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Style Comment: Does Royal Fashion Have To Be Accessible?

00:21  12 february  2018
00:21  12 february  2018 Source:   harpersbazaar.com.au

Kate Middleton channels Princess Diana in near-identical coat

  Kate Middleton channels Princess Diana in near-identical coat The Duchess of Cambridge wore a red checked coat with a striking resemblance to one worn by her mother-in-lawCatherine, who is sporting a six-month baby bump during her European tour, joined her husband Prince William for an intimate tea party with Sweden’s Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and their children.

So does this apply to fashion , too? Where once, queens, princesses and duchesses favoured extravagant shows of wealth and power—decked But these harsh criticisms beg the question: does royal fashion really have to be accessible all the time? Does every gown Kate wears have to fall

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With all the backlash from Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's, latest Erdem gown, we're exploring the topic: does royal fashion have to be accessible to (and liked by) everyone?: Kate Middleton.© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Kate Middleton. When you think of the most popular public faces of the British Royal Family—Kate Middleton and her bouncy curls, Prince Harry's easy charm, Meghan Markle's relaxed elegance—the word that comes to mind is 'approachable.'

A little under a 100 years ago, under King George V, the monarchical kingdom of Britain became a formalised democracy, and the monarch's once-total grip on power turned into more of a relic of history.

Queen Elizabeth II spends most of her time cutting ribbons and knighting Ed Sheeran; Prince Charles and Camilla dedicate their time to speeches and commencements in gardens; Prince William and Duchess Kate are usually found shaking hands with well-wishers at hospitals, and accepting flowers.

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With Meghan Markle joining the royal family by spring, there are so many questions running through people's heads. While we have to wait to find the answers to these questions, one thing we can already clearly see is that Markle is well on her way to becoming a fashion icon, taking her place next

Find out all the fashion rules and style protocols the Royal Family has to follow, including why they accessorize with certain bags, when it's appropriate to wear a tiaras Apparently, Queen Elizabeth had to approve of Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen gown in 2011, and she did the same with

The entire root of the monarchy's purpose has evolved into exercising shows of diplomacy, of ceremony—not of power.

So does this apply to fashion, too?

a group of people standing in front of a crowd© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Where once, queens, princesses and duchesses favoured extravagant shows of wealth and power—decked in expensive fabrics, fashionable trends and tiaras at brunch—the modern set of royals are expected to be a little more down-to-earth.

Kate Middleton's penchant for Zara, Topshop, and H&M, coupled with Meghan's commitment to high-street lines from Canada and the US, have created an element of accessibility that has come to redefine the royals. The 'Kate Effect' and the 'Meghan Effect' mean, once they have stepped out in something off-the-rack, you can purchase the same piece to wear, pronto.

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Kate's very first official step into the public eye at her engagement photocall in a sapphire blue Issa dress is considered by many to be the very beginning of her introduction to approachability. As soon as the cameras clicked to life, people at home were able to go out and buy the exact same dress a future duchess wore, at the exact same price a future duchess paid.

a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

This also happens to be quite the departure from Diana, Princess of Wales', fashion M.O. as the people's princess.

Whilst Diana was the darling of the British Royal Family, she wore bespoke and custom-made pieces almost exclusively. Of course, she could be seen wearing more low-fi looks on her days off and post her divorce, but Lady Di's engagement and formal looks were almost always made just for her by a host of designers and dressmakers.

It was Kate that brought that to a halt, deliberately skewing her style more approachable, and more accessible by wearing brands and pieces that the public could copy—something that has endeared her to the people since her marriage. Quickly after announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has done much of the same.

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At Royal Caribbean Cruises, we believe that discovering and exploring the world around us is something that everyone should be able to enjoy. Visit RoyalCaribbean.com and learn about our accessible cruises and staterooms. We can customize your accommodations upon request to meet

These royal fashion rules are actually a thing. As for other dress codes, err on the side of effort and do not be afraid to ask in advance what others are going to be wearing. Debrett’s x Bicester Village are celebrating a yearlong partnership with the launch of a ‘Guide To British Style’, which is available at

Prince Harry et al. posing for the camera© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

But price points aren't the only means of accessibility.

