Although Meghan does not yet have the electrifying effect on a crowd that Princess Diana did, it seems clear that Harry is going to take a delight in her popularity in a way that Prince Charles never could with his first wife. At first the heir to the throne was perplexed by Diana’s celebrity, then it coarsened into irritation.
This relationship appears to be entirely different. During their visit to the Academy, Meghan broke with royal consort protocol by walking in front of Harry, then being introduced and shaking hands with dignitaries before him.
He didn’t seem the slightest bit bothered. This seems to signal the launch of a new royal team of true equals, the like of which we have never seen before.
Such a dazzling and confident debut begs comparison with the royal brides who came before her.
Diana and Fergie, Sophie and Kate, all of them the kind of upper-crust or posh gels who knew how to negotiate a diplomatic dinner and wear a tiara, but – in the early days of their marriages at least – always gave the impression that they were nothing more than trembling does in the royal forest, ears forever cocked for the sound of the hunter’s horn.
This remarkable young woman is entirely different. As Meghan Markle worked the crowds in Nottingham, it was a pleasure to see a royal partner already so at ease with herself and her role.
Yet for those who hail her very existence as a starburst of new royal feminism, I give you two words. The Queen.
Still, what an impressive debut. Meghan Markle was not born to be a princess, but she moves with ease in her brave new world.