Scobie: The palace encouraged Princess Kate & Meghan to cosplay Diana

When Princess Diana passed away, she left her personal jewelry collection to her sons, to be divided up between Harry and William however they saw fit. Most of the pieces worn by Kate are either Royal Collection pieces strongly associated with Diana, or some of the bigger sapphire pieces Diana received to “match” her engagement ring. Between the Duchess of Sussex and Princess of Wales, we’ve seen a lot of Diana’s pieces, and I honestly think Meghan got the better end of it – she got the aquamarine “freedom ring,” some of Diana’s smaller (and most beloved) casual pieces (simple earrings and bracelets), and Diana’s Cartier watch. Beyond the jewelry connections, both of Diana’s daughters-in-law have done some homages to Diana. Personally, I think there’s a distinction between “an homage/reference to Diana” versus “Diana cosplay.” Meghan will sometimes reference Diana’s style but she has never (to my knowledge) fully cosplayed Diana like Kate has done frequently, for years and years. Well, Omid Scobie’s Endgame includes some information about how palace staff *encouraged* that cosplay.

The Princess of Wales and Meghan Markle have both been encouraged to dress like Diana so a bit of her ‘shine could rub off on them’, according to a new book. Omid Scobie, who has long been closely associated with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, claims in his new book about the royal family that the pair were urged to essentially ‘cosplay’ as their husbands’ mother-in-law.

The Sussexes’ biographer writes that Kate, 41, and Meghan, 42, would sometimes be given outfits based on ideas which used photos of the late Princess of Wales for inspiration. The 42-year-old quotes a royal source as saying that William, 41, and Harry, 39, were consulted anytime it was suggested that their wives be dressed in a style similar to their late mother.

In [Endgame], Scobie writes that Kate and Meghan both wear jewellery that once belonged to their late mother-in-law, adding that a ‘huge amount of effort’ is put into ‘channelling her exact look’ and this is ‘sometimes beyond the pale’.

He adds: ‘During the past thirteen years, Diana cosplay has become a royal staple… Were there gentle pushes from others? At times, yes. It had been known for someone to go back and pull images of Diana at a certain place or time for ideas. At the right moment this can be a sweet gesture, but there is also a slightly queasy feeling when you realise it’s often orchestrated within the same system that contributed to her living misery, and an institution that still wants some of Diana’s shine to rub off on them.’

[From The Daily Mail]

It would not surprise me if “It had been known for someone to go back and pull images of Diana at a certain place or time for ideas” is only true about Kate and not Meghan. When Meghan lived in the UK, those same staffers were terrified that Meghan had Diana-like potential to overshadow everyone else. The last thing they wanted to do was draw a direct visual comparison between Diana and Meghan. But I’m saying that as someone who has found Kate’s Diana cosplay to be extremely creepy for a long time. At least we know that it wasn’t Kate alone, creating her Diana lookbooks and Meghan lookbooks. It’s a group effort within the palace to somehow try to create a personality for Kate by dressing her up like a Diana or Meghan doll.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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66 Responses to “Scobie: The palace encouraged Princess Kate & Meghan to cosplay Diana”

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  1. equality says:

    I wonder if William was told to use Diana’s engagement ring for Kate.

    • Amy Bee says:


    • Miranda says:

      Considering how notoriously disastrous Diana and Charles’ marriage turned out to be, I’ve always found the fact that Kate was given the EXACT RING to be pretty messed up. I’m sure Kate doesn’t care, because she’s desperate for any Diana shine, but God, he could’ve at least had the stones reset in a new ring.

      • Flamingo says:

        I think that would have brought outrage if they dissasembled the gems to a new ring.

        Diana is and will always be the peoples Princess. I wish all of her jewlery was in a museuem for the world to share in seeing. Forever protected.

        Everytime I see Kate wearing something of Diana’s I cringe.

    • Nanea says:

      If I were William, I’d never have thought of using *the* most infamous symbol of a failed marriage.

      While I don’t believe in karma, it never was a good look, and shows how little he cared about Kate right from the start.

      edited to add: what Miranda said *very* shortly before me.

    • Z says:

      I would belive that 100% happened, remember how they lied and put out a story that Harry inherited the ring and then “sweetly” gave it to William to give to Kate (Harry debunked that little lie in Spare).

