Kate Middleton copies Princess Diana's behavior in public, speech expert reveals

Kate Middleton acts very similarly to the late Princess Diana when interacting with the public

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JANUARY 31: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit sthe Karolinska Institute to meet with academics and practitioners to discuss Sweden’s approach to managing mental health challenges during day two of their Royal visit to Sweden and Norway on January 31, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)

Kate Middleton’s public persona is very similar to that of Princess Diana’s, according to a broadcaster and speech expert. 

Jon Briggs, the voice behind the Weakest Link and Apple’s Siri, has identified several parallels between the Duchess of Cambridge and the late Lady Diana’s behavior when speaking with people - and suggested the reasons behind the uncanny resemblance. 

“Kate will adopt a listening position, her head slightly tilted to one side, much like William’s mother Princess Diana used to do,” he told the Express. 

"It's a position that says 'I'm interested and listening to you - and ensuring that you know my status doesn't get in the way of this conversation.'"

Jon also compared Kate’s speech to that of Princess Diana, citing their proximity in age as a major factor in the similarity. "Generationally there is much less difference between the two of them than say Princess Anne or the Queen,” he added. 

Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) greets the crowds during a walkabout in Whanganui, New Zealand, 22nd April 1983. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Diana was known for her excellent interpersonal skills 

(Image credit: Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Kate’s upper-class intonation may not feel as natural to the duchess as it sounds, however. Jon believes her vocals underwent a royal transformation after she married Prince William in 2011 and became fully immersed in aristocratic life. 

"While Kate always spoke well, she may not have had quite such a pronounced accent when she first joined the family and we tend to like to blend in with our surroundings,” he said. 

"I suspect her accent will have migrated towards what we regard as 'the Queen's English' (quite literally) during the past 10 years to fit in. It's something we all do when surrounded by people who speak differently to us."

These micro-behaviors have become easier to detect with the rise of virtual communication during the pandemic. Many of these royal engagements with the public, which previously took place in more intimate settings, are now recorded for the world to see. Kate has repeatedly shown herself to be interested and sympathetic, offering her full attention to everyone she meets through the screen. Like Diana, she wishes to emphasize that her power does not override her humanity. 

A family at a home in Hartley Wintney, west of London, on March 7, 2021 pose watching a special programme for Commonwealth Day showing Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L). - Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday spoke of the importance of "dedication to duty" in a television address hours before the screening of US chat show host Oprah Winfrey's eagerly-anticipated interview with Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kate and Will have been engaging with the public virtually throughout the pandemic 

(Image credit: Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time the two royal icons have been compared. Kate’s parenting style has been likened to that of Diana, who defied royal convention by taking a hands-on approach to raising Prince William and Prince Harry. 

"They're always fixated on their children, even with the chaos around them,” Susan Constantine, a human behavioral expert, said in reference to the two women in an interview with Good Housekeeping. Both mothers have been known to show affection towards their children in public, by leaning down to be at their level and holding their hands. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.