Meghan Markle and Diana’s shared pain as Prince Harry fears history will repeat itself
Ever since Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired the world has been frantically trying to understand if Harry’s wife had been treated in a similar fashion to his late mother Diana.
In a very similar set up in 1995, Diana told Martin Bashir that the Royal Household was no longer supporting her, alleging that they saw her as a “threat of some kind”.
When asked why she believed this, Diana replied: “I think 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.”
The Duchess of Sussex appeared to be singing for a very similar hymn book when she explained to the American chat show host that there was a point when she “didn’t want to be alive anymore” and she therefore “couldn’t be left alone”.
The Suits actress claimed she’d reached out to the HR department at the Palace for support but her cries for help were ignored because she wasn’t a “paid employee”.
While many people have discussed the many similarities from both bombshell interviews, the Daily Star has spoken body language expert Judi James to give her opinion.
Having analysed both discussions in her expert capacity, Judi has uncovered four major comparisons that Diana and Meghan both shared during each tell-all exchange.
1. The Pose
Judi explained: “Diana adopted an elegant and formal pose that retained a sense of her royal status. With her legs crossed and her hands folded on her lap she used very little body movement or gesticulation, making the emphasis on her facial expression and the variety of emotions flashing through her huge eyes.
“Meghan also adopted a sense of regal elegance, sitting with her legs crossed, although she used more gesticulation as she spoke and her upper body splaying suggested higher levels of confidence and power.
“Both women adopted poses that subtly mirrored their interviewers, suggesting a like-minded approach.”
2. The eyes
“There were some similar eye-movements, especially a roll to the left when going into recalled memory. Both women also used the cut-off or long blink, to suggest either that painful memories were being evoked or that they were pausing during an emotional moment.
“There were moments of coyness from both, with an eye-dip and head-shake, but both women also used some strong eye contact on their interviewers to suggest emphasis and openness.
“There was a suggestion of suppressed anger at times from Meghan in her accelerated blink rate, whereas Diana’s eye expressions were mainly about a more passive sadness and regret for what had happened,” added the specialist in behaviour.
3. The smile
Judi also pointed out: “Both women used a wry or rueful smile to suggest a sense of bravery against the odds, or to suggest ‘you only know half of it’.
“Diana’s was more dramatic, with the lips closed and the mouth pulled up one side in an asymmetric shape but Meghan did a subtler version that looked similar at times.”
4. The brow raise
“Both raised their brows for emphasis but Meghan’s brow shapes also suggested sadness. At one point her brows steepled in a look of fear and her eyes looked pleading as she described her mental health and she began to cry.
“Meghan’s body language reflected how close the experiences were for her and at times the pleading eye expressions and her tears showed close connection to her emotional state in the UK.
“Diana’s body language suggested someone who could look back on her vulnerable, much younger self with understanding, wisdom and compassion though.
“Her words suggested a counselling or coaching approach as though she had studied her own problems like bulimia and would now be able to help others rather than suffer,” revealed the expert.
Having studied both women during each raw interview at length, Judi also detailed that there had also been a lot of differences adopted by both Meghan and Diana when it came to their approach.
She said: “The body language shows two very different women at two very different stages in their lives but in many ways with similar emotional results.
“Diana was a woman who was born into aristocracy, with an understanding of the royals and how The Firm worked. One of her core values during her interview was a continuity of that historic responsibility whereas Meghan spoke as an outsider who had escaped a process and traditions that had taken her by surprise.
“Diana was the woman who had survived after suffering as a young girl while Meghan spoke as the successful grown-up who felt she had lost her freedom and her career when she married into the Firm.”
Another contrast that Judi highlighted was that Meghan was very much supported while Diana seemed to fight her battles alone.
Judi continued: “Diana had lost her husband and feared that she had never really had him, while Meghan’s adoring, doting, protective and supportive husband appeared on camera to show she was loved and cherished in a way that Diana never was by Charles.
“Meghan spoke from a place of total safety with a sympathetic Oprah acting like they were having a friendly gossip and with Harry waiting in the wings, while Diana looked totally isolated in her grief.”
“There were similarities in their narratives though and similarities in their non-verbal delivery. Harry’s dread of “history repeating itself” was made horribly true in the parallels between both womens stories,” concluded Judi.