Social media users allege that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, copied a look of the late Princess Diana after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. But the photo shared in the posts is old; it was taken during a memorial day in 2019 and her outfit respected the usual dress code for the 1918 armistice commemoration.
“People say Meghan is a bad guy for this,” says a tweet dated Sept. 12, 2022. “Does anyone else think it’s weird dressing up as your husband’s late mother for a funeral?”
The post features a photo montage of Markle and Diana wearing black coats and hats. Similar tweets accumulated thousands of shares on Twitter within days of the Queen’s death on September 8, 2022.
“I’m here for this level of insignificance,” said another September 12 tweet featuring #QueenElizabeth.
The side-by-side images also circulated on Instagram and Facebook.
But a reverse image search shows that the photo of Markle was taken at a memorial day ceremony on November 11, 2019, as seen in the AFP photo below.
The photo of Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, was taken on Remembrance Day in 1991, as seen here.
Jessica Storoschuk, historian and author of a blog about the British royal family, told AFP that Diana and Markle both wear poppies “in honor of veterans and those who have not returned” from the First World War.
“In Britain, Canada and elsewhere, this would be immediately understood in the context of Remembrance Day,” she said.
Brooke Newman, a historian of early modern Britain and the royal family at Virginia Commonwealth University, agreed.
“By dressing in a simple black-belted overcoat adorned with a single red poppy, both women sought to shift the focus from themselves to the central focus of the solemn occasion: the commemoration of the anniversary of the 1918 armistice,” she said.
Other royal women have been photographed in similar looks at other Memorial Days. Below is an image of Princess Catherine wearing black with a red poppy in 2021.
For Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, which took place on Sept. 19, women in the royal family wore “what was expected of them,” Storoschuk said: a black dress or coat to the knee or longer, with a black hat and black dress. tights.
Markle appeared in black at several public ceremonies to bid farewell to the Queen.
On September 10, King Charles III’s sons, William and Harry, also made a public appearance, accompanied by their husbands, to greet the crowds gathered outside 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 interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, as well as their lucrative deals with streaming platforms such as Spotify and AppleTV, only garnered more attention.
Newman said the reports circulating online play into a lengthy investigation into Markle’s fashion choices.
“Members of the Royal Family, and women in particular, face intense media scrutiny and are therefore careful about their clothing and jewelry choices,” she said. “As the only person of African descent to have married into the royal family, Meghan has faced an unprecedented level of negative criticism of her fashion choices, no matter how carefully she selects her outfits.”