Kate Middleton may not be wearing the Queen Mother’s crown just yet, but that hasn’t stopped her from reigning as the royal family’s fashion maven for more than a decade. With an aspirational wardrobe that’s marked by impeccably tailored coat dresses, frocks with mid-length hems in A-line or shift silhouettes, and ever-present heels, the Duchess of Cambridge is always polished and regal—she even looked like a rock star hours after giving birth to her third child, Prince Louis!
Her knack for style should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with her and the Duke of Cambridge’s love story: This is the woman who caught Prince William’s eye while strutting her stuff on the runway, after all. While it would be quite impossible to showcase every one of her sartorial wins throughout the years (and all the times she's famously repeated them), we aimed for the next best thing—33 of the best Kate Middleton fashion moments in history. Keep reading to see all of our favorite looks.
December 15, 2006: Making Her Mark
The Duchess of Cambridge was turning heads with her outfits eons before she ever became an official member of the royal family, and this photo from the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst certainly proves it—that Giorgio Armani coat is as chic as they come. Rumor has it it's also one she rewore at a later date.
November 10, 2010: The "Kate Effect"
It was the dress that launched a thousand copycats. So iconic was the dark blue Issa wrap dress that Kate famously wore for her engagement announcement to Prince Williams, it marked the beginning of the “Kate effect”—a phenomenon in which whatever the activist wore would instantly sell out. In addition to perfectly setting off her eyes (and that stunning sapphire engagement ring!), it was similar to the blue frock William’s mother, Princess Diana, wore for her own engagement announcement.
April 29, 2011: Here Comes the Bride
What’s the one thing that can top an epic engagement dress? An epic wedding gown, of course! Kate’s certainly delivered, with her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen masterpiece going down in history as one of the most gorgeous—and expensive!—royal wedding gowns of all time. The $434,000 creation featured handmade lace appliquéd with hand-cut flowers on ivory silk tulle and full-length sleeves for a classic, timeless silhouette. The 8-foot train, meanwhile, draped beautifully behind her, while the padded hips lent the gown a Victorian feel.
For her reception, Kate donned another Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen creation: She changed into a silk A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline, which she paired with a cozy cardigan for a layered look.
June 9, 2011: Runway-Ready
The mother of three copped her beaded rose gold and silver look for the ARK 10th Anniversary Gala dinner in 2011 straight from the runway of Jenny Packham. Five years later, Kate would pull it out of the closet once more for the 2016 Taste of Norfolk, trading her long, sweeping locks in for an elegant updo.
July 9, 2011: Grecian Goddess
In 2011, Kate turned to her wedding gown designer once more, choosing this sweeping Alexander McQueen lilac frock with a beaded white belt to attend the 2011 BAFTA Brits to Watch event in L.A.. A whopping 10 years later, she rewore the Grecian-inspired gown for an event in London.
January 8, 2012: Lovely in Lace
Kate kicked off the new year in a sexy Temperley black lace design with a nude underlay while attending the premiere of War Horse with her spouse in the U.K.
March 17, 2012: Lucky Charm
Leave it to the Duchess of Cambridge to make a holiday known for its garish shades of green look completely upscale and chic. Turning to the effortless ease of a coat dress, the Duchess was all smiles in her Emilia Wickstead number, which featured a crossover waist and a slim black belt. One year later, she pulled it out of her closet once more, marking yet another rewear for the royal.
April 26, 2013: Polka Dot Perfection
Long before Rihanna was flashing some of the most stylish (and creative!) maternity clothing around, Kate was making pregnancy look good on her own terms—particular in April 2013, when she treated us all to this delightfully affordable polka dot Topshop piece. Unsurprisingly, it reportedly sold out within an hour of her debut of it. The black shoulder shrug was just the icing on the cake.
February 14, 2014: True Blue
In 2014, Kate spent Valentine’s Day helping to open Norholt High School’s ICAP art room in West London. Instead of reaching for the typical reds and pinks often associated with the holiday, however, she favored this bright cobalt blue blazer dress courtesy of L.K. Bennett.
April 24, 2014: Tour de Fashion
Lela Rose was behind the LWD that Kate busted out during her three-week-long royal tour of New Zealand and Australia, which featured open-hole sleeves and a matching peplum overlay.
March 9, 2015: Pregnancy Pastels
Kate took her penchant for coat dressing up a notch in 2015 with this achingly sweet recycled McQueen getup (also seen at the 2013 Trooping of the Colour), which featured a Peter Pan collar and elegant pearl buttons. She topped things off (literally) with a matching Jane Taylor Millinery hat.
March 11, 2016: Power Color
Though Kate looks great in blues and greens, which allow her eyes to really pop, we think red just might be her power color. Case in point? This sophisticated scarlett Eponine two-piece. Boasting a nice, fitted waist and not-too-long, not-too-short skirt, it was an ensemble she also deemed worthy of a repeat, busting it out once more a year later.
April 14, 2016: Switching It Up
If anyone's got a signature style, it's Kate Middleton. And yet, every so often, the activist will throw us a curve ball with a piece that's just slightly out of character for her—like this loud sequined Tory Burch maxi dress that she wore for a private dinner with the King of Bhutan.
April 30, 2016: Cover Girl
Kate's incredible fashion prowess landed her a spot on the cover of British Vogue for the magazine's 100th issue. Her cover look was simple and understated, yet chic nonetheless, with a brown suede jacket, a white button-down, and a standout hat to draw the eye in.
