Kate Middleton to Princess Diana: ten times the royal family dazzled at the cinema


The glamorous royal rarely comes face to face with its Hollywood counterpart, but there are occasions when they stand side by side, with neither side wanting to be upstaged.

On a small number of occasions, a film has a royal premiere in London, usually for the benefit of a charity run by the attending royal. Queen Elizabeth II attended a number of them, as did Princess Diana. It is now up to Kate Middleton to dazzle on the red carpet.

Right here Newsweek sums up ten of the royal family’s most glamorous and dazzling trips to the movies:

Princess Diana, Just for your eyesJune 24, 1981

Princess Diana attended the For Your Eyes Only premiere wearing a Belleville Sassoon gown. June 24, 1981.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images/Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Just five days before her wedding to Prince Charles, Diana attended a royal premiere for the first time to watch the James Bond film Just for your eyes with Roger Moore. Diana wowed the crowds in a shimmering red and gold evening gown by Belleville Sassoon designers and was accompanied by Charles and his aunt, Princess Margaret.

Princess Diana, Burke and WillsNovember 1, 1985

Princess Diana Melbourne 1985
Princess Diana wore a silver evening dress to a film premiere in Melbourne, Australia on November 1, 1985.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images/Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

During a royal tour in 1985 in Melbourne, Australia, Diana wore a metallic silver Bruce Oldfield evening dress for a premiere of the historical drama. Burke and Wills. Diana attended the event on November 1, 1985 with Prince Charles and was introduced to the stars of the film after the performance.

Princess Diana, Living daylightsJune 29, 1987

Princess Diana Bond 1987
Princess Diana attended the premiere of the James Bond film The Living Daylights wearing an Emmanuel dress on June 29, 1987.
Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

On June 29, 1987, Diana and Charles attended the James Bond film premiere Living daylights. Diana wore a typical 1980s princess dress, designed by her wedding dress designer, David Emanuel. Diana included the dress in the charity auction she held at Christie’s before her death in 1997.

Princess Diana, Get out ofSeptember 19, 1991

Princess Diana comes out 1991
For the premiere of Liza Minelli’s film Stepping Out, Princess Diana wore an asymmetrical dress by Catherine Walker. September 19, 1991.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

On September 19, 1981, Diana attended the premiere of Get out of specially organized for the benefit of the children’s charities she sponsored. The princess wore an elegant one-shoulder evening gown commissioned during a state visit to Brazil by designer Catherine Walker. Diana met the film’s star, Liza Minelli, and the pair struck up an engaged conversation in front of the assembled press.

Princess Diana, In love and warFebruary 12, 1997

Princess Diana Movie 1997
Princess Diana wore a blue Catherine Walker dress with lace detailing to the premiere of In Love and War on February 12, 1997.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

During the last year of her life, Diana attended the premiere of Sir Richard Attenborough’s film In love and war. Attenborough was a close personal friend of the Princess and the evening was in aid of the British Red Cross Landmine Campaign, a cause Diana had dedicated herself to in her final months. She wore a blue evening dress with lace detailing by Catherine Walker.

Queen Elizabeth IIThe Chronicles of Narnia, November 30, 2010

Premiere of the film Queen Elizabeth II 2010
Queen Elizabeth II attends the premiere of Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Trader on November 30, 2010.
John Phillips/British Press via Getty Images/IAN NICHOLSON/AFP via Getty Images

Less often seen in recent years at royal premieres, Queen Elizabeth II still knows how to create a glamorous stir in the face of Hollywood royalty. At a special screening of Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Merchant on November 30, 2010, the Queen wore a dazzling blue kaftan-style dress with crystal embellishments.

Kate Middleton, Battle horseJanuary 8, 2012

Kate Middleton's War Horse 2012
Kate Middleton wore a black lace Temperley London dress to the premiere of War Horse with Prince William on January 8, 2012.
Indigo/Getty Images/Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Kate Middleton attended her first royal film premiere in 2012 with Prince William. The new Duchess of Cambridge wore a stunning black lace dress from designers Temperley London and carried a James Mascaro clutch. Kate showcased a royal sparkle for the evening wearing a diamond set believed to have been given to her as a wedding gift by Prince Charles.

Kate Middleton, A street cat named BobNovember 3, 2016

Kate Middleton Bob Premiere
Kate Middleton wore a white Self Portrait evening dress to the premiere of A Street Cat Named Bob on November 3, 2016.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On November 3, 2016, Kate attended the premiere of a movie called A street cat named Bob. The event supported the Action On Addiction initiative and for the occasion Kate wore a white Self Portrait dress from their 2016 collection which became a favorite among other royals like Princess Ingrid of Norway, who wore it for an official photo in 2019.

Meghan Markle, The Lion KingJuly 14, 2019

Meghan Markle Lion King Premiere
Meghan Markle wore a black Jason Wu cocktail dress to the premiere of Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King on July 14, 2019.
Samir Hussein/WireImage/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

When it comes to movie star glamour, does anyone understand better what it means than the first movie star to marry into the British royal family? At the 2019 premiere of Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion KingMeghan wowed in a chic and elegant black cocktail dress by designer Jason Wu. The sheer neckline and sleeve details of the dress were complemented by Meghan’s clean style.

Kate Middleton, no time to dieSeptember 28, 2021

Kate Middleton Bond 2021
Kate Middleton wore a sparkling gold dress by Jenny Packham for the premiere of James Bond Not Time to Die on September 28, 2021.
Samir Hussein/WireImage/CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kate’s jaw-dropping James Bond appearance no time to die the premiere in September 2021 was judged by vogue “worthy of the most glamorous Bond girl.” Jenny Packham’s shimmering gold embellished evening dress outshone those worn by the show’s other stars, the actors on the red carpet. Prince William and Prince Charles were also at the premiere with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in an ice blue dress by Bruce Oldfield.

For more royal news and commentary, check out Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast:
Princess Diana Kate Middleton Premiere
Royal film premieres are some of the rare occasions when British and Hollywood royalty come face-to-face, unwilling to appear underdressed or upstaged. Kate Middleton (L) pictured at the premiere of War Horse, January 8, 2012. Princess Diana (R) pictured at the premiere of Stepping Out, September 19, 1991.
Indigo/Getty Images/Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images


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