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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.