duchess-kate

How Duchess Kate's navy polka dot dress was inspired by Princess Diana

Designer Alessandra Rich spoke of her famous muses in a new interview

Sophie Hamilton

The Duchess of Cambridge's navy polka dot dress is fast becoming one of those iconic royal outfits, a little like Princess Diana's amazing 'revenge dress' by Christina Stambolian. Kate wore the elegant navy spotted dress, priced £1750, for a visit to Bletchley Park in mid-May – the same outfit she donned for the royal family's official portrait to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday months earlier. The exact dress was also worn by Suits actress Abigail Spencer at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and a green version was worn by Kate's sister Pippa Middleton to Prince Louis' christening. It's clearly a favourite.

Now the designer of the dress, Italian-born Alessandra Rich, has revealed why she thinks the piece is so popular in royal circles and her very surprising inspiration for the piece. Speaking to The Telegraph, Alessandra explained how the dress focusses on shape with a forties style. She said: "These dresses are demure, they’re covering the arms and legs, and they’re in nice, fresh colours. But there’s always a split somewhere, or a body chain underneath. It is both ladylike and naughty and I think there is a bit of both in all of us.”

MORE: Royal style watch! What the regal set have worn this week

Princess Diana in polka dots in October 1985

One royal who embodied those two qualities of demure and cheeky perfectly was certainly the late Princess Diana. She loved fashion and enjoyed trying out new trends within the confines of the royal dress code. Alessandra told the newspaper that Diana was, in fact, one of her muses, pointing to her sophisticated style. "She wore polka dots so well and I know all of her looks by heart," she revealed.

Alessandra Rich's blue with white polka dot pleated dress from the SS18 collection 

How fascinating to think Diana likely inspired Duchess Kate's fashion choice – the woman who is married to her son Prince William. There's certainly a heart-warming quality to the fashion chain: polka dots from-Princess-to-designer-to-Duchess.

MORE: Reese Witherspoon stuns in Ellie Saab alongside lookalike daughter Ava Phillippe at Big Little Lies premiere

SHOP: Alessandra Rich polka dot dress, £1,812, FarFetch

Alessandra also spoke of how occasion style is becoming more universal in terms of age and how both adult daughters and mothers now often step out in similar styles. Take Duchess Kate and her mother Carol previously wearing the same royal blue tux dress.

The designer only started her label in 2010 and is now dressing the British royal family – quite a feat! We wonder if Duchess Kate knew Princess Diana was one of her muses. We kind of hope so…

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