Kate Middleton has been turning heads ever since she started dating Prince William while the two were studying at the University of St Andrews. From the early days of their relationship to their iconic 2011 wedding and her varied charity projects, the Princess of Wales has had her fair share of memorable moments.
An undisputed fashion icon who is known for championing the best British clothing brands and even re-wearing stylish outfits, Kate is also celebrated as a down-to-earth and classy Royal whose timeless style and humanitarian efforts don’t go unnoticed. While there’s a lot to say about Kate’s best style moments alone, here we’re rounding up the Princess’s most memorable moments across her time in the public eye and beyond.
Memorable Kate Middleton moments over the years
1. When she made her first official Royal appearance
The Princess of Wales made her first official appearance as a soon-to-be member of the Royal family a couple of months into her and William’s engagement, launching a new lifeboat in Wales where she was required to break a bottle of champagne onto the boat for good luck. Kate wore an intricate fascinator for the event, which would mark the beginning of a long-running sartorial relationship with fancy headgear.
Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl: £10.10 at Amazon
Though it was released in 2013, this in-depth biography is written by the Royal correspondent at Vanity Fair, so it’s full of insightful commentary and facts about the Princess’s life.View Deal
2. When she graduated from St Andrews
After taking a gap year before studying at St Andrews University and getting a 2:1 in Art History, Kate graduated in 2005. While her graduation outfit – a white shirt with a black pencil skirt, sheer black tights, black heels and of course a graduation gown – might seem a little unique, it followed the protocol of the university, which requires students to wear ‘formal academic dress’. Nevertheless, she looked effortlessly chic celebrating her special day.
3. When Kate and William announced their engagement
After nearly ten years of dating and much speculation, Kate and William confirmed their engagement on November 16th, 2010. Both beaming as they posed for photographs, the couple alluded to when the wedding would take place, and Kate showed off her unique engagement ring, which was once worn by William’s mother, Princess Diana, and perfectly matched her elegant dark blue dress.
4. When she married Prince William
Of course, one of Kate’s most memorable moments is the one in which she officially joined the Royal Family and became a full-time working royal. Tying the knot to William after five months of engagement, Kate looked beautiful in a long-sleeved satin-and-lace dress and her chestnut hair worn half-up, half-down, a slightly controversial choice for a Royal bride. Around 24 million Brits tuned in to watch Kate and William’s wedding at Westminster Abbey.
The Making of a Royal Romance by Katie Nicholl | £8.88 at Amazon
Published in 2011, this provides a fascinating insight into the lives of Prince William and Kate. It reflects back on her childhood, her close family and her romance with the future King. The book goes up to the preparations for the couple’s fairytale wedding and also focuses on their life in Wales together.View Deal
5. When she looked like a Bond girl on the red carpet
Arriving at the premiere of No Time to Die in 2023, Kate wore a show-stopping, custom Jenny Packham dress, covered in sequins and beading that fit right in with the glamorous film’s opening night. Not only is this dress stunning, it also pays homage to Princess Diana, who wore a similar shimmering silver gown at the premiere of another James Bond film, A View To a Kill, in 1985.
6. When she proved no fascinator is too big
It’s no secret that we love Kate Middleton’s accessories, and this oversized fascinator is no exception. Proving that bigger is sometimes better, the Princess sported this truly impressive hairpiece at the wedding of Harry Lopes and Laura Parker-Bowles (daughter of Queen Camilla) in 2006 and later went on to wear many a fascinator of different shapes and sizes. Though Kate’s looks are always timeless, we can’t help but notice the very noughties hint of light eyeshadow in the inner corner of her eyes.
7. When she changed into a second dress for their wedding reception
The Princess of Wales rocked not one, but two, of the best royal wedding dresses at their 2011 nuptials. While stunning, Kate’s iconic wedding dress probably wasn’t the most practical choice of attire for the private reception and party that followed the ceremony. The new bride changed into an equally gorgeous party outfit for the evening, consisting of a white satin floor-length gown and a fluffy bolero, her signature waves falling loose around her shoulders.
8. When she celebrated Canada Day on her first US tour
Three months after their royal wedding, Kate and William embarked on their first joint overseas tour, where they travelled to North America and met legions of fans. Wearing a simple red dress and blazer that matched the blooming bouquet in her hands, Kate waved to Canadian fans as she and William left Calgary airport after celebrating Canada’s 144th birthday, before flying to Los Angeles to continue their tour.
