Princess Diana will forever be remembered as the ‘people’s princess’ for her fearlessness and empathy in making regular people feel as if she were one of them.
Now, 20 years since her passing, her would-be daughter-in-law Meghan Markle is walking in her footsteps. The 36-year-old American fiance of Prince Harry, 33, is breaking down barriers and helping the world, once again, fall in love with the royal family.
The lastest Diana-esque moment from the former actress came on Tuesday, as she and Prince Harry visited first Edinburgh Castle in Scotland before stopping in at Social Bite – a cafe that feeds and employs the homeless.
The pair spoke with the staff and the cafe’s co-founder Alice Thompson, who told Markle how inspired she found her 2015 speech to the UN Women’s conference.
The meeting ended with Markle hugging Thompson in a rare and very atypical sign of affection from the royal family.
“It was at the end when I went in for a handshake with Meghan and she just embraced me,” Thompson, 27, told Evening Standard.
“They were both so genuine – showing the kind of interest and good nature you can’t fake.”
The internet, of course, is giddy about it.
— Mirror Royal (@MirrorRoyal) February 13, 2018
Meghan Markle broke royal protocol with this hug https://t.co/r7FCehCpvR
— sonετ ????☀️????????????☺️????❄️ (@songbride) February 15, 2018
Meghan Markle broke royal protocol with this hug https://t.co/GRfc6aaUYi Nice kinda like Diana,GOD BLESS HER.
— Velma Jones/Redgal60 (@JonesVelwil9) February 14, 2018
It’s a gesture that closely mirrors Diana, Princess of Wales.
The former Princess, who died tragically in 1997 aged 36, was known for hugging members of the public and employees at hospitals and charities she visited.
LISTEN: All the reasons Meghan Markle is the role model young women need. Post continues after.
Famously, in 1987 and later in 1996, Diana was photographed holding hands with AIDS patients without wearing gloves at a time when the world was terrified of the disease killing millions.
Markle and Prince Harry are due to be married at Windsor Castle in England on May 19.
Their visit to Scotland is part of a public engagement tour through the United Kingdom.