What bride-to-be wants to compete with her mother-in-law?

In the case of U.K. queen-to-be Kate Middleton, comparisons with the late Princess Diana are inevitable and sometimes completely uncanny.

The former Lady Diana Spencer was perceived as a bit frumpy when the 19-year-old kindergarten teacher became engaged to heir to the throne Prince Charles in 1981. Once in the royal spotlight, she emerged as the style icon of her time.

Middleton, who just turned 29, has had more time to hone her independence and casually elegant personal style, which includes her habit of shopping her own closet (rather than designer showrooms) for special occasions.

Yet remarkably, the two women seem to have more in common than their mutual affection for Prince William and a poignantly shared diamond-and-sapphire engagement ring.

Click through this slide show and let StyleList know which princess bride has better fashion sense. And stay tuned for our reader poll results next week.

Meanwhile, read about the shade of blue-gray nail polish that's been given a witty name in Middleton's honor.

And take a peek at the sheer dress Middleton wore when she met Prince William that's now considered a valuable royal collectible.