By Sheila Lowe
When Meghan Markle was just starting out in Hollywood, she earned extra money by doing calligraphy. She even did the invitations for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding. But Markle’s beautiful handwriting can reveal more about soon-to-be-royal than just a former side-hustle.
We spoke with Sheila Lowe, a court-qualified forensic handwriting examiner, about what Markle’s penmanship can tell us about her personality.
First, Lowe compared two of Markle’s signatures: the one pictured above, from an AOL event in March of 2016, and a visitors book signed by both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their trip to Belfast in March of 2018 (below) using a practice called Gestalt graphology, meaning she analysed the spatial arrangement of letters, what those letters look like (the equivalent of font), and the writing movement, which includes things like rhythm and speed.
Lowe noticed a significant difference. “There was a change in the two signatures, and what the change shows is there’s a greater need for privacy in the second one, which makes perfect sense,” Lowe says. “She’s living under a microscope.”
“And, of course, she just used her first name, the same as Prince Harry does,” Lowe continues. “That allies her with him.”
Handwriting can change depending on both life experience and mood, Lowe explained. “It reflects who you are in the moment.” But signatures don’t tell the whole story. “A signature (according to Signature Analysis) by itself is your public image. It’s what you want the world to know about you,” Lowe says.
“I always use the example it’s like looking at a photograph of somebody’s nose and nothing else. You can tell a little bit about them, but without the context of the whole face, your information is very limited.”
So, Lowe also examined a note written by Markle to one of her biggest fans in March of 2016 to see what a larger sample of handwriting could tell her about the future royal.
“It’s a writing that’s full of contradictions,” Lowe concluded of the penmanship in the note. “And it’s a little harder to analyze because it’s not a natural writing.”
Markle’s training in calligraphy makes her handwriting difficult to decipher. “It’s like wearing a mask,” Lowe says of the stylized writing. That said, it still reveals several personality traits to a trained eye like Lowe’s.
“Someone who uses a very stylised form of writing is concerned about the way things look. She wants to show the world a very particular, beautiful image. She wants to be perfect really,” Lowe says, describing the note.
“She’s insecure and her public image covers that up. She has strong emotions but she works really hard to control them,” she continues. “Those arched strokes that come back over the words in this particular writing are like a symbol of protecting the ego. She’s very people oriented but she’s a little shy so she has to push herself.”
And as for her future in the Royal family, Markle will fit right in.
“I would say that she’s comfortable in the spotlight even given the shyness, she wants to be in the center of things, and she takes life seriously,” Lowe says.
“She has a degree of formality and a love of beautiful things, so the palace is the right environment for that.”