Style icon, Kate Middleton may be British royalty – which sure brings along with it some pretty nice fashion perks – but the casual looks she rocks on the reg are an ode to her inherent sense of style. Not to mention, her wardrobe can teach us all a thing or two about being thrifty and shopping on a budget. You’d be surprised at how many affordable items she re-wears – you might even have some of them in your closet.
Sure, Kate Middleton may be British royalty, but the glitz and the glam that come along with her title doesn’t mean she’s above wearing affordable clothing. In fact, time and time again, the Duchess of Cambridge has shown that she appreciates a good bargain.
Middleton is often photographed wearing brands like Zara, Gap, and J. Crew. In the photo above, the fashionista is rocking a pair of zipped jeans from Zara, which were listed online for an affordable price of $39.90. Having been pictured in them on a number of different occasions, we’d say she sure got her money’s worth!
For many of us, Kate Middleton became a familiar name following her 2011 proposal to Prince William. When the two married a year later in 2011, the world was able to see how she assumed the role of Duchess of Cambridge, and became a wife, mother of three, and humanitarian.
But who was she before she was thrust into the spotlight? Preceding her marriage to Prince William (who first saw Middleton when she was walking the runway for a college charity fashion show wearing a sheer dress, no less), Middleton was working as an accessory buyer at the British retailer, Jigsaw. She then left to start a career in photography, website designing, and marketing.
During Kate Middleton’s school days, she excelled at tennis, hockey, and netball. It’s no wonder the Duchess is now so involved in sport-related charities. In the photo below, she dressed down to attend a SportsAid Athlete Workshop in London, England. Wondering what she’s smirking about?
We can only imagine it has something to do with her participation in the workshop, in which she joined a group of children for a game of volleyball… in her wedges. Middleton joined the workshop – which was founded in 1976 and aims to encourage the success of young athletes – to help educate the children and their parents on the topics of both nutrition and social media.
Unbeknownst to many, Kate Middleton is an avid photographer, and actually has the skills to back her hobby up! The Duchess’ passion for photography stems from her childhood and her first published work was done for her parents’ party planning business, Party Pieces.
Middleton broke tradition in the Royal family after publishing her own photographs of her children, George and Charlotte. But as what seems to run in the Royal family, her talent for photography earned her a lifetime membership to the Royal Photographic Society. This was also awarded to Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Lord Snowdon, to name just a few.
Notice the big rock Kate Middleton rocks on her left hand? The Duchess’ engagement ring may be one of the most famous sapphire rings in the world, but its uniqueness doesn’t end at its beaming blue color. According to Today, the ring’s value has increased a lot over the years.
While it was reportedly worth 60,000 British pounds when Prince Charles gave it to Princess Diana back in 1981, the sapphire alone increased tenfold by 2015, reaching a valuation of around 300,000 pounds. The ring has a 12-carat blue oval sapphire that sits at the middle and is surrounded by 14 single diamonds. Its setting is made of 18-carat white gold. But these aren’t the ring’s most interesting facts.
According to many sources, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and Kate Middleton – had their start back in 2001, when they met while studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. They were both studying Art History.
But according to a number of Middelton’s boarding school friends at Marlborough College, the Princess actually met her Prince long before getting to university. As they claim, she met her future husband through mutual friends who knew him and his brother, Prince Harry. Regardless of how the pair met, few can contest that they’re a power couple. In the photo above, they’re shown participating in a race in London, England for the Team Heads Together London Marathon Training Day.
Obsession. Fascination. Call it what you want, but people really care about what goes on with the royal family. They study their every move and any change to their lives are quickly reported in the media. It’s no wonder, then that there is speculation circling about another royal pregnancy.
According to sources such as AOL, Kate Middleton could have baby number four already on the way. Here’s what body experts are using as clues: a change in Middleton’s hair style (she has apparently changed her up-do within a few days of announcing a pregnancy and is recently sporting blonder locks) and an agenda that can’t be touched (suggesting she could be blocking off time to take off). We suppose only time will tell!
In the photo below, the Duchess of Cambridge is shown waving a wand while at the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in London, England. This was the famous spot where all the Harry Potter movies were filmed. According to The Cut, Middleton took home the wand as a souvenir, and we can only imagine what types of spells she has been casting around Kensington Palace ever since.