9. When she arrived in LA to rub shoulders with the stars of Hollywood
Kate stunned in a lavender gown as she arrived at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event in LA in 2011. This first US tour as newlyweds would solidify the Princess of Wales as one of the most well-loved Royals. On this tour, the newlyweds were photographed with the likes of J Lo, Jennifer Garner and Nicole Kidman.
10. When she wore a pair of Zara earrings to the 2023 BAFTAs
Sporting one of her best red carpet looks, Kate wore an incredibly elegant white one-shoulder gown to the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards, accessorising with a pair of Zara gold dangly earrings and black satin arm-length gloves, while Will wore a black velvet suit. The £18 Zara earrings caused a storm on the internet and sold out instantly, and then again every time they were re-stocked.
11. When she announced her first pregnancy
Back in late 2012, media speculation ran wild when it was clear that Kate had been unwell and spending time in hospital. As it turns out, she was suffering from acute morning sickness, which the public found out when she and William announced that they were expecting their first child together. Though Kate was only pregnant by a matter of weeks at the time, the child would of course be the much-loved Prince George.
12. When she stepped out with her first son
Looking impossibly put-together just hours after giving birth to her first child, Kate stepped out with Prince George with William by her side, wearing a blue spotted dress and satin pumps. George was born 15 months after his parents were married, and would later become a big brother to Princess Charlotte, born in 2015, and Prince Louis, born in 2018.
13. When she pushed fashion boundaries with a purple power suit
Arriving at the Shaping Us National Symposium in 2023 which she hosted with The Royal Foundation Centre of Early Childhood, Kate made a fashion-forward choice by opting for a daring bright purple suit instead of a formal dress. The Princess of Wales paired the fitted suit with a pair of Princess Diana’s sapphire earrings, which of course match her gorgeous engagement ring, and proved once again that there’s truly no look she can’t pull off. She was regularly snapped wearing dopamine-inducing tailored suits in 2023 – a relatively new style for the Princess.
HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes | £10.65 at Amazon
Focusing on the inspirational style of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Catherine, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex style journalist Elizabeth Holmes celebrates their style. The gorgeous photos and research come together to make this a must-read for royal fashion lovers.View Deal
14. When she re-wore an Alexander McQueen gown
Kate isn’t afraid of re-wearing an outfit, but on this occasion she slightly modified this gorgeous dress to give it an edge. After first wearing this black floral number to the 2017 BAFTA awards, she had the floor-length gown altered to add some cap sleeves to the previously Bardot-style neckline and wore it at the 2019 Portrait Gala in London. Wearing her signature blowout waves loose and free, she proved that there’s nothing wrong with wearing an outfit twice.
15. When she wore a daring red cape
Once again pushing the boundaries of fashion and experimenting with daring styles, Kate wore this fashionable red cape with a matching hat and red stilettos for the ceremonial welcome for the President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, and his wife Kim Keon Hee, during their State Visit in November 2023. The daring red cape is a departure from what the Princess of Wales usually wears, but it’s a dramatic look that pays off.
16. When she played tennis with Emma Raducanu
It’s no secret that among Kate’s sporting talents is a skill for tennis, so it makes sense that she took to the court to show off her skills alongside British US Open champion Emma Raducanu in 2021. Laughing and smiling with the young tennis star, Kate played a game of serves alongside Raducanu at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, solidifying her unwavering support of young women in the sporting industry and beyond.
17. When she got behind the bar to pull a pint
The Princess of Wales is often seen beaming and having a great time on she and Prince William’s visits, and this 2019 visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast was no exception. Getting behind the bar to pull a pint for punters with William next to her, Kate looked gorgeous in a sparkly green dress and sleek, blown-out waves.
18. When she channelled Princess Diana in the same ski resort 16 years later
As we’ve mentioned, Kate often wears the same jewellery as Princess Diana did, as well as often subtly recreating outfits that Diana once wore. On a 2005 skiing trip with her future husband in Klosters, Switzerland, Kate wore a very similar bright red ski coat to take the slopes that Diana did in 1986, on the very same ski resort.
19. The first (of many) pictures of her in polka dots
Kate’s taste in clothing has always been jealousy-inducing. Back in 2006, as she watched then-boyfriend Prince William compete in the Chakravarty Cup charity polo match, Kate paired simple, flowing locks with a red-and-white dotted dress, embodying effortless summertime chic. She’s been regularly snapped wearing the chic print in the years that have followed.
