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Royal fashion off: Duchess Kate vs Princess Diana

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on May 9th, 2011 3 comments

Marrying into any royal family, let alone the British Royal family is certain to make the world follow your every move and fashion fancy. And Kate Middleton is no exception, as Diana was before her.

Britain finally got a new Princess in the form of Mrs Prince William, Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, who wed her prince on Friday 29 April 2011. Almost thirty years to the date, 29 June 1981, Charles, the Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales (née Lady Diana Spencer) received the nation’s cheer as they tied the knot.

Since very early on in their relationship Kate has had to endure being compared to her boyfriend and now husband’s late mother Diana. But how do they compare, fashion wise?

As a royal bride Diana came into the limelight at the young age of 20, when you are just finding out who you are. This does no doubt also has an effect on what you wear. We appreciate that this was the 80s, known for its somewhat dubious fashion trends. Think big knitted jumpers and lots of colours. Got to love it! But Diana also bore signs of her aristocratic English family history, going for the long demure skirts and tops instead of something fashion forward. Guess we can safely say that Diana grew into her sartorial style as she became more accustomed to being in the spotlight.

But what about Kate? Having met Prince William while studying at the University of St Andrew’s in 2001, Kate’s romantic relationship with the second in line for the throne was allowed to blossom over years. A girl of modern times, Kate is an advocate for high street fashion – she’s often spotted in designs from more affordable labels such as Issa, Zara and LK Bennett. Also having being connected to the royal family for around eight years before making it official, Kate has had longer time to become used the spotlight and has been allowed to develop her own fashion style before being thrown into official engagements and royal duties. With her partner in crime sister Pippa Middleton, it’s apparent that at 29 Kate is a girl that dresses her own age.

Whereas Princess Diana looked kind of frumpy and middle-aged at only 20 (again could have been the 80s!), Kate shows that she knows her fashion and isn’t afraid to try things. Then again Kate did a stint in fashion – working for UK fashion chain Jigsaw – before marrying her prince, while Diana left her job as a kindergarten teacher to join the Firm.

Already admired for her beauty and fashion flair, it will be interesting to follow Kate as she now takes on her royal duties and new-found fashion darling.

Kate Middleton tries the western look

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Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, attends the second day of the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park near Tetbury, England. Photo: Anwar Hussein/

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  • Julia

    Prince William will be 29 on Tues 21st June
    Diana was married 30 years ago – not 20

  • Elisabeth Edvardsen

    Well spotted! Guess it was just my mind telling me I was still young 🙂 (Born in the same year as Prince William!)

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