  2. Eurydice says:

    I guess I’m so used to Meghan being Meghan that I can’t remember which of her outfits were Diana-inspired.

    • Amy Bee says:

      I don’t think they were any Diana inspired outfits for Meghan.

      • Well Wisher says:

        Meghan was an adult with her own sense of style, she bought and paid for her own clothes…
        She may have had consultations about appropiatediness of certain fashion..

    • ABCD says:

      There were definitely a few (Google Meghan Markle Diana outfits) even her Wedding party dress looks like a homage to Diana and I thought it a nice gesture especially as she wore it with the freedom ring

      • Eurydice says:

        Thanks, I’ll do that.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I just did that. Gotta say, and it happens all the time, the DF places side by side photos of two women wearing stripes and regardless of the style of the outfit, the color, the accessories, etc., they’ll say there’s inspiration, an homage, copying, etc. In this case, for example, they paired side by sides of the same photo of Meghan at a Remembrance Day event with two different photos of Diana. Commonality? Both women in black dresses & coats, black broad-brimmed hats, wearing a poppy. I mean, seriously!

      • VoominVava says:

        I googled that, and there are maybe 2 I could agree that are perhaps influenced by Diana. The rest are just Diana in purple and red and Meghan in purple and red, Meghan and Diana each in a (totally different) yellow dress, etc. The actual styling is mostly completely opposite.

    • molly says:

      Meghan’s done a few too, but Kate with the kids is the real weirdness to me. Even down to the odd shoes.

      • VoominVava says:

        YES ! Having her kids wear Harry’s old clothes is so weird .. who even knows where those things are? They must have staff just for organizing every little thing they have saved and waiting for the perfect time to use them. I mean kids feet grow so fast how did they know when Harry’s shoes would fit. Creepy.

      • Christine says:

        Starting with her creepy cosplay of Diana on the steps of the Lindo wing of the hospital!

  3. Becks1 says:

    I think KP staffers wanted Kate to cosplay Diana and actively encouraged it because it gets her attention. Kate showing up at an event isnt necessarily going to guarantee the front pages anymore. Kate showing up at an event channeling Diana? Front pages are much more likely.

    So maybe the first time or two it was just Kate on her own and now its definitely something that I think KP pushes.

    Honoring isn’t the same thing as cosplaying and that’s a line Kate and her team can’t seem to find. Like Kate appearing in polka dots to present George on the Lindo Wing steps like Diana wore polka dots with William? that was sweet IMO because the look was overall different enough that it wasn’t straight cosplay.

    Kate wearing a red dress with a white peter pan collar to present her second son similar to what Diana wore to present her second son? Creepy especially when you consider Kate was not married to that second son, and said second son was about to get married in a few weeks.

    Also, the cosplaying is creepy but also desperate. Honestly, no one cares at this point if Diana once wore a black and white houndstooth coat to one engagement in 1987. Kate trying to channel those kinds of looks from Diana, just her normal working royal looks, just reeks of desperation and Kate trying to grab as much of Diana’s popularity for her own as she can.

    • Lorelei says:

      I’m curious as to who the “staffers” who were suggesting this strategy are.

    • Catherine says:

      IMO. The Diana cosplay was all Kate and Carole Middleton mainly. Then there are certain instances that I think William was involved. Kate wearing the same earrings Diana wore to Harry’s christening to Archie’s christening and Kate dressing Louis in a similar outfit on his first balcony appearance as Harry’s balcony appearance was definitely a FU from WanK to the Sussexes. And the distinction you made between honoring or an homage and Kate’s creepy cosplay is exactly right.

    • Nic919 says:

      The one time doing Diana cosplay after George was born was fine, but it should have stopped there. Now it’s a weird obsession and it gets bizarre when she is copying things Diana did specifically for Harry.

      That said if Royal staffers are finding the Diana looks that shows she’s even too lazy to do the Diana stalking herself.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I think most of the Diana cosplaying came from Kate and Ma as it dates back to the dating years. I can imagine that certain KP staffers encouraged it as it gave her positive PR to deflect from just how lazy and insipid she is.

