When it comes to Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, it seems that getting married to royalty has its perks not only for the bride or the bride-to-be but for other venues as well. While global eyes are on the romance and the aftermath of Royal wedded bliss, there’s another aspect of a prince taking a wife that’s less conspicuous.
For the modern day world, this started with Princess Diana as soon as she stepped into the public eye alongside her prince, Prince Charles. The world couldn’t get enough of all things Lady Diana, such as the way she wore her hair. It wasn’t long before the fashion world saw how Diana was driving the bus on what the modern woman was about to wear.
Kate Middleton is credited with bringing $1 billion to the UK fashion industry each year and Meghan Markle has taken flight right behind her, according to the Business Insider. Kate Middleton is the daughter-in-law and Meghan is about to become the daughter-in-law of the late Princess Diana.
Princess Diana became a fashion icon and has been compared to the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn for her contribution to what women wore during her time as the U.K. princess, according to Vanity Fair. Unlike Kate and Meghan, Princess Diana really didn’t have any competition when it came to another member of the Royal Family and fashion.
While Diana became very close to her sister-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, who married Prince Charles’ brother, Prince Andrew, she never offered any competition for Diana as far as fashion went. Fergie, as she was fondly called by the masses, wasn’t someone who rose to the occasion when it came to fashion, according to an archived article from Vanity Fair. Fergie was known for her care-free antics, not for her choice of clothes.
The scene describing Fergie leaving a Royal event is a good example of how the masses saw Andrew’s wife. Vanity Fair writes: “Still in her milkmaid fashion phase, Sarah went away hatless, all red curls, bows, and artless flower print. She didn’t look particularly chic, but there was hardly a mother, or a man, in the crowd who did not like her better for it.”
Fergie came on the scene and was instantly adored because everyday people felt a relationship with her, she was a normal person who stood out among the Royal pomp and circumstance and she was funny. She was known for her carefree style like the time she kicked off her shoes at her wedding rehearsal and then played a tune on the organ for the Archbishop of Canterbury. These type of antics put her in the hearts of the U.K. people and not many paid special attention to her mode of dress.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are competition when it comes to fashion, according to the Business Insider. They describe how Meghan became an “instant fashion icon,” just as Kate did before her, once introduced to the public as the prince’s intended bride. “Everything that Meghan does is idolized,” according to BI and what that looks like in money for the British economy is hundreds of millions of dollars.
Megan’s induction into the Royal Family this year is expected to pile up about $677 million for the British economy. Dubbed the “Meghan Effect,” this is expected to only grow each year especially once she starts having children, that is if the “Kate Effect” is any indication of how the future will pan out for Meghan. Kate, who brought in about $1 billion last year for the British economy, may find the “Kate Effect” taking a back seat to the “Meghan Effect” in the future.
According to the BI, Meghan has fans in the U.S., Canada, and now the U.K. who are all looking to her for the latest fashion trends. She is “a decidedly trendier and less traditional style than Middleton’s — it’s possible Markle’s newly initiated ‘Meghan Effect’ could swiftly dominate the ‘Kate Effect.'”
Which one of the late Princess Diana’s daughter-in-laws will win this race to dominate the fashion world by setting future trends? Will it be Meghan, who is just a bit “less traditional” in fashion in comparison to Kate? Some might argue that Kate’s style is the closest to Princess Diana, but Diana’s fashion choices became bolder as time went on. According to the Daily Mail, Princess Diana was very aware how her clothes could send a message,“such as the time she used a striking little black dress to knock her husband’s adultery confession off the front pages.”
Princess Diana evolved in her style as her life was changing. She went from the era dubbed the “Shy Di” years — to the “assured elegance of her later life as a divorcée keen to shed the baggage of her royal role.” So Princess Diana dressed similarly to Kate in her early Royal years and then Meghan’s style might best resemble what Princess Diana donned in her later years, once divorced.