12 Times Meghan Markle Channelled Princess Diana
As one of the most photographed women in the world, Princess Diana’s style has provided inspiration for decades. You don’t need to look far to see her impact on designers, celebrities, and even members of the royal family. The Duchess of Cambridge has chosen a number of looks evidently inspired by her late mother-in-law over the years, none more so than the blue polka-dot dress worn as she introduced Prince George to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing in 2013. Slightly less clear-cut, although just as numerous, are the times Meghan Markle dressed like Princess Diana.
Princess Diana was considered a royal rebel in the style department, and Markle has many times followed in her footsteps by putting her own spin on royal style. From off-the-shoulder dresses to suits for evening events, both Markle and Diana chose to take a freer and more modern approach to their official wardrobe.
Markle's spirited approach to royal dressing is the only similarity to Princess Diana’s style. More recently, as her royal duties are starting to wind down Markle chose a bright green dress from Emilia Wickstead, for Commonwealth Day, which mirrored that of Princess Diana’s green shirt dress and tulle-bowed hat for the 1982 Trooping of the Colour. For the Mountbatten Festival of Music at Royal Albert Hall, Markle opted for a bright scarlet-red caped gown by Safiyaa with red accessories to match, in the same hue as Princess Diana’s Jacques Azagury dress and matching accessories, worn to an American Red Cross fundraising dinner in June 1997.
Following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's last outing as official Royals, it remains to be seen exactly what her post-royal wardrobe will look like. Until then, here are all the times that Meghan Markle channelled Princess Diana over the years.
1. The Sequinned Blue Gown
In 1990, Princess Diana attended a ball at the Royal Lancaster Hotel wearing a long-sleeved sequinned Catherine Walker dress. Nearly 30 years later, Meghan Markle stepped out in a similar glittering Roland Mouret gown for the Cirque du Soleil premiere of Totem at the Royal Albert Hall while pregnant with baby Archie.
2. The Monochrome Hat
Meghan wore a white dress by Givenchy and styled with black accessories and a black and white Philip Treacy hat for her debut appearance at Royal Ascot in 2018. A suble nod to Princess Diana's monochrome look even down to the embroidery and Marina Killery hat, at the Gulf Forces Parade in 1991,
3. The "Off-Duty" Jeans
Princess Diana's love of crisp white shirts is well documented and it's something Markle shares. Diana paired the fashion classic with blue jeans and brown leather shoes on a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997. Twenty years later, the Duchess wore a very similar outfit to watch a game of wheelchair basketball at the Invictus Games in 2017.
4. The Cobalt Coat
The Duchess of Sussex took another page out of the late Princess' style handbook for the launch of her cookbook with recipes from a group of women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Markle picked a cobalt blue Smythe coat for the event, two decades after her late mother-in-law wore the same eye-catching shade to the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988.
5. The Buttoned White Dress
The '80s double-breasted trend has stood the test of time. Diana was seen in this all-white option in 1997, and the Duchess of Sussex channeled the same look in a Grace Wales Bonner double-breasted dress when she and Prince Harry introduced baby Archie to the world in May, 2019.
6. The Prince of Wales Check
Both Markle and Princess Diana share an appreciation for the impact of a well-cut blazer. Keeping things in the family, both can be seen here wearing a Prince of Wales checked blazer.
7. The Black Suit
Princess Diana and Markle both clearly understand the power of a simple black suit. Diana sported a Jasper Conran trouser suit and white ruffled blouse at a gala at the Expo 86 Theatre in 1986, and just over two decades later, Markle wore a bespoke Givenchy suit with a Lavender Hill T-shirt on an official visit to Ireland in 2018.
8. The Jackie O Skirt Suit
Princess Diana's love of the double-breasted look didn't stop at dresses. She wore this Versace skirt suit during an official visit to Argentina in November 1995, which may well have inspired the Duchess of Sussex's Prada ensemble at the Queen’s Youth Leader Awards in June 2018.
9. Canary Yellow
While the styles differ, these vibrant yellow mini dresses are very similar in colour and length. The first, a Brandon Maxwell dress worn by the Duchess of Sussex to Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge in 2018, and the second, worn by Diana over 25 years earlier during an official visit to New Zealand in 1983.
10. The Vibrant Colour Combinations
A true advocate of '80s colour combinations, Princess Diana's purple hat with a red ribbon, red cropped jacket, and purple skirt during an official visit to Hong Kong in November 1989 has become one of her most iconic looks. Markle modernised the pairing in a bright red coat by Sentaler and a Babaton by Aritzia purple dress during her visit to Birkenhead with Prince Harry in January 2019.
11. The Buttoned Blue Dress
This sky-blue shirt dress by Veronica Beard is a favourite of Markle's — she's been spotted in it twice. The first was during a visit to Tupou College in Tonga and the second was during a a 10-day tour of South Africa with Prince Harry. Simpler in style, it looks like an updated version of Princess Diana's blue buttoned dress, seen on an official tour of Australia and New Zealand in the Spring of 1983.
12. The Blush Bardot Dress
Although Princess Diana’s Catherine Walker dress, which she wore to the Berlin Opera House in 1987, is very different from the waist down, there is no denying it bears a similar resemblance in the bardot, oragami-style neckline, and double-breasted button detail on the chest to the Duchess of Sussex's Carolina Herrera blush dress, worn at the Trooping of the Colour in 2018.