Kate is launching a new dress from the brand Meghan loved during her royal stay
Kate Middleton debuted a perfectly tailored new look from trusted brand Self-Portrait in a rare joint engagement with Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter, Princess Anne, on Wednesday.
Kate has been a longtime fan of the brand, with her sister-in-law Meghan Markle also enjoying their classic silhouettes and female empowerment ethos during her time as a working member of the Royal Family.
The Royal Family gathered for a rare joint engagement to visit the new London headquarters of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) of which Anne is patron and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) of which Kate is patron.
Kate arrived at the HQ grand opening in a variation of Self-Portrait’s bespoke crepe midi dress that features a shoulder-padded jacket with wide lapels and an embroidered appliqué detail to the bodice.
Kate’s version of the dress has a paneled skirt and matching covered sash worn over the bodice in a style the Duchess has worn in previous years.
This isn’t the first Self-Portrait outfit Kate has in her closet. For a royal film premiere in 2016, the Duchess wore a white evening gown from the brand’s resort collection which has since become a favorite of other global royals, including Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, who wore the style for an official birthday portrait in 2019.
In 2021, Kate debuted another set of classic self-portraits at a reception launching her book of pandemic photographs Hold on. The cream chiffon and bouclé midi dress is part of the label’s collection of clothing and event icons, which it describes as having “reinvented contemporary femininity” for women everywhere.
Most recently, Kate wore Self-Portrait’s faux-pearl embellished midi dress in mint-green chiffon during her polarizing Caribbean tour with Prince William in March.
The Duchess wore her dress during a school engagement in the Bahamas where she gave a speech thanking teachers for continuing the educational development of young children throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The brand’s philosophy of “designed in London, made for the world” which “believes in celebrating and empowering women in clothing. Femininity ensured by elegant functionality, reflecting a sincere commitment and appreciation of a fashion lifestyle,” is perhaps what drew Kate’s sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, to Self-Portrait.
In 2017, newly engaged Meghan wore a Self-Portrait Nightshade midi dress to her first annual Royal Family Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace. The lunch was Meghan’s first public meeting with the extended Royal Family in one place and was best remembered for a brooch, considered racist, worn by one of the Queen’s cousins, Princess Michael of Kent.
After her wedding, Meghan continued to wear Self-Portrait, incorporating pieces into her wardrobe alongside fashion heavyweights, her favorite label Givenchy and the equally high-end Christian Dior.
A second Self-Portrait dress was worn by Meghan when she accompanied Prince Harry to a pre-Invictus Games 2018 reception at Australia House in London. The off-the-shoulder design in a green floral print was styled by the Duchess with a chic black blazer and accessories.
On her first major royal tour in 2018 to the South Pacific islands, Meghan wore a self-portrait dress as she arrived in Tonga. Taking inspiration from other royal women, including the Queen and Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan paid homage to Tonga’s national flag by choosing a red midi-style dress with embroidered details and a pleated paneled skirt. The dress attracted attention for the wrong reasons in some quarters, with a tag left attached to the skirt and photographed by the press.
Kate’s outfit for the RCM/RCOG event with Princess Anne saw her break her pattern of rewearing outfits from her wardrobe, which she has been doing for public events since Easter. The Duchess is known to be environmentally conscious in her fashion choices and Autoportrait’s desire to use responsibly sourced fibers and reduce their environmental impact aligns with this.
Princess Anne is known to be one of the most wardrobe-friendly royals. Whether out of concern for the disposable nature of fast fashion or simply to save money, the princess wears and re-wears pieces from her wardrobe sometimes decades apart. For the joint engagement with Kate, the princess wore a blue maxi dress which featured in an official portrait released in 2020 to celebrate her 70th birthday.