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Princess Diana and Kate: The Royal Journey to Motherhood – Then and Now!

31 years ago, Princess Diana and Prince Charles stood on the very same steps that William and Kate (The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) stood on yesterday.

Then, Diana let Charles walk out holding their newborn son, whilst she looked nervous and shy. But yesterday Kate glowed and laughed along with her husband, as they stood and chatted to members of the press. William was relaxed and funny. We all celebrated their joy – not from afar, but from right up close.

It was a stark reminder of how far the UK has come in terms of Royal protocol. Of how Diana fought to lose the ‘stuffiness’ that so long was associated with the Royals. She was the ‘People’s Princess’ and left a legacy that Kate now has the benefit of.

Diana, besieged by the media, went from hating it, to using it as her ally. Kate, comfortable with the spotlight manages to always appear serene and confident.

In those 31 years, many things have changed. Not least of those, maternity wear! At last, it is okay to show your bump!

Check out the slideshow below to see the two different journeys these famous Royals went on, through pregnancy and beyond….

 

  • Ages: Married and Pregnant 1 of 7
    Princess Diana File Photos

    While Catherine Middleton met Prince William at University and they dated for 8 years before he proposed when she was 20, Diana was much younger. She was just 19 when she became engaged to Prince Charles in 1981, who was 13 years older than her.

    Diana was pregnant at the tender age of 20, Kate at 30. Diana gave birth to Prince William on June 21st 1982, just shy of her 21st birthday. Kate meanwhile married at age 29, and gave birth at age 31.

     

    Photo credit: PR Photos

  • Dealing with the press 2 of 7
    Princess_Diana,_Bristol_1987

    It wasn't until Diana became engaged to Charles that she was thrust into the spotlight. She was shy and nervous, ducking away from photographers and hiding her face. She was completely unprepared for the 24-hour press attention and the scrutiny she came under.

    Kate, by contrast, has learned from her late mother-in-law. She was poised and relaxed and during her 8 year courtship with Prince William, and became used to the press intrusion in her life.

     

    Photo credit: Wikicommons

  • Maternity wear 3 of 7
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry seen departing after attending the launch of the Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire,

    While Diana looked as stylish as the time allowed, wearing billowing maternity dresses and hiding her bump, Kate positively glowed as she wore more fitted attire. A-line coat dresses, bump-skimming frocks, and decent heels, Kate hasn't been afraid to flatter her shape as her bump has grown.

     

    Photo credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Where baby was born 4 of 7
    Police seen outside the Lindo Wing of St.Mary's hospital after the Duchess of Cambridge arrived going into a labour in London

    At the time of Diana's pregnancy, it was traditional that a Royal baby would be born at home. Diana, however, broke with tradition and had William at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. Princess Anne had had both her children there.  William had been due on July 1st, but on June 21st the Princess went into labor. 16 hours later, she had a son weighing 7lb, 1.5oz. Charles was the first royal male to be present at his child's birth.

    Kate chose the exact same wing to have her first born, but after a classic 12 hour labor she had a 8lb, 6 oz boy, with William present at the birth, which in this day and age, is expected of the dad-to-be.

     

    Photo credit: Pacific Coast News

  • First pics of the new royal 5 of 7
    Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge pose with their baby boy outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London

    As they gave the world the first glimpse of the future King, Charles carried baby William out of the hospital doors and posed for pictures. Neither spoke to the press, Diana looking particularly nervous. As she left, it was claimed that she burst into tears. Di was still wearing maternity clothes - a polka dotted smock dress; Charles in a formal suit and tie. They were all driven away by a chauffeured car. The birth was announced on a gilded easel at the gates of Buckingham Palace, followed by a press release.

    With Kate and Wills, it was a much more relaxed affair. They chatted happily to the press, William joking that the baby had more hair than him, and that thankfully he has his Mother's looks! Kate wore a bespoke Jenny Packham dress - also with spots - and Wills wore a casual shirt and no tie. William fitted the baby car seat and then drove his new family home, by himself. They announced the wonderful news by a tweet! Before following in the easel tradition...

     

    Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News

  • If George had been a girl… 6 of 7
    coat of arms

    In Diana's day people were desperate for an heir to the throne. But in Kate's day, 31 years later, there have been changes to legislation, meaning if George had been Georgina, she still would have been 3rd in line to the throne.

     

    Photo credit: Wikicommons Diana's coat of arms.

  • Life as a New Mom 7 of 7
    Building work continues at Kensington Palace the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their new baby boy in London

    Di immediately returned to her apartment in Kensington Palace, as did Kate. But Kate hasn't been there for long. Her plan was to return to her family home in Buckleberry, which she did so today. She hopes to spend time both at the palace and at her Mother's home, for support with her new baby.  In 1983 Diana took 9-month-old William on a six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand because she could not bear to be parted from him for so long - this was a departure from traditional royal practice, which in the Queen's day would involve going abroad for months on end without seeing her children.

    As for nannies, while Prince William was very close to his childhood nannies - Olga Powell and Tiggy Legge-Bourke -  it is thought unlikely that Kate and Wills will employ a full-time nanny, at least not at first. The current prediction is that they will opt for part-time help to enable them to carry out official duties, unless they turn to Kate's mother, Carole Middleton, instead.

     

    Photo credit: Pacific Coast News

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