How Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton inspired each other's hairdos

Perfect hair-mony! How Meghan took inspiration from Kate with her royal hairdos – before finding confidence with her own style during her final engagements

  • The sisters-in-law have opted for very similar hairstyles on public engagements
  • READ MORE: Princess of Wales and Meghan Markle had a ‘frosty but polite’ relationship before Megxit, royal expert claims


They have chosen very different roles within the royal family and no longer speak as they live with their husbands and children more than 5,000 miles apart.

However, despite their apparent differences, the Duchess of Sussex may have taken some inspiration from the Princess of Wales in terms of style – particularly when it comes to hairdos.

In the Duke and Duchess’s £88million Netflix documentary, Meghan, 41, made a point of stressing how differently she and her sister-in-law were dressed on the day they first met at Frogmore Cottage in Kensington Palace.

Describing how she greeted Kate, 41, with a hug while wearing a very casual outfit, Meghan discussed the formalities within the royal family which she found difficult to get used to.

She said: ‘Even when Will and Kate came over and I was meeting [Kate] for the first time I remember I was in ripped jeans, I was barefoot. Like I was a hugger, I have always been a hugger I didn’t realise that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.’  

The Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex had an awkward first meeting, according to Meghan, partly owing to their different styles – but the sisters-in-law are not that dissimilar, particularly when it comes to hairstyles

‘I started to understand that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside, that there is a forward facing way of being and then you close the door and think “OK we can relax now”. But that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me.’

Nonetheless, on public outings while she was still a working member of the royal family, Meghan adopted sleek hairstyles that sometimes mirrored those previously worn by her sister-in-law.

From low, messy buns to bouncy curls, the Duchess sported several styles that the Princess had also opted for years earlier as Kate paved the way for royal hairstyles for a new generation.

And towards the end of her time as a working royal and after she and Harry announced their move to the US, Meghan began to lead the trend in hairstyles as she came into her own – with Kate displaying a signature straight style coined by Meghan a year after the Duke and Duchess stepped down.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at how the sisters-in-law took style inspiration from each other over the years… 

Style: Low bun with bangs

October 2015: Kate

The Princess of Wales tied her brunette locks into a loose low bun and had her face framed with fringe-like bangs to attend the premiere of Spectre at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015

March 2018: Meghan

In 2018, the Duchess of Sussex also sported a low messy bun on a visit to Belfast where she took part in a walkabout, Meghan’s face was framed with slightly longer bangs, compared to Kate’s more fringe-like hair

Style: Bouncy blow-dry 

July 2011: Kate

The Princess of Wales sported a bouncy blow-dry with glossy curls brushed behind one shoulder during a visit to Canada in 2011 when she was a newlywed

October 2019: Meghan

The Duchess of Sussex also sported the glossy curls look with her hair partially brushed over one shoulder in 2019 to attend the Wellchild awards with Prince Harry

Style: Understated updo with a hat 

June 2011: Kate 

The Princess of Wales, pictured at the Derby Day at Epsom Racecourse in June 2011, has long-opted for a low bun accessorised with a hat for special occasions

March 2020: Meghan 

The Duchess of Sussex also opted for a low bun in a simple yet sleek updo paired with a bright green fascinator to attend the Commonwealth Day ceremony in March 2020 as her final public engagement before stepping down as a senior royal

Style: Side bun with a wide-brimmed hat 

June 2016: Kate 

The Princess of Wales opted for a side bun with a wide-brimme hat to attend Trooping the Colour in June 2016

May 2018: Meghan 

Just three days after marrying Prince Harry, Meghan Markle opted for a sleek side bun with a wide-brimmed hat to carry out her first royal engagement as the Duchess of Sussex as she attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace

Style: Shoulder-length waves 

May 2016: Kate 

In May 2016, the Princess of Wales stepped out sporting slightly shorter waves as she attended the National Portrait Gallery

June 2018: Meghan 

During her first joint engagement with the late Queen Elizabeth in June 2018, the Duchess of Sussex stepped out sporting shoulder-length loose waves

Style: Low ponytail 

 April 2014: Kate

During a royal tour of New Zealand in April 2014, the Princess of Wales opted for a low ponytail as she visited Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

November 2018: Meghan 

During her visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen in London in 2018, which was set up following the Grenfell Tower Fire the previous year, Meghan also sported a ponytail which had a practical function as she later got stuck into some kitchen work

And when Meghan led the way with sleek straight locks…

March 2020: Meghan

For one of her final royal engagements before departing the UK to move to California with Prince Harry, Meghan wore her brunette locks straight and hanging down her back to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2020

March 2021: Kate 

The following year during a royal tour in Belize, the Princess of Wales opted for a very similar hairstyle of sleek straight locks tucked behind one ear

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