Catherine, Princess of Wales knows a thing or two about the power of royal fashion. She’s had a great role model in this department: Princess Diana, the mother-in-law she sadly never got to meet. Diana excelled in matters of style, and Kate, who now holds the same royal title as Diana once did, often pays tribute to her predecessor by following in her fashion footsteps. You might be surprised at just how often Kate remixes a famous Diana look and updates it for the 21st century — or pays a subtle nod to her with a poignant accessory.
Part of becoming a royal mother is knowing that at some point you’ll have to officially present your newborn child to the media. Millions of eyes are going to be on you in this moment, so what to wear must be a big question. Touchingly, the media has noticed that Kate has used these special occasions to pay homage to her late mother-in-law.
After Kate gave birth to Prince Louis in 2018, she was photographed outside the hospital wearing a red dress with a white collar, just as Diana had worn when she’d left the hospital with Prince Harry back in 1984.
Pretty in pink
Pink is a powerful royal color, but it can be hard to pull off. Princess Diana knew how to rock bright pink without it being too overpowering, and Kate has definitely followed in her footsteps here. For proof, look no further than the all-pink ensemble she wore at the 2017 Trooping the Color ceremony.
It was bold enough to make Kate stand out on the day but subtle enough that she didn’t overshadow all the other members of the royal family. And it looked a lot like an updated version of the pink Donald Campbell outfit Diana wore during a royal tour of Australia back in 1983.
Some of the best outfits in recent royal history have come out at Royal Ascot. Diana wore a contemporary polka-dot look to the famous horse racing event back in 1988: a Victor Edelstein dress, a matching hat by Philip Somerville, and a neat little black clutch to top it off.
Kate paid what could have only been a deliberate homage to the look when she herself went to Ascot in 2022. She too wore a polka-dot dress with an elegant hat and carried a small clutch in her hands. She was even wearing a pair of earrings that had once belonged to Diana, too!
There are some pretty strict rules for royals about headwear. It would be almost unthinkable to turn up at certain formal occasions without a hat or a fascinator, in fact. When it comes to picking out the perfect headpiece to complement an outfit, Kate, it seems, often looks back to her late mother-in-law for inspiration.
This blue-and-white fascinator is a particularly poignant example of the present echoing the past. Not only does Kate’s headpiece-and-jacket combo look remarkably similar to this outfit of Diana’s from 1991, her sapphire-and-diamond earrings actually belonged to Diana.