Kate Middleton Curated an "Every Girl" Image to Mirror Princess Diana, Royal Expert Says

She avoided wearing too much designer clothing at first.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Make An Official Visit To Cambridge
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein / Getty)

Whether you're born into the Royal Family or you join it by marriage, image is all-important. The Firm works hard to strike the right balance—think of the Queen's objectivity and distance versus her filming a comedic skit with Paddington Bear.

This balancing act has been perhaps at its most visible when it comes to Kate Middleton, who these days is a master at maintaining her approachable and friendly image while simultaneously never revealing too much.

Today, the Duchess of Cambridge appears extremely confident in her role, but it had to be carefully curated from the start to make sure she kept favor with the public.

"So, Kate was a commoner. Especially in the British collective thinking, it was really important she did not overstep," explained royal reporter Elizabeth Holmes on the Royally Us podcast (via the Daily Star).

For Holmes, one of the strongest ways to convey that Middleton was a woman of the people was through her clothing choices.

"If she would have gone out wearing designer head to toe, bespoke from the start, it would have sent a message," she continued.

"But instead you just sort of kept going with what she was doing. There are a lot of pictures of Kate and William in their dating years, they dated for a very long time, the public was very familiar with her by the time they announced their engagement, and she stayed true to that.

"And I think that lent a sort of authenticity to her. I think there was certainly a group of people who thought she should up her game a little bit more and she did."

Basically, the duchess learned early on to balance your Zaras and your Supergas with your McQueens and your Packhams—all in an effort to remind people of the beloved Princess Diana, her late mother-in-law.

"She worked closely with Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen and that helped her elevate her style game," Holmes continued.

"But it was important for her to hold onto this every girl image and I think it was important for the monarchy as a whole.

"Because Diana had been the people’s princess, here was one of our people joining those ranks, and there is real power in us as viewers seeing somebody we can relate to."

It certainly worked: At Marie Claire, we're definitely partial to borrowing a style trick or two from the duchess' wardrobe.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.