The word disruptor doesn’t immediately come to mind in the context of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Yet, in the 13 years since their engagement, Kate and Wills have quietly revolutionized the way senior royals dress, honing a modern royal style strategy that makes them and their three photogenic children both delightfully traditional and highly recognizable.
Despite the careful color coordination at work throughout the Welsh family walks – including the Easter Sunday blue rhapsody – William remains the embodiment of normcore even if he can dress well for a Bafta red carpet if he must. or a royal procession. The princess, meanwhile, is the always appropriately dressed mum of three who shows other mums how to make M&S look ambitious by tweaking her to fit properly and making sure her hair and makeup are as glossy as when she wears Alexander McQueen.
William may not share his parents’ interest in clothes, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have Views. It was William, sensitive to accusations of extravagance, who encouraged Kate to take a high/low approach to fashion. Mixing high fashion with designer has worked well for the frugally minded, as well as adding a degree of interest for royal watchers who can now share and comment on photos of royals zipping around websites and social platforms in the moment. when they leave the house.
None of this has been lost on the other royals who are (mostly) as eager as the King and Prince of Wales to ensure there is no significant popularity seepage in the coming years. In their own way, they’ve all been taking notes from the Welsh for years.
The power of charming, traditionally dressed children
Welsh children mostly look like they’re straight out of the 1950s, and against all reason, Republicans are wilting too.
In the face of mass logoisation, the three Wales’ shorts, smocks and Start-Rites have sparked a mini-revival in traditional children’s clothing. Case in point: On Sunday, Louis wore shorts and an El Corte Inglés tie and Charlotte wore pantyhose, Mary Janes and a floral Rachel Riley dress.
Lena and Mia Tindall have interpreted the style of royal children in a more modern way: their dresses are by Reiss. While she may seem less upmarket than the all-English Rachel Riley, the upscale high street chain doesn’t come cheap. Mia’s dress, at £84, actually costs more than Princess Charlotte’s blue Rachel Riley, but that doesn’t matter.
Keep it real
The Tindalls are the royals’ answer to the Republicans, in much the same way that Kate wears skinny jeans to play basketball or William and George spending a father-son day at soccer coordinating sweaters, as they did on Saturday, arouses the interest of most of us. Now that the Welsh are second in line to the throne, it often falls to Zara and Mike to muster the “we’re just like you” quip; if the Tindalls are there and Mike is joking with the crowd, as he did on Sunday, the royals truly seem, albeit temporarily, like a near-normal family.
Go viral by color coding your outfits
On Sunday, senior royals (King Charles, Queen Camilla, Princess Anne and Wales) all wore blue. The younger royals (the Duchess of Edinburgh, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice) were in pink. Is it a modern version of the Sumptuary Laws, the medieval legislation that regulated the fabrics and colors people wore based on their status? None of these choreographies happen by chance.
Older women wore burgundy to Kate’s Christmas concert and green to Prince Philip’s memorial. Whatever they call their family’s WhatsApp groups in which they plan their nuances, it’s time well spent — creating a powerful visual symbol of unity delights the Instagram demographic.
Little rebellions make it interesting
It took Kate the Outsider years before she was comfortable deviating from royal protocol. These days the Princess is bolder: witness the red nail polish that on Sunday replaced the nude pink that was the late Queen’s favorite choice.
Meanwhile the queen consort loves a hint of leopard print and last week she swapped a coat for a cape. These small but revealing touches are widely appreciated by all but the most gruff of observers as they suggest both women are now more comfortable with their roles.
Humbly brag about your historic jewels
Both the Queen and Princess of Wales have recently expanded their heirloom family jewels. In late March, Camilla wore the late Queen’s necklace and the Queen Mother’s fabulous Art Deco Greville tiara to a state banquet in Berlin.
Meanwhile, for Common-wealth Day last month, Kate accessorized a navy silk Erdem suit, one of her most regal daytime looks, with the Prince of Wales three-feather brooch, a royal heirloom dating back to 1863, and sapphire and diamond earrings that once belonged to Princess Diana.
The royal re-wear
Kate has established herself as the queen of rewear. Meanwhile, according to Fiona Clare, one of the Queen Consort’s inner circle of trusted designers, Camilla has been quietly doing it for years, albeit in less scrutinized appearances than Kate’s. Other royals were probably all doing it in private, but judicious sightings of the same outfits are de rigueur these days. Accordingly, the Duchess of Edinburgh donned a 2005 pink wool coat on Sunday, revisiting it with her jaunty Philip Treacy hat and matching suede boots. It’s a reminder that they’re all awfully normal. Until a certain point.