When the new Princess of Wales appeared at Windsor’s Order of the Garter service last week wearing an Alessandra Rich vintage tea dress with polka dots, I knew it would be moments before she was considered Diana’s doppelganger again.
Diana also wore polka dots!
From the moment the two Princesses of Wales stepped into the spotlight, she was declared the twins of satire. Diana wore a see through Laura Ashley skirt. Kate Middleton walked the runway in a sheer black dress.
They were both gauche, shy, big-eyed. Both shopped on King’s Road for ballet flats, so, they could be twins!
When Catherine, Princess of Wales, wore polka dots to the Garter Service at Windsor, comparisons to Diana were drawn, but misplaced.
Just because Diana wore polka dots from time to time doesn’t mean Kate is her doppelganger, says Liz Jones. Here, Diana is pictured at Ascot in 1988
Liz Jones states that there is no meaningful style comparison between Diana, pictured in 1986, and Catherine, Princess of Wales.
The Princess of Wales is her own woman and should be allowed to make her own way. Kate is pictured here at this year’s Commonwealth Day service
Body language experts have called Catherine a ‘perfect copy’ of the late PoW. When she appeared in an Erdem creation for Commonwealth Day, ‘the whole look was reminiscent of Diana,’ a celebrity hairdresser told Newsweek.
Take it! There is no deep and meaningful similarity in their styles, nor should there be.
Yes, Diana and Catherine sponsored Catherine Walker, Jenny Packham and milliner Philip Treacy. Both wear sleeves, somewhat shouldered. But this applies to all women who have to dress formally for the occasion.
There are only so many couture-level designers to make the rounds. And, to be brutal, Diana was not a style icon, whereas Catherine most definitely is. Not Dee’s fault, since she came of age in her eighties. He was often given bad advice, not worldly.
Even the revenge dress, worn by Serpent the night Charles revealed his infidelity on TV, was too short, teamed with black opaque tights. This look should be relegated to history, and Catherine should be allowed to make her own way.
Because he is very much his own man.
Just because he can wear Diana’s brooch doesn’t mean he spends every waking moment thinking about her.
She doesn’t live in the past and, besides, what’s good about it, William once said sensitively, ‘Nobody’s going to try to fill my mother’s shoes and what she did was great. It’s about making your own future and your own destiny and Kate will do very well for that.’
To be oblivious to what Catherine wears is to over-analyze Love Island: the blue of her Erdem skirt suit was compared by one pundit to the color of the Commonwealth flag.
I imagine, most days, Catherine just wants to look pretty and fit.
Constantly returning to Diana is not only unimaginative, it’s sexist. We don’t compare the cut of William’s suit to his father’s; Indeed, as Julie Burchill opined, let’s hope William is nothing like his father.
But with women? We do it all the time. Even comparing Meghan to the late Duchess of Windsor, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Liz Jones says Diana was not a style icon. Even the so-called ‘revenge dress’ was too short and fitted the wrong tights. Diana wearing a Christina Stambolian dress to an event at the Serpentine Gallery in 1994
Some commentators like to point to similarities between design and designer choice. Diana is seen here embracing William and Harry on the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1991
But the truth is that there are only so many couture-level designers to go round, says Liz Jones. The Princess of Wales pictured greeting Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 2018
Diana, Princess of Wales in Nottingham in 1992
Catherine, then Duchess of Cambridge, at Coatbridge, 2021
Mrs. Simpson was so particular that she ironed her sheets in her sleep because they were wrinkled. He was truly an ambassador for Dior, as the V&A exhibition proved.
It’s as if women have no idea of their own that we always have to copy. That we live in the past. We need to hold hands.
Catherine is nothing like Diana. He exudes sunny optimism, stability, confidence. We feared for Diana.
We thought, if she can’t be happy, what can the rest of us expect? We look at Catherine and all seems right with the world.
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