June 9, 2016: Cold Shoulder
One of Kate's sexier ensembles came in the form of this Roland Mouret maxi column dress with cutout shoulders, which she sported to the SportsAid's 40th anniversary dinner in London, England. There, she met with ambassadors and young athletes who would go on to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics.
September 27, 2016: Lady in Red
Kate brought the heat—literally—while overseas in Canada for her and William’s 2016 royal tour of the country: Her bold red tea-length Preen gown and chunky silver maple leaf accessory had us doing a double take.
February 12, 2017: Fancy Florals
The royal couple walked their first BAFTAs red carpet back in 2017, and they brought out the big fashion for the event: Kate's ultra-feminine off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen frock was one for the books. Two years later, she pulled it out again, this time en route to the National Portrait Gallery.
March 28, 2017: Grand Entrace
With its lace construction, keyhole back, and floor-length skirt, this Temperley design definitely brought the drama—and we were living for it.
June 29, 2017: Pattern Play
Kate switched things up in June 2017, deviating from her normal designers of Jenny Packham, Alexander McQueen, and L.K. Bennett, in this checkered Gucci piece, which featured black-and-red piping for intrigue.
January 31, 2018: Hot in Houndstooth
This swanky red-and-white houndstooth design, as loosely inspired by Will and Harry's mum, was an easy win for Kate, boasting a great fit, a great pattern, and a great midi length. The fact that its designer, Catherine Walker, is also a royal favorite, certainly doesn't hurt, either.
February 18, 2018: Red Carpet Royalty
Kate carefully navigated the political fashion waters at the 2018 BAFTA's, where the dress code was all black in honor of #MeToo. Though the Duchess wasn't dressed in the hue, she did choose a muted dark green design that made for a happy compromise. It turned out to be one heck of a chioce: The empire waist did wonders for her then-pregnant silhouette, too!
April 23, 2018: Paying Homage
Just seven hours after giving birth to Prince Louis, Kate stood beside husband Prince William on the steps of St Mary's Hospital in a chic red Jenny Packham dress with a Peter Pan collar. The look was reportedly an homage to Princess Diana, who wore a similar ensemble after giving birth to Prince Harry. Kate paired the look with a pair of 4-inch suede Gianvito Rossi heels.
October 23, 2018: A Regal Affiar
We got a glimpse at a more queenly Kate back in October 2018, when the brunette beauty put on the Lover's Knot tiara—one of Princess Diana's favorite pieces—for a state banquet at the palace. She paired it with an icy blue ruched gown with a drop hem and a semi-square necklace from favorite Alexander McQueen.
November 8, 2018: Mermaid Vibes
The Duchess outdid herself in November 2018 when she showed up to the Tusk Conservation Awards in a long Jenny Packham piece (first worn in 2012) that seemed to borrow its eye-popping aquamarine hue from under the sea.
February 10, 2019: Earth Angel
Kate looked like she fell from a cloud while attending the 2019 BAFTA Awards, and in no small part due to the stunning one-shoulder Alexander McQueen design that she chose specifically for the occasion.
May 7, 2019: Oui, Oui!
Can you say "French-girl chic?" Kate could've passed for a sophisticated Parisian while attending the launch of the King's Cup Regatta to support her royal patronages in a navy-and-white striped top, a pair of double-buttoned L.K. Bennett trousers, and Emmy London pumps.
June 3, 2019: Sash of Honor
Alexander McQueen was once again established as the genius behind the Duchess's 2019 State Banquet look. Featuring a tiered, ruffled skirt, a sweetheart neckline, and a full skirt, it could've easily passed for a wedding gown—particularly when paired with the Lover's Knot tiara upon her crown. The finishing touch? A sash symbolizing the Royal Victorian Order (an honor recognizing service to the monarch), which Kate was bestowed with by the Queen for her and William's eight-year anniversary.
November 15, 2019: Plum-Tastic
Having long ago mastered the art of the coat dress, Kate pulled out an ace in the hole with this previously-worn Oscar de la Renta outerwear in a fetching plum hue that brightened up the atmosphere around her. Dark tights, an Aspinal of London clutch, and a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti heels completed her ensemble.
November 18, 2019: Peekaboo
While most of the Duchess's looks are on the more demure side, she opted for a more playful "naked" look for a night out on the town in November 2019. This dress in particular, which featured a long sheer overlay with intricate lacy cutouts, was also designed by (you guessed it!) Alexander McQueen.
March 9, 2020: Striking in Sapphire
The Duchess was a vision in cobalt blue while attending the 25th anniversary of childhood mental health organization Place2Be. Between its striking hue, glitzy bodice, and lacy sleeves, this gown stood out like a shining jewel in a sea of dark hues.
September 28, 2021: Bond Girl
Kate Middleton seemingly channeled her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, while getting dressed for the U.K. premiere of No Time to Die, Her gold sequined Jenny Packham number with beaded sequins and a plunging V-neck was reportedly a nod to the glitzy metallic piece Princess Diana opted for while attending the 1985 premiere of yet another Bond flick, A View to Kill.
March 24, 2022: A Vision in White
Kate stunned in a white lace mid-length dress with a square necklace and ribbon waist designed by Alexander McQueen while attending a military parade with Prince William in Jamaica. The Duchess of Cambridge accessorized with a floral-trimmed hat by Philip Treacy, white pumps, and a pearl-studded clutch. She finished off her look with sentimental jewelry pieces, including Princess Diana’s pearl bracelet and Queen Elizabeth’s diamond and pearl earrings.