The Duchess of Cambridge has quite a particular challenge ahead of her: deciding what she'll wear to Prince Harry's upcoming wedding to Meghan Markle. As the future Queen of England, Kate must dress the part, and yet she mustn't overshadow the bride. Not to mention she'll be just a few weeks postpartum (her third child is due in April), and potentially wrangling Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who are all but confirmed to be in the wedding party.
In advance of this May's celebration, we asked a few dedicated royal watchers — and some of our favorite style bloggers — to predict what Kate's outfit might look like. Here's what they had to say:
Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan are the Fug Girls. Together they blog about red carpet style, pop culture, and all things royal, and they are the authors of The Royal We.
Jessica: "Kate is going to go very, very understated, much as she did for Pippa's wedding. She will be six weeks to a month postpartum, which makes me think she's even more likely to turn to her old reliable and opt for McQueen (as she also did for Pippa's wedding — and, of course, for her own). My gut feeling is that she'll go for Cambridge blue, but, whatever she wears, it will be EXTREMELY simple and classic, because I think she will be very conscious of not wishing to draw focus from the bride."
Heather: "McQueen is probably a pretty solid pick, because besides the weddings, Kate also wore McQueen for both her kids' christenings. Clearly that's her very favorite go-to for smart dresses at events where the weather is mild. But just for fun, I'll throw out Emilia Wickstead. Princess Diana wore a blue dress with black polka-dots at Andrew and Fergie's wedding, so surely there isn't a ban on patterns for the upper-echelon royals, and that's something Wickstead could pull off with an elegant, light touch."
"Frankly, Kate might find this harder to decide than Meghan will. She'll be every bit as scrutinized, but because she's not part of the wedding itself, she has a bit more leeway. Also, the press — and — would, I think, love to drum up any asinine controversy it can about whether anything Kate does makes Meghan feel overshadowed, or vice versa. You know, whatever the 2018 version is going to be of Pippa's Famous Bum, except if it comes from Kate then it'll be seen as a power play. Who has time for that?
Given that optics are always under consideration, I wonder if that means Kate will therefore turn to a designer who isn't substantially glitzier or more famous than whomever Meghan picks. It'll be fascinating to see."
What Would Kate Do?
WWKD is a blog dedicated to the life and style of the Duchess of Cambridge.
"Kate will do everything she can to not take any limelight away from Meghan, so we definitely expect the Duchess to repeat an outfit. Her bespoke embroidered Catherine Walker coat dress is a perfect choice."
"She’s only worn this coat once before, but repeating an outfit makes it less exciting from a reporting standpoint, thus keeping the focus on the bride. This baby blue coat is ideal for a springtime event, and the lace adds a feminine touch for such a romantic occasion. Elegant coat dresses are the go-to style for attending a royal wedding!"
Tom and Lorenzo
Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez blog about celebrity style, pop culture, and fashion, and are the co-authors of Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me.
"Kate isn't the type who seeks to make a splash in her style choices. After nearly a decade in her role, she has settled on a a QEII-like unfussy elegance and a series of style go-tos she sticks to very closely, like coatdresses and matchy suede pumps. She won't want to compete with the bride, nor will she want the press to have any reason to think she tried to.
We suspect there will be no surprises in Kate's wedding ensemble. She will probably wear blue (her clear fave) and probably wear Jenny Packham or Erdem or Temperley London, since any of these designers would make appropriate choices and she favors all three. If she asked us, we'd tell her to pick a delicate Erdem floral to have her stand out just a little in pictures without looking attention-seeking."
What Kate Wore
Founded by journalist Susan E. Kelley, What Kate Wore is a thorough guide to the Duchess of Cambridge's style choices.
"Whatever the Duchess wears, her primary goal will be to avoid drawing attention to herself; she will want Meghan to shine on her special day. It's something we've seen her do time and again at public engagements, choosing styles that will not be loud or distracting so she is not the focus of attention, and I'm sure she'll do the same for Harry and Meghan's wedding.
I would look for a bespoke dress by Alexander McQueen or perhaps Catherine Walker. Kate is likely to go for a frock in a subdued shade that is low-key, probably similar to the McQueen dress worn for her sister Pippa's wedding. But low-key will not translate into boring; she will go for a classic, timeless design epitomizing understated elegance."
"In terms of silhouette, this could be a challenge for the normally very slim Duchess; she will have given birth to her third child just weeks before the wedding. But Kate is also keen on fitness, so she will probably be hitting the gym as soon as she is able after the baby is born. I imagine tailoring for that perfect fit will continue right up to the wedding day. A snug bodice, long sleeves, and full skirt are elements to look for in the dress; Kate's closet holds more than a few fit and flare dresses!
We will also likely see a new hat (for an occasion like this, who can resist?!), from one of her go-to milliners like Jane Taylor or Lock and Company."
Founders Amanda Dishaw and Christine O'Brien turned their love of Suits and Markle's blog The Tig into a chronicle of the future royal's taste and style.
"We would love to see a little bit of Meghan and Kate’s friendship showcased in the Duchess’ look for the wedding day. Kate and Meghan both love Erdem, so it would be lovely to see Kate wearing something from the Canadian-born designer. A bold, boxy coat like Erdem’s “Whitley” coat would be trendy and comfortable, as the wedding is so close to the birth of her third child! The vintage tweed fabric is very in line with Kate’s style, and the 3/4 sleeves make the lightweight coat perfect for Spring!"