Kate Middleton Hasn't Tried to "Follow in Diana's Footsteps," Says Katie Nicholl

There are differences as well as similarities.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
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Kate Middleton and Princess Diana have lots in common, and therefore comparisons are drawn quasi-daily between the two women.

They both married princes who were in direct line to the throne, they both wore the same sapphire engagement ring, they both were and are beloved public figures whose comings and goings, fashion choices and official engagements have fascinated royal watchers for decades.

Royal Wedding Comparisons - Cathedral Departures

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But for royal expert Katie Nicholl, the Duchess of Cambridge didn't try to become the new Diana—the naturally occurring comparisons were enough for her.

"I think one of the great strengths of Kate, and one of her real successes, is that she hasn't followed in Diana's footsteps," Nicholl told 9Honey.

"I don't think she seeks to emulate Diana. I think she was so aware of the comparison right from the outset, but despite the weight of that engagement ring on her finger, and the significance that that holds and the comparisons it inevitably draws, she is actually a very different woman.

"Her success has been in carving her own identity in the Royal Family as the Duchess of Cambridge and making that role herself."

While her role as wife to a future king is necessarily similar in the duties it entails, and while the duchess has thrown herself head-first into charity work just like her mother-in-law, she has also done things differently. She has started her own initiatives, last Christmas' Carol Concert being a perfect example, but also—notably—she has been relatively more discreet in her approach, while Diana sometimes embodied a slightly more audacious type of royal. Middleton, for her part, avoids drama as much as possible.

The Duke And Duchess of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

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With that in mind, of course the duchess follows in Diana's footsteps in other ways.

"I think a respectful nod, a respectful tribute. After the birth of George when she wore that blue and white dress, after Louis's birth she was in the red, that was very Diana, Diana had worn the same sort of red dress," Nicholl continued.

"We see it when she wears her jewellery and some of the outfits ... really, it's a respectful nod and an acknowledgement of the continuation of history."

Also, as has been remarked many a time, the duchess tries to raise her kids the way her husband's mom did.

"We see it in how she's sort of trying to raise the children in an ordinary way, which is what Diana very much wanted for Harry and William," Nicholl added.

"But I think for the most part, Kate really strives and works very hard to be her own royal, to be her own person, to be a totally unique Duchess of Cambridge, and I think she succeeded in that."

I mean, yes, hard to argue with that.

(FILE PHOTO) Kate Middleton And Diana Princess Of Wales

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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 British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. 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.