A professional personality profile of two of the world’s most eligible young celebrities is full of intrigue for many reasons. A dashing Royal Prince and a well known Canadian film star has the broadsheets and tabloids ablaze with news of an impending engagement. In a complete break from Royal protocol and tradition, Prince Harry seems to have been profoundly attracted to Meghan Markle, not only a commoner, but a very pretty brunette whom he met whilst attending the Invictus Games in USA. What would motivate a young high spirited but very cool young Prince to seriously consider wanting to marry this very beautiful American film star from the reality show SUITS? Harry is not a guy who is told what he can and cannot do, especially who he can and cannot marry, and he is very well aware of the stuffiness of the beloved monarchy which he feels he and Meghan will make more acceptable to the British public. I have spent a few years tracing the psychological and psychosocial pathways of both Princes who have very distinct personality types and traits which I will discuss in this commentary. There was much discourse and narrative to absorb, besides endless footage from birth, and as a personality psychologist with a deep interest in celebrities, and in particular our Royal family, it’s imperative we get the personality profiles as accurate as possible.
The Loss of Princess Diana
In the aftermath of the untimely death of his much cherished and adored mother, Diana Princess of Wales, Harry was devoid of a loving caring mum who totally devoted herself to Harry and William. It did not seem right that two members of the British Royal family should lose their young mother at such a young age in a tragic road accident. The profound psychological anguish and grieving was too much to bear, and the expected unconditional and unswerving obedience and conformity to Royal protocol put extra psychological pressures on the young Prince Harry and his brother William, unfair to the extreme, especially when one would reflect on the negative impact the funeral arrangements had on their young minds. Developmentally they were bereft, lost in their own private worlds the unimaginable emotional pain and inward suffering Harry and William had experienced in view of the entire world is beyond anyones’ comprehension.
Personality Types and Traits.
Prince Harry was a child full of fun with a vibrant personality always keen for attention and the life and soil of the party. Harry’s self perception is one whereby he believes in simply being Harry. Take me or leave me is his megaphone callcard. Prince Harry’s personality structure shows natural leadership skills, not obvious in his childhood and early years development, the irony of his mischievous nature. His has an extraordinary drive and s self determination to achieve and has inner strength reflected in his high level of self efficacy and self belief. Harry’s extroversion trait in his Eton days shows a young Prince who talks a lots, thinks later, one who now has a plethora of admirers and an vibrant social network on social media. He has matured a lot from his Eton schooldays and the underlying motives and desires are seen in his openness friendliness and huge empathy to others less fortunate and in this in his charity in much need.
Harry is a decision maker, one who objectively evaluates most if not all situations, and makes a firm decision. This being seen in his army days and also in the Air Cadets, he learnt the art of how to make decisions and stick with them. And in this I include his selection of a lifelong partner and future wife in his film star girlfriend Meghan. A wise choice of much I will discuss later.
In his personality are many areas of significance, for example, the emotional intelligence he has crafted and utilized sensibly, in order to separate his personal identity from the restraining attitude of his advisers and security staff. Harry is one who feels he has to be in command of important decisions and functions at all times especially following his own logic and ensuring his basic human desires and motives are met and satiated. Prince Harry like most extroverts always steals the limelight, and detests the paparazzi with whom he has had difficulties in the past. One who is very self aware, Harry enjoys the attention he found missing after his young mothers passing, a time when the emotional bonds would be maturing psychologically, a time for attachment bonding between mother and child.To compensate for this Harry was able to seek and gain the attention in worldwide publicity of his love and concern for others especially following in Dian’s footsteps.
When Harry decided to join the army, not being academic at all during his Eton days, the rigidity and discipline he had to adhere to put major restraint on his social behaviour and tendency for tomfoolery. Conformity and obedience were the order of the day but his obsessive love of life and charismatic nature, meant that he could get away with playing the fool. The extroversion trait. facilitated his excesses and his easy going, approachable and empathic nature endeared him to the hearts of the nation. The public knew how he had possibly felt after losing his mother and so his way of coping with this was to demonstrate his late mother’ personality. Here we see a very accurate reflection of the late Princess of Wales, her charm, genuine care for others, her charisma and human motives for fun and light heartedness, an infusion of love and warmth not normally seen in the Royal corridors and frowned upon if it were to be seen.
