Kate Middleton Outfits That Were Inspired By Other Royals

Kate Middleton, or, as she is now known, Princess Catherine of Wales, has been a fashion trendsetter since she came into the public eye as prince William's girlfriend in 2004. The press has always loved dissecting her outfits, and the public loves copying them. In fact, according to Marie Claire, Catherine is the most influential celebrity in fashion. Over the years, Catherine has been credited with helping more than a few fashion trends get off the ground, including cape dresses, anklets, nautical stripes, and wide-legged pants.

However, just because Catherine often starts her own fashion trends, she sometimes borrows trends from others. In fact, you may not have realized it, but she often takes inspiration from other royals, including Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, and even Meghan Markle. Curious to find out which of her looks weren't so original? Here are some of Catherine's outfits that channeled other famous royal looks.

In 2011, Princess Catherine wore a strapless black dress that looked a lot like this Diana look

In 2011, Princess Catherine wore a strapless black gown to the Sun Military Awards that drew comparisons to a famous outfit worn by Princess Diana. At Diana's first public engagement with Prince Charles in 1981, she wore a black satin Emanuel dress with a dramatic ruffle and train. As Elizabeth Emanuel, who helped design the dress, told Vogue, the dress, often referred to as her "first grown-up dress," helped Diana find her footing as a royal-to-be. "It was astounding," she said. "We witnessed the birth of a fashion icon before our very eyes." After wearing the dress, Diana was accused of wearing an inappropriate style as the dress showed too much decollétage. "We hadn't thought about what would happen when Diana got out of the car and leaned over," Emanual said, adding, "Life seemed to stop because of that dress."

When Catherine wore a similar dress with a ruffled neckline, the press noticed the similarities to Diana's famous dress. As the Daily Mail reported at the time, Catherine's dress was designed by Alexander McQueen and was paired with jewelry she had received from the Queen as a wedding gift.

Princess Catherine wore a one-shoulder white gown inspired by this 1991 Diana outfit

In 2019, Princess Catherine wore a gorgeous white one-shoulder gown to the BAFTA Awards. The dress by Alexander McQueen featured appliqué flowers on the shoulder and chiffon layered skirt with soft pleats. Catherine also wore a pair of sparkling Jimmy Choo high heels and a white and gold clutch to complete her red carpet look.

As People noted, the outfit bore more than just a few similarities to an outfit that Princess Diana wore during a 1991 trip to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Diana's white gown also featured an asymmetrical design, though the shoulder had no flowers on it. The dress' silhouette was also slightly different, with a mermaid shape and asymmetrical hemline.

To make the Diana fashion comparison even more apparent, Catherine even wore a pair of pearl and silver drop earrings that had once belonged to Diana.

This 2022 turtleneck look may have been inspired by Meghan Markle

Princess Catherine isn't just known for her stunning red carpet looks; she's also renowned for her more low-key looks, too. In early 2022, Catherine wore a wintery all-brown outfit that instantly reminded us of another famous casual royal look first seen on Meghan Markle.

Catherine's version of the look featured a ribbed brown turtleneck knit set from Iris & Ink, brown suede boots, and a long camel coat by Massimo Dutti (via Suggest). Similarly, Meghan's look from two years earlier featured a brown turtleneck sweater, a brown skirt, and a camel coat by Stella McCartney, but Meghan chose to wear brown heels by Jimmy Choo rather than boots (via Glamour). Unlike Catherine, Meghan chose to wear a silk skirt.

As both of these royals have shown, a monochromatic look really can work if you pick the right pieces — and brown is one neutral color that will never go out of style.

Princess Catherine wore this floral prairie dress in 2017 in an homage to Diana

One thing that the '80s were known for was floral maxi dresses. It was the age of Laura Ashley, and ditzy floral prairie girl prints were everywhere. As of 2022, the retro look is officially back in style (via The New York Times). And naturally, Princess Catherine has jumped on the trend. In the summer of 2017, the Princess was spotted wearing a long-sleeved midi Prada dress with a green and orange floral print. 

According to Insider, the look was inspired by Princess Diana's outfit at her wedding rehearsal in 1981. Diana's dress featured a very similar silhouette with long sleeves, a high neck, and a midi-length skirt, and it also featured a blue and yellow floral print. 

We think that Catherine's Prada dress was the perfect way to pay tribute to Diana's look while still giving a retro look some modern flair.

Princess Catherine emulated Diana with this royal blue skirt and jacket combo

In 2021 during a trip to Scotland, Princess Catherine wore an all-blue skirt and jacket look that was practically identical to an outfit worn by Princess Diana almost 30 years earlier in 1992. Both royal blue looks featured a pleated midi skirt and a matching double-breasted blazer. Both Princesses also carried a brown clutch.

