Most of the conversation around this year's Commonwealth Day Service hinged on the fact that it was to be the final official outing for Meghan and Harry as senior royals. For the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, however, it was just another day at the office. For Kate, this increasingly means digging out her favourite clothes to ensure they're given a longer lease of life – one that exists beyond a single occasion or event. This time, it was the turn of her red Catherine Walker coat dress, trimmed in velvet and first seen on Christmas Day in 2018.
While re-wearing clothes shouldn't be newsworthy (and indeed isn't for the majority of us), women in the public eye have long faced scrutiny over what they're wearing, constantly facing pressure to be seen in something new. As one of the most-photographed women in the world, Kate knows this pressure more than most, so it's refreshing to see her choose a more sustainable approach to her wardrobe.
This is just the latest in a long line of repeated outfits. She was praised for being one of the only BAFTA guests to actually adhere to the dress code. For the carbon-neutral ceremony, where guests were served vegan food and encouraged to make ‘sustainable fashion choices’ on the carpet, Kate Middleton dug out an Alexander McQueen gown that she first wore in 2012.
The McQueen dress, flowing and flecked with gold embroidery of the hibiscus flower, was last worn for a state dinner in Malaysia as part of the couple’s Diamond Jubilee tour eight years ago.
She paired the dress with a necklace and earring set, also shaped like blossoms, by fine jeweller Van Cleef and Arpels.
It seems like Kate was one of the few attendees who got the ‘sustainable fashion’ memo, with some actors wearing designs from the latest SS20 collections instead of sourcing something vintage or simply rewearing an old favourite. Once again, Kate proved that when it comes to sartorial diplomacy, she’s best in show by a mile.