Kate Middleton is a style icon, loved by the nation, with an unquestionable influence on how people dress, style their hair and the places they visit. Undoubtedly, there is no better seal of approval than one from the royal family, with royal watchers all over the globe closely following the choices made by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex. From introducing us to independent fashion brands to the perfect blow-dry, here are a few times that Kate's preferences have had a serious impact, proving the Kate Effect is still alive and kicking!
2019 Chelsea Flower Show attendance
The Duchess of Cambridge worked with the Royal Horticultural Society and award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White to design a garden for the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show. Ahead of the flower show launch, a spokesperson revealed: "RHS Chelsea Flower Show is set to sell out some two weeks ahead of when it sold out last year. When the Duchess' involvement was announced, visits to the RHS Chelsea web pages increased by 100 per cent and there was a huge surge of people wanting tickets." Kate's work with the flower show has obviously got some other budding gardeners to embrace their green fingers!
An iconic British fashion designer that first launched in 1988 was propelled into the spotlight after Kate stunned on the steps of the Lindo Wing with newborn Prince George in 2013 wearing their iconic polka dot dress. Since this first appearance, the Duchess has donned their yellow smock dress for Charlotte's birth in 2015 and a red shift dress by the same designer for the birth of her third child, Prince Louis in 2018. It is clear the mother-of-three has established Jenny Packham as one of her favourite brands, and it seems unsurprising that Kate Winslet, Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie also rely on the British label to dazzle at red-carpet events and parties.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married at Westminster Abbey in April 2011, nearly a billion people worldwide tuned in to watch live coverage of the special day. Following the event, the impact of the beautiful celebration was obvious, as the Abbey welcomed nearly 1.9 million visitors in 2011, 36 percent more than in 2010. A year after the wedding, the Abbey entered the top ten of Britain's most visited attractions for the first time, with royal fans eager to experience the magical monastery for themselves.
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Her choice in children's clothes
To mark her second birthday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a new portrait of Princess Charlotte in a knitted yellow cardigan with sheep across the neckline. The adorable John Lewis cardigan sold out in minutes following the publishing of the photograph. This is not the first time that Kate's choice in children's clothing led to a shopping frenzy, as in 2014, a picture of Prince George in Christmas knitwear released by Kensington Palace, led all Cath Kidston stores and online reserves to see a massive sell out. At the time, a representative for the brand confirmed: "Our Guards Tank Top, as seen on Prince George, is now sold out. Due to popular demand, we are going to look at adding it back into our range of kids wear in 2015."
The bouncy blow-dry
The Duchess of Cambridge stuns with the perfect glossy locks, time and time again. Whether that be half-up-half-down or in a sleek ponytail, it seems that Kate's signature blow dry makes any style look flawless. Since her engagement to Prince William in 2010, the Duchess of Cambridge's hair has been a focal point for Kate-watchers who adore the doting mothers' elegant up do's. It seems the iconic Kate Middleton bouncy blow dry has got us all running to our salons and booking the first available appointment with a picture of the Duchess in our hands!
The royal ponytail
In 2018, the Duchess managed to take a standard ponytail and make it royal by donning a black velvet hair elastic with a bow to hold her luxurious locks in place. The mother-of-three wore the hair tie with bow when she visited the University College London in November 2018 to learn about neuroscience research for children and then again in the same month when she attended a joint engagement with William to visit Leicester City Football Club's King Power Stadium to pay tribute to those killed in the helicopter crash in October 2018. We love that Kate is on board with the bold hair accessories trend – who doesn't enjoy spicing up their ponytail?
In 2010, Kate Middleton wowed in an ISSA blue wrap dress to announce her engagement to Prince William. The silk-jersey wrap dress sent royal fans into a frenzy, with the classy fit a must-have for royal style stealers. The appearance led to an unexpected spike in demand and within hours of Kate's appearance, the dress was completely sold out. Following the royal approval, Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Lopez were among the celebrities who also endorsed the brand, donning ISSA on red carpets and celebrity events. All designs of the brand were sold out shortly after the increased publicity, with ISSA unable to meet the demand and making the decision to close. Speaking to The Daily Mail in 2016, ISSA founder Daniella Helayel explained: "ISSA was a niche brand; we had a loyal following, but in 2008 and 2009, we were in serious financial trouble. When Kate wore that dress, everything changed. From the day of the royal engagement our sales doubled. I didn’t have the money to finance production on that scale."
Love for tennis
Kate is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon championships. The Duchess took over the patronage from Queen Elizabeth II, in December 2016. Speaking on BBC1 documentary Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon, the doting mother admitted: “I have watched Wimbledon, that was very much part of my growing up. It’s hugely special." It is well known that the 37-year-old was a competitive sportswoman throughout school and university, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge explaining in 2018 to Wimbledon men's champion Novak Djokovic that they were encouraging their children George and Charlotte to play tennis. We are sure that watching Kate with a tennis racket at many events has inspired others to give tennis a go!
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