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New image of Meghan is reminiscent of Wallis Simpson. But how else do they resemble each other?

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Wallis & Meghan, the Duchesses of Twinsor! The recently released image of Meghan with a trailing gaze struck some observers as an eerie memory of Wallis Simpson. But how else do they resemble each other?

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The blood red blouse has a long bow on the side. The camera is square-oriented. It seems the Duchess is making a determined statement.

But which duchess are we talking about? A recently released standout photo of Meghan, taken by celebrity photographer Misan Harriman, shows her with a lingering gaze and perhaps a hint of a grin, along with a striking design from Another Tomorrow, a New York fashion label.

The image struck some observers as eerily similar to the outfit of another Duchess, Wallis Simpson – who wore a very similar item in 1971, in red chiffon with a dramatic long tie-neck. Both American duchesses even had their hair pulled back taut for the respective portraits.

Of course, ever since Meghan entered the royal firmament — then abruptly left — comparisons have been made between her and Wallis Simpson.

King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson look thoughtful

A recently released photo of Harry and Meghan before attending the One Young World summit last month

A recently released photo of Harry and Meghan before attending the One Young World summit last month

Gloomy moments: Edward and Wallis Simpson look thoughtful and a newly released photo of Harry and Meghan

Wallis Simpson in 1971

Wallis Simpson in 1971

The Meghan photo was released this week

The Meghan photo was released this week

Defiantly staring into the camera: Wallis Simpson in 1971 and the Meghan photo released this week

Both were American divorcees who met their British princes when they were 34. Both helped spark international interest—and not a bit of controversy—in the House of Windsor.

Comparisons have also been made between Harry and Edward VIII, the great-uncle of our present king. Although the Duke of Sussex doesn’t share Edward’s penchant for expensive clothes, he shows the same infatuated devotion to Meghan as Edward does to Wallis. More alarmingly, post-Megxit, Harry often seems to wear his ancestor’s rather ghostly expression.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers noted this week that he had “never seen anyone with such sad eyes” as Edward. Harry, Vickers thinks, now often betrays a similar sadness. No wonder, since until recently he was virtually estranged from his immediate family.

Edward and Wallis in 1966

Edward and Wallis in 1966

Meghan and Harry in 2018

Meghan and Harry in 2018

Fashion Followers: Edward and Wallis in 1966, Meghan and Harry in 2018

Wallis Simpson wears sunglasses

Wallis Simpson wears sunglasses

The Duchess of Sussex arrives at the Polo Club in Windsor in 2018

The Duchess of Sussex arrives at the Polo Club in Windsor in 2018

Shades of the past: days out in the sun

While Meghan often wants to suggest an image of strength and power in her photos, staring boldly into the camera, Harry looks much less confident. And, as our photos from today show, this week was far from the first time Meghan has apparently modeled her look on Wallis.

But while Meghan’s confidence seems boundless, Wallis used expensive clothes to hide her insecurities.

When asked by a friend after the 1936 Abdication why she spent so much time and attention getting dressed, she replied, “My husband has given up everything for me. I am not a beautiful woman. I’m nothing to look at, so all I can do is dress better than anyone else.”

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1942

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1942

Harry and Meghan in Sydney in 2018

Harry and Meghan in Sydney in 2018

Uniforms and Uniformity: Bahamas in 1942 and Sydney, Australia, in 2018

Wallis after crossing the Atlantic at Southampton in 1967

Wallis after crossing the Atlantic at Southampton in 1967

Meghan at Wimbledon in 2018

Meghan at Wimbledon in 2018

Earning their stripes: Wallis after crossing the Atlantic at Southampton in 1967, Meghan at Wimbledon in 2018

There is another difference between the two women. During her long exile, Wallis never once blew about the injustice done to her by the royal machinery. And unlike Harry, who complained about his family to Oprah Winfrey, Edward also made fun of himself.

Meghan got everything from the royal family that Wallis was denied: an HRH title, a royal wedding and a warm welcome from the Windsors. Yet all this was not enough for the former Mrs. Markle.

Meghan might just be a fan of the elegance of the Duchess of Windsor. Now some would say she might do well to imitate Wallis in other ways too—and observe a dignified silence.

Anna Pasternak is the author of The American Duchess.