Princess Diana's biographer Andrew Morton has dubbed the late royal the "third wheel" in her son Prince Harry's marriage with Meghan Markle.

In an article for Mail Online, Morton wrote that a 16-year-old Meghan had cried when she and her friends watched the funeral of the Princess of Wales and the cameras zoomed in on the Royal coffin to show an envelope carrying the word "Mummy" written by Prince Harry. Morton added that Meghan used to follow Diana's life even before her death, and used to watch old videos of her wedding to Prince Charles. Inspired by the Princess, Meghan and her friend Suzy Ardakani used to collect clothes and toys for less privileged children. The former American actress's other friends also talked about her fascination with Diana and the rest of the British royal family.

According to Morton, Diana continued to be a part of Harry and Meghan's life as they came together and started a family. "His mother's cause-driven life and the tragic manner of her death has not only coloured Harry's relationship with his family, and the wider public, it has shaped the couple's world view. Diana's death in a Parisian underpass is at the heart of the profound discomfort he feels with being in the public eye. No matter how friendly the media can be, every camera click and whirr reminds Harry of her terrible fate," he explained.

Harry himself said in an ITV documentary in 2019 that "Every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back." The author writes about Harry and Meghan's connection with Diana, "As the Sussexes embarked on their own journey together through Royal life, not a day went by without a reference, a memory or a decision that related in some way to Harry's late mother. Diana was the third wheel in their marriage."

Harry also said in his explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in March that he feared that the history of what happened to his mother would repeat itself with his wife Meghan. Morton writes that "the ghost of Diana would loom over the lives of Prince Harry and his new wife in less happy ways, too, as time passed and as Meghan grappled with a set of challenges uncannily similar to those that once faced the mother-in-law she never met."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Photo: AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS