Kate Middleton delivered her much-anticipated Earthshot awards ceremony gown on Friday evening: a (“RENTED”—The Daily Mail) form-fitting off-the-shoulder gown by Solace London in a shade of green that evokes the WASP-y staple brand Lilly Pulitzer.
The dress, with its springtime hue, was rented from HURR, which charges between $91 (£74) and $238 (£194) for the loan of garments. It didn’t feel that winter-appropriate, but Kate’s body as always looks incredible (the gorgeous emerald and diamond choker was Princess Diana’s). A slit in the back gave it some daring, but the overall look was not as showstopper as some had expected, harking back to the golden drama of her 2021 Jenny Packham Bond movie premiere red carpet gown. But Earthshot is an environmental awards, and so the dress was utterly appropriate in cost and color. This was earnest-glam.
In its plainness, the gown was also in keeping with the trip to America by heir apparent to the U.K. throne Prince William and Kate, for whom this has been a very businessy, straight-faced few days, in deliberate contrast to the histrionics of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who torpedoed William and Kate’s trip—already thrown off-course by a racism controversy—with the release of their Netflix documentary trailer.
Stoutly, Will and Kate grimaced/smiled on, making their pilgrimage to the city of Boston, much like the Mayflower travelers, their sworn enemies, did centuries before. Unlike William’s ancestors, however, these British did not come to restore order amongst their unruly wayward citizens but to learn about climate change, and in Kate’s case look stunning as usual.
While there’s much humor to be found thinking about the British Royal Family trying to charm a bunch of irascible Massholes—“not much of an event,” one Dorchester resident remarked to the New York Times—Kate Middleton is absolutely nailing a very particular Newbury Street old money look: upscale, muted Boston Brahmin chic.
On Thursday, the newly-minted Princess of Wales circled by Piers Park in Boston to talk climate catastrophe details with her husband while looking completely immaculate in a chocolate brown, $6,000 Alexander McQueen coat, adding a pop of color with a bright orange turtleneck and finishing things off with dark brown gloves and boots.
The beautifully tailored coat is the centerpiece to the kind of graceful fall outfit that Kennedy-obsessed fanatic Taylor Swift probably has dreams about; it evokes the reserved sophistication that the New England political family cemented in the cultural lexicon so iconically, and it makes sense that Kate and William would want to evoke the magic and popularity of John and Jackie.
For Kate’s first royal tour in eight years, she must have done her research, because the plum purple flare-legged McQueen suit she selected for her Boston deplaning makes her look for all the world like a glamorous senior associate at Kirkland & Ellis stepping out for a champagne power lunch in Back Bay.
She looks at once completely Boston and completely Britain, which is also presents a canny, ruthlessly put-together counterpoint to the flowing skirts and wide-brimmed sun hats favored by lambasted California transplant Meghan Markle and her downcast outcast husband Prince Harry.
Kate’s daytime business casual choices are going way harder than her eveningwear. On Friday, Kate went with a houndstooth collared dress during an appearance at Harvard University made by the British designer Emilia Wickstead (all the designers Kate is wearing on this tour are British).
Kate was meeting with Harvard researchers to discuss new developments in science that can benefit children, so it makes sense that this was one of her most put together looks on the tour thus far: this is an issue she champions and is a massive part of her public identity.
Earlier in the week, in anticipation of the launch of the 2022 Earthshot Prize at Boston City Hall, Kate wore this tweedy, unexpectedly subversive Burberry dress with a cinched, pattern-disrupting hem that elevated a sometimes-dowdy pattern into something much sexier.
Kate’s way is to take a garment that, if improperly fitted or styled, could potentially make her look much older than her 40 years, but on her looks both youthful and unswervingly professional. Look at the gown tonight—it is a perfectly lovely dress transformed to near-stunning by her.
Who wears a deep blue vintage Chanel jacket to sit courtside at a Celtics game? She does. In the words of Boston’s best and brightest when they’re trying to pay a genuine compliment: get the fuck outta heaaaaa.