One has been a part of royal circles for most of her adult life. The other is just getting warmed up. But there is no question that when it comes to Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, both women have already made a significant impact on the fashion world.
“Meghan has all the makings of a princess,” says Tatler fashion director Sophie Goodwin.
The two potential sisters-in-law, who are close in age — Meghan is 36, Kate 35 — call to mind another famous royal sisterhood: that of Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, a friendship that captured the public imagination when Ferguson wed Prince Andrew in 1986. The two famously bonded as young royal wives, but despite Fergie’s efforts (she lost weight and commissioned several outfits from the chic Paris fashion house YSL), she was never able to compete with the glamorous and effortlessly elegant Diana.
“Diana was such a massive fashion icon,” says royal photographer Mark Stewart. Fergie, meanwhile, “tried all the top designers, but she was always being compared to Diana.”
Known to favor a more low-key look than Kate, Markle’s clearest style inspiration hails from the chic streets of Paris — in particular, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Emmanuelle Alt. Markle has called the fashion-forward Alt her “spirit animal” and revealed in an interview that her top fashion tip is to messy things up a little — the opposite of Kate’s ultra-polished style ethos. “If your outfit is on point, one thing has to be off for you to look perfect,” she told U.K’s Glamour.
A decade older than Fergie was when she entered the royal spotlight — and with a well-established career to her credit — Meghan is also at a very different point in her life than the royal partners who have come before her.
Says Goodwin: “Meghan is a natural, and her personality shines through.”