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Will Kate Middleton Ever Escape Princess Diana's Shadow?

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When Kate and Wills left the hospital with their new arrival on Tuesday, I winced. Not because I am a royal baby hater (although I do agree that the world has gone overboard) but because Kate's polka dot dress was instantly compared to one worn by Princess Diana some 30 years ago when she left the hospital with William.

Anyone with eyes can see that there is a slight similarity in the two outfits, but that begins and ends with one thing: white spots.

And by choosing to wear said dress with white spots, Kate has inadvertently opened the flood gates to another wave of comparison to a woman she has never even met.

A quick photoshop job placing the dresses side-by-side and bob's your uncle: Kate is instantly "paying tribute" to her late mother-in-law.

royal babies

Kate holding George Alexander Louis, and Diana holding William

Coincidence or intentional (let's face it, it could be either way) the comparisons have to stop. They do neither woman justice.

Kate should not be reduced to living in someone else's shadow. Nobody should. And Diana's memory shouldn't be resurrected at every opportunity (I'm looking at you Sunday Times Magazine - Rihanna is not the new Diana).

It's not the first time the 31-year-old has been compared to Diana -- think engagement ring, fashion sense, that time she got a fringe cut -- and I'm sure it won't be the last. Kate's hands-on approach to royal visits (from hugging children to playing field hockey) echo Diana's warmth and sense of fun, and are bound to be brought up again and again.

But to put these baseless comparisons in perspective, imagine going to visit your other half's family for the first time only to be told how similar your sunglasses are to a pair his dead mother used to wear. It's just creepy.

Sadly, I haven't been able to speak to the Duchess of Cambridge personally about her intentions surrounding the polka dot dress (or her fringe choice a few months ago), but I know for a fact the countless fashion commentators and royal correspondents haven't either.

So I'd like to say enough's enough. We need to stop casting the shadow of Princess Diana over Kate. Let's let one rest in peace and the other get on with her life.

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