Royal birth poses style challenge for Kate and William


While we wait for Kate and William to emerge on the steps of the Lindo wing at St Mary's hospital with royal baby in arms, another memorable image on the very same steps springs to mind.

Charles and Diana's Lindo-wing-to-paparazzi lens moment from 1982. What's immediately striking about the image is how smart the Windsor trio are. No new-father bleary eyes and scruffy jeans for Charles, instead it was a suit and a sharply parted hair for HRH – more city shareholder than maternity suite.

Diana's look is admirably pulled together. Perfect hair, glowing cheeks and a dress that, despite being helplessly of the era, does chime with her personal style at that time. Diana did pregnancy with giant collars and favoured a floaty polka dot, so she stuck with that formula on the Lindo steps. The tights must have been a bit bothersome in June and the shoes (if we're really nit picking) are a bit Red Riding Hood but her clothes suggest she is at ease despite the intense circumstances.

So how will Kate and William do the Lindo Look? Perfect hair is a given (her not him), as is their understanding of how long this photograph will float around, which means the look will be stage-managed to the last degree. They won't exit the hospital with a Maxi-Cosi car seat, tracksuit bottoms and flip-flops, nor will they do sunglasses and caps like showbiz royalty. Our best guess is this: royal baby will do ecru cashmere, William will do smart modern father in rolled-up pale blue shirt sleeves, chinos and lace-up shoes – despite the heat. Kate will do a high-street pistachio dress with a printed blanket style scarf around her neck (an update on pashmina style) with ballet flats. No helium balloons. There is a lot to consider before they exit the hospital: heatwave Britain, recession, Lindo legacy, looking "in touch". It's a postpartum fashion challenge few would fancy.

Powered by article was written by Imogen Fox, for on Monday 22nd July 2013 12.39 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010