Kate Middleton Watched Footage Of Princess Diana To Prepare To Wed Prince William

Kate Middleton had been a part of Prince William’s life for nearly ten years when he proposed, but there’s a significant difference between dating a future King and being his wife. When William and Kate got engaged in 2010, she had to learn how to be a royal, and her training included watching footage of William’s late mother, the Princess of Wales.

Prince William and Kate Middleton on their wedding day in 2011.
TRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge | Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Learning from tragedy

After the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997 – which was caused, in part, by the relentless paparazzi – the palace was deeply concerned about how Kate would deal with the media as a high-ranking royal. As a result, she went through intensive media training says royal expert and biographer Kate Nichol in her book Kate: The Future Queen.

“Bizarrely, she had been advised to watch footage of the late Princess of Wales in order to learn how to deal with the paparazzi, notorious for being aggressive in their pursuit of a picture, taunting their prey in order to get a response. At the Palace, there was a concerted effort not to allow Kate to be exposed to the same ruthless treatment,” wrote Nichol.

It was clear that Kate Middleton was an excellent student when she put her training to the test at the Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park. She appeared without her fiance and immediately told the press how things were going to go down.

Instead of giving in to their requests to pose for pictures, Kate refused, saying, “If I do it now, then I’ll have to keep doing it.”

Kate Middleton has the support Diana never had

Both Kate and Diana married into the royal family at a young age – Kate was 29 and Diana was just 20 –  but their experiences have been very different. While Diana became more and more at odds with the Mountbatten-Windsors during her marriage to Prince Charles, Kate has had the support of the family since day one.

In the Amazon Prime documentary The Diana Story, her former butler Paul Burrell explained that “Kate’s a very lucky woman because she has something which Diana never had. With that strength behind her, she can go the distance. She can go all the way. She doesn’t need anything else.”

He also revealed that there is one more thing Kate has that Diana always wanted: a daughter.

Burrell went on to say that Charles and Diana’s 1981 wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral was right for the time, but Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding at Westminster Abbey was a more personal affair.

Confident moms

Less than a year after becoming the Princess of Wales, Diana gave birth to her first son, Prince William, and being a mom came naturally to the young bride. According to body language expert Judi James, Diana’s job as a Kindergarten assistant that she had prior to her engagement gave her body language “a sense of confidence and ease” after she had her first baby.

“Diana was super-tactile, although she could be firm as well as besotted, always showing signs of awareness that she was training a future heir to the throne,” said James. “There was a sense of her enveloping her boys in love, building strong emotional ties that meant they were often presented as a strong unit of three rather than four.”

James says that Middleton is just as confident and uses similar parenting techniques – it’s a top priority for Kate Middleton to present her family as a strong unit. Like Diana, Kate coordinates her children’s clothing to emphasize unity while still allowing them to “project individuality.”

After reviewing pictures, James says that Diana’s body language showed that she was fiercely protective of her sons, while Kate appears more relaxed and presents her children as independent, active spirits.

It’s not easy raising a future king, but Diana crushed it. And, it looks like Kate Middleton is following in her footsteps.