Diana 'would have deplored self-importance of Duchess of Sussex', says late princess's friend

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Princess Diana would have "deplored the self-importance of the Duchess of Sussex" because she hated behaviour that reminded people of royalty, one of her friends has said.

Petronella Wyatt, who was friends with the late princess in the last two years of her life, came to her conclusion on Meghan Markle based on how Diana felt about Princess Margaret.

She wrote in The Sun: "She was fun to be around, unlike Princess Margaret, who kept reminding you how royal she was.

"Diana hated that behaviour, and would have deplored the self-importance of the Duchess of Sussex, who, in her obsession with her late mother-in-law, fails to appreciate what she really was — a lady."

Wyatt added: "Diana was a highly respectable, upper-class English woman of the sort that never truly metamorphoses into a bargain basement, Hollywood approximation of royalty.

"She was no Meghan. She had true aristocracy — basic honour, honesty and courage, though it took her time to find it.

"I think that perhaps death was kind to her, in taking her off so soon."

Diana died in 1997 in a car crash in Paris, along with her then partner Dodi Fayed.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03:  Petronella Wyatt attends The Spectator Summer Party at Spectator House on July 3, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Petronella Wyatt at The Spectator Summer Party at Spectator House in 2014 in London. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

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Wyatt also revealed that Diana worried about her sons, Princes William and Harry.

She wrote that Diana once said to her: "'I worry about my sons. Am I a good mother? I don’t see them for months and then I spoil them rotten,' she sighed. 'Sometimes I’d like a time machine'."

William, now 38, and Harry, 36, had been close growing up but have not maintained their relationship in recent years, with reports of a rift, and Harry describing them as "on different paths".

Wyatt had met Diana on a number of occasions but became closer to her following a dinner party they both attended in 1995, she says.

Wyatt's also known for her affair with Boris Johnson from 2000 to 2004, when he was editor of The Spectator. Johnson was fired from his shadow cabinet post by Michael Howard for lying about the affair, as he had denied it when details first emerged.

After Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan, the couple sat down for an interview with the BBC, during which Harry said he was sure his mother would have loved her.

He said: "They'd be thick as thieves, without question. I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me, but then, as I said, (she) would have probably been best friends with Meghan.

"It's...days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But...I'm sure she's with us ...jumping up and down somewhere else."

Princess Diana, in Paris, France. On this day in Paris she visited the The Contemporary School Of Music and Terence Conran's Emporium On The Left Back, picture taken 14th November 1992. (Photo by Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Princess Diana in Paris on a visit to The Contemporary School Of Music and Terence Conran's Emporium On The Left Bank, in 1992. (Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

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The couple chose Diana as the middle name for their daughter who was born on 4 June, using the Queen's childhood nickname of Lilibet for her first name.

Prince William and Kate also gave their daughter Charlotte 'Diana' as a middle name.

Harry is due to make a return to the UK in late June, ahead of the unveiling of a statue of Diana at the Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, the building where Diana lived throughout her royal life.

The brothers will unveil the statue on 1 July, which would have been Diana's 60th birthday.

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