Kate Middleton’s Houndstooth Coat Is a Subtle Tribute to Princess Diana

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By this point, Kate Middleton is no stranger to re-wearing a beloved item of clothing. Whether honoring the sustainable principles of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize initiative or simply reviving an old favorite from the back of her wardrobe, the Princess of Wales’s knack for breathing new life into time-honored fashion pieces has become as much a style signature as her blazers and belted dresses. 

And on Saturday, while attending a Six Nations rugby match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Middleton did just that. Arriving to watch the game between England and Wales with the Prince of Wales, she sported a houndstooth Catherine Walker coat that had been previously worn during the couple’s tour of Scandinavia in 2018; specifically, to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, a medical university Middleton visited to learn more about pioneering efforts being made in the field of mental health. 

For her Cardiff appearance, Middleton styled the look with a Mulberry Amberley bag in optic white, a pair of her reliable Aquatalia boots, and Mappin & Webb white gold and diamond earrings. 

The reason for Middleton giving the coat another spin could well lie in its vibrant red-and-white color scheme, which quietly nodded to the national colors of both the England and Wales teams. As patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, Prince William was supporting the latter team; Middleton, on the other hand, took over as patron of English rugby after Prince Harrystepped back from senior royal duties in January 2020, meaning she was firmly on the other side. The final result was 20-10 to England, a potential outcome that William acknowledged jokingly with reporters at the stadium. “It’s going to be a very tense journey home,” he said before the match. “If we win today my wife won’t speak to me. It will be a tense evening.”

There was another element of Middleton’s outfit that drew keen attention among those with long memories of royal fashion, however. The bold red-and-white houndstooth had distinct echoes of a favorite piece of Princess Diana’s: namely, a sleek Moschino skirt suit that she wore to the christening of Princess Eugenie in December 1990. (In keeping with Diana’s renegade spirit, Moschino was a particularly bold choice for a royal at the time, given the Italian house’s campy, pop culture-adjacent aesthetic.)

The final parallel between the sartorial choices of the Princesses of Wales past and present? Princess Diana also re-wore her Moschino blazer, and for similar reasons to Middleton. During a royal visit to the Commonwealth nation of Canada in 1991 with then-Prince Charles, Diana wore the same suit while touring the city of Toronto, likely a nod to the country’s famous maple leaf flag. It seems that when it comes to fashion diplomacy, some rules never go out of style. 

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