On September 27, the Princess of Wales visited the country of her new title for the first time since she was granted it following the passing of the Queen. For the occasion, she wore a red coat—but like most of her sartorial choices, a deeper meaning was embedded in the details. The coat wasn’t just red, but a Welsh red, the exact same shade that graces their national flag. It was designed by LK Bennett, a London-based designer, from recycled materials, highlighting both British and sustainable fashion in one fell aesthetic swoop. But perhaps the most significant detail of all? Its name, “The Spencer Coat”—no doubt a touching nod to the maiden name of Princess Diana, the previous Princess of Wales.

To say that Diana is a hard act to follow is, well, an understatement: the late princess remains one of the most beloved figures not just in Britain, but across the world. Kate’s inevitable inheritance of her role has always loomed large. “William’s mother was this massive iconic figure. The most famous figure of our age, is that worrying? Is that intimidating? Do you think about that a lot?” interviewer Tom Bradby asked William and Kate during their engagement interview in 2010. “She’s obviously an inspirational woman to look up to,” Kate replied democratically. Added William: “No one is going to try to fill my mother’s shoes, what she did was fantastic. It’s about making your own future and your own destiny, and Kate will do a very good job of that.”

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It seems that the new Princess of Wales is taking cues from not one, but many, royal women who came before her—while reinventing the role in her own image.

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