Even before her engagement to Prince William, Kate Middleton had people wondering: how does Kate compare to William’s late mother, Princess Diana? Let’s look at Kate Middleton & Princess Diana.
Princess Diana came from an aristocratic background. Her father was an Earl, and when she was a child she played with Prince Charles’s younger siblings. Royalty was a familiar concept to her and she was not uncomfortable around members of the royal family.
Kate Middleton, however, came from a middle class (although still relatively privileged) background. Her parents started their own successful mail order party business, Party Pieces.
Diana Frances Spencer was the third daughter born to John and Frances Spencer (“I was supposed to be a boy,” she famously said). She had a younger brother named Charles. Diana’s upbringing was chaotic and often unhappy, with her parents divorcing when she was eight. The divorce was widely publicized at the time, and her mother was accused in the press of an affair with a married man.
Kate Middleton is the oldest child in her family; she has a sister, Pippa, and a brother, James. Her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, are still together and reportedly happily married, so one hopes Kate’s upbringing was less tumultuous than Diana’s (or William’s, for that matter).
Although Princess Diana became famous for her people skills, she was not gifted academically. She failed all her “O level” exams twice and reluctantly attended a finishing school in Switzerland for a short time when she was 16.
Kate Middleton was more successful in the academic world. She is a graduate of St. Andrews University, where she earned a degree in art history. In fact, if she goes on to become queen, she will be the first Queen of England with a college degree. It was at St. Andrews that she met Prince William, who was also a student there.
One of Princess Diana’s major attractions was her sense of style and fashion. Before she burst onto the scene, the British monarchy was known for its lack of style. All of that changed with Diana, who dressed glamorously and often wore fashions created by British designers.
Kate Middleton is stylish as well, although her style is perhaps dialed down a few notches from Diana’s. Reporters noted that during her engagement announcement, her fingernails were neatly trimmed but unpolished. She favors tweeds, jeans, and comfortable clothes.
How will Kate and Diana compare as the years pass? Only time will answer that question, but comparing the two women is an interesting topic — at least to those of us who love British royalty!
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