How Prince William and Kate have channeled (and abandoned) Diana and Charles' royal baby traditions


It was more than three decades ago that a young Princes Diana carefully stepped outside St. Mary's Hospital, her firstborn baby wrapped in a soft white blanket. And today, that very baby welcomed his own newborn into the world.

The photos are remarkable: There are such similarities between the late Diana and her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, as they make that famed exit on the same hospital steps -- and the same can be said for dads Charles and William! But there are key differences, as well, that give an interesting insight into how the palace has changed over the years.

First, take a look at how the two women interact with the paparazzi with their babies in tow. As she holds both William and Harry, Diana mostly keeps her eyes on the child, declining to look out at the crowd. That's a major contrast to Kate, who happily waves to the cameras and supporters as she exits the hospital after all three births. Why? Perhaps because in recent years, the royals have been more willing to seem like "real people" -- they interact more casually with the public and don't always act so buttoned-up.

Speaking of buttons, there's another big difference between the photos: While Prince Charles wore a formal suit and tie on the hospital steps, Prince William opted for comfort at all three of his children's births. During round one, he rolled up his sleeves and stepped out sans jacket; the second time around, he layered a comfy sweater over a white shirt. This time, he did wear a sport coat -- but he left his top button undone and didn't bother with a tie.

Also worth noting are Kate and Diana's very different shoe choices: Diana went for low heels, wearing red shoes after both births, but Kate embraced the pain and went for high-heeled pumps. Impressive!

But despite these changes, some important elements stayed the same between generations. Each baby emerged from the hospital swaddled in a white blanket, although William used the help of a baby carrier instead of heading down the steps with the newborn in his arms, and both Diana and Kate managed to look picture-perfect despite having just given birth.

Another big similarity this time around? Kate's outfit, almost certainly an intentional nod to Diana. Just like Kate, Diana wore a red dress with a white collar as she exited the hospital with a newborn Harry. (Kate just didn't go for the '80s padded shoulders, but really, who could blame her?)

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