Kate and Diana wore similar looks – but one had more sparkle

Kate Middleton and Prince William arrive for State Banquet

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Kate, Princess of Wales joined other working members of the Royal Family at a State Banquet this week in honour of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the UK. For the first time since the Covid pandemic began, Kate, Queen Camilla and Sophie, Countess of Wessex publicly wore tiaras for the high-profile outing.

Kate donned a striking white ballgown for the occasion, and there were several similarities between her Jenny Packham dress and one famously worn by Princess Diana.

During a visit to Hong Kong in 1989, Diana donned what has been dubbed the ‘Elvis dress’ for an engagement.

The iconic white gown was custom-made by Catherine Walker for the Princess and featured a matching white bolero jacket.

Several comparisons can be drawn between Diana’s outfit and the ensemble worn by her daughter-in-law at this week’s State Banquet.

Like Diana’s, Kate’s Jenny Packham gown featured structured shoulders and a long sweeping skirt.

Kate’s dress also had plenty of extra sparkles, but Diana’s was adorned from top-to-toe while Kate’s outfit mostly showed off jewel-encrusted shoulders.

Both Princesses accessorised their outfits with multi-strand pearl bracelets and dangling pearl earrings.

Diana wore her beloved Collingwood pearl earrings, while Kate paid tribute to her late mother-in-law by wearing her South Sea pearl and diamond sparklers.

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Kate also donned the exact same tiara Diana wore in 1989, the Lover’s Knot Tiara, a whimsical pearl diadem from the royal collection.

Jeremy Hinds, Sales Director of jewellery experts F. Hinds, said: “Worn most recently by the Princess of Wales, the Lover’s Knot Tiara dates back more than a century.

“The piece was created for Queen Mary in 1914 and was modelled after a tiara owned by Queen Mary’s grandmother Princess Augusta.

“After Queen Mary’s death in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II sported the tiara several times in the early years of her reign, later gifting it to Princess Diana as a wedding gift.

“While Diana opted to wear the Spencer Tiara on her wedding day, the Lover’s Knot did become one of her favourites, until she returned it upon her divorce from Prince Charles.

“The tiara wouldn’t be seen again in public until 2015, when it was adopted by Princess Catherine.”

The Lover’s Knot Tiara is one of the best-known tiaras in the royal collection, and as such, it is likely worth a staggering sum.

Mr Hinds added: “No official valuation has been confirmed for the Lover’s Knot Tiara, though various estimates have placed the item at a value exceeding £1million.”

Still married to Prince Charles at the time, pictures of Diana’s outfit in 1989 showed her wearing her iconic sapphire engagement ring.

The 12-carat sparkler now belongs to Kate, and she is rarely pictured without.

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