Cool enough, Hogwarts isn’t the only film set the Princess has visited. She has also visited the set of Downton Abbey, where she got the chance to meet the actors, watch some of the filming, and sit in on hair and makeup. According to her husband, the show is one of the Duchess’ favorites!
Rewind to 2010 when Prince William and Kate Middleton took a trip to Kenya with some friends. Before the trip, the Prince removed his late mother’s blue sapphire ring from out of the royal safe. He carried it with him in his backpack for three entire weeks while the couple traveled around Africa, never letting go.
In an interview following the engagement, Middleton wore a matching sapphire blue silk dress by London-based designer, ISSA. Speaking of the proposal, she said, “We were out there with friends and things so I really didn’t expect it at all.” Adding, “it was a total shock when it came and we’re very excited.” Aww!
Kate Middleton may be British royalty, but the Duchess of Cambridge actually has some elite roots across the pond as well. According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Middleton is related to America’s founding father: none other than America’s first President, George Washington.
Middleton is George Washington’s eighth cousin, eight times removed. Her tie to the former US President comes through her father’s lineage, with their common ancestor being Sir William Gascoigne. How ironic is it that the woman – who some claimed modernized the monarchy – is related to the very man who spearheaded a revolution to end it?
As it turns out, there is a method to the madness of being part of the royal family. And part of this includes rules surrounding the family members’ attire. For example, royal etiquette requires that women wear a hat to every official event – though we don’t think the Kings’ Cup in the photo below counts.
Another rule is that the women must keep their coats on in public, as it is considered unladylike to remove the outermost layer while in the presence of other people. Yes, that does mean Middleton is forced to suffer through the heat if there is ever a spike in temperature. Yikes! But that’s not the end of the unexpected fashion rules that govern the royal family.
Despite being one of the most photographed women in the world, Kate Middleton doesn’t step out of her palace each day rocking a new outfit that’s carefully manicured by stylists. In fact, the Duchess is known to be rather thrifty when it comes to her wardrobe.
Middleton is said to recycle her favorite pieces quite often and from the looks of it, a blue and white striped shirt seems to be one of them. In the photo above, she is shown at the helm of an America’s Cup yacht in Auckland, New Zealand. The photo was snapped during the Duchess and Duke’s three week trip to New Zealand and Australia, which also happened to be their first official overseas trip with their son, George.
Considered by many around the world to be a style icon, it’s no surprise that the clothing Kate Middleton is photographed wearing subsequently fly off of their respective brand’s shelves within in a matter of minutes. This phenomena is so real and impactful that it was even given a name: ‘the Kate effect.’
To illustrate this effect, minutes after the Duchess was shown wearing a dress designed by Reiss, all stock vanished from the brand’s online store. The same thing happened to famous Irish designer, Orla Kiely after Middleton was seen wearing her ‘Birdie’ dress. Talk about a trend setter!
As someone who grew up without royal ties, after marrying Prince William (second in line to the British throne), Kate Middleton earned herself three noble titles. In England, she holds her most well-known title: Duchess of Cambridge. But that’s not her name everywhere.
In Scotland, she’s the Countess of Strathearn while in Northern Ireland she is referred to as Lady Carrickfergus. Since she is the wife to Prince William, she is also entitled to the name Princess William. In the photo above, she and her Prince took a break from their normal stomping grounds at Kensington Palace to visit Sweden and Norway.
Though frequently photographed smiling and laughing with one another, like most young couples, Kate Middleton and Prince William have had to overcome a number of bumps along the road in their relationship. For example, four years after getting together, the two reportedly went their separate ways in 2007.
The breakup didn’t last long, however, as the couple were reunited some three months later. They then got engaged shortly after and married on April 29, 2011. Their royal wedding brought with it a number of different types of memorabilia such as William and Kate dolls, coffee mugs, tea bags, and apparently even pizza!
Quite the well-rounded athlete, Kate Middleton withstood some grueling training to row crew. In 2007, she joined an all-female crew called The Sisterhood and trained to cross the English Channel by way of a canoe that resembled a traditional Chinese dragon boat.
Though the 21 member team ended up completing the treacherous 21-mile journey, they did so without the help of Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge was forced to withdraw from the team after Royal aides apparently feared that the attention she would attract from the press could interfere with the team’s safety. And while this would’ve been quite an oar-some accomplishment for Middleton, she already boasts quite a long list of achievements.
