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Princess Kate's secret to prevent upstaging any bride - including sister Pippa Middleton

The Princess of Wales' wedding guest dresses often have one thing in common


Pippa Middleton smiling next to bridesmaid Princess Kate in a pink dress
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
Updated: 14 June 2023
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The Princess of Wales is one of the most photographed people in the world, which causes no problems when she's out on a royal engagement. 

However, when she's attending a friend or family member's wedding, Kate prefers to blend in with the crowd to keep all eyes on the bride and groom. After filing through throwback photos of the Princess, it appears that she has a clever trick up her sleeve to help with her anonymity, and it's surprisingly simple.

WATCH: The royals' most stylish wedding guest outfits

Kate recently attended Crown Prince Hussein's wedding with Rajwa Al Saif in Jordan alongside her husband Prince William, where she was pictured in two gorgeous gowns. The first was a floor-length Elie Saab dress in a blush pink colour with long balloon sleeves, a pleated waist and lace details which she wore to the ceremony. 

William and Kate arriving at Jordan royal wedding
The Princess of Wales looked elegant in an Elie Saab wedding guest dress

She then changed into a Jenny Packham gown embellished with gold sequins and the Lover's Knot Tiara for the evening reception.

The one thing both of these dresses had in common was their understated colour, which the royal may have deliberately requested. It would not be the first time that Kate has sported neutral or nude-coloured ensembles to a wedding.

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Kate Middleton wears sequin gown and embellished heels at the Jordan royal wedding© Royal Hashemite Court
Kate wore a gold dress to the evening reception

One of her most notable wedding guest dresses was the one she wore to her sister Pippa Middleton's May 2017 wedding to James Matthews. The mother-of-three was pictured at St Mark's Church in Englefield in a nude-pink dress by Alexander McQueen with bell sleeves and a V-neck.

She helped supervise Pippa's bridesmaids and page boys, including her two young children Prince George and Princess Charlotte – and if anyone was attracting attention, it was the cheeky tots! 

Prince William's wife also sported a Day Birger et Mikkelsen coatdress on two different occasions – for Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes's wedding in May 2006 and once again for Zara and Mike Tindall's nuptials in 2011. With its subtle cream and white brocade print, elegant long sleeves and knee-length silhouette, it was the perfect outfit for the celebrations.

A sweet moment between Kate, George and Charlotte© Getty
A sweet moment between Kate, George and Charlotte

Soft greys and black and white outfits have also been a staple in the Princess' wedding guest wardrobe over the years. 

The Duchess of Sussex previously admitted she also deliberately wore muted tones in order to blend in while carrying out royal duties. "Until that last week in the UK, I rarely wore colour," she said during Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan. "I never wanted to upstage, or ruffle any feathers. So I just tried to blend in."

Kate Middleton in a cream coat dress at the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles & Harry Lopes© Getty
The Princess wore the same dress to Laura Lopes and Zara Tindall's weddings

She explained, "Most of the time that I was in the U.K. I rarely wore colour—there was thought in that." She continues, “To my understanding, you could never wear the same colour as Her Majesty if there's a group event, but then you also shouldn't be wearing the same colour as one of the other more senior members of the family. So I was like, 'Well, what's a colour that they'll probably never wear?' Camel, beige, white... so I wore a lot of muted tones, but it was also so I could just blend in. I'm not trying to stand out here."

This was very different from the outfits the late Queen Elizabeth II would wear on a daily basis, as she often deliberately chose bold pink, blue, green and yellow outfits in order to stand out in a crowd.

"She needs to stand out for people to be able to say 'I saw the Queen'," the Duchess of Edinburgh explained in 2017 documentary The Queen at 90. "Don't forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the queen's hat as she went past."

LOOK: Zara Tindall's rule-breaking wedding guest outfit needs to be seen to be believed

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