    • VoominVava says:

      I agree! I do tend to think that Kate really doesn’t do much on her own, meaning she isn’t the one coming up with these ideas for styling, etc.. I truly don’t think she is even ALLOWED to have opinions. She may be able to tell her staff what to do, but they are still just following orders from those in charge of the Royal Family. I really don’t think she has much of a say in the planning of anything, they may make 3 outfit choices for her and she gets the final say, but she is still choosing from what they give her to choose. I think the same goes for her patronages, and any of her ‘work’.

    • ales says:

      K is not a victim never has been. She knows exactly what she is doing, her lack of intelligence help her to fail,though. Copying Diana’s style of dressing is beyond creepy, the clothes do not suit K’s masculine shaped body. Diana grew from a young woman into charismatic, vibrant, kind, humble and caring human being. Diana had the “X” factor still does. K is nothing other than the bi**hy mean girl trying to cosplay an historical icon and failing dismally. It is interesting how K has no concept that Diana is an icon because of all the wonderful things she did, how she treated everyone with human kindness and the people she helped, being beautiful looking was just part of it, she was beautiful on the inside as well. This appears to way beyond K’s realm of thinking, dressing like Diana clone whilst behaving like an egotistical ice queen doesnt endear her to anyone.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    I agree with Kaiser the Palace wouldn’t have wanted the Meghan and Diana comparisons. Meghan said the Palace told her to be 50% of herself and I believe that included the colours she wore. However what Omid has done was confirm that Kate has a Meghan lookbook.

    • Watson says:

      Agreed on the Meghan look book. Like Diana, they want Meghan’s shine, even though they almost drove her to self harm.

  5. Yes I believe this for Can’t but not for Meg. It is extremely toxic that they would push this theme dressing Diana. It’s hard to wrap my head around. Can’t just can’t pull off Diana. The shine they are looking for is called charisma and Can’t doesn’t have it. Meg has it but doesn’t need to dress like Diana for her to shine. They saw that Meg had charisma and were scared to death.

  6. S808 says:

    This is one of the most sinister things Kate does imo. Knowing the Palace encourages her to dress up as the woman whose life they made a misery is so creepy and disgusting. And now cosplaying Meghan after personally helping to make her life a misery is extra disgusting. Kate absolutely is a doll that Palace dresses up with pieces of women they sacrificed.

  7. Miranda says:

    “…but there is also a slightly queasy feeling when you realise it’s often orchestrated within the same system that contributed to her living misery…”

    This right here. And with Kate, the fact that they’ve spent over a decade basically telling a woman not to show any individual style or personality is really rather disturbing. They want a Diana doll. They couldn’t control the real woman, so now they want a Diana doll.

  8. Catherine says:

    I firmly believe this is a lie from KP to justify Kate’s absolutely obsessive copying of not only Diana but of Meghan. There is no way anyone in that family wanted Meghan to shine anymore than she actually did. Inheriting the jewelry is different IMO from the cosplay. And now we’ve seen William creepily copying Harry. If Omid was going to address the fashion issue in this way based on “sourced info “. Then he should have also addressed what anyone could objectively observed with there own to eyes which is the fact that it is Kate who has consistently copied Diana. It is Kate who’s style completely changed after Meghan hit the scene. And it is Kate who was consistently praised for things Meghan was trashed for. As an author just because someone tells you something doesn’t mean you treat it as fact.

  9. Jais says:

    Meghan may reference a Diana look but it’s always interpreted in a modern style that is true to her own. Bc she has style, authenticity and excellent fashion editing skills. It’s creative fresh and fun. She does not strait cosplay. Which is also fun…for conventions and costume events. Now, Kate, that’s another story. The cosplaying is to hide a personal sense of style and to appropriate that which she does not have.

  10. Lurker25 says:

    “she saw Kate becoming a “jointed doll on which certain rags are hung”. She added: “In those days [Kate] was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore.”
    RIP Hilary Mantel. You called it ten years ago.

  11. Scar❤️ says:

    Meghan’s red and purple pregnancy look was an obvious nod to Diana.

    • Em says:

      Yes, anytime I wear purple and red it will also be an obvious nod to princess Diana.

      • The Old Chick says:

        Look, it’s so obvious when those commenters who aren’t regulars are all (there’s several now) insisting Meghan copied Di. Because we all know it’s pathetic Kate doing all the copying. Kate copies down to the last detail. Meghan wore red /purple because it related to the charity. The commenters are right about one thing, Meghan copied Diana’s work ethic. Kate’s Diana cos play is absurd and superficial. Recreating moments at the same events is creepy and speaks volumes about Kate’s state of mind.

