Last week, Kate Middleton made a touching tribute to Princess Diana when she selected to wear her beloved blue dress to the opening of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, England. Like Diana, Kate was confident in her off-duty style and who knows? Maybe a similar ensemble may be in her future — she teased royal watchers with her appearance in a forest green velvet dress a few months ago, so there’s no shortage of possibilities on which she’s prepared to spring.
The designer of the dress has never been revealed (despite the fact that the label, Emilia Wickstead, has a familial link to Princess Diana), and we’ve never seen the vintage-inspired number on the duchess. But she did honor Diana with a white ensemble in Cape Town that included much of her style canon: a cream skirt and a tailored white jacket. Although it was not quite a repeat, it’s what we expect Diana to style herself in: an off-the-shoulder blouse with pants, timeless chic and understatement.
Nestled between Harry and William’s 2-year-old son, Prince George, Kate traveled to the palace of Quelle Château for an intimate family picnic, a few nights before she headed south to attend the prince’s first royal match. While that tour was all about protocol and protocol only, we’ll allow the princess to dress to impress. Perhaps we’ll even see Harry dress like his father at their next picnic.
Camilla Middleton, meanwhile, kept it more buttoned-up and classic for a simple black mini and white blouse during her very public appearance at the Bhutanese embassy. Her look may not have been perfect, but it did feature a chic underlay of pearl earrings and her retro High Street Zara dress, which retails for $94, was sleek and easy to wear.
Fitting with this week’s British fashion parade, Sarah Ferguson chose a long-sleeved black figure-hugging shift dress and a slim clutch. Fergie’s updated version of the perennial wardrobe staple did not consist of minimalism — which is, of course, what every girl is required to do — but it did resemble some of Diana’s more regal looks. Which brings us to the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall, all while the little pink dress queen, the Duchess of Sussex, recycled one of her most beloved looks.
Duchess Kate looked awesome, but again, she proved herself to be the modern lady trendsetter with the above ensemble — something that isn’t always the case.
To further distinguish the two duchesses, Victoria Beckham chosen a navy velvet dress from her collection and rocked it with a matching trench and a pair of pointed peep-toe pumps, while Camilla chose a lightweight fishtail coat and pointed pumps. Pippa Middleton, meanwhile, opted for a slim satin skirt with a pink cable knit sweater underneath.
The collective best of the best? A chic array of possibilities, courtesy of classic British designers and a bit of classic modernity, all in honor of the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely death. The outpouring of emotion from Pippa Middleton’s grandmother-in-law to Kate’s sister and Camilla’s sister-in-law reflects the duchesses’ closeness and a mutual respect for one another.