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.
The similarities between Kate’s icy blue look and a pale blue shalwar kameez worn by Diana have also been pointed out.
The Diana connection doesn’t end there. On Tuesday, Kate wore two outfits echoing the late princess’s Pakistan wardrobe.
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.
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.
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.
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