Fast fashion is so entrenched we’re shocked when a royal rewears a dress.
This week’s welcome, breaking (and boring) news was that The Duchess of Sussex arrived at the WellChild Awards sporting the exact dark green P.A.R.O.S.H. dress she had worn during both the photo call to announce her engagement to Prince Harry and their subsequent interview at Frogmore Cottage. Though admittedly even Meghan picking at a hangnail would be enough to send papers into a flurry, repeated outfits in the public eye always get tongues wagging. In most cases, the re-wearing of a near-£500 dress is hardly news, but royalty (of the literal and celebrity kind) in clothes we’ve already seen has always captured the public’s imagination. Harper’s Bazaar have an entire gallery dedicated to every article of clothing Kate Middleton has reworn, as well as one dedicated to general celebrity outfit repeats. Tiffany Haddish was crowned America’s thrifty sweetheart for rewearing her $4,000 Alexander McQueen dress an unprecedented five times (still probably not quite enough to properly justify its cost-per-wear) and Keira Knightley became a prudent legend when she was spotted in a customised version of her (albeit Chanel) wedding dress on multiple occasions.
Royal fashion is very specific. Protocol requires senior members of Europe’s royal families to dress in such a style that is both chic and modest. Naturally, many of these princesses, from Kate Middleton to Princess Sofia, and even Queen Maxima and Princess Charlene, turn to the same designers again and again, and every so often, they wear the exact same looks.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attends the U.K. Premiere of “A Street Cat Named Bob” in aid of Action On Addiction at The Curzon Mayfair on November 3, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.
Princess Sofia of Sweden attends for a State Banquet in honor of South Korea’s presidential couple at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on June 14, 2019.
Sophie Countess of Wessex attends Royal Ascot Day 1 at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018
Princess Beatrice Windsor during Trooping The Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019
Princess Charlene of Monaco walks on the red carpet before the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony at the Sporting Monte-Carlo complex in Monaco on February 27, 2018.
Queen Maxima of The Netherlands leaves the Royal Palace after the annual gala diner for the Diplomatic Corps on April 09, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Designer Jenny Packham’s gowns are a royal favorite, and not just of the Brits’. Here are four different occasions when princesses wore her style:
From left to right: Alexandra Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg celebrated Queen Margrethe’s 40th jubilee in a crimson version of Jenny Packham’s dress back in January of 2012.
Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg attended the wedding of Prince Felix of Luxembourg and Claire Lademacher wearing a purply-blue gown on September 21, 2013.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the Tusk Conservation Awards in November 2018 wearing jade green version of the dress.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden attended a gala in New York in the same number in October of 2013.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, left, wears Giambattista Valli to the Tilburg Theater for the Kingsday concert on April 4, 2017. On the right, HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden wears the same dress to the World Childhood Foundation Thank You Gala on October 3, 2018 in New York City.
At right, Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore a dress by Raquel Diniz to the opening of the exhibition “Towards the Forest—Knausgaard on Munch” in Oslo, Norway in May, 2017. On left, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wore the same dress to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in August 28, 2018. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrived for the 2014 Royal Variety Performance wearing Diane von Furstenberg’s Zarita dress. In November of 2017, she rewore the dress to a charity gala at Kensington Palace.
Before she was royal, the Duchess of Sussex attended an event for USA Network in 2012, wearing a shorter, navy blue version of the Zarita, two years before Duchess Kate stepped out in the style.