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The Princess of Wales has rocked the fashion world in more ways than one, more recently for her royal duties, donning impeccably tailored two-piece suits and Emila Wickstead gowns. But before she was appointed Princess, she too was a regular girl like us, figuring out both the good, bad and ugly fashion world trends.

If you’ve seen the latest season of The Crown, you’ll already know what monumental moment I’m about to take a deep dive into, and if you haven't, prepare to be in awe.

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Like all good love stories, William and Kate’s began at university whilst they were both studying at St Andrews in Scotland. It was the early 2000s (2002 to be exact) and Avril Lavigne had just debuted her hit song Sk8r Boy, jeans under dresses were doing the rounds, hip-slinging jeans that showed your hip bones were cooler than ever, especially when paired with a chain looped belt and those in the know wore slogan printed trucker hats with practicality everything. Basically, It was an iconic time for fashion.

Kate in said history making sheer dress© Getty
19-year-old Kate in the said history-making sheer dress

Aside from the aforementioned Y2K trends, sheer in all variations was making its way to the top of the stylistic podium, fighting fishnet tops and cut-out bodycon dresses for first place. It's at this time that Catherine, who’s now better known as Princess Kate (or K Middy) stole the hearts of many, including her now husband, with a black, knee-length sheer dress complete with accenting turquoise hemming. 

The 19-year-old princess to be wore the now history-making dress on a charity catwalk show at her university, likely not knowing that one day there would be a Netflix show featuring the moment and Danielle Stacy,  Hello!'s Online Royal Correspondent and resident royal family buff agrees, "When the now Princess of Wales selected the sheer dress to wear at a charity show, I doubt she realised at the time how significant the garment would be in her love story with Prince William. Initially designed as a skirt, Kate styled it out as a dress and when she sashayed down the catwalk, it's been widely reported that that was the moment where she really captured the Prince's attention."

Charlotte Todd standing next to her piece of fashion history© Ian Gavan
Charlotte Todd standing next to her piece of fashion history

"While Kate has never shared details about how her friendship with William blossomed into romance, she has referenced her starring role at the charity event. At an event for the university's 600th anniversary, she joked to a group of students: 'I hope you weren't involved in the fashion show. You never know what you are going to be asked to wear!,'" explains Stacy.

The dress was made by fellow St Andrews student, Charlotte Todd and was fittingly titled The Art of Seduction. Earlier this year the designer told People Magazine that “Everyone says that the fashion show was when the romance started, so a small part of me will always be part of royal history.” 

For most of us, the dream of catching a future king's eye whilst waltzing down a catwalk in a sheer dress will always remain a dream, but for Kate, her fairytale future panned out perfectly.

Lila Moss bares a striking resemblance to her mum Kate© Instagram
Lila Moss bares a striking resemblance to her mum Kate

Over 20 years on from the dress that changed everything, celebs, style moguls and fashion elitists are still donning similar renditions to festive parties, red carpet awards and everything in between, proving that the sheer dress trend isn’t going anywhere just yet. 

Earlier this month Kate Moss’ model daughter Lila wore a sheer dress by designer Nensi Dojaka to the Fashion Awards in London. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Rita Ora seen leaving British Vogue's 2023 "Forces For Change" Party at The MAINE Mayfair on November 23, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer/GC Images)© Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer
Rita's sheer dress also came complete with a matching face mask

Famed songstress Rita Ora bared all recently whilst attending British Vogue’s 2023 Forces For Change party in a David Koma gown. 

The top was also in this seasons most trending colourway© Gotham
The top was also in this season's most trending colourway

Kendall headed out to dinner with her BFF Hailey Bieber sporting a see-through brown off-the-shoulder top back in june. 

Princess Kate would approve© Instagram
Princess Kate would approve

Victoria Beckham's daughter-in-law Nicola Peltz-Beckham was seen donning an opaque black catsuit for a summer date night with her husband Brooklyn

I'm still in awe everytime i see this look© Sean Zanni
I'm still in awe everytime i see this look

Actress and muse Zoe Kravitz took to the Met steps in 2021, wearing a Yves Saint Laurent crystal-embellished chain dress. 

Back in 2011, Kate’s exact dress sold at auction for £65,000 to an anonymous buyer whose only info was “Nick from Jersey.” We can only hope that Nick from Jersey understands the sartorial significance of what he was bidding on.