20. When she stunned at the coronation of King Charles
Kate was the vision of sophistication at the coronation of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla in 2023. Standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the ceremony, the Princess of Wales wore the eye-catching Mantle of the Royal Victorian Order, as well as opting for a sleek up do, a coral-pink lip and subtle jewellery.
21. When she returned to St Andrews
Just months before they married, Kate and William returned to their alma mater, St Andrews, where they officially launched the 600th Anniversary Campaign, with aims to raise £100 million for the university. As a wedding gift to the engaged couple, St Andrews also launched a scholarship in Kate and William’s names. This was the couple’s first official engagement in Scotland, and marked the start of a tradition that has seen them giving back to causes focused on education.
22. When she partied with sister Pippa
This throwback pic proves that Kate has always had an eye for fashion. Laughing in a taxi on the way back from a 2007 night out with her sister, Pippa Middleton, Kate wore a shiny, silky, slinky dress, cheeks rosy and makeup subtle. Though she presumably didn’t have a hair stylist at this point, her hair somehow still looks perfect.
23. When she was Supermum at Prince Louis’s christening
Carrying little Prince Louis at his St James’ Palace christening in 2018, Kate greeted friends and family during the special occasion. Wearing a vintage-feeling white dress and one of her signature fascinators, she looked gorgeous in a subtle smokey eye and flower-shaped earrings.
24. When she danced with Paddington Bear
Just a month after announcing the pregnancy of Prince Louis, Kate and William’s third child, in September 2017, Kate was spotted at the Charities Forum Event in Paddington Station. Dancing and laughing with someone dressed up as the iconic Paddington bear, the Princess suggested she was enjoying her pregnancy and completing her royal duties.
25. When she had fun with cheeky Charlotte
Royals may be demure by nature, but the children can’t always follow protocol. Princess Catherine proved this when she cheekily poked out her tongue at the inaugural King’s Cup regatta in 2019, but rather than chastise her for it, Kate laughed and played with her daughter, showing their tight bond.
26. When she got stuck in at a Roller Disco
A giant glow stick might not be the first accessory you think of when you think of the Princess of Wales, but that’s what she sported as she turned up to the Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco at The Renaissance Rooms in 2008. Wearing a sequin green top and bright yellow shorts, Kate matched her knee-high socks with a pink shoulder bag and also wore sheer, shimmery tights as she showed off her rollerblading skills.
27. When she dropped Charlotte off on her first day
Dropping a child off at school for the first time is always an emotional occasion, and Kate looked proud and happy for daughter Princess Charlotte as she arrived for her first day. Attending Thomas’s Battersea lower school, Charlotte shook hands with her new headteacher as her proud parents looked on.
28. When she visited a Covid-19 vaccination centre
Even sporting a face mask, the Princess of Wales still looked elegant and stunning in a half-pony hairstyle and a knee-length, detailed dress as she visited the Covid-19 vaccination centre in Westminster Abbey in March 2021. Walking side-by-side with her husband, Kate finished her outfit with simple drop pearl earrings and matching brown suede heels and a bag.
29. When she rocked a noughties low-rise jean
While she wouldn’t be seen dead in this outfit today, we love how Kate embraces the 2000s trend of a low-rise pair of denim jeans and a white vest. Taken on the morning of her St Andrews graduation in 2005, Kate took a walk with her dad in these iconic jeans and a casual up do.
30. When she visited the Lake District for a boat trip with two of the ‘Windermere children’
As a child, Kate went on family holidays to the idyllic Lake District – unsurprising after all we know about how much she loves the outdoors. In 2021, Kate returned to Low Wray in Cumbria to embark on a boat trip with two of ‘the Windermere children’. The Windermere children are a group of 300 Holocaust survivors who stayed in the Lake District as children in 1945.
31. With a very grown-up looking George for the Together at Christmas Carol Service dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth
We can’t believe how fast it seems Prince George has grown up, and he was looking very dapper at the ‘Together at Christmas’ carol service which took place at Westminster Abbey just before Christmas in 2022. Dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth, the service saw the Princess of Wales sporting a deep burgundy structured coat, with matching gloves and chic heels.
32. When she let her natural waves free
While we know Kate for her always-sleek, incredibly shiny, styled loose waves and curls, we got a glimpse of her natural hair while she was on a Diamond Jubilee tour in the Solomon Islands in 2012. Sporting a beachy outfit, a pale pink lip and subtle eyeliner, the Princess of Wales’ waves look gorgeous, if a far cry from her signature blowout look, and give new meaning to the term ‘beachy hair’. We love it!