These 8 Kate Middleton Outfits Have a Secret Meaning

Since joining the royal family, Catherine, Princess of Wales has been turning heads with her sense of style, from bold power suits to polka-dot dresses. But what many don’t know is that the 41-year-old royal has also mastered the art of paying sartorial tributes. Quite a few of her outfits have shared a special connection to other royals, while others have been symbolic in different ways. (We can’t forget about her show-stopping lime-green dress at the 2022 Earthshot Prize Awards.)

So, in honor of the princess’s swoon-worthy style, see eight outfits that had a secret meaning—and how you can copy the looks for yourself.

Kate Middleton Shares Gorgeous New Mother’s Day Portrait with Her Three Kids

kate middleton blue polka dot dress

1. Her Blue Polka-Dot Dress Paid Tribute to Princess Di

It’s no secret that polka-dots are Middleton’s go-to style. But in this case, the royal paid a touching tribute to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. After giving birth to her first child, Prince George, the proud mom stepped out in a flattering, polka-dot dress that bore resemblance to Princess Di’s outfit when she introduced her firstborn, Prince William in 1982. 

kate middleton red dress

2. Her Red Jenny Packham Dress Was Another Tribute to Her Late Mother-in-Law

Speaking of heartwarming tributes, the princess donned a red dress featuring a white Peter Pan collar when Prince Louis was born in 2018. And royal enthusiasts immediately interpreted this as another nod to Princess Diana, who wore a similar outfit after she gave birth to Prince Harry in 1984. At the time, the late princess took photos with her newborn outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital while wearing a long red jacket and dress with a white Peter Pan collar.

3. Her Red Tweed Dress Honored Canada

In 2020, while making a virtual appearance to speak with front-line workers for Canada Day, the princess wore a gorgeous red-and-white tweed dress—but it wasn’t just for style. The Alexander McQueen short-sleeve tweed shift dress doubled as a sweet tribute to the country’s national colors. Middleton completed the look with matching earrings and a sleek, straight hairstyle.

kate cream dress
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

4. Her Crepe Midi Dress Supported Women Struggling with Infertility

Although this wasn’t the first time the mother of three used her fashion choices to send a special message, this particular look stands out. In 2022, she teamed up with Princess Anne to visit the Royal College for Obstetrics and Gynaecology. And for the occasion, she wore a midi wrap dress and belted blazer that features two embroidered pineapples. According to The New York Times, the fruit is a “powerful symbol for women struggling with infertility,” so the former duchess was actually sending a powerful message to women who have difficulty conceiving.

kate green dress
Ian Vogler-Pool/Getty Images

5. Her Lime Green Gown Was All About Openness 

Middleton stole the show at the 2022 Earthshot Prize Awards in Boston when she wore a bright green Solace London gown, featuring an off-the-shoulder neckline and a skirt with a slit down the back. She paired the dress with a stunning green emerald necklace, which has a special connection to Princess Di. (It turns out the late royal wore the same necklace, AKA Queen Mary’s Emerald Choker, to several occasions.) Per Cheatsheet, body language expert Darren Stanton said that Middleton’s bold color choice was intentional. He said, “Green is a special color that signifies communication, openness and being a selfless person who likes to give.” Sounds like we should add a little more green to our closets.

kate red coat
Getty Images

6. Her Bold Red Coat Represented Wales

The royal turned heads when she traveled to Windsor to honor the Welsh Guards during the St. David’s Day Parade. Princess Catherine stepped out in a bright red, double-breasted coat by Alexander McQueen. In typical fashion, she wore this particular jacket because the color represents the Wales flag, which features a green and white background with a bright red dragon. Unfortunately, her exact style is no longer available online, but you can channel the look with these similar versions.

kate polka dot navy dress

7. Her Polka-Dot Dress Referenced Ukraine’s Flag

The Princess of Wales paid tribute to the people of Ukraine with a flattering polka dot dress while visiting the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre in 2022. The button-down number was designed by L.K. Bennett and it featured yellow dots against a navy-blue background—a subtle reference to the country’s flag, which is blue and yellow.

kate middleton poppy dress

8.  Her Poppy Print Dress Was a Symbol of Remembrance 

In 2017, Middleton visited Princess Diana’s memorial garden in honor of the 20th anniversary of her passing. And for the occasion, the royal donned a silky crepe dress with poppies, courtesy of Prada. The red flowers are a well-known symbol of remembrance for people who have passed away, so it’s safe to say that this was a nod to the late princess.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...