If you are a zealot of some sort for all things about Royal Family, you’ve come to the right place. The newest additions to the Blue Bloods– Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton– are now so embedded in current pop culture that it is impossible not to compare them against each other.
At first glance, it would seem the royal ladies are, well, alike in so many ways. Both are married to Princes and opt for similar styles (and earrings) but there must be more to them than meets the eye. However similar they are, their differences are what make them unique and special. (You know, like when your aunts never missed a moment to tell you how much smarter or prettier your sister is.) Anyway, this is no Tale of the Tape but here’s a lowdown of everything about Meghan and Kate, and how intriguingly different they are.
Meghan Markle’s Upbringing
Rachel Meghan Markle is a dyed-in-the-wool Californian who was born in Los Angeles in 1981. She grew up around glitz and glamour because her dad, Thomas, is a lighting and photography director that received daytime Emmies for his work in such soap operas as General Hospital. Her mom Doria is a woman of many endeavors, which includes working as a yoga instructor, make-up artist, and also doing social work. Doria is African-American, which makes Meghan biracial, and no doubt contributed to her stunningly unmistakable beauty.
Kate Middleton’s Upbringing
On the other hand, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, or Kate as we know her, was destined for royalty at a young age. The Middleton family has longstanding ties with the Royal Family since the 1920s. She was born in Reading, England but also lived in Amman, Jordan where her father worked for British Airways during her adolescence. Before graduating from Fife University in Scotland, she traveled to Chile where she participated in a community enhancing Raleigh Program. Her travels then took her to Italy where she studied at the British Institute of Florence. Needless to say, adjusting to jetting around the world as a royal was not too hard a transition for the Duchess.
Meghan Markle’s Previous Career
As an American celebrity, Meghan’s life is like an open book to many and that includes her acting career. She first appeared in medical soap opera “General Hospital”. However her first lead television role was in Suits where she played Rachel Zane. In addition to her television appearances, she is also a model and somehow finds time to add freelance calligrapher to her resume.
Kate Middleton’s Previous Career
Kate’s resume is nothing to scoff at either. She was employed a fashion retailer named Jigsaw as an Associate Accessories Buyer for a time and also helps out with her family business called Party Pieces. She’s in charge of design and production, photography, and marketing.
Meghan And Her Fashion Sense
Meghan has Hollywood written all over her and does modeling on the side so expectedly, she should be seen wearing trendier outfits. She will often resort to simple pieces of clothing rather than the traditional elegance Royal lady customarily exudes.
Kate And Her Fashion Sense
Kate, on the other hand, prefers the traditional style and will often be seen wearing long coats and conservative dresses. She dresses similarly to the Queen which is advantageous considering that will be her title at some point. Nonetheless, you could say that Kate’s impact on the fashion industry is much larger than Meghan’s despite her reserved style. Many emulated Kate’s look and it has even garnered its own name in the fashion industry, the “ Kate Middleton effect”.
How Meghan Met Harry
I’m pretty sure Meghan and Harry do not have Tinder accounts (I could be wrong, though), but how they began dating is comparable.
In 2016, a mutual friend set them up on a blind date, igniting the romance we all know today. That friend is apparently a terrific matchmaker because the couple hit it off instantly .Their next date consisted of a trip to Botswana where Meghan and Harry spent five days camping out with all the stars in the night sky.
How Kate Met William
While Meghan and Harry instantly hit it off on a blind date, Kate and William had known each other since they were in high school at St. Andrew’s. William, having the confidence of being a prince, made his first move to Kate when he saw her at charity fashion event wearing a see-through dress and black underwear!
Harry’s Intimate Proposal
As similar as romantic nights in Botswana and nearly nude catwalk shows are, the brothers proposals really weren’t that distant. Kidding aside, the proposals that eventually resulted in tying the knot are just as interesting as the long road that led to the magical moments.
Harry’s was very intimate and spontaneous, happening while they were roasting chicken at the Prince’s Nottingham Cottage. Meghan was so excited that she said yes before Harry was done with the actual proposal! Meghan, being so into the moment, had to reminded by Harry of the ring which was supposed to go on her finger. If that scene doesn’t belong in a romantic- comedy, I don’t know what does.
William’s African-flavored Proposal
Speaking of movies, how often do we see a plot like this? Boy and girl split up, realize they still love each other, cry about it, then against all odds find their way back into each other’s arms and live happily ever after. The jury is still out on the happily ever after part but that pretty much sums up Kate and William’s story leading up to the proposal.
