Princess Diana‘s secret biographer, Andrew Morton, recently discussed the differences between the late Princess of Wales’s royal situation with her ex-husband, King Charles, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s exit as senior royals in the wake of the newly-released fifth season of The Crown.
“The big difference between Diana and Charles and Harry and Meghan is that Diana was trapped in a loveless marriage, whereas these two seem extremely happy together. That’s a huge difference,” said Andrew—author of Diana: Her True Story, which he collaborated on with Diana herself—to Vanity Fair. Published in July 1992, Andrew’s tell-all book revealed everything from how unhappy Diana with the unfaithful Prince Charles to her feelings of loneliness and even depression at times.
The author further dissected Diana and her son’s respective royal exits by commenting on how long they each waited to tell their stories: “Diana gave it 10 years before she rebelled and helped me [on the book]. [Harry and Meghan] didn’t even give it 10 months. He was meeting with Oprah in November 2018, which was six months after they married, to discuss a tell-all [interview]. So it seems that they headed for the exit door fairly rapidly. Prince Harry’s made it perfectly clear that he found the royal world suffocating and difficult to cope with. In Meghan, I think he saw a pathway out.” This observation is particularly interesting since, over the years, people have often compared Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s conversation with Oprah to the explosive (and unethically obtained) 1995 interview Princess Diana had with Martin Bashir.
Though Andrew doesn’t necessarily think both situations are the same, he *does* believe Princess Diana would have been sympathetic to the struggles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—namely in their desire to establish a boundary between themselves and the royal family by quite literally moving across the world to California. After all, it’s previously been reported that Diana had considered a move to Malibu herself after finalizing her divorce from Charles. “[The princess] saw America as a land of positivity, opportunity,” said Andrew. “So she would probably be very sympathetic to Prince Harry.”
As for his thoughts on actress Elizabeth Debicki‘s portrayal of the late princess in The Crown season 5? “It was like watching a ghost, really,” said Andrew, who also confessed that the scenes of Diana recording herself answering his questions especially moved him. “It was like going back into the room 30 years ago. I was blown away by how she got every nuance of her character.”