kate meghan
Kate Middleton, on the left at St Luke's Community Centre on March 22, 2018 in London, and Meghan Markle, at Cardiff Castle on Jan. 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Ben Bircall/Paul Edwards/WPA Pool/Getty Images


  • Katie Nicholl suggested that Prince William and Kate Middleton's long courtship gave the now-princess time to prepare for royal life
  • The royal expert believes the couple's 10-year courtship was "crucial" to Middleton's success in her role as a member of the royal family
  • She noted that marrying into the royal family is "really tough," as shown by Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson's experiences

Kate Middleton was more prepared for royal life than Meghan Markle, a royal expert has suggested.

Vanity Fair royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, who recently released her new book on the British royal family "The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown," explained in a new interview why she believes the new Princess of Wales was successful in navigating royal life while the Duchess of Sussex struggled.

Nicholl told Fox News Digital that Middleton and her husband Prince William's long courtship was "crucial" to the princess' success in her role as a member of the royal family and the wife of a future king.

"William said it at the time of their engagement, and it had been a long engagement. It gave Kate the time to ... really understand what royal life was going to be like and actually [decide] if it was what she wanted. So, I think that 10-year courtship was absolutely fundamental," the royal biographer told the outlet.

"It also enabled them to have a really solid foundation as a couple," Nicholl continued. "And of course, it gave her time to work out what she was going to do when she became a royal."

Having met in college, Prince William and Middleton dated for nearly a decade before they got engaged in 2010 and tied the knot in 2011.

On the other hand, Prince Harry proposed to Markle and married her less than two years after they met and started dating. They stepped back from royal duties in 2020 and were stripped of their royal patronages and his military appointments last year.

"Marrying into the royal family may look easy, it may look like a wonderful life of ... round-the-clock staff," the "Harry: Life, Loss, and Love" author explained. "The reality is, it's really tough. ... We can look back to [Diana], the Princess of Wales, [and] the struggles that she had, the isolation that she felt at a very early stage in her marriage to the Prince of Wales."

Nicholl noted that Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson also struggled when she was with the firm.

"I don't think she ever fell out of love with Prince Andrew, but she never got to see him," the royal author said of Ferguson. "He was busy with his royal career. She was left at home for long periods of time, and eventually, the marriage broke down."

In contrast, Nicholl said that Prince Edward's "long-lasting marriage" to Sophie, Countess of Wessex is one of the "success stories."

Award-winning British journalist Duncan Larcombe, a former royal editor at The Sun, also recently shared his belief that Markle was unprepared for royal life.

According to the author, it's unclear whether Prince Harry gave his wife a good idea of the expectations that would be placed on her after she married into the royal family.

"I feel desperately sorry for Meghan," Larcombe told Fox News Digital. "Harry clearly never really wanted to admit to her what was actually going to be involved with the royal family."

He noted that, unlike Markle, Middleton "had years to adjust to the attention" that came with being a royal due to her long courtship with Prince William.

"I think Meghan basically didn't ever get straight in her mind the difference between being on the red carpet as a celebrity and the red carpet as a royal, and she just didn't understand the incredibly important distinction. I don't know that she was guided, and I don't think the royal family really knew what they've got when Meghan showed up," he explained.

Larcombe also suggested that Markle struggled to adjust to royal life because she may have missed a key difference between being a member of the royal family and a celebrity, which is a sense of "duty."

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018, in London. Getty Images/Clive Mason