The couple was not entirely sure what led to the breakup but what’s important is they reconciled, paving the way for William to pop the question in Kenya in 2010. The sweetest thing about the whole moment was not the ‘he got down on one knee’ moment everyone dreams of but William’s decision to use Princess Diana’s engagement ring, his idea of having his mother present at one of the most intimate moments of his life.
Meghan’s Engagement Ring
Because RINGS are synonymous with PROPOSALS, let’s take a look at the pieces of jewelry in question.
The ring that Harry gave Meghan was custom-made which he himself designed. It is made of yellow gold, Meghan’s favorite, and the center stone came from a certain South African nation the couple seem to have an affinity for, the country of Botswana! Like his brother William, Harry also made sure his mother would be ever-present by selecting three smaller stones from Princess Diana’s very own jewelry collection.
Kate’s Wedding Ring
As previously mentioned, this 12-carat sapphire and diamond ring was also Princess D’s very own engagement ring. The backstory behind the ring is quite sincere. After his mother’s tragic death, Harry took possession of the ring as a heirloom of his mother. However, Harry had an agreement in place with his brother that the ring would be bestowed to William if the older brother was to become engaged first. Thus, the ring was gifted to William, which he then used to propose to Kate with . Just to put it out there, the ring was estimated to be worth over 300,000 Sterling pounds in 2016.
Meghan’s Pre-Nuptial Photos
For this generation, the pre-wedding photos are as important as the wedding itself so let’s see some of stunning photographs.
The man behind this beautiful camera work goes by the name Alexi Lubomisrksi, whose family has noble ties himself. The poses were candid and physical, with Meghan cuddling up close with Harry and seated between his legs in another.
Kate’s Official Pre-Wedding Photos
This picture is one of two official engagement photos of Kate and William, taken by Mario Testoni at St. James Palace. Though they too cuddle up in the other picture, it was generally more reserved and formal compared to the snuggle-filled snapshots of Meghan and Harry.
Meghan’s Wedding Dress
The dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller, a British stylist who is a Glamour Awardee and the artistic director of the French perfume house Givenchy, among other things. There were other top fashion talents in contention for the wedding dress design including Inbal Dror, Erdem, and Ralph & Russo. Keller eventually won out and they had to pay a hefty sum of 100,000 Pounds for her services.
Kate’s Wedding Dress
Kate tapped the services of Alexander McQueen to provide her the lace-sleeved wedding gown which came at a steep price as well. The dress reportedly cost around $434,000 dollars. Why so much?
First, Alexander McQueen was one of the most prestigious designers in the fashion industry before his untimely death. Second, it takes quite a set of skills to have the lacework ALL handmade. The Brits can take a collective sigh of relief, though, because the money definitely did not come from their taxes as it was Kate’s parents who took the 400-thousand-dollar wedding dress bill.
Meghan’s Wedding Ring
The British Royal Family has a longstanding tradition of having their wedding rings be fashioned out of the ultra-rare Welsh gold. And yep, that’s exactly what Meghan’s nuptial ring is made out of. The gesture demonstrates Prince Harry’s seriousness which is just fitting because an 8,500-dollar ring is a SERIOUS amount of money.
Kate’s Wedding Ring
Kate’s wedding band is also made of Welsh gold, all 18 carats of it, as per the 80-year-old tradition. We could not get a specific price on the ring, but it would come as quite a shock if it is as valuable as her famous diamond and sapphire engagement ring which was previously owned by Princess Diana.
The Wedding Itself– Meghan and Harry
If the cost of the dresses, rings, and accessories used in a Royal wedding are equivalent to the entire GDP of Venezuela (kidding!), how much exactly is it? Estimates are all over the map–from $1.4 million to $46 million– but the Daily Express noted that the couple racked up a 30-million pound bill, which is close to $40,000,000.
The May 19, 2018 wedding happened at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and was attended by some 600 guests. Amazingly, on TV it was viewed by as many as 2 billion people.
The Wedding Itself– Kate and William
The wedding took place on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey and was attended by almost 2,000 people. The cost? 34 million dollars, 32 million of which went to security alone. The dress alone cost a whopping $434,000. William’s outfit on the other hand, has been around for 40 years so it must have been free.
