All Of The Times Kate Middleton Took Sartorial Inspiration From Princess Diana

From floral dresses to structured blazers, the Duchess's wardrobe often pays homage to her late mother-in-law.

Kate Middleton Diana

by Shana Lynch |

When Prince William and Kate Middleton were married (over 10 years ago) on 29 April 2011, over two billion spectators watched from across the globe, undoubtedly becoming besotted with the new Duchess of Cambridge. And it obviously wasn’t the first time a royal bride would capture the attention of the public, which is why it's impossible not to draw parallels between the nation’s affection for Kate and their doting love for the People’s Princess, Diana.

Over the past decade, as Prince William and Kate Middleton have welcomed three children and attended royal engagement after royal engagement, it’s the sartorial mirroring between Kate and Diana that continues to fascinate the nation and, it seems, the world.

Right from the beginning, Kate wore a royal blue Issa gown to her engagement announcement that mirrored the blue dress worn by Princess Diana for her own engagement announcement. More than that, Kate has also fostered a royal love affair with designer Catherine Walker, a close friend of Princess Diana who designed over 1,000 of her outfits.

Both were right at home on a red carpet as well. The example that lingers in the mind is the outfit Kate chose for the premiere of No Time To Die – the latest film in the James Bond franchise – where she solidified her reputation as the Duchess of Dazzle wearing an incredible gold sequinned cape dress by one of her favourite designers, Jenny Packham.

Kate Middleton in gold sequinned Jenny Packham
Kate Middleton in gold sequinned Jenny Packham ©Getty

Many were quick to point out that the dress looked a bit familiar...And indeed, at the July 1985 premiere of James Bond film A View To A Kill, Princess Diana wore a stunning gold lamé gown by Bruce Oldfield, very similar to the one worn by her daughter-in-law three decades later.

Princess Diana in Bruce Oldfield, 1985
Princess Diana in Bruce Oldfield, 1985 ©Getty

So, from their engagement photos to their exits from the Lindo wing after giving birth, we’ve charted every time the Duchess of Cambridge has paid sartorial homage to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

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SEE: Every Time Kate Middleton Dressed Like Princess Diana

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There's only one way to dress for a Bond premiere: full-throttle glamour.

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When Kate joined Prince William on a royal tour of Scotland, her blue ensemble – a Zara blazer with a Hope skirt and tan heels – was the spitting image of an outfit Princess Diana wore in 1992.

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Also in Scotland, Kate wore her Seeland Woodcock Advanced Jacket, a sensible choice for the weather, which shows similarities to the Barbour waxed jacket Princess Diana wore in 1984 ((also in Scotland).

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Kate Middleton is known for her love of literal dressing. Here, she's wearing a Strathearn tartan scarf in Scotland (she and her husband are the Earl and Countess of Strathearn), and it looks like Diana had a similar penchant for the print (pictured wearing a checkered wool coat in Wales).

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For a visit to County Durham, Kate wore a printed jumper from Brora, which was very similar to the one famously worn by Princess Diana to a photocall before her wedding.

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On an appearance at London's V&A Museum, Kate chose a chic red houndstooth dress from Alessandra Rich. The length and cut was very similar to a tartan dress worn by Princess Diana on a visit to Swindon.

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To celebrate the release of her book, Kate wore a red wool coat dress from Eponine. Princess Diana wasn't afraid of a bold colour either, shown here in a scarlet skirt suit.

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Both Diana and Kate have worn double-breasted black coats embellished with gold buttons.

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At the official engagement announcement of Kate and Prince William, the Duchess mirrored Princess Diana in her own iconic engagement photograph. Kate's dress was chosen in order to match her sapphire ring, which of course once belonged to Diana.

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Kate's dress from Instagram-favourite Faithfull The Brand is very similar to the retro flower-printed dress worn by Diana in Seville.

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Kate's wardrobe on the 2019 Royal Tour to Pakistan included many tributes to Princess Diana, including this ombré blue dress designed by Catherine Walker, an outfit that was incredibly similar to what Princess Diana wore while visiting the Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore in 1996.

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Kate's Dubarry Bracken tweed jacket from a visit to King Henry's Walk Garden in January 2019 looked almost exactly the same to the one worn by Princess Diana on her honeymoon.

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Another one from the tour to Pakistan, Kate's green tunic mirrors this green coat-dress, both by Catherine Walker, worn by Princess Diana while on a visit to the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore in 1991.

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Kate's black strapless gown at A Night For Heroes in December 2011 drew many comparisons to Diana's black gown from her first public event with Prince Charles, at London's Goldsmith's Hall in 1981.

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Kate's white shalwar kameez designed by Gul Ahmed and shawl designed by Maheen Khan are very similar to a beaded shalwar kameez worn by Princess Diana while attending a dinner at London's Dorchester Hotel in aid of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital in Pakistan.

