The Secret Behind Kate Middleton's Best Looks of 2020
The Duchess of Cambridge loves great outwear and often breaks out her favorites over and over again.
For nearly a decade, Kate Middleton has dazzled royal watchers and fashion fans alike with her impeccable taste no matter the occasion. The Duchess of Cambridge has always mixed high fashion with high street and regularly rewears her favorite clothes. This year, given so many of her in-person engagements have been held outside due to COVID-19, Kate's coats have taken center stage, with her impressive array of colorful and chic outerwear. While the Queen of Coats undoubtedly has a hefty clothing allowance (her clothes worn on royal engagements are paid for by Prince Charles from his "household" budget), she's no spendthrift and tends to recycle her favorites, instead changing things up with different accessories.
These days, the down to earth duchess is more likely to shop her closet than turn up in a brand new, extravagantly priced bespoke design. On her recent "Christmas Express" tour with Prince William where the couple traveled around Britain aboard the royal train, the coats she wore over three-day trip were ones she had worn (some several times) before. Here's a look at the coats Kate loves so much, she's worn them again and again. And for more on Kate's iconic style, check out The Powerful Message Behind Kate Middleton's Newest Wardrobe Staple.
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This Alexander McQueen green wool coat
Kate showed her thrifty side by wearing her Alexander McQueen green wool coat and her "Canadian Maple Leaf" tartan wool scarf by York Scarves at Euston Station when she and Prince William set off on the royal train for their three-day tour. A wardrobe staple for Kate, she's been spotted in this military-style coat several times this year. Here she is pictured in it after a visit to a traditional Irish pub in Galway in March. She also re-wore the same scarf with another green coat in 2016 during a Canadian tour. And for more regular royals updates, sign up for our daily newsletter.
This bespoke Catherine Walker coat
For the couples' first stop in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the "Christmas Express" tour, Kate opted for some stylish diplomatic dressing by wearing a bespoke funnel collar coat by Catherine Walker in royal blue. The stunning shade was a nod to the Scottish flag, which features a white cross diagonally placed on a blue background. She paired the coat with black suede Ralph Lauren high-heeled boots and a clutch by Strathberry, which is based in Scotland.
The duchess was sporting a new face mask in a blue Liberty print by Amaia and her favorite sapphire earrings, a gift from William that once belonged to Princess Diana. Kate made them her own long ago when she redesigned the studs and made them drop earrings.
She first wore this particular Catherine Walker coat during a trip to Norway in 2018 (pictured here) when she was pregnant with Prince Louis—and looking incredibly chic as a mother to be. And for more on the Cambridge kids, check out 8 Things Kate and William Have Done to Give Their Kids a "Normal Life."
This double-breasted Hobbs maxi coat
Kate was first spotted wearing this classic double-breasted maxi coat from Hobbs (over a red Zara dress) in February during a visit to South Wales. She topped off her look with a playful red Beulah London scarf covered in pink hearts and a red clutch (seen here).
The £349 (or $469) favorite made another appearance this week on the royal train tour at a stop at a community center in West Yorkshire. This time, Kate paired it with a wintry Icelandic-inspired white Fair Isle sweater by Rosie van Cutsem, navy wide leg trousers, and matching pumps. According to the Daily Mail, Kate's sweater was made in Scotland with a "zero waste seamless knitting method," giving it what the brand describes as "a natural fit and clean silhouette." A close friend of Kate's, Van Cutsem and her husband live close to the Cambridges' country home, Anmer Hall.
This red wool Alexander McQueen coat
During a visit this week to Cardiff Castle in Wales during the Cambridges' three-day tour, Kate made her red wool double-breasted coat by Alexander McQueen (reportedly costing £2,990, which is $4,020) more festive by pairing it with a red and black plaid scarf that matched her Emilia Wickstead red tartan skirt. She topped off the look with a matching Grace Han bag and Ralph Lauren boots. She later wore the coat without the scarf for a nursing home visit in Bath.
The duchess was first seen in the coat sans accessories in October in London (pictured here) for the launch of her "Hold Still" photography competition. And for more on her late mother-in-law's iconic looks, check out 10 Photos That Perfectly Capture Princess Diana's '80s Style Evolution.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.