Kate Middleton Is Every Bit the Fashion Icon Diana Was, Royal Expert Says

Hard agree.

The Queen Elizabeth II Award For British Design - Arrivals
(Image credit: Getty/Max Mumby/Indigo)

Nobody batted an eyelid when Kate Middleton recently gave out a fashion design award on behalf of the Queen—and there's good reason for that.

In her 11 years as part of the Royal Family, the Duchess of Cambridge has made her mark as a fashion icon in her own right, which made her the obvious choice for presenting the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Saul Nash recently.

But for royal expert Duncan Larcombe, the duchess' style prowess has gone even further, to the point where she is now on par with the late Princess Diana as a bona fide member of fashion royalty.

The Queen Elizabeth II Award For British Design - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty/Max Mumby/Indigo)

"When I saw the photos, I was reminded that Kate has very much become the new Diana when it comes to the style stakes," Larcombe recently told OK! "She was there to give out an award for fashion design, and dominated the headlines with what some might see as a fairly conservative choice of outfit.

"What you can say about this dress—and the catalogue of outfits we have seen Kate wearing in the past year—is that it shows just how confident she is becoming, and she seems to look elegant in just about anything. I think this is all part of a coming of age for the duchess."

The royal author added the juicy tidbit, "We shouldn’t forget that it was Kate’s sense of fashion and style that first helped catch Prince William’s eye when she wore that see-through outfit at a charity fashion show, with him, apparently, watching with his jaw on the floor."

For the expert, there's nobody else in the Royal Family right now who comes close to the duchess' style and her level of influence.

Kate Middleton with little girl and candle

(Image credit: Getty)

"We think of her outfits at the Christmas carol service, the Earthshot Prize, the No Time To Die premiere—at which she was only overshadowed by William dressed as James Bond himself," he said. "The only royal you could possibly compare her to in that respect, given the past year and a half or so, is Princess Diana."

Prince William and Kate Middleton at No Time to Die premiere

(Image credit: Getty)

With a tiny bit of shade in there, Larcombe said, "The other royals always look nice, and once in a while Zara Tindall or Beatrice and Eugenie may shine, but Kate is an icon now." Oof, way harsh, Tai.

Obviously, Princess Diana's are big shoes to fill given how universally adored she was, but Larcombe thinks the Duchess of Cambridge at the very least comes close. "Does she have the same clout as Diana?" he mused. "Well, you only have to look at the sales figures for all the outfits she has worn—they have skyrocketed. The minute Kate wears an off-the-peg dress it sells out, and that reminds us of the Diana effect."

Hmm, true. But hot tip, you can still grab her patterned Tory Burch dress from Rent the Runway (opens in new tab), and her all-in-one cream dress from Self-Portrait.

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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.