Princess Diana's Workwear Staple Loved by Kate Middleton: The Skirt Suit

From her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981 to her untimely death in 1997 at the age of 36, Princess Diana became one of the most recognizable women in the world, cultivating a sense of style that still inspires modern fashion trends today.

One of the fashion staples in Diana's working wardrobe was the simple but classic skirt suit which she owned in a rainbow of colors in a wide range of textiles from silk to wool crepe.

Since marrying Diana's son, Prince William, in 2011, Kate Middleton has adopted the stylish skirt suit for official royal engagements and she has been compared aesthetically to her late-mother-in-law time and again.

Here, Newsweek looks at some of Princess Diana and Kate Middleton's most stylish skirt suit moments.

Princess Diana and Kate Middleton Skirt Suits
From delicate Catherine Walker ensembles to fashion forward creations by Gianni Versace, both Diana and Kate have worn a number of show stopping skirt suits. Diana (L) photographed November 7, 1995. And Kate (R) photographed February 25, 2011. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images/Andrew Milligan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Diana: Canterbury, May 20, 1995

After her separation from Prince Charles in 1992 and over 10 years spent in the public spotlight, Princess Diana had developed a taste for simpler, chicer clothes than had been the norm throughout the 1980s.

One of Diana's favorite designers and friends during the early 1990s was Gianni Versace. Many of her later skirt suits were designed by Versace, inspired by the clean clipped chic style of former First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy.

Diana's milliner, Philip Somerville, who created her famous pillbox hats, revealed after the princess' death that she had once asked him: "Do you think, one day, people will think of me as the Jackie Kennedy of my day?"

Versace designed this ensemble, worn twice publicly in 1995, as a pastiche on Jackie Kennedy's infamous pink suit that she wore on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and Diana wore it with a Somerville pink pillbox hat to complete the tribute.

Princess Diana Pink Versace Skirt Suit
Princess Diana wore a pink Versace skirt suit, designed as a pastiche of Jackie Kennedy's famous ensemble, to a military engagement in Canterbury on May 20, 1995. Jayne Fincher/Getty Images/Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Princess Diana: Liverpool, November 7, 1995

This orange wool skirt suit was also designed by Versace, and Diana wore it to the Liverpool Women's Hospital, Merseyside in 1995.

The elegant suit was worn with contrasting black accessories including a Lady-Dior handbag and black leather belt.

To elongate the silhouette of the outfit, the princess wore a high-neck black sweater underneath the suit and black opaque tights.

Princess Diana Orange Versace Skirt Suit
Princess Diana wore an orange wool Versace skirt suit on an engagement to Liverpool, November 7, 1995. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana: Savoy Hotel, March 19, 1997

This delicate pink suit with mother of pearl buttons was designed by one of Princess Diana's favorite couturiers, Catherine Walker.

The skirt and jacket combination was worn with neutral toned leather accessories to the Daily Star Gold Awards at London's Savoy Hotel.

Princess Diana Catherine Walker Pink Skirt Suit
Princess Diana wore a pale pink skirt suit with mother of pearl buttons to an awards event at London's Savoy Hotel, March 19, 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana: British Lung Foundation, April 21, 1997

After the princess' 1996 divorce from Prince Charles, she moved away from her established trend of buying the majority of her clothing from British designers. One of the fashion houses she began to patronize regularly at this time was Chanel.

One of the princess' favorite Chanel pieces was bought in the last year of her life and worn on a number of occasions including a British Lung Foundation event and Prince William's confirmation at Windsor Castle.

The blue boucle tweed suit from the house's Spring/Summer 1997 collection follows the famous line of suits which were introduced by Coco Chanel in the 1950s when she re-opened her fashion house after World War II.

Princess Diana Blue Chanel Skirt Suit
Princess Diana wore a blue boucle tweed skirt suit from the fashion house of Chanel to the British Lung Foundation headquarters, April 21, 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images/Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Princess Diana: Washington, June 17, 1997

During one of the last overseas working visits of her life, Diana wore a number of Versace outfits, including this flatteringly simple suit made of purple crepe.

The princess wore this suit to make an anti-landmine speech on behalf of the American Red Cross in Washington.

Princess Diana Purple Versace Skirt Suit
Princess Diana wore an elegant purple Versace skirt suit on a visit to Washington, June 17, 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Kate Middleton: St Andrews, February 25, 2011

As Princess Diana's first daughter-in-law, many comparisons have been drawn between Kate Middleton's fashion choices and the late princess'.

From time to time Kate has paid a direct reference to Diana through her clothing and in 2011, just months before her April wedding to Prince William, the pair paid a joint visit to St. Andrews in Scotland where they both met.

For the occasion Kate wore a bright red wool suit, worn with a black sweater and accessories. This outfit was a near replica of Diana's orange Versace suit worn to Liverpool in 1995.

Kate Middleton Red Skirt Suit
Kate Middleton wore a red skirt suit which closely echoed one worn by Princess Diana in 1995. Photographed February 25, 2011. Andrew Milligan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton: Netherlands, October 11, 2016

In 2016, with Kate having had five years of royal duties under her belt, she undertook a solo visit to The Netherlands where she was received by King Willem-Alexander.

For the occasion Kate chose a skirt suit which was commissioned from Diana's favorite designers Catherine Walker & Co. The delicate ice blue color of the suit paired with the sharply tailored jacket combined to create a striking image of a future queen as she undertook a solo foreign tour.

Kate Middleton Blue Catherine Walker Skirt Suit
Kate Middleton wore an ice blue skirt suit by Catherine Walker & Co. during a solo visit to The Netherlands, October 11, 2016. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate Middleton: Global Academy, April 20, 2017

In 2017, Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton all attended the opening of the Global Academy, a school which trains students to work in the broadcast and digital media industries.

On the day of the event, Kate wore a bold red skirt suit from Giorgio Armani diffusion brand Armani Collezioni. The jacket of the suit featured statement bodice pleat work and the center front sported an invisible zip closure.

Kate Middleton Red Armani Skirt Suit
Kate Middleton wore a red skirt suit by Armani Collezioni for a visit to a broadcasting academy. April 20, 2017. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool /Getty Images

Kate Middleton: EACH Hospice Visit, November 15, 2019

For a visit to a children's hospice in 2019 Kate Middleton wore a bright purple wool skirt suit from the designer Oscar de la Renta's fall 2015 collection. The duchess has worn the suit on a number of occasions after debuting it in 2017 for the UK Guild of Health Writers conference.

The 1940s inspired suit follows Christian Dior's "New Look" and the jacket features a small peplum and contrasting black buttons.

Kate Middleton Oscar de la Renta Suit
Kate Middleton wore a purple Oscar de la Renta skirt suit for a visit to a children's hospice, November 15, 2019. Samir Hussein/WireImage/Karwai Tang/WireImage

Kate Middleton: Engagement With Princess Anne, April 27, 2022

For a rare joint engagement with Princess Anne in 2022 Kate wore a long skirted suit in beige from the brand Self-Portrait.

The design of the outfit was particularly fitting for the occasion as the royals were visiting the headquarters of the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of which the royals are respective patrons.

The lace design on the jacket of Kate's skirt suit resembles closely a pineapple which as a symbol has been adopted by women who are experiencing difficulty in getting pregnant.

Kate Middleton Self-Portrait Skirt Suit
Kate Middleton wore a skirt suit by Self-Portrait during a joint engagement with Princess Anne, April 27, 2022. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage
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