Catherine's version of this timeless look featured a Zara blazer — with a slightly more modern cut than Diana's version — and a skirt by Hope Fashion. She also wore brown suede heels and, in 2021 fashion, a blue and white face mask (via Grazia). In the original look, Diana chose to wear matching cobalt blue heels.

After Catherine resurrected this gorgeous look, fans of the royal were inspired to try the look for themselves. As the Express reported, searches for "blue blazers" increased by 614%.

Princess Catherine wore a red coat with large buttons inspired by the Queen at the Platinum Jubilee

In June 2022, Princess Catherine chose a fitted maxi-length red coat for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. The coat was a 2018 wool-crepe Eponine coat dress, and it featured a round neckline, minimalist collar, and large red buttons.

Royal fans may have noticed that this Jubilee outfit appeared to be a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's style. Over the years, the Queen wore several similar red coat dresses. Miranda Holder, a fashion expert, explained to the Express that the Queen's style changed during her reign, but by the '90s, she was famous for color-blocking and well-tailored coat dresses. Catherine's red coat dress is a perfect example of this classic Queen Elizabeth style of dressing. We think it's pretty clear that Catherine chose to pay tribute to her late grandmother-in-law with this timeless red coat while still adding her own modern spin to the look with the tailored waistline.

In 2018, Princess Catherine wore a red and white houndstooth coat just like Diana's

Red and white houndstooth isn't exactly a common pattern, but both Princess Catherine and Princess Diana have been spotted in it. In 2018, Catherine wore a mini boat dress with a large red and white houndstooth pattern, two rows of red buttons, and a rounded collar during a trip to Sweden. 

The look was strikingly similar to a Moschino jacket worn by Princess Diana in 1990 during a trip to Sandringham, which featured the exact same pattern. Diana's jacket was a little more experimental, with a piece of black and white houndstooth threaded through the sleeves and along the edges of the coat. Diana wore a black and white houndstooth skirt and a black turtleneck (via Town & Country).

While Catherine may have gone for a more classic 1960s-inspired version of this look, it seems that the red and white houndstooth pattern is now becoming a staple of any royal wardrobe.

Princess Catherine wore an outfit inspired by the Queen at her funeral

Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022. At her funeral, her granddaughter-in-law, Princess Catherine, paid tribute to the Queen in more ways than one with an outfit inspired by her. The Princess wore a simple black coat dress that emulated the Queen's iconic style, and she also wore a few carefully selected jewelry pieces.

For one thing, she wore the late Queen's Japanese Pearl Choker Necklace, which features rows of pearls and a large diamond clasp. According to The Court Jeweller, the pearls were given to the Queen by the Japanese government in the 1970s. According to Town & Country, the Queen wore the necklace on several occasions and lent the necklace to both Princess Diana and Catherine. Catherine also wore a pair of delicate pearl drop earrings that recalled the Queen's favorite earring style. As Cosmopolitan noted, the Queen often wore pearls during periods of mourning.

Princess Catherine wore a 1980s-style red dress after giving birth to Prince Louis just like Diana's dress

When Princess Catherine gave birth to her third child, Prince Louis, she appeared on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital as is royal tradition. She picked a red, long-sleeved shift dress with a white lace collar by Jenny Packham. The dress looked incredibly similar to the dress worn by Princess Diana when she appeared on the very same steps after giving birth to Prince Harry in 1984. As Town & Country noted, both Princesses also wore pearl earrings. 

At a glance, the two outfits look very similar, but there are a few differences. Diana's red dress was a coat dress with puffed sleeves and a blazer-style lapel, and she wore a white Peter Pan collared shirt and a red tie.

But Diana wasn't the only person Catherine was emulating with this look. As Harper's Bazaar pointed out, the dress also looked eerily similar to a dress seen in the creepy horror film "Rosemary's Baby." 

When she wore a yellow dress inspired by Meghan Markle

In 2018, Princess Catherine seemed to take some serious style inspiration from Meghan Markle when she chose a bright yellow Dolce and Gabbana midi dress with floaty sleeves for the Men's Singles Final at Wimbledon — Meghan wore a very similar yellow shift dress by Brandon Maxwell just a few weeks earlier at the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception (via Hello!). 

According to the Express, Catherine's dress cost £1,150, while Meghan's dress was worth £1,129. The publication mused that Catherine could definitely have been inspired by Meghan's yellow outfit, as Meghan had recently started wearing more colorful outfits.

Even though Catherine appeared to take inspiration from Meghan with her Wimbledon outfit, the pair didn't match on the day. While Catherine went for a more formal look, Meghan opted for a more low-key look on the day, wearing jeans and a striped top.

Princess Catherine once wore a tweed dress inspired by Queen Elizabeth II

In 2018, Princess Catherine appeared at the Victoria and Albert Museum in a modern tweed purple and white tweed dress by Erdem. With its haphazard pattern, chunky belt, and asymmetrical neckline, the dress didn't initially seem to be inspired by the Queen's more classical style. However, the dress was apparently directly inspired by the Queen's meeting with Duke Ellington, the famous Jazz pianist, in 1958.

