They have chosen very different roles within the royal family and no longer speak as they live more than 5,000 miles apart with their husbands and children.
Despite their apparent differences, the Duchess of Sussex may have taken some style inspiration from the Princess of Wales, especially when it comes to hairstyles.
In the Duke and Duchess’s £88million Netflix documentary, Meghan, 41, highlighted how differently she and her sister-in-law dressed the day they first met at Frogmore Cottage in Kensington Palace.
Describing how she greeted Kate, 41, with a hug while wearing a very casual outfit, Meghan discussed the formalities within the royal family that she found it hard to get used to.
She said, “Even when Will and Kate came over and I met [Kate] for the first time I remember being in ripped jeans, I went barefoot. Like I was a hugger, I’ve always been a hugger. I didn’t realize that this is really shocking for many British people.’
The Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex had an awkward first meeting, according to Meghan, partly because of their different styles — but the sisters-in-law aren’t that different, especially when it comes to hairstyles
“I started to understand that the formality on the outside carries over to the inside, that there’s a forward-looking way of being and then you close the door and you think, ‘Okay, we can relax now.’ But that formality works on both sides and that surprised me.’
Nevertheless, during public outings, while still a working member of the royal family, Meghan adopted sleek hairstyles that sometimes mirrored those previously sported by her sister-in-law.
From low, messy buns to bouncy curls, the Duchess sported several hairstyles that the Princess had chosen years before as Kate paved the way for regal hairstyles for a new generation.
And towards the end of her time as a working royal and after she and Harry announced their move to the US, Meghan started to lead the trend in hairstyles when she came into her own — with Kate sporting a signature straight style dreamed up by Meghan a year after the Duke and Duchess stepped down.
Here’s how FEMAIL takes a look at how the sisters-in-law drew style inspiration from each other over the years…
Style: Low bun with bangs
October 2015: Kate
The Princess of Wales tied her brunette locks in a loose, low bun and had her face framed in fringe-like bangs to attend the premiere of Specter at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015
March 2018: Meghan
In 2018, the Duchess of Sussex also sported a low messy bun while visiting Belfast where she took part in a walk. Meghan’s face was framed with slightly longer bangs, compared to Kate’s more fringed hair
Style: blow-dry bouncy
July 2011: Kate
The Princess of Wales wore a bouncy hair dryer with glossy curls brushed behind one shoulder on a 2011 visit to Canada when she was newlywed
October 2019: Meghan
The Duchess of Sussex also sported the glossy curls look with her hair partially brushed over one shoulder in 2019 to attend the Wellchild Awards with Prince Harry
Style: Understated updo with a hat
June 2011: Kate
The Princess of Wales, pictured at the Derby Day at Epsom Racecourse in June 2011, has long opted for a low bun with a hat as an accessory for special occasions
March 2020: Meghan
The Duchess of Sussex also opted for a low bun in a simple yet sleek updo paired with a bright green fascinator to attend the Commonwealth Day ceremony in March 2020 as her final public engagement before stepping down as a senior royal
Style: side bun with wide brimmed hat
June 2016: Kate
The Princess of Wales opted for a side bun with a wide-brimmed hat to attend Trooping the Color in June 2016
May 2018: Meghan
Just three days after marrying Prince Harry, Meghan Markle opted for a sleek side bun with a wide-brimmed hat to perform her first royal engagement as the Duchess of Sussex when she attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace
Style: Shoulder-length waves
May 2016: Kate
In May 2016, the Princess of Wales stepped out with slightly shorter waves when she attended the National Portrait Gallery
June 2018: Meghan
During her first joint engagement with the late Queen Elizabeth in June 2018, the Duchess of Sussex stepped out in shoulder-length loose waves
Style: Low Ponytail
April 2014: Kate
During a royal tour of New Zealand in April 2014, the Princess of Wales opted for a low ponytail when she visited the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center
November 2018: Meghan
During her 2018 visit to London’s Hubb Community Kitchen, which was set up after the Grenfell Tower Fire last year, Meghan also sported a ponytail that had a practical function, as she later got caught up in some kitchen work.
And when Meghan led the way with tight, straight locks…
March 2020: Meghan
For one of her last royal engagements before leaving the UK to move to California with Prince Harry, Meghan wore her brunette locks straight and hanging down her back to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2020.
March 2021: Kate
The following year, while on a royal tour in Belize, the Princess of Wales opted for a very similar hairstyle with slick, straight locks behind one ear