This was the decade when we, as a nation, became utterly obsessed with the idea of ‘the royal wardrobe’. Not since the days of Princess Diana, who was photographed for the cover of Vogue three times and wore big ticket designers such as Versace, Escada and Zandra Rhodes, has there been such an appetite for cataloguing what the royals wear with an obsession that borders on pathological.
Websites dedicated to tracking Meghan and Kate’s sartorial prowess have sprung out of the woodwork, while both duchesses are now influencers in their own right. Meghan was 2019’s most powerful dresser, according to global search platform Lyst, with her outfits sparking a 216% increase in searches for similar pieces.
None of this is surprising. After all, 1.9 billion tuned in to watch Meghan marry Harry in May 2018. What is surprising, perhaps, is that the royals can still surprise us with what they wear. Take Kate’s pussy-bow Gucci blouse that she chose to visit Lambeth’s Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre in May 2019. Rumour has it that Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, her stylist during Natasha Archer’s maternity leave and former Vogue editor, was responsible for the violet number that, styled with wide-legged Jigsaw trousers, marked a more fashion-forward direction for the Duchess. It became a universal hit overnight, but editors couldn’t help notice that it was styled back-to-front. It was enough to raise fashionable eyebrows. So what were the other standout, much-dissected royal fashion moments this decade?
Royal Fashion Hits
Pippa Middleton's bottom had an excellent decade, making its debut in clings-in-all-the-right-places Alexander McQueen at sister Kate's wedding.
Was the back-to-front blouse a maverick styling move or lucky mistake? We will never know. And it was a bumper few years for the polka dot, what with Zara's sell-out dress. Kate was ahead of the curve in this Alessandra Rich number.
Princess Eugenie's wedding dress, designed by Peter Pilotto, had an elegant scoop back that perfectly framed the scar from her scoliosis operation as a 12 year-old. 'I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars and I think it's really special to stand up for that,' she told ITV's This Morning before her big day.
There's no age limit on being a royal influencer. Princess Charlotte's outfits are pored over almost as much as her mother's, and her first day at nursery proved she already knows about pink-and-red colour clashing. The burgundy coat by Amaia next to the baby pink cashmere scarf from Marie Chantel was a perfect 10.
Picture the scene when the Queen arrived at Richard Quinn's A/W '18 show.
Valentino might have championed neons for SS20, but her Maj got there first, wearing highlighter-bright green for 2016's Trooping The Colour. We bow down.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie came under fashion fire for those Philip Treacy hats at Kate and Will's wedding, drawing comparisons to everything from pretzels to toilet seals. We happen to love them.
As a former actor Meghan Markle has brought red carpet pizazz to royal dressing - and given bare limbs the go-ahead. Case in point - the one-shouldered Givenchy gown she chose for last year's Fashion Awards.