How Kate and Megan paid tribute to Princess Diana through the wardrobe

Read Time:6 Minute, 55 Second


Writer Megan C. Hills, CNN

Don’t miss CNN’s six-part documentary series “Diana”, which contains rare footage and new interviews that reveal the people behind the princess. “Diana” premiered on Sunday, October 9th at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
As members of the royal family, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, each opened up their own fashion paths, attracted the attention of the fashion media, and caused them to be photographed and their clothes sold out.
Although their wardrobes are very different-Kate adopts classic British fashion and Meghan adopts stylish, modern elegance-both pay tribute to their most influential royal style icon: Princess Diana.

Since entering the public eye, the duchess has knitted the iconic clothing elements of the late mother-in-law into her wardrobe. For example, Diana’s preference for Peter Pan collars and bow-tie shirts has become Kate’s signature, while Meghan expressed Diana’s love for tight dresses and tailoring.

Recalling Princess Diana’s fashion life

Other examples of clothing borrowing are more straightforward: Prince William and Prince Harry inherited items from their mother’s vast jewelry collection after their mother’s death in 1997, and some of her works have permeated their wives’ ensemble-usually resulting Shrewd narrative effect. Who can forget that Megan was wearing Diana’s diamond Cartier tennis bracelet during an explosive sit-in interview with Oprah, or Kate took a photo with Diana’s famous 12-carat sapphire and the diamond ring on her finger?

Read more about how the couple paid tribute to Princess Diana through their thoughtful style choices.

Blue polka dot dress

Kate Middleton (Kate Middleton) in Bletchley Park (Bletchley Park) in 2019 when attending an event wearing Alessandra Rich dress, let people compare with the dress worn by Princess Diana more than 30 years ago.

Kate Middleton (Kate Middleton) in Bletchley Park (Bletchley Park) in 2019 when attending an event wearing Alessandra Rich dress, let people compare with the dress worn by Princess Diana more than 30 years ago.

Polka dots and exaggerated collars are the mainstay of Princess Diana’s wardrobe, which Kate has always liked for years. Most notably, the Duchess of Cambridge has repeatedly appeared in a navy blue dress with a white neckline and cuffs designed by London designer Alexandra Rich (Alessandra Rich). This dress looks like the one worn by Princess Diana when she was photographed at Kensington Palace in 1985.

Kate wore this dress in the official family portrait taken in 2018 to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th birthday, and attended an event in Bletchley Park a year later.

It turns out that the Alessandra Rich dress is very popular among other celebrities: In 2018, Meghan’s close friend and former “suit and leather” co-star Abigail Spencer (Abigail) Spencer wore the same dress at Meghan and Harry’s wedding, and Ivanka Trump wore it with a thick white belt to accompany her father to a steel plant in Illinois.

Declaration of maternity clothes

Megan and Princess Diana were photographed wearing similar embroidered green jackets during their pregnancy.

Megan and Princess Diana were photographed wearing similar embroidered green jackets during their pregnancy.

When she was pregnant with Prince Harry, Princess Diana’s style changed, using flowing dresses and eye-catching coats to adapt to her bumps. When visiting Bristol in 1982, she walked out wearing an elegant green coat with velvet details and a matching hat.

Although Meghan avoided the wide dress when she was pregnant with her first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the bold coat became a recurring feature of her maternity dress. In 2019, she was wearing a forest green Erdem coat when she participated in Commonwealth Day at Canada House in London. Although its tailoring is more modern, this dress still conveys the spirit of Diana’s charming coat.

Red Lindo Wing Ensemble

Kate and Diana stood on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital, decades apart. Kate wore a red Jenny Parkham dress with Peter Pan collar, which seemed to be a tribute to her late mother-in-law.

Kate and Diana stood on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital, decades apart. Kate wore a red Jenny Parkham dress with Peter Pan collar, which seemed to be a tribute to her late mother-in-law.

Kate drew a leaf from Princess Diana’s postpartum script after her third child, Prince Louis, was born in 2018. She was wearing a red Jenny Packham dress with a Peter Pan lace collar, posing for the photographer outside Lindo Wing with her husband and newborn at St Mary’s Hospital in London. This dress is reminiscent of the eye-catching red jacket dress Diana wore when she left the same hospital after giving birth to Prince Harry in 1984. This was offset by the white collar, when her husband Prince Charles was by her side.

