Kate Middleton Has Mastered the Art of Dressing Like a Modern-Day Princess

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When Kate Middleton walked out on her wedding day in that elegant gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, it immediately became clear the world had a new, stylish princess on their hands. Since then, she has hardly disappointed. Being in the royal family is not easy. Aside from the extremely public drama, there are the seemingly constant events one has to attend, and the expectation to always look not only perfect but appropriate. Luckily Kate is up for the task. Throughout her 13 years as a royal, Kate has figured out her princess style, sticking with fit-and-flare dresses, wool coats, and just enough sparkle so as not to outshine any of her centuries-old jewels. She works almost exclusively with British designers, and can usually be found in Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham, or Emilia Wickstead. Probably the most inspiring part of Kate’s wardrobe, however, is its rewear potential. As a princess, Kate could easily pull out a new look for every event, but she often recycles pieces, sometimes having them altered slightly to freshen them up, but more often, wearing them just as she did the first time. Either way, she always manages to look modern. Below, we’re looking back at how Kate’s style has evolved over the last ten-plus years, and how, in many ways, it has stayed the same.

2023: Royal Variety Performance
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Kate attended the Royal Variety Performance alongside her husband, Prince William, in a blue, floor-length Safiyaa London gown with caped sleeves. She accessorized the simple dress with matching Gianvito Rossi heels and a shimmering Jenny Packham clutch.

2023: State Banquet at Buckingham Palace
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Looking very much like the princess she is, Kate attended a state banquet honoring the South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol, in a regal, white Jenny Packham dress. She accessorized the gown with some royal jewels, including the historic Strathmore Rose Tiara and a pair of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond earrings.

2023: Wimbledon Tennis Championship
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Kate presented the winner of the 2023 Ladies Finals at Wimbledon, Markéta Vondroušová, with her prize while wearing a lime green Self-Portrait dress, which featured a pleated skirt and a short-sleeve jacket top.

2023: King Charles III's Garden Party
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Kate is not afraid to rewear a good look. Take this pastel blue top and skirt from Elie Saab’s 2019 resort collection, which the Princess originally wore to the Royal Ascot in 2019 before taking it out again for the Buckingham Palace garden party four years later.

2023: BAFTA Awards
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Sometimes, a rewear calls for new styling to freshen it up, and when she attended the BAFTAs in 2023, Kate added a pair of black opera gloves to her draped, one-shoulder Alexander McQueen dress, which she originally wore to the same awards ceremony four years earlier.

2022: The Earthshot Prize
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This lime green Solace London off-the-shoulder dress was actually rented by the Princess for the Earthshot Prize, a fitting choice considering the event celebrates innovations in environmentalism.

2022: The Royal Charity Polo Cup
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Kate went for a simpler look for the Royal Charity Polo Cup and wore an ivory, sleeveless dress with black details from Emilia Wickstead.

2022: Top Gun: Maverick Premiere
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The Princess looked incredibly chic in a black and white, off-the-shoulder gown from Roland Mouret.

2022: Visit to Jamaica
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While Kate seemingly adopted a more streamlined look for the remainder of 2022, when she visited Jamaica in March of that year to attend a dinner hosted by the Governor General, she wore a show-stopping emerald green tulle gown by Jenny Packham with crystal embroidery on the bodice.

2022: Irish Guards' St. Patrick's Day Parade
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Every year for St. Patrick’s Day, Kate pulls out a green wool coat, and in 2022, she chose one with some military-inspired detailing from Laura Green London.

2021: “Together at Christmas” Community Carol Service
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This Catherine Walker coat dress was perfect for the occasion—Christmas red and topped with a bow to turn the Princess into a holiday gift.

2021: Royal Variety Performance
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Kate loves a good, deep green, and for the 2021 Royal Variety Performance, she added some sparkle to her go-to color in the form of this sequin-covered Jenny Packham dress.

2021: The Earthshot Prize
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Once again, Kate chose a sustainable option for the Earthshot prize, wearing a lilac, Alexander McQueen dress she originally wore to a BAFTA event ten years prior.

2021: No Time to Die Premiere
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Kate knows that sometimes a princess just has to sparkle, and in 2021, she wore this gold explosion of a dress by Jenny Packham to the premiere of the latest James Bond film.

2020: Commonwealth Day Service
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A classic look for Kate: a wool coat with a matching hat and heels. This time, the red coat came courtesy of Catherine Walker, while the shoes were, as always, Gianvito Rossi.

2020: BAFTA Awards
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A dress as stunning as this ivory and gold Alexander McQueen deserves to be worn more than once, which is likely why Kate pulled it out for the BAFTAs eight years after she originally wore it during a visit to Malaysia in 2012.

2019: State Banquet at Buckingham Palace
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Kate welcomed President Trump to Buckingham Palace in a layered Alexander McQueen dress.

