It’s been nine years since Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William exchanged wedding vows at Westminster Abbey. Over 26.3 million viewers in the UK alone pored over details of her exquisite Alexander McQueen bridal gown, with its intricate lace bodice featuring hand-embroidered flowers,
and dramatic 9ft train. Since then, the Duchess has worn bespoke dresses and coats by creative director Sarah Burton to a number of royal nuptials, including those of her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry. Always elegant, never ostentatious, Kate’s meticulously cut McQueen tailoring has seen her crowned best-dressed wedding guest on more than one occasion.
For society weddings, the Duchess frequently plumps for existing pieces in her wardrobe to reflect her conscious approach to dressing. While her McQueen tailoring has all the quiet grandeur that the world has come to expect from the diplomatic figurehead–who has long been an ambassador for British fashion–her recycled LK Bennett Sledge pumps and Natalie clutch bag show that Kate approaches royal style with responsibility in mind.
Here, seven times the Duchess of Cambridge demonstrated how to do polished wedding-guest style with aplomb.
For the joyous celebration of her sister, Pippa Middleton’s marriage to James Matthews at St Mark’s Church in Englefield Green, Kate commissioned a bespoke blush pink confection from Sarah Burton. She accessorised the softly pleated dress with Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps in Praline suede, a Jane Taylor hat with a rose nestled in the centre, and a pair of Morganite Double Drop Earrings by Kiki McDonough.
The Duchess returned from maternity leave with her third child, Prince Louis, to watch Meghan Markle wed Prince Harry and become her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex. Kate looked polished in a primrose-yellow tailored McQueen coat, a Philip Treacy hat and Jimmy Choo heels.
To watch Princess Eugenie walk down the aisle and marry Jack Brooksbank, the Duchess took her seat in St George’s Chapel wearing a raspberry McQueen dress with a matching Philip Treacy hat. The rich shade represented a refreshing change of pace for Kate’s formal wedding-guest looks. A velvet Prada clutch and pumps also modernised her ensemble, while the Queen’s Diamond Pendant grounded it in royal tradition.
Kate attended the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, wearing a gold brocade DAY Birger et Mikkelsen dress coat (eagle-eyed royal style watchers will recognise it from the 2006 Parker Bowles wedding) and Gina Foster Millinery’s striking Launceston Place hat. LK Bennett Sledge pumps and the high-street brand’s Natalie bag – Kate’s go-tos at the time – were given an airing at the celebration.
The wedding of Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mark Tomlinson in scenic Switzerland saw Kate wear a muted coat over a printed Max Mara Studio dress. Lock & Company’s Betty Boop hat added a jaunty flourish to her winter style, while Emmy Shoes’s chocolate Valerie pumps and Natasha bag ensured she looked as understated as ever.
Whistles’s floral Bella dress and a blue M Missoni coat made for pretty spring wedding attire at the nuptials of Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett. Kate added a Mulberry clutch and Cassandra Goad leaf earrings to her tonal look at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Marshfield.
To Ewelme, Oxfordshire, where Prince William acted as usher for his friend, William van Cutsem, and his bride, Rosie Ruck Keene. Kate – who was pregnant with her first child, Prince George, at the time – wore a monochrome polka dot Topshop maternity dress, a black Ralph Lauren blazer, Episode pumps and a matching suede clutch. She had worn the low-key wedding look before, at a Warner Bros tour the previous month.