Meghan’s Official Royal Title
When you marry into the Royal Family (or when a member gets married), they just don’t get new jewelry– they are also given new Royal titles. For Meghan’s part, she is now officially Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
She will be the first woman known as the Duchess of Sussex while Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will be the second man to hold the title.
Kate’s Royal Title
Kate was officially given the title the Duchess of Cambridge (styled as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge) after marrying Prince William, who was given the dukedom by Queen Elizabeth herself. She is also referred to as the Countess of Strathearn when in Scotland and Lady Carrickfergus when in Northern Ireland as a result of William having the titles of Earl of Strathearn and Baron of Cerrickfergus.
Meghan’s Wedding Reception Dress
I didn’t have any idea that the concept of a second wedding dress even existed, but apparently they are worn by the rich who have an earlier wedding ceremony and then go on to have a reception in the evening.
In Meghan’s case, this elegant white halter was designed by British designer Stella McCartney. Meghan herself approached McCartney to design the reception dress which resulted in the stunning piece we’ve come to love. The latter also designed Amal Clooney’s and Oprah Winfrey’s dresses for the same event. McCartney surely made Meghan Markle’s wedding reception her own runway.
Kate’s Wedding Reception Dress
Featuring a satin A-line skirt and a sweetheart neckline, Kate graced her wedding reception night in a much simpler dress still designed by Sara Burton (Alexander McQueen’s creative director). The best part of the dress is that it has no train, which means she doesn’t need her sister Pippa’s help anymore to get around!
Meghan’s Perfume Of Choice
Meghan is said to be head-over-heels in love with the Jo Malone London perfume brand and who could blame her? Even the description of these perfumes already smells heavenly! “Lively, spirited, and totally joyful” is how the brand describes their Wood Sage & Sea Salt cologne. Some might say these characteristics accurately describe Meghan as well.
Kate’s Perfume of Choice
Kate loves her signature scents, that much is sure. Perhaps her most favorite is Illuminum White Gardenia Petals, the fragrance she wore at her wedding. The other smell she seems to be in love with is Jo Malone’s orange scent. So much so, Kate had candles with the scent burning as she walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey.
Meghan’s Favorite Color
Members of the Royal Family have to be careful about the colors they choose to wear. However, Meghan seems to be favoring one more than others– the color green. It tends to be a darker, forest green whether it’s floral or printed. She has already been spotted sporting the color on several occasions.
Kate’s Favorite Color
Of course, the Duchess of Cambridge also has a hue of choice and in an interview by People magazine, she said it’s white. It comes as no surprise, though, as we can see Kate wearing white on numerous occasions including the recent 2019 BAFTA Awards in London where she looked absolutely stunning, by the way.
Meghan Markle’s Fitness Regimen
Meghan enjoys working out quite a bit, mainly for its mental health benefits. She approaches exercise with a great measure of self-love. Yoga and running are her favorite ways to stay fit and whenever possible, Meghan finds time take on these activities with friends.
Kate’s Fitness Regimen
While Meghan openly expresses her undying love for yoga, the secret to Kate’s yummy tummy is a high-protein, low-carb diet called the Dukan Diet. She’s has also been noted to dabble in the recent raw food trend at least one day a week. She’s also into volleyball and was inspired to lose the baby bump she proudly showed by postnatal fitness guru Judy Di Fiore.
Kate also loves planking and the three elements of it– the basic, side, and prone skydrive– and can repeat each at least 10 times and hold it at least 45 seconds. That is one strong core right there.
Meghan Markle’s Pregnancy
Every woman’s pregnancy is different so of course that’s the case when it comes to Meghan and Kate. This will be Meghan’s first pregnancy, but hers seems surprisingly a lot easier than Kate’s pregnancies ever appeared to be with her three children. According to people who follow the Royal Family, Meghan’s body language shows how proud she is that she is going to be a future mom and reports say she may also opt for a more private birth.
Kate has three kids already, but pregnancy is by no means a walk in the park for her. She experiences an extreme form of morning sickness– scientifically called hyperemesis gravidarum, which sounds more like a spell from Harry Potter more than anything else. Because of this, she often must miss royal and public engagements. However, after each birth she makes it a point to immediately appear in public with Prince William and the baby.
Meghan’s “Direct Relationship” With the Camera
Media people often read a lot into celebrities’ actions, no matter how great or small they are. In terms of how Meghan engages the paparazzi’s quick camera lenses, body language expert Judi James suggests that the Duchess of Sussex courts the camera, so to speak, by addressing the camera with a straightforward gaze. This is an attempt to show that she is open, accessible and yet highly confident.