The Risque Prince
Harry verges on the nature side of the nature nurture debate , having inherited his mum’s personality traits to a larger extent, not so much influenced by nurture and that I believe has come from his father but to a significantly lesser extent. Genetics versus nature and for Prince Harry nature constantly wins the day. The extroversion traits are associated with Harry’s impulsive nature and sometimes risqué behaviour in the past. Nothing to be abhorred but very much part of a late adolescents identity formation, where he was truly searching to establish his legitimate identity as Harry, in contrast to Prince Harry. What a phenomenally demanding task for any individual to comprehend as part of growing up. But Harry has accomplished these arduous tasks admirably. We all recall his climbing onto the roof at Kensington Palace and pelting his police officers with snowballs or swallowing a goldfish form a table display at the wedding of Tiggy Pettifer his nanny, and being sick behind a pub at his teenage hangout Rock in Cornwall.
The Party Animal Prince
Harry had many friends’ who with him were celebrating Sir Richard Branson’s son’s 27th birthday party on the Caribbean island of Neckar. There was much alcohol as expected, Harry’s then girlfriend Cressida Bonas was with them as her half sister was engaged to Sam Branson. Following on from this, the of males without the females, moved on to Vegas and in Vegas Harry invited a group of intoxicated girls to his Vegas hotel suite where they indulged in a variety of games which involved removing clothing every time they failed to pot a billiard ball. Psychologically this was untoward for a member of the British Monarchy, high risk socializing which could have had disastrous outcomes as he did not know any of them nor their backgrounds. It’s what I call the enigmatic Prince, full of fun but also a young Army Officer with impeccable manners and high intelligence. The sheer dominance of his personality traits meant that at times he was showing a carefree side to his nature unaware of the number of photographs that were taken, and the implications of their transmission worldwide. Because of his gentleman nature in the presence of his social peers, Harry’s caring side meant that he was not motivated to expose the females to a boys hangout party in Vegas. This booze fuelled orgy of indulgence with scantily cladded waitresses was in large part Harry’s conformity to the group norm . He depended on his close friends for solace and once can see the bromance among this group of guys who were Harry’s reference group in many ways.
Prince Harry’s wild side was typical of any young man who follows his peer group. We know from psychological research the negative impact either a divorce or a death of a parent can have on the children. There is an unexpected and profound loss, physical loss and deep enduring emotional pain that never seems to go away. In normal circumstances the healing begins soon after the bereavement or divorce, and can take up to five years at the very least. However, the general public are not members of Royalty nor do they live in that unique world of privacy, formality, protocol and security. But Harry is a member of the Royal family trying to come to terms with the death of his mother and constant reminders of press reports, photographs and critiques that will increase the trauma and perhaps flashbacks to the day his mum was killed in the car accident. In this context the nation has turned a blind eye to Harry’s partying and its consequences as he has moved on developmentally to the next stage of establishing his real identity. At the age of seventeen Harry was chastised over his underage teenage drinking and having smoked a joint with his friends, as Prince Charles had arranged for him to enter a rehabilitation unit to see for himself the effects of alcoholism and narcotic abuse. Harry’s identity exploration was not fully resolved just yet, as he had met a group of wild as a hatter drinking friends, the incessant party goers who hung out around local pubs at Highgrove. I see many teenagers who like Harry have experienced the trauma with loss of a parent or both parents. There is the anger and profound guilt of self blame and the awareness of being lost in one’s own private world. I listen each month to the saddest of stories told in detail by adolescents who cannot come to terms of parental loss. They have poorly developed coping strategies, and most turn to alcohol, pornography or narcotic abuse as a way of blanking out the trauma. Harry is no exception, he would have gone through the entire array of human emotions as has his brother Prince William. This is a time for emotional security, but when the worlds press has invaded your private world, the intensity of the trauma is incomprehensible to say the least. It’s a life sentence as it never seems to go away years and decades after the event.
Harry, Love Romance and Girlfriends: Do birds of a feather flock together?
