Kate Middleton Goes Full-Fledged Princess Diana at Royal Ascot

It’s an exact recreation of her late mother-in-law’s 1986 look.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sometimes Kate Middleton is subtle in her fashion nods to late mother-in-law Princess Diana—but sometimes, like at Royal Ascot this week, she is blatant in her Diana homages.

Not only did the Duchess of Cambridge pay tribute to Diana’s own horseracing event—while Kate wore the polka dot look to Royal Ascot, Diana wore her look to the Epsom Derby in 1986—she also wore a pair of Diana’s South-Sea pearl earrings, PEOPLE reports. 

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate made her 2022 Royal Ascot debut alongside husband Prince William, taking part in the carriage procession at the iconic horse race on Friday. Kate’s brown and white polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich—a new favorite of the Duchess—was offset by a hat with floral details on top by Sally-Ann Provan. Polka dots have been a go to for Kate in recent months, as she wore the pattern for Prince Philip’s Service of Thanksgiving in March and again to a Platinum Jubilee celebration earlier this month.

Kate chose to accessorize with Diana’s South-Sea pearl earrings, which the Princess of Wales wore on many occasions in the 1990s, including an English National Ballet Gala performance in Budapest in 1992, where she paired the earrings with the Spencer tiara, PEOPLE reports.

Diana’s own polka dot look was worn in 1986 at the Epsom Derby, where she wore a white dress with the classic pattern by Victor Edelstein. Her similarly dotted hat was by Frederick Fox.

Princess Diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate’s appearance at Royal Ascot comes in the midst of a heatwave, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees—heat so pervasive that, for the first time, men were allowed to remove their jackets and ties, a first for Ascot.

Another Ascot first—The Independent reports that this is the first time Her Majesty has missed the staple in the royal diary since she was crowned Queen in 1952. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.