Princess Kate Was "In Training for Decades" Before Joining the Royal Family, Historian Says

"She entered this institution like a duck to water."

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Kate and Meghan Markle have followed completely different paths since entering the Royal Family, and for one royal expert, this was to be expected—based on their polar opposite upbringings.

"Meghan comes from Hollywood, her dad was a reasonably successful lighting director," historian Tessa Dunlop explained to OK!.

"But it's a very different environment. Hollywood it's about climbing over other people to get that role, to get the gig, to improve the rating to be better than the next one—that's ambition."

Going from this to the demands of the Royal Family can't have been easy for the Duchess of Sussex, Dunlop said, and one of the main reasons Princess Kate seems so suited to her senior royal role these days is that she was brought up in a completely different environment to Meghan, since Kate was born in Berkshire.

"Kate’s values were deference, appropriate levels of self-possession within a system, don’t rock the boat, you make change through embracing the institution almost, the paradox, Meghan's the other way around—they're totally like inverted versions of each other," Dunlop added.

For the expert, the two women's backgrounds explain in part why Kate was able to fit into the family more seamlessly, and why Meghan found it more feasible to leave.

"I think one of the problems is that we think, 'Oh, you married for love and in the Royal Family' but actually it’s a job as well and that's where the rub comes and where Kate has managed so much better than Meghan," Dunlop said.

"But she'd been in training for decades and I think that we don't take that into account enough, sometimes, understanding why she entered this institution like a duck to water."

Sadly, though royal fans originally hoped that Kate and Meghan could become fast friends, we've since learned that the two women didn't get along from the get-go.

Two salient examples of this are the argument over who made who cry before the Sussexes' wedding, and Prince Harry's allegations that Kate was offended over a "baby brain" comment Meghan made. Though we don't know what goes on behind closed doors, it's hard to imagine that Kate and Meghan are on speaking terms these days.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.