Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle had very different paths toward their lives as royals, but even as each of them prepared to take on their roles, they received very different advice from Queen Elizabeth. Now, as Meghan prepares for her official exit from the royal family, it’s interesting to compare the advice that the two women received.
Kate waited for years to become an official member of the royal family. She and Prince William dated for almost a decade before they were married.
“Privately [the Queen] had grave concerns and believed that Kate needed to have a job and an identity in her own right before an engagement was announced,” author Katie Nicholl wrote in “The Making of Romance.” “The Queen is one of the hardest-working royals, despite her age, and that a future member of the Royal Family was without a full-time job was unacceptable to her.”
Before she married William, Kate worked for a company called Starlight that helps terminally ill children.
The queen was reportedly pleased by Middleton’s decision to work, and welcomed her into the royal family when she and William were married in 2011. It all worked out well for Middleton, but the same cannot be said for Markle.
In the case of the former actress, it was clear that she was already capable of holding down a career independent of her future husband. She had also clearly expressed a number of political views, including denouncing President Donald Trump.
When the queen discovered that Harry and Meghan were going to be engaged, she asked Markle to tone down her political stances. According to Paul Burrell, who was once a butler to Princess Diana, Meghan was expected to fall in line with the rest of the family.
“What comes with maturity is a set of beliefs and they don’t sit well with the Royal Family. She has to toe the party line,” Burrell said of Markle’s previously outspoken political nature.
In essence, Markle was given the opposite advice of Middleton. Where Kate was asked to go out and establish her own career before joining the family, Markle was asked to step back from much of her career and activism focused work before she joined the family.
Given each woman’s position before joining the royal family, these lines of advisement make sense. It’s clear, though, that Markle was no longer totally happy toeing the party line, which is part of the reason she decided to step back from the royal family.