Kate’s Camera Work
While Meghan aims to directly look at the camera, Kate is often photographed with an averted gaze. She exudes a more passive relationship with the camera suggesting a more introverted personality than the camera-loving Meghan. That difference in personality can further be identified with the next topic of comparison…
Meghan’s Level of Comfort in Public Speaking
Royal insider, Camilla Tominey, points out a marked difference between the two ladies when it comes to public speaking. While Meghan is a natural presenter and public speaker, Kate tends to shy away from the task as she is obviously less comfortable speaking in the spotlight.
Kate and Public Speaking
Although Kate does have her struggles when it comes to public speaking, she’s excelled in all other aspects of her royal duties. She’s become a fashion icon and a role model for millions of people. We have no doubt that she’ll be able to hurdle over this obstacle with ease and one day become a natural at public speaking.
Meghan’s First Solo Project As A Royal
Meghan went the unorthodox route in her first solo royal project by combining her love of cooking with charity work in cooking for the victims of the Grenfell tower fire tragedy. The project called Together, also features the Duchess of Sussex writing the foreword of a charity cookbook in collaboration with the cooks of Hubb Kitchen Community.
A little excerpt from what Meghan wrote: “I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together. Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy – in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture, and commune through food, through crisis or joy – something we can all relate to.
Kate’s First Solo Project As A Royal
Kate focused on something really close to her heart for her first-ever solo royal project. It was fixated on child welfare, specifically for children who were not given much support from their early years. It was a lifelong project for the Duchess of Cambridge, her passion for the program evidenced by her enlistment of academia and health experts, ensuring a more secure future for the children in question.
Meghan’s First Solo Trip With The Queen
Just less than a month after her wedding, Meghan embarked on a project with Queen Elizabeth II herself by attending the ceremonial opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in addition to visiting The Storyhouse and Town Hall.
I’m sure Meghan enjoyed the trip with the Majesty herself helping her learn the ropes. The pair embarked on this journey using the royal train as a means of transport. This is noteworthy because it’s been rumored that neither William, Harry or Kate have ever been on a trip abroad in the luxurious locomotive.
Kate’s First Solo Trip With The Queen
One-on-one time between Kate and the queen came less than a year after the former’s marriage as the two went together for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Tour in Leicester, England. For some reason, Kate has not gotten an invitation to ride aboard the Royal Train but maybe she just prefers planes. Whatever the case is, the Queen seems to be very content attending events with either Meghan or Kate.
Meghan’s First Overseas Tour With Harry
It was a brief two-day visit to neighboring Ireland but it sure was worth it. It was full of cultural celebration and activities that included visits to Trinity College, Croke Park Gaelic Sports Festival, and seeing one of the world’s oldest manuscripts of the New Testament , the Book of Kells.
Kate’s First Overseas Tour With Williams
While Meghan and Harry spent a whirlwind couple of days in Ireland for their first international trip as a couple, Kate and Williams spent nine days in Canada for theirs. They covered a lot of ground on their first visit including watching a dragon boat race, attending cooking classes and watching the Calgary Stampede with matching white hats.
Meghan’s Very First Royal Ascot
The Royal Ascot is a very big deal in Britain for the sole reason that it’s one of the most profitable racehorse competitions in the world, having prize money of over 7 million pounds. Meghan attended her very first Royal Ascot in 2018 wearing a white Givenchy dress while presenting the jockey Frankie Dettori with the trophy.
Kate’s Very First Royal Ascot
Kate made her debut at the Royal Ascot five years after she and William tied the knot. It took Kate quite a while to attend the prestigious event, but either way her stunning look made the wait worthwhile.
Meghan’s Royal Baby
… is not born yet but I’m sure a lot of us who are following are pretty excited about this event. Meghan and Harry announced that they are going to have a child 5 months into their wedding which is a little early than expected. So, are they going to have a girl or a boy? Unless you’re somebody from MI-6 or have Meghan’s doctor hostage, there would be no way of knowing the child’s gender. It seems the couple want to keep the gender a surprise until the birth this spring. Bummer.
Kate’s Royal Babies
Kate has a pretty considerable headstart over Meghan and now has three ultra-adorable kids. George was born July 22, 2013, Charlotte on May 2, 2015, and Louis on April 23, 2018. It could be pretty loud at the Duke and Duchess’ castle five years from now. Yep, I can hear it already.