Skip to main contentSkip to footer

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Read our full commerce guidelines here.

Princess Kate's favourite boot designer reveals pride at having royal support

The Princess of Wales has owned her trusty Penelope Chilvers boots since 2004

Princess Kate wearing Penelope Chilvers boots in Bhutan
Rosalind Powell
Contributing Editor
10 March 2024
Share this:

Penelope Chilvers's first trip to India was as spellbinding and magical as she hoped it would be. The British footwear designer beloved of the Princess of Wales spent ten days exploring the landscape of Rajasthan – home of deserts and maharajas, palaces and tigers – on horseback, foot and Jeep and can't wait to return.

"It was like opening Pandora's box because I'll get obsessed. I didn't want to come home," she says in our exclusive interview.

In fact, Penelope, whose celebrity clients include Amal Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Pippa Middleton, was so inspired by the richness and colours of the landscape and the people she met that she created two designs, a slipper and a riding boot, for the conservation-focused safari camps where she stayed.

Princess Kate wearing Penelope Chilvers boots© Getty
Princess Kate has owned her trusty Penelope Chilvers boots for 20 years

The Princess of Wales, who was first spotted wearing Penelope's Long Tassel boot in 2004, is probably her most famous customer.  

"She was not only one of my first clients, but has worn them repeatedly over many years. Not when she was in the city, looking smart, but doing the kind of things that I've just been doing in India, out and about, visiting conservation projects in Canada or visiting schools or cleaning beaches. I've very proud of that."

The designer's trip wasn't just for pleasure; following in the footsteps of the Princess and her husband, the Prince of Wales, Penelope is a champion of sustainability and every year supports conservation initiatives through her brand. This year, she is working with Suján, the first positive impact safari camp of its kind in India, founded in 2001 by author and entrepreneur Jaisal Singh, who runs it with his wife Anjali. 

Princess Kate wearing Penelope Chilvers boots in Bhutan© Getty
The stylish royal wearing her boots in Bhutan

During her 10-day trip Penelope stayed at all three of Sujan's conservation-focused wilderness camps in Rajasthan.

Every morning and evening, when the sun was lower in the sky, she would go for a ride on one of the camp's native Marwari horses and take in the wilderness.

LISTEN: Exclusive interview with Mary and George stars Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine and Tony Curran

"We watched the sun rise over the Aravalli mountain range and I felt at one with this amazing landscape. I saw a leopard – he was sitting on a rock, just watching us – and if you looked carefully through your binoculars, you could see a crocodile sunning itself on the sand. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before."

In a special collaboration inspired by her trip to India, Penelope has co-designed with Anjali a Suján riding boot and a green velvet tiger-print slipper. Ten per cent of sales will be donated to Suján's tiger conservation and rewilding projects. 

To read the rest of this interview, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale in the UK on Monday. You can subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

If you are reading this, the chances are you are obsessed with all things royalty – which is just as well because so are we! So obsessed, in fact, we’ve launched a club solely dedicated to covering them. So welcome to The HELLO! Royal Club. We would love you to join us there…

What is it?

Interactive community offering behind-the-scenes access, exclusive royal interviews, unmissable royal insights, and an illustrious royal Inner Circle.

Member benefits

  • Two weekly newsletters, one from Emily Nash
  • Video posts and audio notes from Emily Nash and the HELLO! Royal team
  • Access to our royal community and opportunity to interact with club writers and members
  • Participate in polls, comments and discussion threads
  • Royal-themed puzzles with a weekly prize to be won
  • Access to our Ask Me Anything sessions with our journalists
  • Invitations to in-person and virtual events
  • A subscription to the digital edition of HELLO! Magazine (Worth £82 annually)*
  • Future ‘Inner Circle’ benefits

By royal decree

You are royally invited to join The HELLO! Royal Club – and then to go forth and spread the word to your fellow royal fans. See you in the club!

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Fashion

See more