Much has been made of the similarities between Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with their late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. The People’s Princess, as Diana was dubbed, was beloved for her charitable work, her activism, her style and her grace — all qualities that her daughters in law embody. But there’s one more thing Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother shares with Kate and Meghan: a distinct penmanship.
It’s common knowledge at this point that Meghan used to moonlight as a calligrapher before her acting career took off, but Kate and Diana’s handwriting are also stunning in their own right. How could it not be with all the notes the royals write. A royal biographer once revealed Diana — with a bit of help from her staff — personally wrote the 47,000 thank you notes that went out after her wedding to Prince Charles.
We spoke to Sheila Lowe, a forensic handwriting examiner and author, to see what we could glean from the three women’s handwriting style and signatures. How are they different? How are they similar? And what does their personal writing style say about their personalities. The answers were quite surprising.
“On a spectrum, we have Meghan at one end with the strong reserve and need to control her image (not in a negative way),” Lowe said of her initial reaction in a correspondence with SheKnows. Adding, “Kate more-or-less in the middle is more willing to be spontaneous. Diana, at the other end, with her relaxed, curvy handwriting is far more willing to wear her heart on her sleeve.”
A version of this article was originally published in May 2019.
How Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and Princess Diana’s handwriting compare
Meghan Markle’s handwriting
“Meghan’s beautiful writing has many flourishes that on one hand draw attention to her, but on the other, there is a formality that also keeps a distance,” Lowe told SheKnows for a previous article about Meghan’s handwriting. “What this tells us is, Meghan wants to project an image of beauty, perfection and uniqueness, which serves to hide some insecurity. The degree of control seen in this handwriting reveals a woman of strong emotion who works to hold back the tide and only show what she wants others to see,” Lowe says. “She is comfortable in the spotlight because she has control over her image.
Kate Middleton’s handwriting
“Kate’s handwriting couldn’t be more opposite from Meghan’s. Not that it’s ‘better’ or ‘worse,’ just reflects a very different personality from her sister-in-law. Kate’s writing is flexible, forward-leaning, simplified, original, which indicates her strong need for a conflict-free environment and desire to create harmony wherever she is.”
Lowe says Kate’s looser writing shows her ability to adapt and demonstrates a tendency to “glide around difficulties and continue on to meet her objectives with a combination of sound, pragmatic common sense..” According to Lowe, the way Kate connects her letter shows “a lively, intuitive way of reaching for new ideas.”
Lowe also analyzed a more recent note from the Duchess of Cambridge, shared by People. In a note to women being aided by Hope Street, a charity that aims to help improve the justice system for women and children, Kate wrote: “I see you and I am with you. Good luck in all that lies ahead,” signing the note as simply “Catherine.”
Lowe noted: “There is not a lot of change in the Duchess of Cambridge’s [handwriting] and perhaps the greatest is her increase in confidence. The capital ‘C’ in ‘Catherine’ has increased in size, showing her increased pride in who she is. The upper loops are also very tall, which can be an indicator for respect for authority and rule following, which makes sense in her position.”
She added that Kate appears to have become more emotionally responsive and has simplified her handwriting. “The wide loops (‘t’ in her name) are part of a picture of great emotional sensitivity—her feelings are easily hurt. The indefinite form of some letters, such as the ‘erin’ in her name suggest a talent for tact and diplomacy,” Lowe tells us.
Princess Diana’s handwriting
For Princess Diana’s penmanship, Lowe said, “Ah, Diana. Her handwriting is so recognizable. The large, round, openness of it reveals a woman who needed love, affection, attention and approval in a very big way. Her rounded, soft writing has few angles and shows that, like Kate, an abiding need for harmony prompted her to do her best to create a serene backdrop for her life. The horizontally expanded writing indicates that freedom was a powerful imperative for her.”
The distinct roundness also speaks to Diana’s overall demeanor and outlook on life. Lowe said: “Her number one priority was to keep things upbeat and friendly (people with few angles in their writing like to keep the peace). The lower ‘loops,’ which are formed like a cradle and point to the left, which represents the past, suggest that Diana was easily hurt by negative comments or criticism. It would deeply affect her sense of well-being if she thought someone didn’t like who she was or what she stood for.”
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