Diana’s legacy that Kate Middleton didn’t want

New photos released by Kensington Palace of the Duchess of Cambridge highlight a growing problem that will only continue to plague the future Queen.

Of all the prerequisites for becoming a royal wife, the ability to navigate the inside of the tank when photographed is usually not a high factor. Able to bend in a six-inch Manolo Blahniks? Suitable fertility? Willingness to eat grouse all summer long? Check, check and unfortunately, check.

But getting behind the wheel of an Abrams tank with a certain graceful elan? It looks like it will be left off the list.

Saturday is Armed Forces Day in the UK and over the weekend, Kensington Palace communications outfit of the Cambridges marked the occasion by doing what it did best: Posting a photo of Kate looking like she was having fun surrounded by strangers.

These particular pictures were taken while he was taking part in training last November with the squad and in each of the four pictures he looks so happy! To install a military trailer! Chat with troops! Chat with more troops on a cold dawn! Sit in the tank!

And it was the last photo of a 40-year-old woman wearing a helmet that was immediately covered by the media, all of which looked strikingly similar to the photo of Diana, Princess of Wales when she too got into a tank during a visit to the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1988.

“Echoes of Diana as Kate salutes the heroes of the Forces,” he wrote Daily mail The headlines later reported that the new image “has an eerie resemblance” to the image of Diana.

The reason why this is important is because this is the third time in less than a month that we’re seeing Kate unrelentingly doing Diana.

A few weeks ago, the Duchess of Cambridge came to Royal Ascot wearing a polka-dot dress very similar to the one chosen by the late Princess, also in 1988 also for the famous racing meeting.

“Double seeing! Kate Middleton channels Princess Diana at Royal Ascot” (Daily mail), “Kate Middleton’s sweet tribute to Princess Diana” (Hello!), “The Royal Duchess Of Cambridge’s Ascot Dress Is A Tribute To Diana, Princess Of Wales” (English Vogue), “Kate Middleton dressed as Princess Diana for her Royal Ascot 2022 debut” (Marie Claire), and “Kate Middleton channels Princess Diana in freckles at Royal Ascot” (Page Six).

The same goes for Trooping the Color when Kate opted for a white coat dress and wide hat that just looked like the ensemble Diana had worn. In that case we got “Kate Middleton Channels Princess Diana for Jubilee Trooping the Color” (News Week), Kate Middleton pays homage to Princess Diana’s timeless style at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (NY Post), “Kate Middleton Honors Princess Diana With Her Colored Outfit” (Parade), “Kate Middleton Honors Princess Diana Twice at Trooping the Color 2022” (Mode).

Lud. All this ‘honour’ and ‘channeling’ had to be carried out by the poor noble at any available free time.

Okay sure, maybe Kate is trying to resurrect the princess on purpose – or maybe she just happened to pick an outfit she already owns (her Trooping coat) or one that’s trending (her ascot get-up)?

But the problem here is that no matter what Kate does, says, or wears, she’s always being compared to Diana.

It was in 2010, when Prince William finally got to his knees with the 12-carat sapphire and diamond ring his father had given his mother. While some saw the choice as romantic, others (myself included) saw it as a symbolic millstone he patted young Kate on the neck. (Not to mention that the ring is a symbol of one of the most notorious unhappy marriages in history.)

Ten years, three children, 33 trips abroad, and a Royal Foundation of her own later and Kate is still dealing with Diana on a regular basis.

It’s a game that Kate can never win.

The Princess of Wales enters royal life as a shaky teenager, finding herself married to an emotionally stunted prince who is expected to Get On With It. Open a hospital, occasionally come within reach of a sick person’s hand but don’t touch it!

On the other hand the princess, having learned the ropes, showed a playful desire and became mischievous. For the Queen and co. it was something of a shock when the tame virgin they thought was transforming herself into Boudica in Bellville Sasson and advancing.

The Iceni Queen set London on fire and more than 2000 years later, Diana did something similar only this time it was the House of Windsor. He outperformed Buckingham Palace and outsmarted the kingdom of Goliath, in the process winning the unwavering support of the British public.

When Diana’s life was tragically cut short in the Paris tunnels in 1997, it turned her legacy yellow and saw her elevated to permanent holiness.

So how did Kate, who is a very different woman from Diana, ever hope to top the charts year after year?

More important to me is the fact that Kate has earned the right for us to judge her – her wins, her failures, and every light dress in between – in her own way.

From that point on, Kate has done things her own way and set her pace. Is that a turtle? Did he only perform part-time royal duties during the first six years of his marriage? Sure, but the Duchess of Cambridge has become her own.

His focus on development in the early years was aimed at changing generations, having commissioned himself to help start a giant social project.

Along with William, Kate is half of the couple doing a reasonable job of making the monarchy seem like a relevant institution in the Tik Tok days.

The Duchess of Cambridge is no less a modernizing force than Diana, but she has done it so gradually and with such careful maneuvering, it seems that no one realizes how radical she is as the future Queen. (And only to be more.)

The first joint portrait of the duke and duchess was revealed over the weekend and it shows Kate wearing Collingwood Pearl Drop earrings and a three-strand pearl bracelet both of which belonged to Diana. Obviously a relationship with the Princess of Wales is one that the Duchess of Cambridge herself wants to maintain, but there is a huge difference between making an emotionally and personally meaningful choice and relentlessly holding on to the standards of others.

This is a situation that will only get worse when in the next few years she takes over the Diana title and becomes Princess of Wales.

It’s been a long time since I’ve given up my addiction to reading everything Kate has to do with through Diana’s shaped lens. He deserves that.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with some of Australia’s leading media titles.

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