#10yearchallenge: Meghan, Kate, Harry and William in 2009 vs 2019

The 10-year challenge is the latest annoying social media trend to infiltrate our feeds and there are only two types of participants: ones who find the most flattering picture of themselves that looks similar to their current self for a queue of compliments of one who picks the worst and hams it up for a laugh.

The good news about history is that it’s not easily distorted and the same applies to picture archives, which I went through to do our own 10-year challenge in my Mastermind expert subject – the British royal family. So, let’s examine how much has changed between 2009 and now?

Meghan Markle


Things have changed the most for California-born Meghan Markle, the former Suits star turned Duchess of Sussex, whose world was upended after falling for now-husband Prince Harry in 2016. In 2009, she was just another aspiring actress trying to make it in Hollywood and that year, she only has two acting credits to her name – brief guest slots on Without a Trace and the short-lived Knight Rider series. But perhaps most iconically was her Tostitos ad, spending 32 seconds choosing the right brand of tortilla chips. But who out of us wouldn’t go through a few embarrassing acting jobs to be a princess a decade later?

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton attends the wedding of Nicholas van Cutsem and Alice Hadden-Paton at The Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks on August 14, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)


Then 27, Kate was still a year away from being engaged to her then-boyfriend of five years Prince William and while press interest in her was ramping up around the world, it was pre-social media domination and in comparison to her every move being documented now, she had some semblance of a private life. But most importantly, her style! At a friend’s wedding, she still had her preferred knee-length hemline, but thankfully the blue and white patterned coat dress and matching fascinator have since been done away wtih. Before her wedding, she was working without a stylist and her fashion choices were more reflective of the fussy designs preferred by Britain’s upper crust socialites.

Prince William

Prince William watches children from central London schools take part in a Skill Force team building exercise at Tower of London on July 6, 2009 in London, England


By now, Prince William had begun to pursue a more statesman-like role as it was the start of his becoming the William we know today. 2009 was also the beginning of his outward passion for children’s issues, speaking at a children’s bereavement charity event where he spoke publicly for the first time about the impact of losing his mother Princess Diana in 1997.  On a more depressing note, he was at the height of oft-analysed hair loss and the comparisons between him and uncle Prince Edward were in full throttle.

Prince Harry

Before Harry was a settled down husband and father-to-be, he was the royal family’s reigning cheeky chappy, newly single from his split with girlfriend of six years Chelsy Davy and embroiled in a scandal over allegedly racist comments in which he referred to an army colleague as our little Paki friend Ahmed” from a video taken three years earlier, when he was 21, during a military training exercise in Cyprus. A spokesperson for him apologised, saying it was a nickname for his friend.

It was also the beginning of ‘Hot Harry’.

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