Kate Middleton’s dresses are some of the most copied in the world, and for good reason. The Duchess has worn hundreds of iconic styles, dating back to when she first started dating Prince William in 2003, right down to those of her most recent official engagements. In fact the pair’s romantic story starts with a dress.
Although they started off as friends when they met at St Andrews in 2001, it is thought the turning point was when Kate walked in a university charity catwalk show in a sheer dress, wowing William. Created by fashion graduate Charlotte Todd, the strapless, sheer knitted affair made headlines and sold for £78k in 2011.
Kate Middleton wedding dress
While the Duchess of Cambridge’s earlier outfits had Sloane Ranger-esque vibes (think oversized blazers, chic boots and jeans), her wedding dress was really what put her on the fashion map. On 29th April 2011, Catherine walked down the aisle in a stunning Alexander McQueen gown, designed by Sarah Burton.
The Palace released a statement at the time, saying, ‘Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing. Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress.’
It was made with ivory and white satin gazar, and the skirt was designed to mimick an opening flower with arches and pleats. Further details included ‘individual flowers hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.’
What designers does Kate Middleton wear?
For red carpet events, Kate Middleton has her favourite fashion brands, most of which are British talents including Alice Temperley, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham. (Always paired with a signature Kate Middleton hair look, naturally.) For daytime Royal engagements, Kate Middleton’s dresses tend to be from high street brands, and as soon as she’s spotted wearing them, they fly off the shelves – L.K.Bennett, Reiss, Zara, Whistles, all gone within hours of being worn. That’s the Kate Middleton effect.
Does Kate Middleton buy her own clothes?
Prior to becoming a royal, Kate Middleton did pay for her own clothes. However, now that she is a working royal, she has an allowance which comes from Prince Charles, which covers everything she and Prince William need for their engagements, from travel to clothing. Royals are not allowed to accept gifts where they would feel obligate to do something in return (so they’re allowed to accept flowers and small gifts from well wishers but not free clothes for example).
Kate Middleton’s stylist is known to borrow clothes from designers for the Duchess to wear to events, but she then returns them, though sometimes the Duchess can choose to buy them.
Take a look back at the Kate Middleton’s dress over the past couple of decades.
The Duke And Duchess of Cambridge went on a short tour of the UK ahead of the Christmas holidays to pay tribute to the inspiring work of individuals, organizations and initiatives across the country that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities this year. Kate wore a red Alexander McQueen coat and a Grace Han bag (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey was filmed.
The Duchess of Cambridge visiting the Baby Basics baby bank in Sheffield. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
On tour with Prince William in 2019
The Duchess wore a purple Emilia Wickstead dress with Aspinal Mayfair bag and Tory Burch necklace for the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit at London County Hall.
Kate attended a charity event at Paddington station wearing this floral Orla Kiely dress which is already sold out.
For her first public appearance since announcing pregnancy number three.
For her visit to the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, in memory of Princess Diana, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for this gorgeous floral Prada midi dress from Prada's Fall/Winter 2017 collection.
Kate surprised everyone by wearing this daring off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen dress to a garden party in Germany.
For a recent your of Poland, Kate wore a dress by a Polish designer as an homage to the country.
A chic Gucci look.
Wearing Marchesa to a ballet.
Wearing Alexander McQueen to the 2017 BAFTAs.
The Duchess wears a floral Vanessa Seward dress for a trip to the annual Christmas party hosted by The Mix in London.
In November 2016, The Duchess wore a black Preen by Thornton and Bregazzi dress, which was purchased directly from Fenwicks of Bond Street, to the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House in London.
Here's Duchess Kate at the world premiere of A Street Cat Named Bob, wearing a gorgeous full length gown by Self Portrait, shoes by Gianvito Rossi and a clutch by Miu Miu.
Kate opted for a See by Chloé dress paired with an Acne belt for a children's party for military families.
Kate wore this stunning red gown by Thornton Bregazzi to a ceremony of reconciliation with the Canadian First Nations.
The duchess wearing a bespoke Alexander McQueen dress on a tour to Canada.
Very country chic.
At a polo game.
A pretty neglige number.
At a party during her university years.
At a wedding with Prince William.
Kate chose this dress by Issa for her engagement picture, and it promptly sold out. The brand has since struggled to keep up with demand.
The iconic pink glitter dress.
At a garden party in Buckingham Palace.
For a visit to Canada, Kate chose to honour the country with a maple leaf on her hat.
Kate wore this black lace Temperley dress to the UK premiere of War Horse.
At a St James Gala reception.
Chatting at a Royal engagement.
At an official event.
Kate wore this pale lilac McQueen dress to the 2011 BAFTAs.
On tour in Canada.
We love this cute McQueen sailor dress.
A peach dress and matching coat, the perfect pregnancy style.
After giving birth to Prince George, Kate left hospital in this blue polka dot dress by Jenny Packham.
Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince George at George's christening.
This sparkling Jenny Packham dress was a real winner.
Kate Middleton in a cream Roland Mouret gown and Zara necklace, which sold out instantly.
Kate showed off her legs in this powder blue dress.
In a black evening gown.
For her final appearance before giving birth to Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of Cambridge wore this lovely bright pink coat and black pumps as she toured the Stephen Lawrence Centre in London.
Presenting Princess Charlotte to the world.
At Princess Charlotte's christening, wearing McQueen.
Kate knows a thing or two about winter florals. This bold floral silk Erdem dress with diamond jewellery she wore at the 100 Women In Hedge Funds event was incredibly chic, held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in late October 2015.
We love nothing more than when Duchess Kate steps out in a purse-friendly piece..
The Duchess chose a delicate lace dress for her 2016 Royal Ascot debut. A matching floral fascinator and drop pearl earrings completed her chic but simple look.
Wearing her second wedding dress of the day, also by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen wedding dress
The sheer dress that apparently caught Prince William's eye at the university charity catwalk show.