Princess Kate has ‘got this big new title, and she’s dressing for that job’

Every few months, there are stories about the Princess of Wales’s newfound keenness and her promise to do more at some point in the future. That’s been the pattern for more than a decade. Alongside the “promises to be keen” stories, we’re gifted with “Kate’s updated style” stories every six months or so. It’s like they can’t admit that Kate’s always had terrible style and she’s constantly copying other women’s style (badly). It’s always “Kate is finally dressing for her new keen vibe!” These stories are the same kind of treading-water go-nowhere busywork of Kate’s Early Years campaign. Besides, I don’t think anyone should be in the business of pointing out how drastically Kate’s style changed the second Harry married Meghan. But here we are.

Kate Middleton is shaking things up when it comes to her style. “I think this is her power moment — she’s easing into the Princess of Wales role and that promotion that she’s had in such a beautiful way,” Bethan Holt, fashion director at the Daily Telegraph tells PEOPLE, adding: “She’s got this big new title, and she’s dressing for that job.”

Not only did Kate, 41, move up the family hierarchy by becoming the Princess of Wales after Queen Elizabeth died in September, but last month saw the royal mom launch her Shaping Us initiative, an awareness campaign on the importance of early childhood, which resulted in a flurry of fashion-forward outfits in quick succession. The most glamorous ensemble was a scarlet red Alexander McQueen pantsuit that Kate wore to a pre-campaign launch event at BAFTA headquarters in London on Jan. 30.

“We’ve seen her do tailoring before but what I really loved about the red suit was that she was wearing it to an evening event,” says Holt. “I loved seeing that kind of spicy experimentation, it almost had a slight Studio 54 vibe to it. She was wearing that suit for the launch of an initiative that is her passion project — red is the color of passion, it was a big moment on her CV.”

“It was all about her, and I think that’s such a telling gesture from William that he was happy for her to take center stage and share the limelight with her, rather than the other way round,” says Holt.

Tailored pants have been a go-to for Kate in recent months, a departure from the fit-and-flare feminine dresses the royal was once so closely associated with. It’s a shift that fashion insiders have noted and applauded.

“I think what’s really interesting is how it’s taken quite a serious slant. There’s a lot of very polished tailoring, and it’s a very sleek silhouette — I really think it marks a new era in her royal life,” says Holt. While the style shift may be subtle, the messages behind her new look couldn’t be stronger.

“She might not be able to say to us, ‘Look, my life is now completely different — my husband and I are one step closer to the biggest job of our lives,’ but she is saying all of that through her fashion choices,” says Holt. “Kate has this platform, and she is out there on her own, nailing it.”

[From People]

Jesus, what is this woman smoking? “She is out there on her own, nailing it.” Ah, yes – Kate is on her own, with only a humble closet full of wigs, button-slathered ensembles, ruffled Alessandra Rich monstrosities, a full glam squad and a Meghan mood-board. While I acknowledge that Kate’s style silhouette has changed a lot over the past five years, it’s glaringly and creepily obvious that Kate has found a crazy amount of inspiration from the sister-in-law she considers her nemesis.

“Tailored pants have been a go-to for Kate in recent months, a departure from the fit-and-flare feminine dresses the royal was once so closely associated with…” Kate’s fashion history is a lot more tortured than they’re describing – Kate used to copykeen QEII, she used to copykeen Jecca Craig, and as always, she was obsessed with copying Diana’s old looks too. There is so much Diana-inspo ‘80s style stuff in her closet. Then she went through a childish ruffles/Mary Quant phase, and who can forget her Sister Wife prairie dress phase? These days, it’s all about the Meghan mood-board though.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

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