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How Princess Beatrice became the true style queen of the royal family

Princess Eugenie’s older sister is becoming a royal style pioneer in her own right

How Princess Beatrice became the true style queen of the royal family
Tania Leslau
Lifestyle Writer
Updated: June 9, 2023
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Royal life requires a royally saturated wardrobe, yet Princess Beatrice likes to take her style one step further. The 34-year-old has blossomed in the clothing department across the years, increasingly experimenting with different styles, silhouettes and brands.

 Unlike her counterparts the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex, Princess Beatrice has playfully toyed with her adventurous aesthetic, refusing to be pigeonholed into a set style or sartorial theme. 

WATCH: Princess Beatrice And Princess Eugenie's Fashion Evolution

During her teens and early twenties, Princess Beatrice very much tapped into the Y2K zeitgeist, producing a string of avant-garde looks. She relied upon A-line frocks, twee prints, colourful hues and noughties-inspired outfits - as many of us did during the divisive 2000s.

Since turning 30, Beatrice has pushed the boat out, no doubt thanks to her new stylist Olivia Buckingham who has helped the mother-of-one to expand her brand vocabulary and adopt a flavour for couture. Buckingham has worked as a fashion stylist, creative consultant and Vogue Hong Kong contributor for over a decade and recently took the royal under her fashion-forward wing.

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo walking out of the royal wedding ceremony© Royal Hashemite Court
Princess Beatrice has had an epic style evolution

Cue It-girl labels such as Saloni and The Vampire’s Wife who have taken centre stage in her sartorial archive. International labels have also made the cut - take Bea’s latest appearance at the royal Jordanian wedding wearing Reem Acra for example. This move towards high fashion marked a notable shift in the royal's style, shelving the quirky headpieces and colours for a more streamlined touch.

With the help of celebrity stylist and royal fashion expert Miranda Holder, we’ve decided to take a look back and delve into Princess Beatrice's rollercoaster fashion journey. So, sit back, relax and brace yourself for a surprising throwback or two as we reminisce about Beatrice's most memorable looks.

The early years

Princess Beatrice’s childhood style was defined by twinning sets. The royal was frequently dressed by her mother Sarah, Duchess of York in matching looks with her younger sister Princess Eugenie, be it pastel silk skirt suits or alpine-inspired ski sets.

Princess Beatrice And Princess Eugenie in pastels © Getty
Princess Beatrice And Princess Eugenie often twinned in pastels

The York sisters’ colour palettes orbited around pretty pastel colour schemes, and the two often flitted between lilac and sunshine yellow tones. No ensemble was complete without a pair of cream-coloured ballerina pumps or kitten heels and a beaded micro handbag.

princess beatrice in yellow© Getty
The sisters were dressed by their mother Sarah Ferguson in yellows and pinks

 Princess Beatrice’s love for hair accessories, which was no doubt inspired by her mother, began to shine through during her early years. The royal’s looks would be completed with a girlish headband or a ribbon bow, two staples that followed Beatrice into her later life. 

Smells like teen spirit 

Beatrice’s teenage years oversaw a slew of eclectic looks come to fruition. During her adolescence, the royal didn’t adhere to a certain sartorial theme, instead opting for an element of shock factor or something a touch more avant-garde.

Princess Beatrice attended the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church in a unique pair of boots© Getty
Princess Beatrice attended the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church in a unique pair of boots

A pair of bejewelled knee-high boots worn by the Princess to a Christmas Day service at Sandringham in 2003 exemplify this point perfectly. Never one to shy away from a bold outfit choice, Beatrice floored onlookers in her statement shoes which were only a taste of what was to come from the royal’s wardrobe.

We appreciate that the early 2000s were a controversial time in the canon of fashion, yet we love how Beatrice’s style fully embraced the Kate Moss x Topshop aesthetic, bandage dresses, wedged mules and many other Y2K references.

Princess Beatrice during The Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup Polo Final in a classic noughties dress© Getty
Princess Beatrice during The Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup Polo Final in a classic noughties dress

 Setting aside her penchant for maximalist headwear, Beatrice also knew just how to throw together the floatiest frock look for days at the polo or family outings.

Sarah Ferguson and Princess Beatrice walked down the catwalk as part of the Fashion Relief Show during London Fashion Week 2007  © Getty
Sarah Ferguson and Princess Beatrice walked down the catwalk as part of the Fashion Relief Show during London Fashion Week 2007

Dresses quickly became her staple piece, be it a bandage number (take her runway appearance for the Dolce & Gabbana show with mum Sarah Ferguson for example) or a ditsy print dress layered under a cropped boxy jacket with a patent clutch.