In the past Harry was mostly attracted to blondes, notably Chelsey Davy, whose gutsiness , common sense, and transparency were deeply admired by the Royal family. Harry had psychologically passed through the early and late adolescent stages of turmoil exploration and partying around the world, and retrospectively this was an essential part of his identity formation and the process of cathartic activity, a cleansing of the inner motives and desires. This relationship was full of promise but was only to expire after some six years. One of the main reasons was Chelsey’s felt there was an imbalance in the relationship in the context of personality attributes and expectations. Harry began to realize that a time was coming when the nation will expect him to find a suitable girlfriend who he would one day marry and produce suitable offspring The romance motives in his personae are very strongly associated with status and idealism. He was now seeking in a suitable female that would in most cases resemble Diana his adorable young mother. The immeasurable loss of her deep love left a void that Harry now feels strongly motivated to pursue. His main traits are in his source of energy, sociability, intelligence, gregariousness and leadership skills. Harry is bravado courageous and protective of his girlfriends. His personality traits have seen some form of moderation recently as he is a thinker mixed with the feeling type of personality. We can now see a Royal Prince who exhibits a logical strategic mindset, analytical to some extent, but integrated with warmth empathy and nurturing qualities vital for a successful mating choice and future King.
MS Meghan Markle
Harry’s quest for long lasting love would bring its own highly unique anxieties about an appropriate choice of future partner. After all, most of his friends were either married and settled down , or engaged to be married and this would most likely have been unsettling to say the least. Guys at this age in their early thirties do feel a threat to their personal and group identities that one or more may still be searching for that one true love. The world’s most eligible bachelor was under pressure to solve an enigma, that is which of his array of girls who were friends or even close friends, would be ideal for the role of Prince Harry’s partner and future wife? His personality is known throughout the world, but his rational thoughts would have been with those closest to him… brother William and sister-in law Kate, would they approve or not? How would his father Prince Charles or for that part Camilla think of a young very cool modern actress? Ultimately, Prince Harry would want the full approval and blessing from his grandmother Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip. Harry’s optimistic personality is such that although he will have some self doubts that perhaps there might be whispers behind closed doors if he gets it wrong, Harry will make his own decision and that will be final. The overriding factor in his mate selection will be in his most private thoughts, those of Princess Diana. Intuitively he will know the characteristic traits of the woman Diana would have given him approval of. Harry will have used his mother’s personality type and traits to ensure that he searches and focuses on one extraordinary woman. This would be the person in whom Harry will see many similarities in the finer details of his intended girlfriend and Diana. She would have to be extraordinary to the extreme, an extrovert with sound reasoning, emotional intelligence and emotional stability. She would have be seen to possess that exterior toughness to carry on a normal life away from the abnormal and unwanted intrusion of paparazzi and to achieve a fine balance between her own career and Harry’s career perhaps outside the organization. A woman who falls in love with Prince Harry and him with her, will be incredibly well briefed about Royal protocol and the entrapment of the intense security which is part of daily life as a Royal. She will discuss with Harry the intricacies of how to maintain a sense of intimacy with each other and how she will be expected to conform to social norms she would never have expected in her earlier life. The stuffiness of the Palace and the country estates with its archaic protocol and rigidity with several changes of clothing before dinner would be incomprehensible to a young fashionable woman.
Meghan Markle, a 35 year old American divorcee from Los Angeles, is a high flyer, a socialite and very successful actress. Meghan is very much an American celebrity and has appeared in the American TV show, Suits, in a provocative scene of consummated love. With a vibrant fun filled personality, she exudes natural beauty and has a psychological maturity that has made her especially attractive to Prince Harry.
You might recall that Harry was single for the past two years with a focus on his Royal work here and abroad, ever mindful of hi single status and the agony that underpins the motives to meet and woo the right woman. There was a remote possibility that he might rekindle his previous relationship with Chelsy Davy, but nothing materialized . A lesson was to be learnt from her evaluation of being the girlfriend of a young dashing Royal. She could never cope with the endless exposure to photographers from the paparazzi, an endurance test that no young woman would ever undertake lightly. Privacy and intimacy went out the window as the deep heartfelt anxiety stress and anguish led to the end of their relationship.
Harry admired brother William and Kate’s family life, and this was a reminder to him of his early childhood and happy memories with Diana and Charles. Feeling robbed of his emotional attachments and plunged into the tsunami of grief and bereavement he would have experienced the stressors of life inside Kensington palace as a single Royal with no partner by his side.