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What's a royal Christmas without some red tartan?

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While visiting Chitral in the Hindu Kush region, near the Afghan border, Kate and Diana were both presented with traditional Chitrali hats.

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Stepping outside the Lindo Wing after the birth of Prince George, Kate donned a polka dot blue Jenny Packham dress which was very similar to the green spotty number worn by Princess Diana after the birth of Prince William.

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While dancing with Prince Charles in Melbourne in October 1985, Princess Diana wore a very similar dress to one that her future daughter-in-law would wear at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2012.

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Kate and Diana have both worn sharp grey blazers with a fancy collar (black velvet, in this case).

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Kate's pink, flowing midi dress to watch the polo with her children, and sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, mirrors Diana's dress from a visit to Sydney.

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Bring the bling! Kate's Jenny Packham gown from the Palladium Theatre in November 2017 looks just like Diana's Catherine Walker gown from Qatar in November 1986.

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Kate's choice of outfit for the christening of Princess Charlotte in 2015 mirrored Princess Diana's Catherine Walker coat-dress from a visit to the Isle of Wight in 1985.

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Both royal women look amazing in red houndstooth: Princess Diana in a Moschino suit in Canada in 1991 and Kate in a red Catherine Walker coat dress in Sweden in January 2018.

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Again outside the Lindo Wing, this time after the birth of her youngest, Prince Louis, Kate mirrored Princess Diana after the birth of her youngest, Prince Harry.

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Kate must've taken inspiration from Princess Diana at a photo call in Kensington Palace in 1985 when she visited the 'D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion' exhibition at Bletchley Park in 2019.

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Kate's white-and-gold dress from an official dinner hosted by Malaysia's Head of State in Kuala Lumpur mirrors Diana's dress from a dinner at the German Embassy in London in 1986.

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Kate's blue draped gown for the premiere of Spectre in 2015 was very similar to a dress worn by Princess Diana when pregnant with Prince Harry.

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Kate's royal blue look from the trip to Pakistan is a very similar colour to this embroidered top worn by Princess Diana in 1997 while touring Imran Khan's charity cancer hospital.

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Kate's outfit at the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Berkshire was almost identical to the one Diana wore at Sandringham on Christmas Day in 1993.

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Kate's white peplum outfit looks very similar to Diana's dress from Royal Ascot in June 1986.

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Proving that polka dots are a timeless choice of print, both Diana and Kate have opted for a green version of the classic pattern.

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The day before her wedding, Kate wore a polka dress with a white shawl similar to an outfit worn by Princess Diana in Wales in 1993.

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Never ones to shy away from bold colours, both Kate and Diana have rocked hot pink coat-dresses.

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Kate Middleton wore an Alexander McQueen dress-coat at the Irish Guards Medal Parade in 2011; Princess Diana wore a very similar royal blue blazer with gold buttons while visiting Oxford in 1990.

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The black-and-white polka dot number worn by Kate to Wimbledon is very similar to the dress and matching hat Diana donned for Royal Ascot in 1988.

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While greeting crowds in New Zealand, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Diana both wore teal dresses with matching hats.

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Further evidence that royals love their tartan.

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Pretty in pink! Kate at Trooping the Colour in 2017 and Diana in a polka-dotted dress in Perth in 1983.

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Both Kate and Diana look amazing in these matching red-and-white polka dot summer dresses.

Kate isn't the only one of Diana's daughter-in-laws taking inspiration from her wardrobe; check out every time Meghan Markle has dressed like Princess Diana:

Gallery

All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana
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In 1987, Princess Diana wore tartan at Bute Highland Games in Scotland and two decades later Meghan wore a Burberry tartan coat for an official visit to Scotland during her engagement.

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It seems both royals are a fan of pairing red and purple. Princess Diana wore the combo during a visit to Hong Kong in November 1989 while Meghan wore it on a visit to Birkenhead in January of 2019.

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Both Meghan and Diana chose a monochrome colour palette for visits to Royal Ascot.

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The off-the-shoulder pink Carolina Herrera dress Meghan wore to Trooping the Colour was rather similar to Princess Diana's look worn at the Royal Ballet in Germany in 1987.

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Both have sported tailored blush pink dresses. Princess Diana wore a Versace coat dress in 1995 while the Duchess of Sussex wore a modern take on the trend when visiting the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London.

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For the the premiere of Just Like a Woman in 1992, Princess Diana wore a red gown by Victor Edelstein and Meghan channeled the look for an appearance on the Today show.

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Meghan's second wedding dress (a Stella McCartney design) was noticeably similar to a high-necked evening gown worn by Princess Diana at a reception at Spencer House in London.

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At Commonwealth Day in March 2019, Meghan wore an emerald green Erdem coat not dissimilar to the one worn by Princess Diana in 1982.

READ MORE: 50+ Times Kate Middleton Has Recycled Her Outfits

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