Kate Middleton and Prince William are enjoying their first trip to Canada since the birth of their children, 3-year-old Prince George and 16-month-old Princess Charlotte. It’s a major event for the young royals, as well as the family as a whole, but the royal family’s visits to Canada are actually drenched in tradition, which dates back to the 18th century. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's most recent Canadian tour also harkens back to the late Princess Diana’s many trips to the North American country.
Though nearly 20 years have passed since the Princess of Wales’s tragic passing, Diana still holds a prominent place in the hearts and minds of Great Britain. Her memory has yet to fade, thanks in part to her family’s efforts to preserve her decades-long legacy.
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In moments both fashionable and charitable, the royals’ trip abroad echoes the late princess’s presence in Canada. In fact, Prince William once stood in Princess Charlotte and Prince George's shoes—the 34-year-old Duke of Cambridge traveled with his family, Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince Harry, on a royal tour of Canada back in 1991.
Now it's Prince William's turn to show his children around the country and introduce them to the rigors of royal duty. Though the royal tots seem to be enjoying their time abroad (they've already received several sweet gifts!), the duke and duchess’s trip is surely a bittersweet one for William. Princess Diana would certainly be very proud of her eldest son and his beautiful family.
Scroll below for a look back through Princess Di’s memorable moments abroad.
1. JUNE 15, 1983
At just 21 years old, Princess Diana embarked on her first royal tour of Canada. Di looked regal alongside Prince Charles at a banquet, where she wore a white Gina Fratini gown, drop earrings, and a tiara—the same pearl and diamond-encrusted crown worn by Kate Middleton in a rare tiara-donning moment back in 2015.
2. JUNE 29, 1983
The royal couple donned traditional Klondike costumes for an outing during their stop in Edmonton, Canada. Princess Di looked eager to soak up the region’s history in a ruffled, off-white gown and a corresponding fascinator.
3. MAY 3, 1986
Lady Di struck a demure pose in Vancouver, where she once again donned the famed Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara (aka the Queen Mary's Lover's Knot).
4. MAY 6, 1986
During her second royal tour of Canada, Princess Diana shared a chuckle with Prince Charles in Burnaby, British Columbia. She looked like the pinnacle of '80s style in a delicate off-white dress with hefty shoulder pads and layered strands of pearls. The timeless beauty also made sure to flaunt her absolute best accessory, the famed 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring from Garrard—which now rests comfortably on Duchess Kate’s left hand.
5. OCTOBER 22, 1991
For their third tour, Charles and Diana brought along 7-year-old Prince Harry and 9-year-old Prince William. Princess Di stuck with a classic LBD and mint blazer, but the proud mom made sure that both her sons wore a bit of red to celebrate their trip to Ontario.
6. OCTOBER 27, 1991
With adorable young Princes William and Harry in tow, the dazzling British icon stepped out in Toronto wearing a coordinated white jacket and cap with red piping, a matching clutch, and a pair of low pumps—a stylish ode to Canada’s flag.
7. OCTOBER 28, 1991
Princess Diana and her two sons wore matching raincoats aboard the Maid of the Mist boat to see Niagra Falls.