"Her father [King George VI] had been a huge fan of his music, and when they met, he was so enamored with her that he wrote a piece of music called 'The Queen's Suite,'" designer Erdem Moralioglu said of the dress, according to The Telegraph. "Thinking about The Cotton Club, and Harlem, and Dorothy Dandridge, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. What if she went to New York, and what if Dorothy Dandridge ended up in Buckingham Palace?"

Did Princess Catherine copy this casual Meghan Markle look in 2022?

In early 2022, Princess Catherine stepped out in a stylish blue outfit, wearing navy wide-legged trousers from Jigsaw, a navy turtleneck, navy heels, and a teal knee-length coat. She finished the look with a pair of Accessorize earrings worth just £7 — or a mere $7.84.

Fans quickly pointed out that Meghan Markle had worn a "very similar" all-navy outfit only a few months prior. The only real difference was that Meghan's coat was from Emporio Armani and was a darker navy. 

Despite these minor differences between the two outfits, royal fans couldn't help but notice that Catherine's look seemed to fit more into Meghan's style than it did her own. As one Twitter user reportedly noted when they saw Catherine's outfit, "interesting she now wears trousers to an official event...and it's OK...I wonder who started that trend" (via Yahoo! and Fashionista).

This 2017 all-pink outfit may have been inspired by Princess Diana

For the 2017 Trooping the Color parade, Princess Catherine chose a striking bubblegum pink dress with a matching pink fascinator. According to Refinery29, the A-line dress was designed by Alexander McQueen and featured a ruffled waistline and a high neck. While the color was referred to as Millennial Pink, it wasn't the first time a royal had appeared in the same color. 

Back in 1983, Princess Diana wore a very similar outfit while visiting Maitland, New South Wales. She even wore a matching pink fascinator, just like Catherine. If you're a fan of the Netflix show "The Crown," you may remember this outfit as it was recreated for the show. As the Mirror reported, actress Emma Corrin wore an imitation of the Donald Campbell dress during one episode of the show.

It seems like the pretty in pink look from the '80s is still going strong almost four decades later. 

In 2022, Princess Catherine appeared to imitate this classic 1950s Queen Elizabeth outfit

As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — and in early 2022, Princess Catherine appeared to both imitate and flatter her royal grandmother-in-law when she wore an outfit that almost perfectly matched one of the Queen's 1950 outfits. During the princess's tour of the Caribbean, she wore a delicate white lace dress with a square neckline and short sleeves by Alexander McQueen and paired the look wth simple pearl drop earrings.

As it turns out, Queen Elizabeth II previously wore a strikingly similar dress — almost 70 years earlier during a 1954 tour of Australia (via Hello!). Catherine also accessorized with what was widely believed to be the Queen's favorite kind of jewelry — those lovely pearls. We think it's safe to say that this outfit could have been a flattering homage to the Queen's classy 1950s look.

Princess Catherine has been known to take a page out of Princess Anne's fashion book

While Princess Catherine's feminine style might not immediately remind you of the most legendary high fashion of Princess Anne, it turns out the Princess of Wales has apparently borrowed a few style tips from her aunt-in-law. According to the Express, Catherine began channeling Anne's style in 2019 when she started to incorporate sleek and tailored 1970s silhouettes into her wardrobe. 

One striking example came when Catherine wore a pastel blue midi dress with a lace-adorned high neckline, a long row of tiny buttons, and long, slightly puffed sleeves that appeared to be a carbon copy of Anne's famous dress from her interview with Michael Parkinson (via YouTube). According to reports, the dress was designed by a private dressmaker — so it's definitely possible that Anne directly inspired Catherine on this occasion (via What Kate Wore). 

This look may have been a subtle nod to Meghan Markle

In 2022, Princess Catherine wore an outfit that may have been partially inspired by her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle. During a visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, the Princess wore a sunny yellow dress by Karen Millen. Page Six reported that the pleated belted dress is worth around $300. Catherine also wore a pair of earrings that many eagle-eyed royal fans quickly noticed. Apparently, the diamond teardrop earrings were designed by British jewelry designer Emily Mortimer. And according to the Daily Mail, this brand is one of Meghan's favorites.

Catherine's earrings featured detachable white gold pear-shaped drops surrounded by pavé diamonds. While Meghan has never been spotted in the same earrings, she has worn Emily Mortimer's designs in the past. During an event in 2019, for example, she wore a pair of Emily Mortimer topaz gold studs, while in 2018, she was spotted wearing a pair in New Zealand. In fact, as she told People at the time, Mortimer gave her the earrings as a "personal gift."

Who knows, maybe Mortimer has now given a pair of her earrings to Catherine, too!