This year, Princes William and Harry have been marking 20 years since their mother’s death with a series of documentaries and interviews paying tribute to her achievements. Today- on the eve of the anniversary itself- the Princes were joined by the Duchess of Cambridge to meet representatives from the charities which Princess Diana supported over the years at the garden which has been created in her honour in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
The Duchess of Cambridge never met Diana of course, but she paid sartorial tribute to her this afternoon with a perfectly pitched choice of outfit which combined symbols of remembrance with detailling which nodded to one of the style signatures which the Princess made famous as a style icon during the Eighties.
In her first public appearence since taking a break over the summer, Kate wore a £1,425 silk dress by Prada with a poppy floral pattern and a pussy bow tie at the neckline, looking elegant despite the rain in London this afternoon.Poppies are a familiar motif, most famously used to remember fallen soldiers but they have a wider significance of healing and memory for loved ones who have died. Although they came with a somber meaning, the pattern on the Duchess’s dress was cheerfully bright, reflecting the eye-catching prints which Diana herself used to love to wear, especially when visiting hospitals, children and charities. Along with pie crust collars and ruffles, pussy bows were a romantic flounce which Princess Diana made her own early in her marriage. On the day that her engagement to Prince Charles was announced, she wore a blue and white speckled pussy bow blouse which she had bought in Harrods and was photographed wearing pale pink chiffon blouse by the Emanuels in Vogue soon afterwarsds; in fact, she loved that blouse so much that it led to her asking the couple to design her wedding dress. Later, Diana would often layer a white shirt with the pretty tie detail underneath tailored jackets and coats for public walkabouts and visits.Given the sheer breadth of outfits and trends which Diana played with during her years in the spotlight, it is perhaps little surprise that the Duchess of Cambridge has appeared to pay tribute to some of her late mother-in-law’s iconic looks during her own time as a senior member of the royal family. Last year, she wore a pie crust collar dress to a children’s tea party in Canada while the polka dot blue dress by Jenny Packham which she chose to leave the Lindo Wing after giving birth to Prince George drew immediate comparisons to a similar style by Catherine Walker which Diana wore after having William.
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