    • Catherine says:

      The red and purple were the colors of the women’s organization that they visited that day. Meghan also rewore the purple dress.

      • Nerd says:

        It may have been a nod to Diana but the colors scheme was part of the organization they visited that day. Either way, Meghan made it her own and it looked gorgeous on her.

    • TresL says:

      No, it wasn’t. She was wearing the colors of the organization she visited that day. Also, wearing colors is not cosplay. Cosplay is reproducing the outfit and or style of clothing as someone else or coming as close to it as possible.

  12. Tarte au Citron says:

    How weird. This reminds me of Mrs Danvers in Rebecca, when Mrs D talks the new wife into wearing Rebecca’s dress.

    But seriously, QE2 never dressed like her mother or her grandmother, so why are staff telling the RF women they should dress like Diana. How creepy & patronising. They tried that with Sophie too, IIRC?

  13. Mslove says:

    I do wonder how Peg feels about the Diana cosplay. Does he feel like he’s married to his mum? Creepy.

    • SueBarbri33 says:

      I’m 1000% certain that William encourages/requires Kate’s cosplay. Nothing happens in their household without his approval. I think this issue touches on the differences between Diana’s two sons. William just thinks of Diana as someone who is popular with the public for her clothing and jewelry, so he makes his wife dress like her. Meanwhile, Harry understands that Diana was popular for her charisma, so Meghan doesn’t have to replicate the clothing like a maniac.

    • Lexistential says:

      My take: Pegs thinks he’s the sole heir and bearer of Diana’s charisma. I don’t think he believes his mum was only popular with the public because of fashion and clothes, but he’s fine with RepliKate using that as a means of copying her 1) because he can’t and 2) it’s superficial compared to him.

  14. Robert Phillips says:

    I wouldn’t use the word cosplay for Meghan. But yes Meghan does emulate Diana. But not in the way she dresses. But in her empathy and the way she treats people. Diana hugged aids patients when most everyone else were scared to breath the same air as them. Meghan gets in the kitchen to help at charities. Without bringing along a camera crew. And she actually interacts with people. Not just trying to set up a camera shot. Kate and probably her mother think that fashion was all that Diana was. Yes Diana dressed very well. But that isn’t why the world fell in love with her. Yet Kate and probably even William never will understand that.

    • TresL says:

      No. Meghan’s qualities are most likely a result of her upbringing by her mother and maternal side of her family and have nothing to do with Diana. She is being herself and would be the same had she never met Harry or his awful relatives.

      • Nerd says:

        Yes, Meghan was doing charity work her whole life as a result to how Doria raised her to care for her community and others. Meghan has always been a hugger and it’s seen in photos of her even doing charity work, like in Rwanda hugging the kids before even meeting Harry. She was hugging the young girls and women in the charity work she was doing while she lived in Canada. She was writing letters to classmates as encouragement. This is who Meghan has always been and unrelated to Diana.

    • Anonymous says:

      Meghan is not cosplaying Diana’s character. Meghan possesses many of the the same qualities of character as Diana to start with. Meghan is also a hugger and demonstrates her love and empathy for others. Meghan pays homage to Diana. For example, she makes one of Diana’s watches a staple in her wardrobe, which she seems to team with her own bracelet. Meghan has the same watch which she bought for herself. We already know that it will be Lili’s some day. She has been known to pay homage to Diana perhaps in making people think of Diana when she wears certain items of clothing, such as the purple and red coat and dress. Meghan appears to have inherited Diana’s smaller and more sentimental pieces. I understand the watch was originally a gift from her father. Kate seems to have inherited the “matching” pieces to the ring- the sapphire and diamonds. Kate probably thinks she got the more valuable pieces. Anyway, I think Meghan pays homage to Diana, but the cosplaying is what Kate alone does. And I’m very surprised to hear that the palace encourages the women to “cosplay” Diana. I’m not sure I buy it. My impression is that Charles and Camilla would like Diana to be forgotten. I always get the impression that Meghan is never anyone but herself.