2019: Portrait Gala
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While Kate doesn’t normally wear patterned pieces, she clearly liked this floral Alexander McQueen as she wore it twice, once in 2019, and once at the BAFTAs in 2017.

2018: State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

Kate always saves her most overtly royal dresses for state dinners. When hosting King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in 2018, she wore this blue Alexander McQueen dress, which acted as a perfect backdrop for some of her best jewels, including a necklace of diamonds and pearls and the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara.

2018: Princess Eugenie of York’s Wedding to Jack Brooksbank
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Royal weddings call for fairly casual, but still proper ensembles and for Princess Eugenie’s wedding, Kate opted to wear a fuchsia Alexander McQueen day dress, which she paired with a topper by Philip Treacy.

2018: Prince Harry’s Wedding to Meghan Markle
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Clearly, Alexander McQueen is Kate’s go-to when it comes to weddings and she wore a pale yellow coat dress by the house when attending Harry and Meghan’s nuptials in 2018.

2018: BAFTA Awards
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While most of the attendees wore all black to the 2018 BAFTAs to show support to the Me Too movement, royals are not allowed to make political statements. Instead, the Princess wore a forest green Jenny Packham empire waist dress, which she accessorized with black heels and a black bag.

2017: Royal Variety Performance
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Kate took the attention away from her growing baby bump with the help of a crystal-adorned icy blue Jenny Packham dress.

2017: Pippa Middleton’s Wedding to James Matthews
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While Pippa Middleton almost stole the show as the Maid of Honor at Kate’s wedding, the older sister went for a more modest look for Pippa’s big day. Kate opted for a blush pink Alexander McQueen dress made specifically for her.

2017: Portrait Gala
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Kate wore what seems to be her favorite color to the 2017 Portrait Gala in the form of a lace, long-sleeved dress by Temperley London.

2016: Royal Ascot
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Normally, Kate sticks with British designers, but for the Royal Ascot in 2016, she opted to wear a white, lace long-sleeved dress by Dolce & Gabbana.

2016: National Service Of Thanksgiving To Celebrate The Queen's 90th Birthday
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Kate celebrated the Queen’s momentous birthday in a blue coat dress with white lace appliqué by Catherine Walker & Co.

2016: Commonwealth Day Service
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This gray Erdem coat with trompe l'oeil lace detailing seems like it was just a bit outside of Kate’s style comfort zone.

2015: Spectre Premiere
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While originally, this blue Jenny Packham dress featured a cold shoulder detail, Kate had the sleeves completed for her appearance at the premiere of the latest James Bond film.

2015: The Christening Of Princess Charlotte
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Kate celebrated the christening of her daughter in an Alexander McQueen coat dress.

2015: Commonwealth Day Service
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The Princess pulled this pink Alexander McQueen coat out of her maternity wardrobe from her pregnancy with Prince George to rewear it to the 2015 Commonwealth Observance Service when she was pregnant with Charlotte.

2014: Wildlife Photographer of The Year Awards

Kate showed a bit of leg at the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of The Year Awards with the help of her blue Jenny Packham wrap dress which featured a layered skirt underneath so the Princess wouldn’t reveal too much skin.

2014: Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

While these days, Kate prefers a fit-and-flare dress, back in 2014 she opted to wear a more form-fitting nude lace Alexander McQueen to a garden party at the Palace.

2014: Portrait Gala
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If this blue Jenny Packham dress looks familiar, it’s because Kate also owns it in a deep green and has worn that version on multiple occasions.

2013: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Premiere
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Kate eschewed her usual color for an egg shell, long-sleeve dress by Roland Mouret.

2013: Tusk Trust Conservation Award
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While Kate does love some sparkle, this sequin-covered Jenny Packham gown was definitely a bit of a departure for the usual more demure Princess.

2012: St. Patrick's Day Parade
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Another St. Patrick’s day, another green coat dress. In 2012, it was Emilia Wickstead who had the pleasure of dressing the Princess for the day.

2012: War Horse Premiere
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Clearly, Kate was a fan of the Temperley London dress she wore to the premiere of War Horse in 2012, because she has worn it many times since.

2011: Absolute Return for Kids Gala Dinner

Kate attended her first event with William as a married couple in a sequin and crystal-embroidered Jenny Packham gown.

2011: Kate Middleton’s Wedding to Prince William

The Alexander McQueen gown Kate wore to her wedding to Prince Harry is not only her most memorable style moment, but it will also go down as one of the most important dresses in history.

2010: The Engagement of Kate Middleton and Prince William
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When Kate and William announced their engagement, the soon-to-be Princess wore a deep blue Issa dress that matched her sapphire engament ring.

2008: Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco
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This outfit may not be the best representation of Kate’s pre-royal style, but it is fun to see her let loose a little before her days of garden parties and state dinners.