There’s no question that Kate Middleton looked flawless as ever as she attended the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle yesterday night.
Dressed in a black and white coat, coordinating fascinator and discreet pearl drop earrings, the Duchess of Cambridge joined fellow European royals including Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, to mark the achievements of knights from a variety of backgrounds, in recognition for their public service.
As with any official occasion, royal watchers are always looking for personal clues in Kate’s fashion, and this time, they might have stumbled upon something rather significant – because the designer behind Kate’s monochrome outfit was also a favourite of the late Princess Diana.
Catherine Walker, a label known for generating timeless, elegant looks for formal events, created Kate’s coat. Catherine herself was a friend of Kate’s late mother-in-law, and was responsible for some of Diana’s most iconic outfits, including maternity clothes while she was pregnant with Prince William, and her famed ivory ‘Elvis’ dress. Although she passed away in 2010, there is still a strong influence and heritage felt throughout the brand’s contemporary offerings.
However, that’s not the only nod to Diana in Kate’s ensemble, as it also bears a striking resemblance to a suit that the Princess of Wales wore to the VJ Day 50th anniversary celebrations in 1995.
Both looks have contrasting piping, oversized buttons and a neutral colour palette, and although they’re not completely indistinguishable, there’s no denying that there are a number of unmissable parallels between the two.
Of course, only Kate and her style team will know how deliberate the choice was, but it wouldn’t be the first time that the duchess has paid tribute to her husband’s mother through her clothing choices.
In Prince Charles’ birthday portraits, which were released to the public in November last year, Kate wore a blue-and-white polka dot dress with an oversized Peter Pan collar and white buttons down the front; an almost identical to a piece worn by Princess Diana back in 1985.