Joining royal family nothing like The Princess Diaries, says Meghan

The duchess says in her Netflix series that she was not offered training on how to behave.

The Duchess of Sussex has said joining the royal family was nothing like The Princess Diaries as she did not receive training on royal protocol.

Meghan referenced the 2001 coming-of-age comedy about an American high school student who discovers she is heir to the throne of Genovia, a fictional European kingdom, as she spoke about struggling to adapt to life as a working royal.

The Disney film, based on Meg Cabot’s 2000 novel of the same name, was a commercial success, grossing around 165 million US dollars worldwide.

75th Cannes Film Festival
The Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway (Doug Peters/PA)

During the third episode of her Netflix docuseries, Meghan said: “Joining this family I knew that there was a protocol for how things were done. Do you remember that old movie Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway?”

The episode featured a clip from the film in which Hathaway, in character as gawky teen Mia Thermopolis, discovers her ancestry and exclaims: “Me a princess? Shut up.”

Dame Julie Andrews, playing her grandmother, the Queen regent of Genovia, promises to help her adapt to royal life.

She tells her: “I can teach you to walk, talk, sit, stand, eat, dress like a princess.”

Meghan said of her arrival to the British royal family: “There is no class and some person who goes, ‘Sit like this, cross your legs like this, use this fork, don’t do this, curtsy then, wear this kind of hat’. It doesn’t happen.

“So I needed to learn a lot including the national anthem.”

Asked how she learned the anthem, then God Save The Queen prior to the late monarch’s death, Meghan replied: “Oh, I Googled it. I Googled it and I would sit there and I would practise and practise and practise.”

The episode also saw Harry claiming that “with the press there were a lot of invented protocols”.

Meghan described her experience as “baptism by fire”.

A sequel, titled The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, arrived in 2004 and saw Thermopolis graduate and return to Genovia in search of a suitor.

A third film is reportedly in the works.