Harry’s personality motives which are seen to drive his range of emotions and traits, shows a young Royal whose anger was seen many times when he felt his private life and relationship was threatened by some unaccredited freelance photographers. Harry’s empathic nature led to his deep sense of caring for wounded soldiers which culminated in the establishment of the Invictus Games, the second held in USA in early summer 2016. The organizers had invited many American celebrities to attend the games, and Ms Meghan Markel was one who caught his attention, one who definitely stood out from the crowd. Let the love story commence. Meghan is four years older than Harry but shows the life experience and maturity missing from Harry’s life. There was much in common. Harry had also lived life to its fullest extent and suffered immense psychological pain with the breakup of his own parent’s marriage and the tragic untimely death of his young mother. Unlike Meghan’s alienated marriage to her ex husband Trevor Engelson, a successful film director, Harry’s motivational state determined that he would always be at Meghan’s side and she by his. He knew in his heart that Diana would have approved of Meghan, one who has shown her motherly personality traits already. In September 2016 Harry introduced Meghan to Prince William and Kate , It was on her 35th birthday last year that show wrote in her social media account, that she was joyful because of her only wish and it was a blank. There was the hidden clue to the world that Meghan had a last discovered true love in Harry. After many dates across the pond and here in London and elsewhere, Harry intuitively would have known that Meghan’s personality traits and motives were definitely so much similar to his own. This was too much to lose. Meghan seemed to tick all the boxes even after she would have been briefed by Harry of the costs involved in potentially marrying him some day.
Born in L.A. in 1981 she was the daughter of an African-American Doria and her white husband Thomas. In her adolescent years Meghan had a preoccupation with her self concept and racial identity. Her parents divorced when she was six years old but Meghan remained emotionally close to her father, a lighting director and stayed behind the scenes with him on the movie set. Even at her tender young age, the intelligent and highly perceptive Meghan spoke out against racism in television advertising. She went to Northwestern University, Illinois to study theatre studies and international relations, most apt for her potential future as the presumed wife of Prince Harry. Meghan showed major personality traits of intuition, curiosity, romance and idealism besides her extroversion once she studied drama later on. She found herself having a problem when it came to casting, as she reported that she wasn’t black enough for black roles, and not white enough for white roles. This scenario would have caused her to be more astute and sensitive to racial identities and the online abuse levied by internet trolls. More impressive is her tenacity and emotional resilience, prime qualities to have as Harrys girlfriend.
With celebrity status comes the “ baggage” , as Meghan’s natural acting ability facilitated her role in SUITS, as she then had to get used to having press and periodical photographers snapping her around town. Actors and actresses’ somehow acquire the ability to cope with the constant stress of paparrazi on their heels daily, a sound preparation for entering the hallowed portals of Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace in the future. A highly ambitious woman, Meghan is computer savvy and has what celebrity psychologists call “healthy narcissism”. However , Meghan is not an extroverted narcissist. This is reserved for the Trumps’ of this world, but Meghan like most in showbiz, has the healthy narcissism with an edge over her boyfriend Harry. Most celebrities start off with middle of the range score in narcissism and can end up with extreme scores which verges on unhealthy narcissism.
The main problem that Harry has is in his naturalistic protective mechanism ,a personality type that will motivate him to perhaps overprotect her. The reason for this is because of her world wide acclaim as an American actress in a big movie , which leaves Harry at the mercy of press journalists and social media giants keen to exploit her previous boyfriends and socializing misdemeanours, to curb her exposure in any way that would jeopardize their romance. Being presumptuous, once they announce their engagement it will be world breaking news stories in milliseconds around every press office in the world. Then comes the sting in the tail as some press in some corner of the world will seek to destroy the fun and champagne popping public fans, by the exposure of some mild demeanour in the past.
In summary then, birds of a feather did flock together, with similarities in their personalities being in a ubiquitous harmony played out on the world stage. Harry will need to make militaristic type decisions to stop any attempts of intrusion into their privacy, and to work through his press office to ensure that the social media giants hold true to journalistic ethics and withdraw from this young couple as their love and romance develops into hopefully a lifelong positively rewarding relationship.
Arthur Cassidy Ph.D