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
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.