Princess Diana Never-Before-Seen Portrait Has Many Seeing Clear Kate Middleton Parallels

A never-before-seen portrait of the late Princess Diana is now on display at Kensington Palace as part of a new exhibition of intimate photos of the Royal Family. The picture instantly drew comparisons to a photo of Kate Middleton released to mark the Duchess of Cambridge's 40th birthday. The photo of Diana was taken when she was about 27.

The 1988 picture of the late Princess of Wales was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, but it was never shown publicly until now. It was taken by David Bailey, who famously took pictures of The Beatles, Twiggy, and Andy Warhol. Diana picked Bailey to take the stark, minimalist black and white picture herself. Her decision to work with Bailey "reflected her desire to establish a new photographic identity for herself," according to a statement from Historic Royal Places.

The portrait is part of the new exhibit Life Through a Royal Lens at Kensington Palace in London, reports E! News. The exhibit opened on March 3 and continues through Oct. 30. It is described as a "new exhibition exploring the Royal Family through photography and brings together some of the most iconic images ever taken of the Royal Family to Kensington Palace."

The picture reminded many of a recent photo of Princess Kate released on Jan. 8. Like Bailey's photo of Diana, the black and white photo taken by Paolo Roversi shows Kate looking off into the distance. Kate is even seen wearing teardrop earrings similar to Diana's. The photo will be part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, which counts Kate as a patron.

Diana died in August 1997 in a car crash in Paris. She was 36. Prince William and Kate have paid tribute to Diana multiple times throughout their marriage. In 2017, William said he was sad that Kate never met Diana.

"I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won't, that they will never know her," William told GQ at the time. William and Kate have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. "I want George to grow up in a real, living environment; I don't want him growing up behind palace walls-he has to be out there," William said in 2017. "The media makes it harder, but I will fight for them to have a normal life."