Princess Eugenie in white© Getty
Princess Eugenie often followed in her sister's sartorial footsteps, but adopted a more classic style

 Princess Eugenie followed suit, mirroring her older sister’s love for all things cute and kitsch that mirrored the experimental mood of the decade.

Roaring twenties

2010 marked a shift in Beatrice’s fashion sense. Not only did the royal enter her twenties, but also a plethora of London’s clubs and bars. Cue the butterfly motifs, mini dresses in vibrant hues, towering stilettos, and sequin mania that made for the ultimate clubbing attire.

Princess Beatrice in purple dress© Getty
Princess Beatrice's twenties prompted a host of club-ready outfits

 Her party-girl days tapped into a desire to dress up, and dress up she did. Clashing colours such as marigold yellow and violet penetrated her going-out wardrobe, in addition to thigh-skimming silhouettes and black skater skirts for swanky evening soirees.

princess beatrice in purple© Getty
The royal experimented with bolder makeup looks including darker eyeshadow palettes

During the day, while kicking back with then-boyfriend Dave Clarke, the royal mostly kept it casual in jeans, tees and three-quarter sleeve blazers. 

Makeup-wise, Beatrice regularly opted for a classic noughties blend, a smoky eye, a dark slick of eyeliner across the waterline and a liberally-applied foundation finish.

Princess Beatrice arrived at Westminster Abbey in what is considered as her most unconventional outfit© Getty
Princess Beatrice arrived at Westminster Abbey in what is considered as her most unconventional outfit

2011 produced Beatrice’s most iconic, not to mention controversial, outfit to date. The royal attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding alongside her sister, and the duo’s fashion made headlines.

princess beatrice in pink hat© Getty
The sisters' attire hit the headlines

Beatrice wore a Valentino Haute Couture dress complete with an extravagant bow headpiece tied together in a large oval design. Speaking about the highly debated headgear, which we can’t help but covet as we love a maximalist moment, celebrity stylist and royal fashion expert Miranda Holder noted: “The Princess has always favoured more romantic, feminine silhouettes and daintier prints and textures such as florals and lace which really suit her. At the same time, she also has a more dramatic, experimental side (which is a stylist’s dream to work with) and is not afraid to try something different on the bolder side - hence the now infamous hat she sported at William and Kate’s wedding.”

Prince Andrew's daughter in Valentino © Getty
Prince Andrew's daughter wore Valentino

She detailed the public backlash: “The sisters were the subject of much ridicule following these outfits, due to the bold flourish of those Philip Treacy sculptural hats, but I like what Beatrice was trying to do here. The colour is very sophisticated, I love the monochrome - it’s both flattering and elegant, the movement in the hat reflects the shape of her collar and the hat itself adds a very welcome height. The look may have been a little ahead of its time, and a little too avant-garde for the occasion, which is why it fell flat.

Princess Beatrice in orange hat© Getty
Princess Beatrice is the most experimental royal when it comes to headwear

Hats dominated Beatrice’s mid-twenties. The royal is the most fervent champion of an eye-catching fascinator within her family and her headwear inventory is unparalleled. Our favourite pieces? An uber-glam raspberry headwrap reminiscent of the 1920s, a satsuma-orange disc headpiece and a contrasting orange-blue wide-brimmed hat that offered up a welcome change from her favoured befeathered bonnets.

princess beatrice in a wrap hat© Getty
The royal reguarly toys with hat silhouettes

 Princess Beatrice also stepped up her handbag game during this period. Prince Andrew’s eldest daughter has sported multiple clutch bags across the years, yet one design has become synonymous with her style.

Beatrice's famous 'Bea' bag by Sophia Webster© Getty
Beatrice's famous 'Bea' bag by Sophia Webster

Personalised bags became a must-have for the royal and have remained so ever since. Sophia Webster’s marbled clutch that read ‘Bea’ was a hit among royal fans, in addition to bumble bee-embroidered items and initial pieces.

In true royal fashion, Beatrice’s wardrobe underwent a revamp following her break-up from Dave Clark in 2016. She may have steered away from Diana-esque ‘revenge dressing,’ yet the Princess began to include more sophisticated tones into her arsenal.

