Royal fans have been expecting Meghan Markle to look to the Duchess of Cambridge for guidance – but there may be another more pertinent source of inspiration to hand in the form of Princess Sofia of Sweden.
It turns out that the former Suits star, 36, and model turned Princess Sofia Hellqvist, 33, who is married to Prince Carl Philip of Sweden have rather a lot in common.
Neither had any royal connections when they met their princes – Harry and Carl Philip – and have left behind the showbiz world for a rather more sedate life.
Now a mother-of-two, former reality star and glamour model Sofia has put her racy past behind her to focus on her family and royal duties.
Meanwhile, Meghan quit her starring role in hit drama Suits to become a working royal and Harry’s wife.
Read on to find out their surprising similarities, from fashion sense to a love of yoga.
While Sofia never quite reached Meghan’s level of celebrity, she enjoyed a career as a model posing for the likes of La Redoute
While Sofia never quite reached Meghan’s level of celebrity, she had a taste of fame on a smaller level when she starred in the Swedish reality show Paradise Hotel.
She made it through to the final of the Love Island meets Survivor type show, featuring a group of singles living at a luxury hotel, which featured a now infamous scene in which she was seen kissing 41-year-old American porn star Jenna Jameson.
Prior to appearing on the show, the brunette was best known as a model and posed for glamour shots to fund her studies while she was a student in Stockholm.
Her first shoot came at the age of 20 and saw her posing topless in a pair of camouflage print bikini bottoms and clutching a live boa constrictor to preserve her modesty.
The royal in a publicity shot for reality show Paradise Hotel in 2010
The photos were published in the Slitz magazine and led to Sofia being crowned Miss Slitz 2004.
Less raunchy modelling jobs included posing for the La Redoute catalogue.
Meghan caught the acting bug early and spent a great deal of her childhood on the set of Married With Children where her father was director of photography.
Her first gig was a role in the daytime soap General Hospital and roles in the sci-fi drama Fringe, 90210 and CSI: NY followed.
She also spent a year on the US version of Deal Or No Deal as one of its popular ‘suitcase girls’, the mini dress-clad models who are responsible for carrying and opening the metal briefcases that played such a key role in the set-up.
When her big break came with Suits, she didn’t shy away from the more racy scenes, including one where her character Rachel was filmed in her bra as she consummated her relationship with junior partner Mike Ross in the office store room.
Before finding fame on Suits, Meghan was one of the ‘briefcase girls’ on Deal Or No Deal
The actress didn’t shy away from racy scenes while starring in the hit drama Suits
Meghan has kept her royal engagements uniform simple and classic so far, opting for tailored trousers and a neutral colour scheme as opposed to the prim dresses and court shoes loves by the Duchess of Cambridge.
And laidback Sofia is very similar in her style, preferring classic pieces and clean lines to anything too fussy.
She’s also a fan of wide-legged trousers like Meghan, but knows how to amp up the glamour when the occasion requires it.
Last week she attended the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Spring Gala in Stockholm wearing a textured maxi skirt and top that bore a striking resemblance to Meghan’s Ralph & Russo engagement gown.
Like Meghan, Princess Sofia is a fan of a simple uniform of black trousers and neutral colours. Bride-to-be Meghan has adopted trousers for her royal working style
Meghan wore a lavish Ralph & Russo gown costing £56,000 for her engagement photoshoot (left). The royal wore a very similar ensemble to the United Nations Development Program Spring Gala in Stockholm earlier this week
LOVE OF YOGA
Meghan, whose mother Doria is a yoga instructor has previously gushed about her love of the practice.
‘That practice is in my blood,’ she told Canada’s Women’s Health Magazine in 2015, the year before she met the Queen’s grandson.
‘There are so many benefits that come with the practice of yoga…increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety and better sleep.’
While living in New York, Sofia practiced at Yoga To The People and eventually became an instructor at the same studio before opening her own Manhattan yoga centre.
She even launched a range of yoga wear with fellow instructor Carolina Phil, Drop of Mindfulness.
Sofia said the brand was ‘driven by curiosity of answering, “What does a women want?” in combination with promoting a physical and mental healthy lifestyle.’
Meghan, whose mother is a yoga instructor, has raved about her love of the practice