Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Sustainable fashion: When royals recycle their favourite outfits

These royal ladies believe in shopping sustainably

royal recycling
Megan Bull
TV Writer
April 22, 2020
Share this:
kate gold dress© Photo: Getty Images

These royal ladies regularly recycle their favourite outfits for royal engagements. Thrifty Kate loves wearing her white and gold Alexander McQueen gown for special occasions, while Sophie Wessex regularly dons her go-to Emilia Wickstead jumpsuit to take on the cold weather. As for Princess Anne, she's been building a capsule wardrobe since the 1970s - and decades later, we're still obsessed with her favourite navy and white tailored coat. 

In honour of World Earth Day, we're taking a look back at all the times royals have recycled their outfits. 

RELATED: The sweet story behind Sophie Wessex's favourite designer dress

The Duchess of Cambridge 

Attending the BAFTAs back in February, Duchess Kate looked stunning in a white and gold evening gown designed by her favourite label - Alexander McQueen. As guests at the BAFTAs were encouraged to rewear an outfit or a sustainable alternative, The Duchess honoured this by wearing one of her favourite dresses, which she first wore to a state dinner in Malaysia on the Cambridges' diamond jubilee tour in 2012. 

kate middleton tweed© Photo: Getty Images

Kate loves this tweed co-ord! She first wore it in 2019 for a 'Mental Health In Education' conference and more recently for a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme. 

kate white© Photo: Getty Images

An extremely versatile outfit, Kate's Catherine Walker & Co tailored coat has been spotted on a number of occasions. In October 2016, she first wore the coat with her hair down and simple pearl earrings as she walked hand-in-hand with Princess Charlotte in Canada. In April 2017, Kate donned her elegant overall for a second time, pairing her coat with a pillbox hat and matching clutch for an Easter Sunday church service. 

meghan marklle recycle© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex

The Duchess of Sussex is big on sustainability, so it's hardly surprising that she loves to rewear outfits for royal engagements. While touring Africa in 2019 alongside Prince Harry, Meghan made headlines when she stepped out in this striped maxi dress from designer, Martin Grant. Looking radiant in this olive green number, fans of the Duchess couldn't help but notice that she'd worn the same dress during her tour of Australia with Prince Harry in 2018. 

princess diana green suit favourite© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana

Princess Diana donned this green wool suit a total of 12 times, royal watchers @Dianafan100 and @Davidls6 have discovered. She wore it during an outing in London in January 1989 and the following month in Lincolnshire. Diana also showcased the green number in 1985 during a visit to a hospice in Hackney, and again during an official visit to Lisbon in 1987 with Prince Charles. It was made by one of her favourite designers, Victor Edelstein, the man famously behind her iconic velvet gown which she wore to dance with John Travolta at the White House.

princess diana catherine walker pink suit© Photo: Getty Images

The mum-of-two was a big fan of this double breasted pink suit with purple trim by Catherine Walker. First appearing in the power suit for an official visit to Budapest in 1990, she subsequently re-wore her elegant ensemble later that same year for a visit to the White House.

READ: Royals with designer handbags

sophie wessex jumpsuit© Photo: Getty Images

The Countess of Wessex

The Countess of Wessex always looks beautiful in her favourite blue jumpsuit by Emilia Wickstead. She first wore the tailored one-piece for Royal Ascot in June 2019 and has since recycled the outfit for a service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Sir Donald Gosling, which was held at Westminster Abbey, December 2019.

queen rcycles© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen

In 2017 the Queen stepped out for the Trooping the Colour parade in a pale blue silk coat which she coordinated with a matching shift dress by Stewart Parvin. Championing sustainability, her majesty first wore the coat in 2005 for a visit to Malta, and twelve years later, it looked lovely as ever. 

camila red© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall donned one her favourite red frocks for a royal engagement in March 2020. A fan of recycling her clothes, Camilla also wore this drop-waist number during Donald Trump's visit to the UK in December 2019. 

princess anne recyles© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne

Princess Anne loves this white and navy tailored coat. She first wore it to Royal Ascot in 1980, and again to the Derby at Epsom Downs five years later. She has since worn it to two garden parties held at Buckingham Palace in 2015 and again in 2018 for the Commonwealth day service.

MORE: 12 times royal ladies looked beautiful in sunshine yellow! From Kate Middleton to Meghan Markle and more

More Royal Style

See more