As a girl about town, even one on the arm of the future King of England, Kate Middleton was famous for stepping out in high street fashion.
Top Shop, French Connection, Reiss and Whistles were some brands favoured by Kate, 29. And in recession-hit Britain, it seemed the right message to send out. She may be the daughter of millionaires, but Kate is a commoner and when it came to fashion she appeared to be just one of us. Except for the Kate Effect: when every outfit she was pictured in flew off the shelves.
But now Kate has raised her game. Since the ring went on her finger, the heels are getting higher, the skirts are getting shorter and the designers are becoming more high-end – and British. This week, on a trip to Belfast with William, Kate flipped pancakes in a cream belted Burberry trenchcoat. Within hours, the £650 coat had sold out everywhere.Now, with just weeks to go before her big day (it’s rumoured her dress will be made by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen), the Kate Effect is getting stronger and the increasingly polished Princess-in-waiting is looking more and more like a Queen of British fashion. Here’s my choice of her new outfits... with examples of her old style.