Meghan Markle didn’t copy a look from Princess Diana at the Queen’s funeral

Social media users have claimed that the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, copied a look from the late Princess Diana after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. But the photo published in the publications is old. Taken at the 2019 Memorial Day celebration, her outfit respected the usual dress code to commemorate the Armistice of 1918.

“People are saying Meghan is evil for that,” reads a September 12, 2022 tweet. “Does anyone else think that dressing your dead husband’s mother’s clothes to a funeral is strange?”

The post includes a photo montage of Markle and Diana in black coats and hats. Similar tweets amassed thousands of posts on Twitter within days of the Queen’s death on September 8, 2022.

“I’m here for this level of petty,” says another Sept. 12 tweet with #QueenElizabeth#.

Meghan Markle didn't copy a look from Princess Diana at Queen's funeral

The photos were also circulated side by side on Instagram and Facebook.

But a reverse image search shows that Markle’s photo was taken during the Memorial Day celebration on November 11, 2019.

The photo of Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, was taken on Memorial Day in 1991, as seen here.

Jessica Strochochuk, a historian and blog author on the British royal family, told AFP that Diana and Markle were seen wearing poppies “in honor of veterans and those who have not returned” from World War One.

“In Britain, Canada and elsewhere, this will be immediately understood in the context of Memorial Day,” she said.

Brooke Newman, historian of early modern Britain and the royal family at Virginia Commonwealth University agrees.

“By wearing a simple black belted coat decorated with a single red poppy,” she said, “both women attempted to shift the focus away from themselves and toward the primary focus of the solemn occasion: commemorating the Armistice of 1918.”

Other royal women have been photographed with similar looks on other memorial days. Below is a photo of Princess Catherine wearing black with red poppies in 2021.

For Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, which took place on September 19, women in the royal family wore “what was expected” of them, Storchuk said: a black dress or a knee-length or longer coat, with a black hat and black stockings.

Markle has appeared in black at several public ceremonies to bid farewell to the Queen.

On September 10, King Charles III’s sons William and Harry appeared publicly with their wives to greet the crowds gathered in front of Windsor Castle.

Harry and his wife have been under intense media scrutiny since early 2020, when they resigned from their royal duties and moved to Los Angeles. The couple’s meeting with Oprah Winfrey in March of 2021, as well as their lucrative deals with streaming platforms like Spotify and AppleTV, have fueled that interest.

Newman said online posts play a role in the long-term scrutiny of Markle’s fashion choices.

“Members of the royal family, and women in particular, face intense media scrutiny and therefore care a lot about their choices of clothing and jewelry,” she said. “As the only person of African descent to marry into the royal family, Meghan has faced an unprecedented level of negative criticism about her fashion choices – no matter how careful she chooses her dress.”