Diana was one of the first members of the royal family to give birth in the hospital instead of at home, and greeted her two sons at St. Mary’s Hospital. Kate followed in her footsteps, gave birth to all her children in the same facility, and posed for the photographer on the exact same stairs.

When Kate gave birth to her eldest son, Prince George, in 2013, she wore another Jenny Packham dress as a more subtle tribute to her mother-in-law. She chose the polka dot print, just like Diana announced the birth of Prince William on the steps of Lindo Wing in 1982.

Gloomy mourning dress

Both Megan and Diana wore black buckle jackets, wide-brimmed hats and red poppy brooches to participate in the commemoration.

Both Megan and Diana wore black buckle jackets, wide-brimmed hats and red poppy brooches to participate in the commemoration.

As part of the royal duties, Meghan and Princess Diana followed tradition when participating in the gloomy service, choosing an all-black appearance that reflected the solemnity of the occasion.

In 1990, on Memorial Day, Princess Diana wore a black coat with gold buckles, a wide-brimmed hat and a silk bow shirt of the same color to pay her respects at the Yokohama War Cemetery in Japan.

Megan made a similar soft tone in 2019, when she participated in the annual anniversary service at the Westminster Memorial War Memorial-an event to commemorate the soldiers who died during the war-wearing a Stella McCartney design Silver button-style black coat and bow knot-embellished hat designed by milliner Stephen Jones.

Both of them put a red poppy brooch on their lapels to commemorate their lost lives.

Pearls and headdress

Kate Middleton and Princess Diana are wearing lover knot headdress, with Collingwood pearl drop earrings and Royal Medal brooch.

Kate Middleton and Princess Diana are wearing lover knot headdress, with Collingwood pearl drop earrings and Royal Medal brooch.

The headdress is usually reserved for national occasions, but when there is an event need, Kate is often attracted by the lover’s knot headdress-one of Princess Diana’s favorite works. The picture above is the headwear worn by Kate at the 2018 state banquet commemorating King William-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. According to reports, this crown is very heavy and sometimes gives Diana a headache.

Kate’s dressing style that day reflected the style elements Diana wore in Vancouver in 1986. Kate seems to have chosen the same earrings as Diana, which was named Collingwood Pearl Pendant Earrings by “Town and Country” magazine. But more importantly, she put a badge on her dress with a yellow ribbon, a miniature crown and a diamond-encrusted portrait of the queen.

This rare badge is called the Royal Medal of Elizabeth II and is awarded to royal women at the discretion of the Queen. Previous British monarchs had their own family medals, and Queen Elizabeth received these medals from her father King George VI and grandfather King George V.

Bold one-shoulder dress

Princess Diana's stylist Anna Harvey once said that Princess Diana likes one-shoulder dresses, while Meghan Markle follows in her footsteps, wearing tight Givenchy dresses.

Princess Diana’s stylist Anna Harvey once said that Princess Diana likes one-shoulder dresses, while Meghan Markle follows in her footsteps, wearing tight Givenchy dresses.

The Duchess of Sussex caused a sensation at the 2018 Fashion Awards when she unexpectedly awarded Givenchy’s then artistic director Clare Waight Keller the British Womenswear Designer of the Year Award-behind her wedding dress Designer. Appropriately, Megan wore one of Keller’s designs: a black Givenchy one-shoulder gown that showed her belly conspicuously.
This stylish dress seems to be a tribute to Diana’s love of one-shoulder dresses, such as the tight blue Versace dress she wore when she visited Sydney, Australia in 1996. But the late royal family’s love for single-sleeve looks can be traced farther afield. After Diana’s death, Anna Harvey, the magazine’s former deputy editor, wrote for the British version of Vogue in 1997, explaining that the princess fell in love with the silhouette very early.

She recalled that Diana wore a white beaded one-sleeve dress designed by Japanese designer Hachi, which was heavily photographed by the media in the 1980s. “She looks sensational, but the authorities hate it. It’s too revealing; they think it’s not a member of the royal family,” Harvey wrote.

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