KATE Middleton may be married to the future king of England – but has also proved she is certainly a queen when it comes to her style.
From glittering balls, to royal tours and even cycling in the Lake District, the Duchess of Cambridge never puts a royal toe out of line.
But there is no denying that the mum-of-three’s enviable wardrobe today is a far cry from the Ugg boots and skimpy dresses in her pre-royal days.
Here Fabulous Digital takes a look back at Kate’s iconic style evolution through the years – and the “secret messages” she sends with her carefully thought-out fashion choices…
Eager to fit in
Speaking to Fabulous Digital, fashion expert Harriet Davey said Kate was desperate to impress when she was first dating William.
Being thrust into the spotlight when you are just fresh out of university can’t have been easy for Kate, who started dating William at St Andrews.
But despite this, Harriet said Kate’s “confidence shines through” in a wedding guest outfit from 2005.
Harriet said: “Wedding-guest-ready, and in her early 20s, the monochrome ensemble is sophisticated yet still young with the shorter hemline and lower neckline.
“The royal way is always to colour coordinate so shows she’s eager to fit in with the crowd in the full top-to-toe black and white outfit.”
Around 2007, Kate temporarily split from William leaving her devastated.
And while she was free from the royal ties, Kate was spotted exploring new, current trends.
Harriet said: “Kate has previously spoken about her split from William in 2007 and this could have been taken around that time.
“And just like every other 20-something girl in the early noughties, Kate embraced the look of laid-back bootcut jeans, super comfy Ugg boots and a casual tank top.
“The down to earth look shows she was trying to find her style and keen to embrace new trends and also may be a sign that she was taking a bit of time out of the limelight after the break up.”
Finding her feet
Kate and William reconciled and tied the knot in a lavish wedding in 2011 that was watched by an estimated billion people around the world.
And during her Royal Tour in Canada in July that year, Kate was finding her royal fashion feet.
Harriet said: “Recently married after the lavish nuptials in April, this buttercup yellow Jenny Packham dress was worn during the Royal Tour in Canada in July.
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“And here we are, Kate finds her feet as a fully fledged member of the royal family and has designers queuing up to dress the new Duchess of Cambridge in their outfits.
“The fun, floaty yellow mini dress may have made Kate have a Marilyn Monroe ‘caught in the wind’ moment but it’s perfect for her.
“The button detail style is elegant, iconic and it’s kept simple with fuss-free neutral accessories to keep all eyes on the dress.
“And yellow is a colour that represents positivity, joy and happiness so it may be a sign of how she was feeling, too.”
Wanting to grab attention
By 2016, Kate had given birth to Prince George and was not afraid to grab the spotlight.
When she arrived at an event in Canada as a lady-in-red in a gown by British designer, Preen, she ensured all eyes were on her.
Harriet explained: “Supporting the country she’s in, Kate accessorised the £1,000 look with a sparkly maple-leaf brooch.
“Looking positively stunning, the smiley Kate goes matchy-matchy with red accessories and diamonds and this could be the most confident we’ve seen Kate so far with her bold outfit that’s bound to gain instant attention.”
Knows her style inside out
Kate always steals the fashion show when she steps out in public, but she’s not afraid to repeat winning garments.
In 2019 we saw Kate in one of her classic looks – a coat dress.
Harriet said: “The £1,590 dress by British designer Mulberry was teamed with £505 Gainvitto Rossi nude heels to keep it classic.
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“By this stage in Kate’s life, she knows exactly what she likes to wear, fits in with the royal style protocols and plays it safe by opting for outfits that suit her.
“Having been married for eight years and with three children, Kate is settled, happy and proud to support British designers and brands when on-duty.”
Attending the Bafta 2020 awards, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge hit the red carpet in showstopping outfits.
Harriet said: “Supporting the events’ sustainability message, Kate re-wore an embellished gown by British designer Alexander McQueen that she had previously worn back in 2012.
“The dress proves how Kate’s style has been consistent since being married to Prince William as she suits the same outfit she has previously worn years earlier.
“The two are also perfectly matched with William in a classic tux so it may be a sign of how connected they are together.”
Knows what suits her
Kate’s off-duty looks are always loved by all and a recent visit to Cumbria Lake Windermere shows why.
Harriet said: “The wearable, relaxed countryside chic look she tends to stick by is a simple outfit equation of a blazer, jumper, skinny jeans and boots.
“Chunky, lace-up boots are a key autumn/winter style, so much like the 2007 Kate, she still likes to embrace trend-led pieces but now knows the trends that suit her personal style.”
We shared how Kate Middleton and Sophie Wessex are ‘naughty, fun and cheeky’ – how their unlikely royal friendship is now unbreakable.
Meanwhile, Kate beamed as she met Afghanistan evacuation teams in return to Royal duties after summer break.