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Inside Kate Middleton’s royal style evolution

All Patriot NewsApril 29, 20218min
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It’s been 10 years since Kate Middleton married Prince William in her unforgettable Alexander McQueen wedding dress — and over the course of her first decade as a card-carrying royal, she’s continued to captivate the world with her fashion choices.

But the 39-year-old Duchess of Cambridge’s personal style has evolved quite a bit in the decade since she first moved into Kensington Palace.

As a newlywed, Middleton almost exclusively dressed in either affordable high street brands or classic British designers; while she hasn’t abandoned those, her closet now also includes pieces by the likes of Gucci, The Vampire’s Wife and Alessandra Rich.

And although the Duchess hasn’t abandoned her go-to skirt suits and coat dresses for royal outings — and likely won’t, as she’s prepping for her future role as Queen Catherine — she now often incorporates more modern touches ranging from cropped trousers to off-the-shoulder necklines.

Below (and in our latest episode of “Royal Roundtable” above), we’re taking a look back at how Kate Middleton’s fashion formula has changed since her royal wedding on April 29, 2011.

Princess Bride

Kate Middleton wears Alexander McQueen at her wedding to Prince William.
Kate Middleton wears Alexander McQueen at her wedding to Prince William.
Getty Images

Designed by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Middleton’s iconic wedding dress featured long lace sleeves, a nipped-in waist, a full skirt and a nearly 9-foot-long train, and perfectly represented her polished, ladylike personal style.

“Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen’s work,” the palace said in a statement at the time.

Relatable Royal

From left: Kate Middleton wears Zara in 2011, Reiss in 2012 and Topshop in 2013.
From left: Kate Middleton wears Zara in 2011, Reiss in 2012 and Topshop in 2013.
Getty Images; WireImage

As a newlywed, the Duchess of Cambridge embraced high street brands from the start, often stepping out in accessibly priced pieces from Zara, Topshop and Reiss. The message? “I may be the future Queen, but I’m still down to earth.”

Classic Catherine

From left: Kate Middleton wears Alexander McQueen in 2011, Emilia Wickstead in 2011 and Jenny Packham in 2012.
From left: Kate Middleton wears Alexander McQueen in 2011, Emilia Wickstead in 2011 and Jenny Packham in 2012.
Getty Images

For dressier royal outings and evening engagements, the just-married Middleton gravitated toward looks from tried-and-true British designers like Jenny Packham, Emilia Wickstead, Catherine Walker and Alexander McQueen, almost always opting for solid colors and A-line silhouettes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Just Like Di

Kate Middleton wears Mulberry in 2015; Princess Diana in 1990.
Kate Middleton wears Mulberry in 2015; Princess Diana in 1990.
WireImage; Getty Images
Kate Middleton wears Catherine Walker in 2019; Princess Diana in 1995.
Kate Middleton wears Catherine Walker in 2019; Princess Diana in 1995.
Getty Images

Middleton also made a habit of paying tribute to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, with her outfits — something she’s continued to do to this day. In addition to wearing her iconic sapphire engagement ring and selecting her favorite Lover’s Knot tiara for state banquets, the Duchess seemed to channel Diana with many of her everyday looks, from coats to dresses.

Trying Out Trends

From left: Kate Middleton in Self-Portrait, Saloni and Barbara Casasola, all in 2016.
From left: Kate Middleton in Self-Portrait, Saloni and Barbara Casasola, all in 2016.
Getty Images

Around 2016 — half a decade into her time as a royal — Middleton’s signature style started to shift, as she stepped out in slightly more daring looks with slit skirts, sheer panels and exposed shoulders. She also began supporting more up-and-coming designers in addition to established names.

Giving Pants a Chance

From left: Kate Middleton wears JoosTricot and L.K.Bennett in 2019, The Vampire's Wife in 2020 and Gucci in 2019.
From left: Kate Middleton wears JoosTricot and L.K.Bennett in 2019, The Vampire’s Wife in 2020 and Gucci in 2019.
GC Images; Getty Images

The Duchess really started switching things up around 2019, swapping some of her standby skirt suits for culottes and blazers for bow-tied Gucci blouses as her style became more confident. She also incorporated more playful prints and buzzy brands into her closet, and even gave “Gossip Girl”-style headbands a go.

Here’s hoping there’s plenty more fashion experimentation in her future.

Author : Elana Fishman

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