Kate Middleton wore $83,000 worth of clothes in 100 days.

There are always defining moments in every queen’s career, say when Elizabeth I addressed her troops at Tilbury in 1588 and delivered one of the most famous rousing speeches in British history, or in 1947 when the future Elizabeth II delivered her famous radio address from South Africa, promising to dedicate his life to his work.

But for Kate, now the Duchess of Cambridge and future Queen Catherine, one of the most defining moments came on April 30, 2011, the day after her wedding to Prince William and her first full days as a bona fide member of the royal family.

Crossing the lawn at Buckingham Palace as the newlyweds made their way to the helicopter to take them away to kick off the wedding, what did Kate choose to wear? Zara dress for $85.

The symbolism was clear: Kate may have had a prince, a title, and now called the palace home, but she was the same woman as she had been 48 hours earlier. In one outfit, she signaled to the world that she would do things her way and that, despite her rise to royalty, she was still firmly attached to a normal life.

It was a powerful and very sneaky move and a stylish strategy that we have seen over and over again over the course of the year since.

So what, in the name of her extensive collection of lukewarm coat dresses, has been going on lately?

By my count, over the past 100 days, Kate has worn more than $83,851 worth of easily identifiable clothing, shoes, and jewelry, not counting the number of bespoke designer items she showed off that I couldn’t find a price or value for. royal jewelry she wore. (If we add that everything adds up, I think we’ll easily get a six-figure figure. Keep in mind, too, that members of the royal family can’t take freebies either.)

Looking closely at the photos and details of the past three-plus months, it’s clear that over the past 100 days, there’s been a very noticeable shift in her wardrobe towards a much more expensive one.

Gone, by and large, were her favourites, affordable items from the mainstream British chains, and in their place came an ever-growing list of four-figure dresses and diamond earrings.

At the time, no outfit cost more than her very chic, understated ensemble for the premiere of Top Gun, where Kate opted for a $5,115 Roland Mouret dress, Prada heels, a $4,418 Alexander McQueen clutch, and new diamond earrings for $18,133 from Robinson. Pelham.

While Kate did wear a few pieces, most notably the white Alexander McQueen suit she first debuted in during the Duke of Cambridge’s disastrous Caribbean tour with husband Prince William, and the flamboyant Catherine Walker coat she wore for the first time last year. it’s all things. it’s worth thousands. (Katherine Walker’s website doesn’t list prices, and you know what they say about having to ask how much something costs…)

This fashion trend extends to her after hours. Back in 2019, Kate was last photographed on a polo wearing a $740 LK Bennett dress. In July, the 40-year-old once again watched her husband work himself to a sweat playing a few chakkas, but this time she opted for a feminine Emilia Wickstead number from the 2019 designer collection. A similar white sleeveless dress is currently selling for just under $2,000.

Since the beginning of May, Kate has worn Alessandra Rich (whose dresses range from $2,511 to $4,000) several times, many Emilia Wickstead dresses, which cost in the thousands, and many pairs of Emmy heels ($690 each). pop) or Gianvitto Rossi pumps, which cost $1,022 a pair.

The genius of Kate’s style for so long has been her ability to effortlessly pair value-for-money items like the $3.95 earrings she chose for her first formal event this year with expensive jewelry, the perfect mix of affordable and inspiring.

What was so delightful about it was not only the showcase of her fashionable mind, but the subtext it carried; just because she could afford all the designer loot she could bring home from Bond Street didn’t mean she wanted to.

It all felt refreshing and just plain real, and over the years, the Duchess’ regular choice of budget-friendly outfits with a touch of luxury carried the message that royal life hadn’t fundamentally changed her as a person.

That’s why this appearance of this recent Kate, who seems to be increasingly devoted only to top-tier labels, is a little disturbing. To some extent, I feel a certain disappointment that one of the most meaningful ways in which she separated herself from the royal status quo for more than a decade seems to have disappeared.

(The only notable exception to this trend occurred on June 3 during a St Paul’s service during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, when she paired a bespoke yellow Emilia Wickstead scarf that would have cost Kate thousands of dollars and her Philip Tracy hat worth over $2,000 with …a $34 clutch from homegrown Australian brand Forever New.)

Maybe what I really liked about Zara-era Kate is that every time she stepped out of her company car for an engagement dressed in a $27 dress, it brought with it a certain beautiful feeling of defiance and rejection all of a sudden. change who she was. Conclusion: She may have a title, but she’s still Kate.

One way to explain the change in direction of her wardrobe could be that it reflects the repositioning we saw in William and Kate last year, from plucky young adults to future king and queen. The runway from where they are now as working foot soldiers of the royal family to their coronation in Westminster Abbey is very clearly paved by the palace, bringing home the message of monarchical succession as the queen looks more and more shaky.

Perhaps someone has argued that it is okay for the average duchess to wear a few pounds worth of polyester, but not for the future queen. Or perhaps Kate has just grown up a bit and, like women everywhere, is now more focused on higher quality pieces that she can wear more often.

But to some extent “why” does not matter here; what matters is what effect this shift might have.

On a purely functional level, Kate’s use of modest clothing over the years has gone a long way towards making it seem unique, like no royal WAG has ever worn before. Now, the more she chooses to be accessible to all but the super-wealthy labels, the more she risks undermining those gains and becoming a more distant figure.

In order for William and Kate to truly ensure the prosperity of the royal family, they must appear approachable.

The danger here is clear – the centerpiece of the brand the Cambridges are hard at work trying to create is that they are congenial, normal royalty, a hard-working duo happily transforming the Firm from stale, frosty, and all too grandiose into a powerful center of business. -good.

At a time when the UK is in the grips of a cost-of-living crisis, seeing a woman who has been marketed as a refreshingly normal neighborhood duchess messing around about the best part of $100,000 worth of designer trinkets is potentially dangerous. dangerous and certainly ill-conceived move.

Close can become a man, but Zara can help become a queen.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.

Read related topics:Kate Middleton

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: