Next Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death at age 36. The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, has sometimes been compared to her mother-in-law by the media due to her fashion choices, but a royal commentator has claimed Kate Middleton has made her own identity as a royal.
Katie Nicholl, the royal correspondent for Vanity Fair, spoke to 9Honey about the “almost unmatchable legacy” of Princess Diana and about Kate Middleton’s own image as a royal.
The journalist said: “I think one of the great strengths of Kate, and one of her real successes, is that she hasn’t followed in Diana’s footsteps.”
She added: “I don’t think she seeks to emulate Diana.
“I think she was so aware of the comparison right from the outset, but despite the weight of that engagement ring on her finger, and the significance that that holds and the comparisons it inevitably draws, she is actually a very different woman.
“Her success has been in carving her own identity in the royal family as the Duchess of Cambridge and making that role herself.”
The royal writer says that there have been “echoes of Diana in Kate” as the Duchess of Cambridge has made some “very deliberate nods” to Princess Diana in her fashion choices.
Kate Middleton wore similar dresses to Princess Diana after the births of Prince George and Prince Louis.
Ms Nicholl said: “I think a respectful nod, a respectful tribute.
“After the birth of George when she wore that blue and white dress, after Louis’s birth she was in the red, that was very Diana, Diana had worn the same sort of red dress.”
In 2013 after the birth of Prince George, Kate Middleton paid tribute to Princess Diana by wearing a polka dot dress by designer Jenny Packham that looked similar to the dress Princess Diana wore when leaving the hospital in 1982 with Prince William.
In her first appearance with Prince Louis in 2018, she wore a red dress with a white collar by the same designer Jenny Packham, that looked like the dress Princess Diana wore to show the world Prince Harry in 1984.
Ms Nicholl added: “Really, it’s a respectful nod and an acknowledgement of the continuation of history.”
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Princess Diana was famous for her hands-on approach to her children, as she took her sons to school herself, participated in school events and often took them to ordinary outings, such as fast food restaurants.
Prince Harry has described his mother as the “best mum in the world” who “smothered us with love” in a documentary to mark 20 years after the Princess of Wales’s death.
Prince William also said in the documentary that his mother “always understood that there was life outside of palace walls”.
He continued: “My mother cherished those moments of privacy and being able to be that mother, rather than the Princess of Wales.”
The journalist added: “I think for the most part, Kate really strives and works very hard to be her own royal, to be her own person, to be a totally unique Duchess of Cambridge, and I think she succeeded in that.”