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Kate Middleton’s wardrobe pays homage to Princess Diana in Pakistan

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  • Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales
    First wife of Charles, Prince of Wales (1961-1997)
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
    Wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Imran Khan
    Imran Khan
    Pakistani politician
  • Maheen Khan
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Duke of Cambridge

When it comes to her wardrobe for her royal tour in Pakistan alongside Prince William, Kate Middleton has been taking heed of the country’s Islamic customs and culture. Her floor-length, emerald green Jenny Packham gown worn Tuesday night, for instance, is said to be a nod to the Pakistan flag, while scarves and long, conservative tunics have been a mainstay.

But the duchess is also taking style cues from a fellow royal with close ties to Pakistan: her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. Prince William’s mother spent time doing charity work in the country before her 1997 death, and was in a 2-year relationship with British-Pakistani surgeon Hasnat Khan, a distant cousin of current prime minister and former cricket star Imran Khan.

On Monday, the royal flew into Islamabad in a blue ombré dress worn over matching pants, known as a traditional shalwar kameez. The bespoke look was designed by the fashion house set up by the late Catherine Walker — a British fashion icon famed for her work for Diana, who was buried in one of Walker’s designs — and seemed reminiscent of outfits worn by Diana during her own visits to Pakistan in the 1990s. Though Walker died in 2010, her label lives on, thanks in part to her royal connections.

(Photo: Getty Images)
Kate wore a blue ensemble by Catherine Walker, a favorite of Princess Diana (pictured in 1996 with Imran Khan). (Photos: Getty Images)

The similarities between Kate’s icy blue look and a pale blue shalwar kameez worn by Diana have also been pointed out.

PAKISTAN - JUNE 22:  Diana, Princess of Wales with Imran Khan at Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan  (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
Diana's pale blue shalwar kameez has been compared to Kate's Catherine Walker ensemble. (Photo: Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

The Diana connection doesn’t end there. On Tuesday, Kate wore two outfits echoing the late princess’s Pakistan wardrobe.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - OCTOBER 15: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meet with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan at his official residence on October 15, 2019 in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Andrew Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
On Tuesday Kate joined William to meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan. (Photo: Andrew Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

For a meeting with Prime Minister Khan — who frequently joined Diana on her own visits — the duchess wore another Catherine Walker design: a bright green tunic which she paired with white trousers from Maheen Khan, and a dupatta scarf by Bonanza Satrangi. Diana also memorably wore green as a sign of respect for the country.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN - SEPTEMBER 25: Diana, Princess of Wales walks with bare feet as she visits the Badshai Mosque  on September 25, 1991 in Lahore, Pakistan. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Diana (in Lahore in 1991) also wore green in a nod to the Pakistan flag. (Photo: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Kate’s embroidered Maheen Khan kurta in royal purple was also compared to one worn by her mother-in-law on her final trip to Pakistan in 1997.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - OCTOBER 15: (UK OUT FOR 28 DAYS)  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits a government run school in Islamabad on October 15, 2019 in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Tim rRPool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Kate wore a purple Maheen Khan kurta on Tuesday. (Photo: Tim rRPool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Like Princess Diana (pictured in 1997), Kate Middleton opted for a purple kurta during her Pakistan visit. (Photo: Getty Images)
Like Princess Diana (pictured in 1997), Kate Middleton opted for a purple kurta during her Pakistan visit. (Photos: Getty Images)

It’s not the first time Kate has fetched comparisons to Diana’s Pakistan style. In 2012, an outfit she wore in Malaysia was deemed nearly identical to one of Diana’s from a 1996 trip to Pakistan.

In this composite image a comparison has been made between Princess Diana (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R).  Catherine donned a headscarf and outfit in Kuala Lumpur similar in style to Princess Diana on a visit to Pakistan in 1996  (LEFT IMAGE) LAHORE, PAKISTAN - JUNE 22:  Princess Diana  At Shaukat Khanum Hospital In Lahore, Pakistan.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images) (RIGHT IMAGE) KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Assyakirin Mosque on day 4 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 14, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Diana in Pakistan in 1996 and Kate in Malaysia in 2012. (Photos: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images, left, and Chris Jackson/Getty Images, right)

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