In addition to Kate's clothes often being wallet-friendly and online-shoppable, she also has a reputation for wearing items that are considered universally stylish in their inoffensiveness. Kate rarely wears anything raunchy or ostracising, preferring to wear classic trends, tried-and-tested colour combinations, and flattering cuts.

So not only can you afford to buy her clothes, you want to.

That being said, there have recently been some outfits choices from the royals front that have been neither wholly accessible in the price department, or the style department.

Both Kate and Meghan have stepped out of the classic and inoffensive box to wear something a little more daring on many occasions. Last week during Kate and William's Swedish visit, Kate donned a relatively divisive silk Erdem dress.

The printed silk, which could have been either mustard or chartreuse depending on the light, featured a high neck, a ruffled closure and tiered hem. While not a usual choice for the duchess, fashion critics gave it a solid pass. Vanity Fair used the words shimmering and bold, while ELLE UK named it her "one of her most daring and beautiful dresses to date."

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The phenomenon of royal women influencing fashion is nothing new, of course. Look no further than the ‘Kate effect’ still being wrought by the Duchess of Cambridge, not to mention the ‘Diana effect’ in the So what does it take to be a royal style icon? And how different – or not – was it then from now?

A roundup of 50 of the strangest rules the Royals have to follow, including not playing Monopoly and stopping eating when Queen Elizabeth has . It's rumoured that the Royal Family can't be touched by non- royals , and Kate's awkward reaction to LeBron James throwing his arm around her is full-blown

a couple of men standing next to a person in a suit and tie© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd But not everyone was sold on Kate's high-fashion move. A fair few across the internet named it "frumpy," and "awkward," whilst Jan Moir didn't hold back and slammed it as a "mustardy full-length granny wrapper." (Oy vey, cover your ears, Erdem Moralioglu.)

One of Kate's previous forays into Erdem got a similar treatment in 2015. When the duchess wore a bright printed gown, with a tiered hem and high waist, to a gala in London, one royals blogger declaimed, "I think I'm going to cry, that's how ugly this dress is." (Side note: Meghan also wore this same Erdem dress to a wedding with Prince Harry, albeit in a different colour.)

Meghan Markle, in all her three months of spotlight, has also received much of the same.

Markle's engagement portrait dress, a black ball gown by Australian duo Ralph & Russo that featured a sheer bodice, was labelled inelegant and showy—an "over-the-top ball gown with the Marie Antoinette-style price tag of £56,000."

"The British public tends to like a little more decorum and dignity from their royals," sniffed Sarah Vine, a columnist for the Daily Mail.

The same has been said for a handful of Markle's other sartorial choices, including her domed Christmas service hat, her deliberately messy buns and her wearing of (clutch pearls here) ripped jeans.

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Fans of the Royal Family will not have failed to notice that the Queen's wardrobe encompasses all the colours of the rainbow. She is reported to have once said: "If I wore beige, nobody would know who I am ." Mr Harrold credits the monarch's personal assistant Angela Kelly for the bold colours she often

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But these harsh criticisms beg the question: does royal fashion really have to be accessible all the time? Does every gown Kate wears have to fall under the banner of classic and timeless, or can she wear a bold Erdem dress that is guaranteed not to please the masses? Will Markle have to tone down her intrinsic relatability, or is her skew towards more fashion-forward looks part of her innate charm?

a person in a black shirt© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Kate and Meghan's occasional toeing out of the prescribed prim-and-proper box (and the subsequent backlash against them looking 'frumpy,' ugly,' 'mumsy,' insert-your-favourite-insult-here) is a pleasant sign that, amongst the Zara and Topshop, these royal women are allowed to take the royal route of wearing something bold and fashion-forward.

They might be accessible, but they don't have to appease every end of the style spectrum with every dress, coat and naked gown.

In the words of Marie Antoinette: "Let them wear Erdem." (Is that it?)

Pictures: 14 times Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle wore very similar outfits

Prince Andrew et al. posing for a photo: <p> All eyes have been on <a href=Meghan Markle ever since the official announcement of her engagement to Prince Harry - especially the watchful eyes of the fashion police.

Though Markle is proving to be a slightly more modern addition to the royal family than Kate Middleton, the two still have a surprisingly similar fashion sense. No matter what they're wearing, they always manage to look stunning and make each look their own.

Here are 15 times the future sisters-in-law wore very similar outfits.

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