Kate 'Tips Her Hat' to Princess Diana With Her First Royal Tour Outfit

04/07/2014 at 12:14 PM ET

Kate Middleton New Zeland DianaTim Rooke/Rex USA: Tim Graham/Getty

Talk about making a fashion statement.

The Duchess of Cambridge turned to one of Princess Diana’s favorite designers to kick off the Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand — and Kate’s monochromatic ensemble bears a striking resemblance to an outfit worn by Diana when she visited the English city of Birmingham in 1984 (pictured).

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Carrying a squirming Prince George in her arms, Kate stepped off the plane in Wellington wearing a regal red swing coat by Catherine Walker, the label behind many of Princess Diana’s most iconic looks. She also wore a signature hat style of her late mother-in-law’s — the pillbox — to complete the elegant ensemble.

It’s not the first time the Duchess has taken style cues from the Princess. For her first outing with Prince George last summer, Kate wore a polka-dot dress similar to the one Prince William’s mother wore when he “made his debut” in June 1982.

In keeping with the tradition of wearing pieces that hold special meaning to the country she’s visiting, Kate accessorized with a diamond-and-platinum fern brooch that was gifted to Queen Elizabeth on her 1952 tour of New Zealand.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, royal fashion fans can also expect to see Kate in a “show-stopping gown” from Ralph & Russo during the tour. Though their label is London-based, the duo behind the label were born in Australia. See what else Kate might wear on her two-week trip here, and tell us: Do you like the nod to Diana’s style? Would you like to see Kate in more hats like this?

–Bronwyn Barnes

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Showing 38 comments

Cyn on

I love Princess Diana’s style – she was very stunning! Kate looks good too.

ROBIN on

I think Kate should be Kate…She did this when They left the hospital with George, dressed very similar to Diana.

Mary Edmonson on

Prince George is the image of his father …. and his late grandmother. A classic tribute by the Duchess in the choice of her wardrobe.

Sharon on

I love it that she is mindful of the great Diana…I am sure William is as well.

Jess on

Oh come on. That’s a bit of a stretch. Poor Kate can hardly wear anything without someone dragging out an old photo of Diana and pointing out one or two similarities and claiming that Kate is paying tribute.

kak on

This girl is a class act. Well done!

fifiwereking on

i usually like kate’s style, although it can be a bit conservative and boring; however, this is a miss for me… the oversized pillbox and the oversized buttons (do we really need two rows of them?) make the ensemble look cartoonish… i do hope she doesn’t listen to the queen and start dressing even more conservatively – after all, no one ever accused lilibet of being a fashionista…

Erica on

To me, my first thought was inspiration from Jackie O. Very classic outfit for dignitary. Not necessarily a throwback to Diana.

caroleevelyn on

Why does every blessed thing Kate does, wears etc. Have to be compared to Diana? I was a huge Diana fan but they are such different people! I can’t see the red coats are anything alike other than color!! Kate is beautiful and I adore her style but I am so tired of constant comparisons!!!

Amy on

I think Kate looks beautiful in her red coat and hat. The fact that she is modeling somewhat after Princess Diana is touching and classy. I am sure William is enjoying the connection. Diana was very classy and Late is as well. Looking forward to her next outfit!!!!

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