Prince Harry Opens Up About the First Time He Texted Meghan Markle and Its “Bizarre” Connection to Princess Diana

Was the late Princess of Wales behind him meeting Meghan?

Princess Diana and Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Did Princess Diana play matchmaker when it comes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meeting in 2016? Maybe, alludes Harry in his memoir, Spare, out nearly two weeks and chock full of revelations.

After seeing Meghan for the first time on Instagram, Harry was blown away by her beauty in a playful photo with a friend named Violet. Harry reached out to their mutual friend for Meghan’s contact information on July 1, 2016—what would have been his late mother’s fifty-fifth birthday. (Diana died at age 36 in a Parisian car accident in 1997, when Harry was just 12 years old.)

After connecting via Instagram over a shared loved of Africa—Harry’s feed was filled with photos from the continent—“eventually, we exchanged phone numbers and mitigated the conversation over to text, going late into the night,” the Duke of Sussex wrote in Spare. He recalled “texting like a teenager” throughout the next day.

“It occurred to me how uncanny, how surreal, how bizarre, that this marathon conversation should have begun on July 1, 2016,” he wrote. “My mother’s fifty-fifth birthday.”

Harry opened up to People about his mother, telling the outlet “I struggled for years to accept or even speak about my mother’s death. I was unable to process that she was gone. I’m not sure anyone can ever truly have closure when they lose a parent, or anyone for that matter, especially when that grief may be the only thing left of them.”

Harry told People that serving in the military and therapy helped him grieve her enormous loss, and “the healing process has allowed me to get to a place where I now feel the presence of my mum more than ever before,” Harry said. “She’s with me all the time—my guardian angel.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.