Tracing The Sartorial Legacy Of Princess Diana Ft. Kate Middleton And Meghan Markle
A fashion icon way ahead of her time, Diana’s influence continues to endure
Chanel tweed suits, exquisite Versace evening gowns and Dior bags may have been a regular in Princess Diana’s wardrobe, but her legacy extends far beyond fashion. A woman of deep compassion, she knew exactly how to utilise fashion to cement herself as a world-class humanitarian and eventually, the ‘People’s Princess’. And while her closet harboured the perfect amalgamation of outfits for overseas trips and philanthropic visits, the sartorial relevance of Princess Diana is approved by millennials even today. Think the notorious revenge dress, cycling shorts with sweatshirts, jeans with oversized blazers and her highly admired silk taffeta wedding gown—Princess Diana seamlessly ruled the art of royal dressing.
With a legacy as impactful as hers, it’s not surprising that Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have often used fashion to pay homage to the late Princess. From incorporating vibrant colours to giving heirloom jewellery a refreshing, contemporary upgrade; Kate and Meghan have been inspired in myriad ways and proved it in all their subtlety.
Since her wedding to Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge not only inherited an iconic range of heirloom jewellery but imbibed the legacy in the best possible way. Kate Middleton has been a constant purveyor of Princess Diana’s sartorial sensibilities which has been evident from her style while running errands to making hospital visits.
The Blue Polka Dot Dress
Left: Princess Diana at the Kensington Palace in 1985, Right: The Duchess of Cambridge in a similar dress at Prince Charles 70th birthday in November 2018.
The Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring
Princess Diana’s now-iconic engagement ring consisted of 14 diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold. Seen here are Prince Charles and Princess Diana with the ring, and Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge with the same ring post their engagement.
The Red Post-Partum Dress
Left: Princess Diana and Prince Charles after the birth of Prince Harry at London’s Saint Mary Hospital in September 1984, Right: The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William after the birth of Prince Louis at the same hospital in April 2018.
The Glittery Green Dress
Left: Princess Diana at a charity performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1987, Right: The Duchess of Cambridge at a special reception during her Royal Visit to Pakistan in October 2019.
The Lilac Outfit
Left: Princess Diana in Washington in June 1997, Right: The Duchess of Cambridge at the Maritime Museum in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017.
When Prince Harry and Meghan decided to step down from their roles as Senior Royals, comparisons began to draw between Meghan and Princess Diana. Amidst the controversies, Prince Harry said that the ‘ruthless campaign’ against his wife was “history repeating itself,” adding: “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” Meghan turned to Princess Diana’s sartorial legacy to fight back the haters. From paying tribute to the Princess on the evening of her wedding to incorporating her love for colour blocking, Meghan has been inspired in multiple ways.
For Trooping The Colour in 2018, Meghan opted for a risqué neckline which was inspired by Princess Diana’s blush pink dress in 1987.
The Halter-Neck Gown
Channelling Princess Diana yet again on her wedding evening, Meghan took inspiration from the late Princess’ halter-neck dress which she wore at Spencer House in 1992.
Red And Violet
The refreshing colour-blocked combination of red and violet was nailed by Meghan in 2019 which was previously mastered by Princess Diana back in 1989.
The Butterfly Earrings
During Meghan and Harry’s 2018 tour to Australia, she wore the iconic butterfly earrings which belonged to Princess Diana.
The Aquamarine Ring
For the evening reception of her wedding, Meghan paid homage to Princess Diana by wearing her stunning aquamarine cocktail ring which the Princess last wore in 1997.
Photographs: Instagram, Getty Images