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Video: Is Kate Middleton the new Diana?

TODAY contributor
updated 8/31/2007 10:10:49 AM ET 2007-08-31T14:10:49

When Kate Middleton leaves her London home, she is greeted by torrents of camera strobes.  She is young, she is glamorous, she is a most uncommon commoner. And because she is dating Prince William, the heir to the throne of Great Britain, the question is inevitable: Is she the next Princess Diana?

“If there is one word that would sum up Kate Middleton, the word is classy,” Camilla Tominey, the Royal editor for London paper “The Sunday Express" told TODAY. “She's obviously a photographer's dream, just as Diana was, and both are from the same set.”

Diana’s family, the Spencers, were aristocrats with ties to the royal Windsors, but they were themselves not royalty. Middleton’s parents are self-made millionaires with common roots.

“These are two women that seem interested in fashion, interested in looking glamorous,” said Tominey. “Kate always made an effort to look demure or sexy but never going over the top of showing too much flesh, and in that sense she's exactly like Diana.”

Middleton and William met while they were attending St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. The most repeated story holds that Middleton caught William’s eye while modeling for a benefit fashion show.

The similarities between Diana and Middleton are about their youth, the demeanor and the fascination they generate for the notorious British tabloids.

But there are also significant differences. When Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, she was just 20 years old, 12 years younger than her royal spouse. Middleton is 25, the same age as William, and while the courtship of Charles and Diana was a fairytale whirlwind, Kate and William have already been through one break-up and have only recently been seen dating again.

If there are wedding plans, neither Middleton nor the Prince are saying.

“What I do with my private life is really between me and myself,” William told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview he and his brother, Prince Harry, did earlier this year.

The couple had broken up this spring, but Middleton attended the concert Harry and Williams organized in July to celebrate their mother’s memory and was also at the 60th birthday party thrown for their step-mother, Camilla.

Tominey feels that Middleton would be a perfect fit for William – and the Windsors.

“I think really because of her impeccable behavior, because of that star quality she seems to have, the House of Windsor would be happy to have her,” she said.

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