Next Princess Kate Middleton Cute Photo Collection
Catherine Middleton is being tipped as the royal family's next people's princess.
With Diana, Princess of Wales' sapphire ring on her finger and Diana's son on her arm, she is already aware of the legacy that stands before her.
As she posed for her engagement pictures with Prince William, there was an uncanny similarity to the photos of Diana 29 years earlier.
Both women opted for the same shade of blue as they stood with their arms looped through that of their fiances, with the large oval sapphire and diamond ring on show.
Both spoke of the 'daunting' prospect ahead of them.
Yet Catherine is already marking herself out as very different from the bashful royal bride who became the world's most photographed woman.
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton has entered the public arena in a more assured way than Diana Spencer.
Confident and poised, observers say she has all the appearance of someone who has been groomed for royal duty, possessing a knowing look, secure in her knowledge of William's affections and intentions.
Diana, in contrast, emerged as 'Shy Di'. She was demure and blushed as she posed for her engagement pictures, her eyes peering out from under her long fringe.
Both came to the nation's attention in see-through outfits - but in markedly different ways.
Eager to please, Diana posed up for the cameras at the kindergarten where she worked in September 1980, five months before her engagement to the Prince of Wales.
But she was oblivious to the fact she was backlit by the sun and that her legs could be seen through her long pale-coloured skirt.
In 2002, Catherine strode down a catwalk at a charity fashion show in a transparent dress with black knickers and bra underneath, in front of an audience and future beau William.
When one friend once remarked she was lucky to be with William, she reportedly quipped: 'He's lucky to be going out with me'.
In contrast, in the early days of Diana's relationship with Charles, she ventured to say to one of his confidants: 'If I am lucky enough to be the Princess of Wales...'
She was 19 when she became betrothed to Charles. Catherine was 28 at the time.
Better educated with A-Levels and a degree in history of art under her belt, Catherine is more worldly wise and on an equal footing with her fiance.
Diana was 13 years younger than the Prince of Wales, but Catherine is five months older than William and they have already lived together at St Andrews, and she spends part of the week with William in Anglesey.
She hails from a far steadier family background than William's mother.
Her parents are still together, sparing her any of the anguish suffered by Diana, whose own mother and father split acrimoniously when she was only young.
Her non-aristocratic background differs from the posh Spencer circles of Diana - whose sister married the Queen's private secretary and whose grandmother was a confidante of the Queen Mother.
Charles was under pressure to find a wife and Diana fitted the bill.
The prince told a friend he was sure he could fall in love with her, but we now know his heart was already taken by Camilla Parker-Bowles.
He had been heir to the throne since he was three years old and was well aware it was his duty to secure the monarchy's future.
Lord Mountbatten advised Charles to find a virgin bride and Diana seemed ideal.
Catherine and William, in contrast, are not under the same time pressures. William is still only second-in-line to the throne.
However, Catherine has not escaped speculation as to her traditional suitability as an untouched royal bride.
The Spectator magazine once commented that she 'may still have her V-plates intact'.
While she is a brunette and Diana was blonde, both are tall and willowy and deemed English roses.
Both were educated at public school where they were popular and sporty, captaining the hockey team and excelling at tennis.
Diana had a warmth and openness which attracted Charles, something Catherine is said to possess too.
Their backgrounds were clear of potential tabloid fodder. Diana appeared squeaky clean, as does Catherine, although she was known to 'moon' out of the window at boys at boarding school.
Diana, at her first official royal event with Charles after their engagement in March 1981, was pictured arriving in her car at Goldsmiths Hall wearing a plunging strapless evening gown.
In December 2006, Catherine unwittingly flashed a fishnet clad thigh while getting into a car after a night out with William and Harry.
But on her first official public engagement in Anglesey in February 2011, she wore a demure Katherine Hooker-tailored herringbone coat.
In a clever move, she had recycled the outfit, which she wore five years earlier at Cheltenham races, and had the length shortened.
Catherine, like Diana, is keenly aware of her actions in front of the media.
Press who doorstepped Diana in the early days found her friendly. Catherine has also politely told photographers she cannot pose for pictures, helpfully giving them just enough time to take a snap.
She endured intense media attention outside her own home, like Diana did, as speculation gathered pace that she could be the country's next Queen.
Before her own engagement, Diana once broke down in tears at the intrusion, prompting photographers to place a note of apology under her windscreen wiper.
Her mother, Frances Shand Kydd, wrote to The Times to complain about 'harassment'.
Before her own engagement, Diana, however, invited a newspaper journalist into her flat for a chat and a cup of tea.
Catherine is tougher and has kept the media well at bay.