If you're obsessed with the British royal family, you probably are already counting down the days until May 19 — the wedding date of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. As you gear up to celebrate this love story, you might want to catch up on Markle's life with Meghan: A Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton, out now.
Morton writes about every step of Markle's life — from her childhood growing up in Los Angeles, to her time at Northwestern University, to her struggles in Hollywood, to the famous blind date that would lead to an engagement with Prince Harry. But one part of Morton's account of Markle's life that will make any reader's heart ache is his description of her connection to her fiancé's late mother, Princess Diana.
Princess Diana's humanitarian efforts and effortless grace earned her "The People's Princess." She was an icon for any '90s kid, and Meghan Markle was not immune to her allure. When she died in 1997, billions of people around the globe mourned her passing — including Markle, who felt the loss keenly.
A teenager at the time of Princess Diana's death, Markle and a friend watched the video from Princess Diana's wedding in the wake of the tragedy, and Markle reportedly kept a biography of the princess on her bookshelf for years afterward. But Morton writes that Diana's work inspired them to take even greater action:
"According to family friends, she was intrigued by Diana not just for her style but for her independent humanitarian mission, seeing her as a role model. Inspired by the princess, she and her friend Suzy collected clothes and toys for less privileged children [...] As her childhood friend Ninaki Priddy observed: 'She was always fascinated by the Royal Family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.'"
Could 16-year-old Markle have been able to predict that she would one day be stepping into similar shoes? There's no way she could have possibly known that her future husband was in the funeral procession on her television screen, mourning the same loss in a much more personal way.
Indeed, the bride-to-be has already demonstrated plans to carry on Princess Diana's legacy of humanitarian work. On top of her extensive career helping charities around the globe, it was announced on Monday that Markle will hold an official role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, alongside Prince Harry. In this position, the couple will travel the Commonwealth countries together with the mission to listen to the voices of young people and find solutions to economic, environmental, and social issues.