Archie's name may still be a nod to the people's princess.
As it turns out, Princess Diana is said to have had an ancestor called Archibald Campbell, as People reported, which Archie may have been derived from. The couple hasn't explicitly said they named their son Archie after Princess Diana's relative, but there's certainly a chance.
2. Her Engagement Ring
Markle and Prince Harry got engaged in November 2017, according to The New York Times. After the engagement, the palace released a statement which featured some information about Markle's bling. The ring, according to ELLE, was designed to honor the couple's journey together and the Duke of Sussex's late mother.
According to the BBC, Prince Harry revealed that "the little diamonds either side are from my mother's jewelry collection to make sure that she's with us on this crazy journey together."
And the symbolism gets deeper. Recently, Markle redesigned her engagement ring, as Town & Country reported. She took a little flack for it, but it turns out Princess Diana did the same thing during her marriage, according to The Mirror.
According to Harper's Bazaar, Markle swapped her old band for a thinner one lined with more diamonds. And, as The Mirror reported, Princess Diana altered her already controversial sapphire engagement ring to include more prongs around the center jewel.
3. The Royal Wedding Flowers
Before walking down the aisle with Prince Harry, Markle told the BBC, "It's so important to me to know that she's a part of this with us," referring to Princess Diana. And as the wedding approached, Kensington Palace started to release details about who would be doing what at the wedding, and it became clear how the couple planned to make Princess Diana's presence felt on their big day.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex enlisted the help of floral designer Phillippa Craddock to create the floral arrangements for the wedding, according to StyleCaster, using "locally sourced folliage" from gardens and parks on the royal estate and Windsor Great Park to decorate St. George's Chapel. As such, according to The Cut, Craddock planned to use beech, birch, hornbeam, white garden roses, peonies, and foxgloves for the most part.
It was the white garden roses that caught everyone's eyes on Markle and Prince Harry's wedding day, as those were the primary flower used on Princess Diana's wedding bouquet, according to StyleCaster, which suggests it was a small way to honor her despite her absence.
4. Their Wedding Reading
Another way Prince Harry and Markle honored Princess Diana during their wedding was inviting her sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, to do a reading. According to HELLO! Magazine, she was invited to read from the Song of Solomon during the special day, which left many emotional. "The winter is past, the rain is over and gone... Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it," she said, according to HELLO! Magazine.
5. The Causes She Supports
Markle is also thoughtful when it comes to the causes she supports. Recently, she and Prince Harry marked Pride Month with an Instagram post, which included a nod to Princess Diana, according to TODAY.
The post featured nine different photos collaged together. One of the faces was that of Prince Harry's late mother, a longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community. The couple said in the post they were "'proudly'" showing their support for LGBTQ individuals and their rights during Pride Month 2019.
"This month we pay tribute to the accounts supporting the LGBTQ+ community — those young and old, their families and friends, accounts that reflect on the past and are hopeful for a deservedly more inclusive future," the caption read.
Among the photos in the collage, according to TODAY, was one of Princess Diana at the bedside of an AIDS patient. The photo is a reminder of the unprecedented support Princess Diana showed to the LGBTQ community while the HIV/AIDS crisis was at its height. According to The Guardian, Diana also helped open the first HIV unit in London at Middlesex Hospital.
6. Her Mother's Day Tribute
Markle celebrated her first Mother's Day as a member of the royal family this past May. She celebrated the special day with an Instagram post featuring her son's adorable little feet, but it's what was in the background of the photo that was important.
The photo featured on Markle and Prince Harry's Instagram account was taken in front of forget-me-not flowers in The Sunken Garden, which was a nod to Princess Diana as those were her known to be her favorite flower, according to House Beautiful. "Paying tribute to all mothers today — past, present, mothers-to-be, and those lost but forever remembered," Markle wrote in the caption.
7. Her Fashion Go-Tos
One of the more subtle ways Markle pays tribute to Princess Diana is with her style. She often wears colors seemingly inspired by the late royal, and while that goes unnoticed from time-to-time, sometimes it's so blaring folks can't help but point it out.
In January, for instance, People noted that Markle paid a visit to the English town of Birkenhead sporting a favorite color combination of Princess Diana's. Markle was photographed in a purple and red outfit as she made her way to an event, and Princess Diana notably wore red and purple during a trip to Hong Kong in 1989, Cosmopolitan reported.
8. Her Weekend Style
Markle isn't afraid to dress down when it comes time to kick back and relax. And as Reader's Digest noted, she and Princess Diana share some similar casual looks, which may be a nod to the late royal. According to Reader's Digest, both were photographed wearing jeans and sleek white button downs during their time in the royal family.
It could have been a coincidence, or Markle really could have been taking notes from Princess Diana. She wouldn't be the only one — in April, GQ hailed Princess Diana a street style icon, noting that she was sporting a lot of trends popular today.
One thing's for sure, Princess Diana was an icon in her own right. She had impeccable fashion sense, was well-spoken, independent, and unapologetically herself. Markle is her own woman, but certainly has some of the same qualities as Princess Diana did. It's no wonder she goes above and beyond to keep her memory alive.