While painting one’s nails is typically a form of expression for most ladies, Kate Middleton is restricted in the colors she is allowed to use. In fact, it has been said that the Duchess of Cambridge must stick to natural shades on her fingernails.
It seems she has managed to find a loophole, however, as she has frequently been photographed with red polish on her toes. Still, it appears as though this shade restriction is meant to save bright colors for the Queen’s wardrobe, who sports outfits ranging from fuchsia to lime green, all in an effort to stand out in a crowd.
Ever wonder how the Duchess of Cambridge decides what to wear to events? While it has been reported that she cannot technically accept clothes as gifts from designers, according to Cosmopolitan, being part of the royal family provides Middleton with a different perk when it comes to clothing.
The magazine reported that the Duchess is able to request that designers send her certain clothing. She is then able to send back whichever pieces she doesn’t end up wearing. “It’s like Rent the Runway,” they said. This means that for a fee, Middleton can borrow the clothes and then purchase only what she decides to keep.
Not only is Kate Middleton passionate about sports, but she is also devoted to improving the mental health of the public. In fact, in 2016, she paired up with husband, Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry to spearhead a mental health campaign known as Heads Together.
Through working with a number of charities around the world, the campaign aims to both raise awareness about mental health and help people find the support they need. In a speech on World Mental Health Day, Middleton said of the royals’ initiative, “We must tackle the stigma that stops people asking for help in the first place. We want to encourage people to talk to one another.”
Though the role of Duchess of Cambridge brings along an extensive squad with it – ranging from royal family members to security guards and a variety of helpers – there’s arguably no one more important in Middleton’s crew than her sister, Pippa.
Whenever photographed together, Pippa and Kate Middleton are shown to be the epitome of sisterly love. It’s no wonder they’re so close, as the Duchess is only a year and eight months her sister’s senior. The two grew up in a relatively idyllic way, having lived with their brother James and parents Carole and Michael in Jordan for two years. In 2017, Pippa married hedge fund manager, James Matthew and in 2018, the two had a son together.
It’s hard enough for mothers to find nannies that they trust to care for their children. And when those children are constantly in the public eye or are considered to be royalty, this task can be even greater. Such is the case for Kate Middleton, who is the mother of three children.
Luckily, Middleton managed to find extensively-trained royal nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo to care for her three kiddos: George, Charlotte, and Louis. Borrallo went to a prestigious nanny school where she was trained for three years on “everything from defensive driving to security issues, to how to care for a future king or queen,” said royal commentator, Victoria Murphy.
Following months of rumors about tension between sisters-in-law, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, sources such as People magazine claim the royal wives have managed to overcome public pressure to become best friends and have formed an actual bond and friendship.
Not long ago, the Suits actress and Middleton were leading completely different lives. While Markle was navigating her new life as a royal, Middleton was juggling being a mother to three children. So what was it that brought the two together? According to People, it was a bond over motherhood following the birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first son, Archie.
Though Kate Middleton may be most seen rocking a fresh new blowout and a fancy dress, the duchess isn’t afraid of breaking a sweat… even in heels! Middleton’s days as an athlete trace back to her time in primary school.
And just because she has joined the world of royals, we are happy to see this hasn’t caused her to give up her sporty side. In the photo above, Middleton is shown at the Oval Maidan recreational ground in South Mumbai, India back in 2016. After paying a visit to the local children there, the princess joined in on some of their fun playing cricket.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton rocked a red jacket to go rock climbing in North Wales. She and the Duke matched as they prepared to abseil a mountain of rocks at the Towers Residential Outdoor Education Centre in Capel Curig, United Kingdom.
The Towers is run by Wolverhampton Council and provides education and outdoor activities for children. With courses designed to explore the coastline, mountains, rivers, and forest surrounding the Snowdonia National Park, the centre boasts more than 50 years of helping children develop self confidence, social skills, and resilience. Way to support such a great cause, Duchess and Duke!
Always one to experiment with fashion, the Duchess doesn’t always wear fancy gowns – could you imagine the Queen in this tuxedo tracksuit? In the photo below, Kate Middleton is shown during a visit to the Lawn Tennis Association at the National Tennis Centre in London, England.
The Duchess became Patron of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) back in 2016. The LTA is the entity that governs the sport of tennis in Great Britain, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. It is meant to promote people’s participation in the sport and also to motivate them to compete in professional matches.
Sources: Good Housekeeping, Little Things, Elle