Princess Beatrice attendng Louis Vuittons Celebration of GingerNutz in Vogue's December Issue © Getty
Princess Beatrice attendng Louis Vuittons Celebration of GingerNutz in Vogue's December Issue

Brands under the royal’s belt spanned Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Self-Portrait, which naturally boosted her designer vocabulary. This period also witnessed the rise of Beatrice’s elegant floral looks, sourced from It-girl labels such as Sandro, Maje and ba&sh. 

Beatrice in white© Getty
Beatrice opted for more strcutured designs in her 20s

Eugenie’s sister bid farewell to her twenties with a highly-anticipated Met Gala appearance in 2018. A then 29-year-old Beatrice graced the glittering steps at the MET Museum in a billowing, Grecian-style amethyst gown, a hue closely associated with royalty. The regal number featured an empire waistline, long sleeves and layers of ethereal sheer fabric – in effect marking the royal’s official induction into the fashion sphere.

Flirty, thirty and thriving

A fully-fledged member of the fashion industry, Beatrice threw herself into the world of labels in her early thirties. The now-34-year-old’s most coveted fashion moment to date emerged on her wedding day. The royal and her husband property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi got engaged in Italy in September 2019, and their wedding date was meant to be 29 May 2020 – two months after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of delaying their big day, which was expected to take place at St James's Palace, Beatrice surprised royal fans by hosting a secret, socially-distanced ceremony at Royal Lodge, Windsor, on 17 July 2020 with her closest family members in attendance.

Princess Beatrice posing alongside her wedding dress as it goes on display at Windsor Castle© Getty
Princess Beatrice posing alongside her wedding dress as it goes on display at Windsor Castle

Beatrice wore a vintage dress by Norman Hartnell, on loan from her late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The dress is made from Peau De Soie taffeta in shades of ivory, trimmed with ivory Duchess satin, with organza sleeves. It is encrusted with diamanté and has a geometric checkered bodice. It was remodelled and fitted by Her Majesty's dresser Angela Kelly and loyal dressmaker Stewart Parvin.

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The bride wore the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara, also on loan from Her Majesty. The tiara was worn by the former monarch on her wedding day. The headpiece was originally made for Queen Mary by Garrard and Co. in 1919, from a diamond necklace given by Queen Victoria for her wedding.

beatrice in florals© Getty
Designer labels permeated her arsenal after her marriage

While a wedding dress is hard to follow, Beatrice did so effortlessly. The royal began to champion brands such as The Vampire’s Wife and Saloni, two labels that become household names in the palace with the additional support of The Princess of Wales. We especially loved her £248 Reformation dress featuring a fairtyale blue and cream floral design which she sported at the Chelsea Flower Show in Spring 2022.

princess beatrice in dot print© Getty
Maternitywear came naturally to the mother-of-one

We can’t forget the Princess’ playful maternitywear. Beatrice and Edo welcomed their first child, a daughter named Sienna Elizabeth, on 18 September 2021, just over a year after marrying at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, in Windsor in July 2020.

Princess Beatrice looked stunning in her mother's tiara
Princess Beatrice looked stunning in her mother's tiara

In recent months, prints have been off Beatrice’s agenda. Neutral hues such as sky blue and cream have taken centre stage, yet a refreshing pop of pink was added to her wardrobe at King Charles’ Coronation and the royal Jordanian wedding. For the latter, Beatrice delighted onlookers in an embellished number by Reem Acra, all attention fell on her jewellery choice – the rarely-seen York Tiara. This was evidently the work of the royal’s new stylist, Olivia Buckingham.

Princess Beatrice wore £30,833 earrings from Garrard & Co© Getty
Princess Beatrice has a penchant for bold pink

This feminine look marked the first time that there was more buzz among royal fans surrounding Beatrice's look than Kate's. Fans adored the ensemble, with one sharing via social media: "Beatrice has really come into her own in the last few years and I'm here for it! This dress is beautiful and looks great on her," and another noting: "For me, this was the best look of the wedding."

We’ve also witnessed an influx of nipped-in waistlines, structured silhouettes and short puff sleeves courtesy of the mother-of-one. Perhaps one could argue the gap between her and Eugenie’s style is narrowing, as Eugenie favours a more classic silhouette with fewer frills and furbelows.

SEE: The 10 most glamorous gowns from the Jordanian royal wedding

Beatrice’s fashion in the future 

What can we expect from Beatrice’s future fashion? Miranda Holder has her hypothesis. “I think she will maintain her penchant for everything feminine, with pretty prints, fabrics and accessories taking centre stage but I am sure there will be a few fun fashion surprises that will keep us guessing too.”

MORE: Princess Beatrice's tiara moments have sentimental connections

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