Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen Dress Draws Comparisons With Princess Diana's

20 December 2011

Kate Middleton wearing a black Alexander McQueen gown

Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the Sun Military Awards last night

The charity event in London last night saw Kate Middleton’s biggest fashion moment since the Royal Wedding thanks to another stunning Alexander McQueen gown. But one of the most striking things about her outfit – besides its daring neckline (hello toned shoulders!) – was its resemblance to an outfit Princess Diana wore thirty years ago.

Princess Diana wearing a black gown by Elizabeth and David Emmanuelin at The Royal Opera House in 1981

Prince Charles and Princess Diana with Princess Grace of Monaco in 1981

At Diana’s first public engagement with Prince Charles in 1981, for a fundraiser at The Royal Opera House, she also wore a black gown with a ruffled edge, although it was in satin instead of velvet. Images of the 19-year-old Lady Spencer stepping out of a limousine in the dress made headlines – and kick started the world’s obsession with her style. Her gown was created by Elizabeth and David Emmanuel – who went on to design her wedding dress. Elizabeth Emanuel said of the outfit, 'The transformation was incredible. She arrived looking like the nursery school teacher she was, but now she looked like a movie star.' Last year, the dress sold at auction for £192,000 to a fashion museum in Chile.

And just like Diana, the Duchess of Cambridge has stayed loyal to her wedding dress designer. Author and journalist Camilla Morton tweeted at Grazia_Live last night, noting that on both occassions the Royals chose to wear outfits by their wedding dress designers. What's more, Kate accessorised the £4000 gown with her diamond and sapphire engagement ring – the very same that Diana wore at The Royal Opera House.

'It was very clever for Kate to make a parallel without words,' Camilla tweeted. We couldn’t agree more.


by Clare Thorp


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