Clip from Princess Diana Panorama interview sparks comparisons to Meghan Markle: ‘Parallels are astonishing’

Late royal says royal family saw her as a ‘threat’ because she did things ‘differently’

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 11 March 2021 22:12
Princess Diana reveals mental health struggles in famous Panorama interview

A clip of Princess Diana candidly discussing how she was viewed by the royal family has prompted comparisons between the late royal and Meghan Markle following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The video, taken from the late Princess of Wales’ 1995 interview with the BBC’s Panorama, was shared by filmmaker Ava DuVernay on Monday, a day after the duke and duchess’s two-hour conversation with Winfrey first aired in the US.

In the clip, Prince Harry’s mother can be seen explaining why the “establishment” that she married into has “decided that [she’s] a non-starter”.

According to Diana, the royal family came to the conclusion because she did things “differently,” with the late royal telling Martin Bashir: “Because I do things differently, because I don’t go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head, and albeit that’s got me into trouble in my work, I understand that.

“But someone’s got to go out there and love people and show it.”

Read more: You can find all the latest updates from Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah here

Diana, who was married to Prince Harry and Prince William’s father Prince Charles, then claimed that the royal family saw her as a “threat of some kind”.

“They see me as a threat of some kind and I’m here to do good, I’m not a destructive person,” Diana told Bashir during the unprecedented interview, adding that she thinks “every strong woman in history has had to walk down a similar path”.

“And I think it’s the strength that causes the confusion and the fear,” Diana said. “Why is she strong? Where does she get it from? Where is she taking it? Where is she going to use it? Why do the public still support her? When I say public, you go and do an engagement and there’s a great many people there.”

During the interview, Diana also opened up about the issues and unhappiness in her marriage, her eating disorder, and her mental health struggles.

On Twitter, where DuVernay shared the clip, which has since been viewed more than 1.8m times, along with Diana’s quote: “It’s the strength that causes the confusion and the fear,” viewers have drawn parallels between the treatment of the two women, with many royal fans suggesting that Meghan’s own experience with the royal family and interview echoed that of Diana’s.

During the interview, the duchess spoke candidly about her struggles with mental health and the lack of support she claimed to receive from the royal family. Meghan also alleged that there were conversations raised during her first pregnancy about the colour of her unborn baby’s skin.

“The parallels are astonishing. I have MAD respect for Harry for recognising the same cycle was about to repeat itself if he didn’t get out. And for Megan for being unbelievably strong and true to herself in all that madness,” one person tweeted in response to the clip, which has been liked more than 64,000 times.

Another said: “I thought of this Diana interview the whole time Meghan was speaking, history was repeating itself.”

The idea that Meghan suffered similar treatment to that of Princess Diana was a topic raised by Prince Harry during the interview with Winfrey, with the duke revealing that his biggest fear was that “history would repeat itself”.

“For me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago. It has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we have each other,” Prince Harry said of his and Meghan’s experience in comparison to his mother’s.

The duke also said that his mother would be “very angry and very sad” about the events that transpired and led to their exit.

“I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad, but ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy,” he told Winfrey.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments