Stepping out for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in July 2017, Duchess Kate looked typically immaculate. The Duchess of Cambridge epitomized glamour and class in a stunning pale-pink gown, but the crowning highlight ￼was the Lover’s Knot tiara, which she inherited from her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. The piece was known to be Diana’s favorite, making Kate’s style statement a touching tribute to the woman who raised her husband, Prince William, until her untimely death in a Paris car accident in August 1997.
Those close to Kate, 37, reveal that she is in fact determined to pay tribute to Diana in every facet of her life. “Catherine knows she must endeavor to fill Diana’s shoes, and thus far, she is doing so perfectly,” says a palace insider. Indeed, from her hands-on mothering of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to her devotion to social work, Kate is honoring Diana’s legacy as “The People’s Princess” in ways big and small — and coming into her own as one of Britain’s most beloved royals.
Though Kate was never able to meet Diana, who died at the age of 36, a confidante says the duchess “owes her everything” — particularly her devotion to family above and beyond royal duty. Diana’s sons have said she “smothered” them with love. As William, 36, shared in the HBO special Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, “She gave us the right tools and has prepared us well for life.”
Now, no one can attest to the power of Diana’s parenting style better than Kate herself. “William is a wonderful husband and father,” says the royal insider. “He dotes on his wife and children, and Kate knows that those are values his mother instilled in him.”
While it is heartbreaking to know that William’s children will never get to meet Diana, he and Kate continue to keep her memory alive. “We constantly talk about Granny Diana,” William has said. “Putting George and Charlotte to bed, I try to remind them that there were two grandmothers in their lives.”
Kate is following Diana’s example by engaging in all aspects of her children’s lives rather than passing them over to handlers. “She organizes her entire schedule around the kids, just like Diana did,” says the source. “She refuses to miss a second, especially since William speaks so fondly of the time he shared with his mother.”
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