      • swaz says:

        I think what you said is the truth, even Harry said in the Documentary that he sees a lot of his mom in Meghan ❤

  15. Lau says:

    That’s creepy and we can count on Kate to make it even creepier.
    If her Diana moodboards are a shared thing with aides, I could really see her doing the Meghan moodboards on her own though.

  16. Monique says:

    I totally believe this sometimes I thought it was a great tribute but sometimes it is a bit creepy. The ladies should be able to dress as they like. In my opinion your style is like your personality.

    Please share

  17. February pisces says:

    I remember one creepy cosplay when kate dressed baby louis up exactly like baby harry in Harry’s exact baby clothes for trooping the colour, whilst Kate dresses like Anne (there was a balcony pic of Anne holding harry, which I’m assuming kate photocopied). It was extra creepy because archie was only a few weeks old and kate was literally trying to make her son look like a mini harry. She was clearly jealous of meghan giving birth to Harry’s son. She’s such a stalker.

    • Nerd says:

      I remember her dressing Louis in Harry’s old clothes and thinking how creepy and bizarre to do such a thing when his own son had just recently been born. I had no idea about her cosplaying Anne for the same event. That makes her creepiness more demented and unhinged. That is why I think she is more evil and vindictive than all of the others. The others actions are just spiteful and cruel but she is more calculated and manipulative on a villainous level.

    • Becks1 says:

      That episode was REALLY creepy and even her stans knew it, bc they kept insisting it was an old outfit of William’s – but it was clearly Harry’s, the embroidery was completely different between the two outfits.

  18. Mary Pester says:

    Kate will copy anyone and anything because SHE HAS NO STYLE of her own!, yes I think the Palace played a part and keen lapped it up. I think Megan told them NO, Harry didn’t want to marry his mother, he wanted to marry her, thank you very much, but I will style myself.
    The only thing was, Megan didn’t have to be princess lady garden flasher to get attention, but Kate has used this BUM note, time after time!

  19. Mary Pester says:

    Forgot to ask, does anyone else look at that top picture of keen and expect her to scream “here’s katey” ala “The Shinning”, because she looks deranged enough.?

  20. Steph says:

    This is the first time I’m noticing the shoes she wore with the polka dot dress. Are you kidding me? What was she thinking? They look horrible! I’m starting to think her messing up an outfit is a kink. No way she doesn’t see how ugly they look with this dress.

  21. Jay says:

    Yikes. It’s nice to see it in print that the Diana cosplay was intentional, because at times I have been doubtful – why would you ever dress up like your husband’s dead mother? It’s creepy on the face of it, and there were definitely cases where I gave leeway to Kate, like “Oh, it’s just a bad eighties dress”.

    Also, the idea of Harry and William being “consulted anytime it was suggested that their wives be dressed in a style similar to their late mother” could cut both ways, because it doesn’t say who exactly is doing the consulting. I could see a scenario where, for example, it was suggested to Meghan that she cosplay Diana and she brought concerns to Harry. Or the palace, with William’s blessing, presents and outfit to Kate that will “channel” Diana.

    Either way, it’s icky!

  22. QuiteContrary says:

    If my husband suggested that I dress like his departed mother, I would run for the hills.

    This is Norman Bates-level creepy.

  23. kelleybelle says:

    You mean the woman they literally drove to her death. Unhinged murderous bastards.

  24. VilleRose says:

    Seeing the Diana copycatting openly written about, it’s what people have been saying for years, including on this website. I always thought it was Kate’s idea, never really thinking that palace aides could have been encouraging the fashion cosplay all along. Also how does William feel about his wife copycatting some of his mom’s most iconic looks? That’s the part that always confused me.

  25. Saucy&Sassy says:

    I truly don’t understand the brf. What they wanted, and what they got, in Cant was someone who would do what they told her to. That’s it. I suspect this was in reaction to Princess Di, and they wanted to make sure they didn’t have someone who would outshine everyone else. I think they’ve come to realize that what they wanted is not what they wanted after all. Cant is a complete nonentity. Just what they wanted and not what they needed. It seems that the stress of being nothing is a huge issue with her. This could likely be someone who will crack under the strain. Cant chose a path and I’m not sure she can change it at this point. She just doubles down on it.

  26. equality says:

    If they had encouraged this for Meghan, they wouldn’t have been so quick to step in so that she wouldn’t wear the Spencer tiara for her wedding. This is purely a Kate thing.