Kate Middleton Learned 1 Surprising Piece of Royal Advice From Princess Diana

Kate Middleton never met her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, but she has ripped a page out of Diana’s book since marrying Prince William. William once recalled how sad he was that his mother would never meet Kate, but Kate still works to honor Diana’s memory today. Plus, she’s taken a big piece of royal etiquette advice from the late princess.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Prince William wishes Princess Diana could have met Kate Middleton

William’s mother died long before he and Kate began dating. The couple met back in 2001 while attending University of St. Andrews, and though they didn’t start dating right away, it didn’t take long for sparks to fly. The two moved into a flat together by 2002, and after a few brief breakups and more than nine years together, William proposed to the now-duchess in 2010.

In an interview in 2011, William reflected on how much he wished his mother could have seen his wedding and met his wife. “I think she would have loved the day and I think, hopefully, she’d be very proud of us both for the day,” William said, according to Mirror. “I’m just very sad that she’s never going to get a chance to meet Kate.”

Princess Diana and Prince William
Princess Diana and Prince William in 1987. | Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Kate Middleton took Princess Diana’s tactic of sitting like a royal 

It seems that Kate has studied her late mother-in-law’s royal habits, despite never personally knowing her. Kate had a lot to learn upon entering the royal family, including the strict etiquette rules. But the duchess was determined to become a flawless member of The Firm, and she turned to Princess Diana to do it.

The royals must follow intense etiquette rules, from behaviors at the dinner table to mannerisms during engagements. And royals cannot sit in whatever fashion they please; they must never cross their legs. Princess Diana mastered a certain form when it came to sitting in public. She sat, legs and ankles together, with her legs slanted downward toward the corner of the chair. She occasionally crossed her ankles, but never her legs. The duchess adopted the exact same form when it was her turn in the public eye, with it being dubbed the “duchess slant.” Besides being appropriate for royals, it also helps with posture and makes the legs look longer, according to Reader’s Digest

Kate Middleton in 2012
Kate Middleton sitting with her legs in the “duchess slant” style in 2012. | Chris Jackson/Pool/Getty Images

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Kate Middleton also borrowed a piece of fashion advice from Princess Diana

Their seating positions weren’t the only similarity Kate and Diana shared. Today, Kate still wears plenty of Diana’s jewelry to help honor her memory — Diana and Kate clearly share similar taste in accessories.

Kate also emulated her late mother-in-law in popularizing repeated outfits. Diana loved re-wearing an old outfit and turning it into something new, and Kate has built a reputation for doing the same. Plus, Kate often copies Diana’s looks when it comes to floral dresses, such as when the duchess wore pink and purple dresses that were strikingly similar to her mother-in-law’s royal engagement choices. Though Kate and Diana never met face-to-face, Kate has done her best to learn about William’s mother through memories.