The brutal treatment of Diana before her wedding day

Allison Yee
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

You can feel the public swell of sympathy behind bride-to-be Meghan Markle.

As if she doesn’t have enough to deal with before her wedding day – the event that will see millions of eyes around the world on her when she steps out to marry Prince Harry in a few days – she’s been forced to fend off family drama and paparazzi scandals.

Diana was just 19 when she became engaged. Photo: Getty

While Meghan Markle is no doubt leaning heavily on her fiancé Prince Harry for support, royal watchers say the attitude towards the Suits star is very different to how Princess Diana was treated before she tied the knot with Prince Charles in 1981.

Diana was just 19-years-old and notoriously shy and naïve when she was thrust in the spotlight as the bride of the future King of England.

Like Meghan, Di came under fire for her dress sense. Photo: Supplied

For Diana, whose parents were divorced, much was made of her coming from a ‘broken home’ with claims that “one only has to delve into her family’s history to find some very ‘murky’ blood with some scandal and misdeeds much in evidence’.”

Diana’s upbringing echos Meghan’s with the Suits star’s parents Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle splitting when she was six.

Diana and Charles tied the knot in 1981, but were divorced in 1996. Photo: Getty

Despite this, Meghan’s parentage hasn’t been called into question. Instead, the focus has been on Meghan’s strong relationship with her mum, who she’s publicly called “inspiring”.

“Meghan was raised by her mother and grandmother, two beautiful, strong black women who instilled in her a sense of self-belief,” Meghan’s uncle Joseph Johnson told the Daily Mail last year.

Meghan’s parents split, with the actress brought up by her mum Doria. Photo: Getty

Meghan’s sense of self-belief and confidence has seen her weather scrutiny over her past relationships, including her failed marriage to TV producer Trevor Engelson.

Following reports she also dated wealthy businessmen, celebrity chefs and even a porn star along her romance travels, it’s a very different story to when Diana was set to be married.

With the pressure on Prince Charles to marry a ‘suitable’ bride with expectation she be a virgin, Diana saw a downright creepy amount of scrutiny around her sexuality, that even saw her uncle Lord Fermoy claim she was a ‘bona fide’ virgin.

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