For a 2019 visit to Pakistan, Kate wore a Catherine Walker–designed shalwar kameez in the exact shade of green that Diana wore for a visit to the country in 1991.
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) wearing a headscarf to enter the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, September 1991. She is wearing a green dress by Catherine Walker. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
Princess Diana Archive
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge pose after visiting the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for an a official meeting at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence on October 15, 2019 in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
At a 2018 engagement in Sydney, Meghan wore the gold pavé butterfly earrings that Diana first wore in 1986.
Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a blue suit designed by Catherine Walker and a blue and white hat by Graham Smith, visits Prince George on May 4, 1986 in British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a ceremony at Taronga Zoo on October 16, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Kristy Wigglesworth – Pool/Getty Images)
To the Remembrance Day service in 1991, Diana wore a black wide-brimmed hat that was later referenced both by Kate in 2016 and Meghan in 2019.
Princess Diana Remembrance Sunday Service, Cenotaph, Whitehall, London, Britain – Nov 1991
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watches from a balcony the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London, on November 13, 2016. (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
During an appearance in Stockholm in 2018, Kate wore a red-and-white houndstooth coat that was a striking throwback to a jacket Diana wore at Sandringham in 1990.
Princess Diana Holding Onto Her Hat At Sandringham While Meeting Disabled People In Wheelchairs Who Have Come To See The Royal Family (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the Karolinska Institute to meet with academics and practitioners to discuss SwedenÂ’s approach to managing mental health challenges during day two of their Royal visit to Sweden and Norway on January 31, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
When Prince George was born in 2013, Kate’s sister, Pippa, gave her a gold necklace with George’s name engraved on it—remarkably similar to a necklace Diana wore with the word “William” on it when Prince William was a child.
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) watching the polo at Windsor, UK, 24th July 1983. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Ely and Careau Childrenâ€™s Centre on January 22, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
For her and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they detailed their own struggles with the royal media and referred to Princess Diana several times, Meghan wore a bracelet that once belonged to her late mother-in-law.
Princess Diana (1961 – 1997) at the Royal Albert Hall after an English National Ballet production of ‘Swan Lake’, London, 3rd June 1997. The Princess is wearing a dress by designer Jacques Azagury. (Photo by David M Benett/Getty Images)
David M. Benett
“Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” – Pictured: Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex speaks about her pregnancy during her interview with Oprah Winfrey. Photo Credit: Harpo Productions/ Photographer: Joe Pugliese.
At the funeral for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Kate wore a striking pearl-and-diamond necklace that once belonged to Diana—both a vivid reminder of a family member who was not present and a subtle connection to Diana’s funeral in 1997.
G4DPC1 Royalty – Dutch Royal Family Banquet – Hampton Court Palace
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images )
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Not every fashion moment that brings up Diana’s memory is necessarily deliberate—see Meghan’s black-and-white ensemble at the Royal Ascot in 2018. Meghan is often fond of neutrals and classic tailoring, but the echoes of Diana—who often wore black and white to the Ascot, including in 1985—were noteworthy all the same.
British Royals Princess Alexandra, wearing a red suit, and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), wearing a dress by Victor Edelstein and hat by Frederick Fox, as the Royal group arrives for Derby Day at Epsom racecourse in Surrey, England, 5th June 1986. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Steve Parsons – PA Images
On Diana’s first formal outing as Prince Charles’s fiancée in 1981, she wore a strapless gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who went on to design her wedding dress, and in December 2011, Kate attended a military awards banquet in a velvet strapless gown from Alexander McQueen, the label that also designed her wedding dress.
Lady Diana Spencer And Prince Charles At Goldsmiths Hall In London In March 1981 On Their First Evening Outing In Public. Black Taffeta Evening Dress Designed By Fashion Designers The Emanuels (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends ‘A Night Of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards’, Imperial War Museum, London. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Like Kate, Meghan often uses royal tours as an opportunity to subtly honor Diana’s style, and though the Veronica Beard belted shirtdress that Meghan wore on her tour of the South Pacific and her visit to South Africa is slightly simpler than the one Diana wore on a 1992 trip to Egypt, the effect is similarly striking.
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) visits the Al Nur School in Cairo, Egypt, with Jehan Sadat, the widow of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, 11th May 1992. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
Princess Diana Archive
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits Tupou College on October 26, 2018 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Diana’s affection for eye-catching plaids like this skirt suit made her an avatar of 1980s fashion, but when Meghan wore the pattern on a January 2018 charity visit in Wales, she toned down the boldness by pairing it with black trousers.
Princess Diana At Paddington Station, London. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle watch a game of Jenga during their visit to Star Hub on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Geoff Pugh – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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