How Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton treat their royal roles differently, according to an expert

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton share little in common when it comes to their public personas

 Meghan and Kate's royal differences explained by expert
(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's different approaches to royalty were laid bare in last night's episode of The Princes and the Press.  

Unless you've been living under a rock these past few weeks, you've likely heard a thing or two about The Princes and The Press. 

The controversial BBC2 documentary has sent shockwaves through the Royal Family, delving deep into Prince Harry's so-called 'feud' with brother William and his complicated relationship with the British media over the course of two hour-long episodes. 

The screening of such a speculative program in the aftermath of Princess Diana's interview investigation has been strongly opposed by the royals, who, up until recently, enjoyed a staple working relationship with the national broadcaster. 

The Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William filed a complaint and issued a joint statement in response to The Princes and The Press, dismissing its claims as "overblown" and "unfounded." Shortly after this, it was confirmed that Prince William and Duchess Kate had banned BBC from their Christmas concert broadcast in retaliation to airing the documentary. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 17: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Earthshot Prize 2021 at Alexandra Palace on October 17, 2021 in London, England. The Earthshot Prize, created by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, is an environmental prize awarded to the most inspiring and innovative solutions to environmental challenges facing the planet. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton have pulled their Christmas concert program from BBC 

(Image credit: Getty)

Perhaps the most fascinating development, however, to emerge from the scandal was the report that Prince Harry had requested the BBC remove a 'misogynistic' word from the final edit of the series. 

The Duke of Sussex opposed the inclusion of the term 'Megxit' in the documentary, having previously called it the invention of "a troll." The soundbite was circulated heavily by the British tabloids to describe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's high-profile withdrawal from the Royal Family in early 2020 and has since garnered sharp criticism for its sexist undertones.  

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watch a rehearsal of Spirit 2018 by the Bangarra Dance Theatre

Meghan Markle has been subject to widespread sexism in the British tabloids 

(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

The second installment of The Princes and The Press offered a fascinating comparison between the UK press' treatment of Meghan, which often involved pitting her against her sister-in-law Kate Middleton. 

The two royal icons have been subject to intense scrutiny in the media since 2018, with the Duchess of Sussex almost always being cast as the villain in the tabloids' salacious stories. Kate, on the other hand, was (and still is) routinely praised for her public service, seemingly never putting a foot wrong in the eyes of royal correspondents. 

"There are women journalists, who basically say, 'Kate is perfect, she's our English rose,'" columnist and broadcaster Rachel Johnson said during last night's episode. "They have a perfect template of what they want a royal female to be: not political, doesn't open her mouth very much in public, who makes very short, scripted speeches on very safe subjects." 

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton is often praised by the British media as the 'perfect' royal woman 

(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images)

Meghan, on the contrary, exudes the antithesis of this palatable persona, regularly addressing controversial issues and often delivering a more 'off-the-cuff' tone in her speeches. 

"Meghan Markle will talk about period poverty. She will talk about racism. She will talk about female empowerment," Johnson continued. 

Of course, it is likely it is this refusal to tow the monarchial line that has hindered the Duchess's ability to be accepted by her in-laws. Britain's First Family is hardly known for breaking barriers, having followed a rigid set of rules and traditions for centuries. 

"These are trigger subjects in this country, where the Royal Family, despite being led by the Queen for 70 odd years is still a very patriarchal, hierarchical country," Johnson said.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.