Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

The Evolution of Royal Style: From Kate Middleton’s Nightclub Looks to Princess Charlene’s Beachside Glam

By MrSmith Feb26,2024
The Evolution of Royal Style: From Kate Middleton’s Nightclub Looks to Princess Charlene’s Beachside Glam

The transformation from commoner to royal can often be quite dramatic, especially when it comes to style. Some royal ladies have undergone significant makeovers in their fashion choices once they became part of the royal family. From Kate Middleton’s clubbing outfits to Princess Charlene’s beach babe days, these royal transformations have stunned the world.

Let’s start with Kate Middleton, now known as the Duchess of Cambridge. Before marrying Prince William, Kate was often seen wearing trendy clubbing outfits and casual streetwear. However, once she became a member of the royal family, her style underwent a major transformation. She now favors elegant and sophisticated pieces, often opting for classic silhouettes and neutral colors. Kate’s fashion sense has earned her the title of a style icon, with her every outfit causing a frenzy in the fashion world.

On the other hand, Princess Charlene of Monaco also had a dramatic style transformation. Before becoming a princess, Charlene was known for her sporty and casual fashion choices, often seen in beachwear and athleisure outfits. However, once she married Prince Albert II of Monaco, her style evolved into a more regal and glamorous look. She now regularly dons designer gowns and couture dresses, showcasing her impeccable taste and eye for fashion.

Both Kate Middleton and Princess Charlene have proven that becoming a member of the royal family comes with a certain level of sartorial expectations. While their style transformations have been drastic, they have both adapted to their new roles with grace and elegance. From clubbing outfits to red carpet looks, these royal ladies have truly mastered the art of sophistication and glamour.

Being one of the most-watched women in the world comes with the expectation of an immaculate wardrobe. 

For the royal family, clothes depict professionalism, symbolism and diplomacy, and yet before Kate Middleton became a Princess, her cool-girl clubbing outfits would cause an eyebrow-raising frenzy at the palace if she wore them today.

The Duchess of Sussex, too, was not immune to killer heels and thigh-high party dresses that got the paparazzi flashing, while Princess Charlene spent much of her pre-royal life barefoot in beachwear. 

Over the years, royalty’s best-dressed have mastered the art of refined and polished dressing, though that doesn’t mean their former wardrobe faux pas and noughties style moments haven’t left an indelible mark on the fashion world – Princess Beatrice’s royal wedding pretzel hat comes to mind…

Keep scrolling to see how the royal style set transformed their looks from fashion newbies to sartorial mavens.

Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton style evolution© Getty

The moment a young Kate Middleton started dating Prince William, the nation was transfixed. At university, the History of Art student was the It-girl of St Andrews, rocking low-slung jeans, spaghetti strap tops and glitzy clubbing outfits. 

In a major departure from her 2000s wardrobe, the Princess of Wales is now an emblem of royal style perfection. With her unrivalled elegance and polished power dressing, the Princess rarely steps a foot out of line when it comes to fashion, sticking to the same silhouettes and fail-proof outfits. 

SEE: Princess Kate’s cool-girl university outfits that turned Prince William’s head

She often favours designs that ooze femininity and quiet luxury, continually reigning supreme as one of the best-dressed royal ladies.

Duchess of Edinburgh

Duchess of Edinburgh style transformation

Before she became the Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie Rhys-Jones was a PR executive who had landed a job at Capital Radio, going on to set up her own successful PR business by 31. 

Duchess Sophie’s timeless fashion from the nineties proves she was an unmistakably elegant style figure of her time. From tailored mini skirts to head-turning trouser suits, the bright-blonde PR girl donned the boldest business-babe fashion looks. 

Since becoming a loyal member of the Royal Family, Duchess Sophie’s sartorial elegance is unmatched. With a penchant for pastels, feminine silhouettes and marvellous millinery, the mother-of-two has never lost her eye for a polished look.

