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.

27 PHOTOS
Royal baby arrivals through the years
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Royal baby arrivals through the years
UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital with their first baby son, Prince William (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales with newborn son baby Prince William at St Mary's hospital, London in June 1982. Photo. Anwar Hussein
21st JUNE : On this day in 1982 Prince William was born. The Prince and Princess of Wales leaving the Lindo Wing, at St. Mary's Hospital after the birth of their baby son, Prince William.
LONDON - JUNE 22: New born Prince William with Diana Princess of Wales and Prince Charles leave St. Mary's hospital on June 22, 1982 in Paddington, London, England. He was born in the Lindo Wing of the hospital, the day before, June 21.(Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leave St. Mary's Hospital in London with baby Prince William on June 22, 1982. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 17: Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leave the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital following the birth of Prince Harry on September 17, 1984 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 16: Diana Princess of Wales and Prince Charles with new born Prince Harry, leave St.Mary's Hospital on September 16, 1984 in Paddington, London. Diana wore an oufit designed by Jan Van Velden. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 17: Diana, Princess of Wales leaves the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital following the birth of Prince Harry on September 17, 1984 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 17: Prince Charles & Princess Diana With The Newly Born Prince Henry (harry) Outside The Lindo Wing. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 17: Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leave the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital following the birth of Prince Harry on September 17, 1984 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 16: (FILE PHOTO) Prince William, accompanied by nanny Barbara Barnes, waves as he leaves St Mary's Hospital after visiting his newborn brother, Prince Harry, on September 16, 1984 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 16: (FILE PHOTO) Prince William leaves St Mary's Hospital after visiting his newborn brother, Prince Harry, on September 16, 1984 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in central London July 23, 2013. Kate gave birth to the couple's first child, who is third in line to the British throne, on Monday afternoon, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, holds her baby son outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital before leaving with Prince William, in central London July 23, 2013. Kate gave birth to the couple's first child, who is third in line to the British throne, on Monday afternoon, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. REUTERS/John Stillwell/POOL (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in central London July 23, 2013. Kate gave birth to the couple's first child, who is third in line to the British throne, on Monday afternoon, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in central London July 23, 2013. Kate gave birth to the couple's first child, who is third in line to the British throne, on Monday afternoon, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their baby daughter outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in London, Britain May 2, 2015. The Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a girl on Saturday, the couple's second child and a sister to one-year-old Prince George. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their baby daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in London, Britain May 2, 2015. The Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a girl on Saturday, the couple's second child and a sister to one-year-old Prince George. REUTERS/John Stillwell/pool
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave with their baby daughter from the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in London, Britain May 2, 2015. The Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a girl on Saturday, the couple's second child and a sister to one-year-old Prince George. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their baby daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in London, Britain May 2, 2015. The Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a girl on Saturday, the couple's second child and a sister to one-year-old Prince George. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their new baby boy in London, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their new baby boy in London, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son in London, April 23, 2018. John Stillwell/Pool via Reuters
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their new baby boy in London, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their new born baby boy on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11.01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
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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?)

PHOTOS: Charlotte and George meet their new sibling

29 PHOTOS
Prince George and Princess Charlotte meet their new sibling
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Prince George and Princess Charlotte meet their new sibling
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne.. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive at the Lindo Wing after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives back at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with his other two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive at the Lindo Wing after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte arrive with Prince George at the Lindo Wing after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge arrives with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Lindo Wing, St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives back at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with his other two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte after the birth of his third child on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge arrives with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Lindo Wing, St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne.. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Mike Marsland/ WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (L) turns to wave at the media as she is lead in with her brother Prince George of Cambridge (R) by their father Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (C) at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018, to visit Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their new-born son. - Kate, the wife of Britain's Prince William, has given birth to a baby son, Kensington Palace announced Monday. 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 (1001 GMT),' the palace said in a statement. The baby boy weighs eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes). (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing after Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to their son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George arrive at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter Princess Charlotte. Picture dated: Saturday May 2, 2015. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George arrive at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter Princess Charlotte. Picture dated: Saturday May 2, 2015. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George arrive at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter Princess Charlotte. Picture dated: Saturday May 2, 2015. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George arrive at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter Princess Charlotte. Picture dated: Saturday May 2, 2015. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leaves the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London to collect Prince George following the birth of his new born baby daughter on May 02, 2015. The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8:34am this morning weighing 8lbs 3oz.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George arrive at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter Princess Charlotte. Picture dated: Saturday May 2, 2015. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
The Duke of Cambridge with his son Prince George as he arrives at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter.
The Duke of Cambridge returns with his son, Prince George, to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a daughter.
The Duke of Cambridge with his son Prince George as he arrives at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, after the birth of his newborn daughter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 2, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Baby. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
The Duke of Cambridge arrives with Prince George at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington west London, following the birth of the second child to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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