Picture the scene – a royal wedding, 1986. Princess Diana at the height of her beauty attended the wedding of close friend Sarah Ferguson. Many were disappointed with her choice of outfit, a blue silk dress with a black cumberband and polka dots. ‘She’s worn that outfit before’, screamed the press. ‘Its too low key for a royal wedding’ others cried. But this was the whole point. Diana wore something that was deliberately low-key and had already been seen so that she wouldn’t detract from the attention the royal bride should be getting. She let Sarah keep her spotlight.
Go forward 25 years, to another Royal wedding, and a new royal trendsetter. Zara Phillips was bound to make a stunning bride, but there was still lots of apprehension about what the newly beloved Duchess of Cambridge would wear. Would it be another McQueen creation? Or something by Issa? Or Amanda Wakeley maybe. But thrifty, sensible Kate dug deep in her closet to find an outfit she had last worn to a wedding 5 years previously. Kate wore a beautiful cream brocade coat/dress by Jane Troughton that was originally worn to the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles in 2005. On that occasion Kate had teamed it with a fascinator by Phillip Treacy. The hat was the one thing that was noticeably different about the outfit, this time it was teamed with a large picture hat.
I think this was a deliberate gesture on Kate’s part. Interest in everything she wears is at a premium, but this was Zara’s day, and so Kate wore an elegant outfit in a neutral shade that was chosen so as not to outshine the bride. This is becoming a Kate pattern. When she attended another friends wedding in June, she wore a black and white dotted dress that she had previously been photographed wearing in 2007. And we probably could’ve guessed that Kate would recycle an old outfit when she wore the Diane Von Furstenberg green dress only seen during the tour of America, to the pre-wedding bash on the former Royal Yacht Britannia, allowing Zara to shine in a beautiful one sleeved dress.
Kate and Zara are good friends, and I think this is shown in this show of female solidarity. This was Zara’s time, and Kate fully understood this.
- Zara Phillips Makes a Beautiful Bride in a Veil, Tiara, and Stewart Parvin Gown at Her Own Royal Wedding (popsugar.com)
- Zara Phillips’s wedding: the fashion verdict (fashion.telegraph.co.uk)
- No Pippa Middleton style upstaging of the bride as Zara Phillips’ Maid of Honour Dolly Maude dutifully plays second-fiddle (mirror.co.uk)
- Zara fails to get private wedding – Sydney Morning Herald (news.google.com)