Queen Camilla

Queen Camilla style transformation

Before the days of her bespoke Dior dresses and long-lasting relationship with British designer Bruce Oldfield, Camilla, née Shand, was just like any Londoner in her twenties – experimenting with bold colours and flirting with fit-and-flare silhouettes.

Now, as matriarch of the royal family, the wife of King Charles’ style is as superior as her royal title. The Queen tends to favour muted colours, often opting for rich velvet fabrics and navy hues for official engagements, though in her jewels and millinery, Her Majesty isn’t afraid to go bold.

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice style 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.

Thanks to her stylist, Olivia Buckingham, Princess Beatrice has blossomed in the clothing department across the years, increasingly experimenting with different styles, silhouettes and brands.

Duchess of Sussex

Meghan Markle's style evolution

Meghan Markle’s style has done a full 180º in the years she has been in the spotlight, proving the versatility of her sartorial prowess. 

In her Suits days, the former actress experimented with corporate looks (inspired by her character, Rachel Zane) and casual Cali-girl outfits. Her style weapon was a red lip, and she was rarely seen without a pair of killer heels as she graced the fashion circuit and flitted between red carpets.  

When she married Prince Harry, the Duchess was a vision of royal style perfection, donning tailored coat dresses and sophisticated, modest silhouettes. 

Since stepping away from royal duties, Meghan’s former, refined style has since relaxed. The mother-of-two can often be seen wearing trouser suits and chic button-downs, experimenting with neutral tones and daring necklines. 


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene style evolution

Princess Charlene of Monaco, née Charlene Wittstock, has had one of the most dramatic style transformations of all the royals. Before she met Prince Albert, the Bulawayo-born Olympic swimmer was a fresh-faced cover girl who graced the front page of Sports Illustrated in a series of baywatch-inspired looks. 

THROWBACK: 18 times Princess Charlene was an Olympic goddess in poolside photos

From her immaculate tailoring to her bold power suits and penchant for high-end brands, Princess Charlene has since become somewhat of a sartorial maven in the years she has been married to Prince Albert. 

“Finding my fashion feet has certainly been the biggest challenge,” she said in an interview with Vogue prior to her royal wedding in 2011. “I realise that my debut into Monaco society should have been better executed!”

Princess Sofia of Sweden

Princess Sofia of Sweden

Born Sofia Hellqvist in 1984, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden’s wife Princess Sofia first emerged into the public eye, as a model and reality TV star – and her cool-girl outfits were worlds away from her royal wardrobe. 

In the documentary The Year with the Royal Family, Sofia didn’t shy away from addressing her past. “For me, it’s pretty boring. It happened 10 years ago, and I moved on with my life.”

Now, Princess Sofia has mastered the art of modest, royal dressing, while still staying true to her bright personality and penchant for on-trend designs. 

Queen Mary of Denmark

Mary of Denmark

Queen Mary, née Mary Donaldson, has come a long way from the moment she wore baggy jeans and a pullover to cheer on then-boyfriend Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark – whom she had met at a pub during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney – at the Hobart Yacht Club in 2003. 

Nowadays, the royal is known for her impeccable and conscientious style, often rewearing pieces that date back to more than a decade ago from her wardrobe. The royal’s sleek sartorial elegance is often linked to the Princess of Wales; Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld even said that Princess Kate could be her “little sister”.

Queen Letizia of Spain

Queen Letizia of Spain

As former TV news anchor Letizia Ortiz, Queen Letizia of Spain always had a polished, sophisticated image ready for the spotlight. 

The Spanish royal has undoubtedly stepped up her fashion A-game game since marrying King Felipe VI and is consistently considered one of the best-dressed royal ladies. From her vibrant outfits to her head-turning hats, waist-cinching silhouettes and ultra-glamorous aesthetic, Queen Letizia rarely puts a foot out of line when it comes to royal dressing. 

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By MrSmith

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