Harry and Meghan disrupt tradition

The world has changed tremendously in the 37 years since Lady Diana Spencer tied the knot with Prince Charles. But her son Harry's relationship with American actress Meghan Markle proves that the British royal family perennially captivates the world's attention.

The differences between the two marriages, however, are often poignant in their disparity. When Charles and Diana announced their engagement, the teenaged, virginal nursery school assistant unhesitatingly declared that "Of course" they were in love, while her fiancé, still not over the woman who would become his second wife, grudgingly shrugged, "Whatever love means."

In contrast, "When Harry met Meghan it was clear from square one, bang," Leslie Carroll, author of "American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry" told Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams recently. "It was what the French call a coup de foudre," she said. "But they connected on humanitarian issues, and they talked into the night on what was important to them."

The new, modern monarchy was forged a generation ago by two vastly different women

Diana, and Markle's mother Doria Ragland. As Carroll explained, both the prince and the actress "had mothers who were kind and compassionate and raised them, from the time they were grade school age... that there are people who have less than you do
whether you grow up in the San Fernando Valley or whether you grow up in Kensington Palace."

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