While we’ve seen more celebrities recycling designer looks on the red carpet of late, the Duchess of Cambridge is arguably the best known repeat-wearer out there. In her early years as a royal, she’d re-wear the same gown within the space of a few months – proving that even for someone with her profile, you really don’t need to buy a new dress for a big event.
Nowadays, Kate has the advantage of having an extensive archive to turn to – including show-stopping gowns from the likes of Jenny Packham, Alexander McQueen and Erdem. Whether it’s changing up the accessories or her hair-do, she always manages to make her red carpet looks seem fresh, even if the dress is a decade old.
Given the remarkable influence that the Duchess has, her red carpet re-wears send out a powerful message about the importance of sustainability in fashion. After all, the most eco-friendly choice you can make, sartorially speaking, is to wear what you already own.
Below, see every time the Duchess has recycled a dress on the red carpet to date.
2012 and 2013
The Duchess opted for a cream Roland Mouret gown for a dinner at London’s Claridges, before re-wearing the same dress for the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom a year later.
2012 and 2013
Kate wore a black lace gown by Temperley at the War Horse premiere and later at the screening of a David Attenborough documentary.
2014 and 2014
Kate debuted this tulle Jenny Packham gown at a dinner at Kensington Palace in 2013. A year later, she re-wore it at the National Portrait Gallery gala in February (left) and the St Andrews 600th anniversary dinner in New York in December (right).
2011 and 2016
For her first official engagement as a royal, Kate stepped out in this shimmering Jenny Packham gown for a gala dinner at Kensington Palace for children’s charity Ark. She recycled the dress for a gala dinner in Norfolk for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices five years later.
2014 and 2017
The Duchess opted for a black lace gown by Diane von Furstenberg to attend the Royal Variety Performance while pregnant with Princess Charlotte. She re-wore the dress for a gala dinner for the Anna Freud National Centre while pregnant with Prince Louis.
2012 and 2018
Kate first wore this teal gown by red-carpet go-to Jenny Packham for a gala dinner ahead of the London Olympic Games, before re-wearing the dress at the Tusk Awards.
2017 and 2019
Kate opted for a floral off-shoulder gown by Erdem for the BAFTAs, before wearing a re-worked version of the dress for the National Portrait gala two years later.
2012 and 2020
The royal debuted this embroidered Alexander McQueen gown during a tour of Malaysia. She recycled the same dress for the BAFTA Awards eight years later, in keeping with the ceremony’s sustainable dress code.
2016 and 2020
The Duchess wore a cobalt blue Jenny Packham gown with a matching shawl during a tour of India, before bringing out the dress again for a gala dinner for Place2Be at Buckingham Palace.
2011 and 2021
The Duchess opted for a lilac gown by Jenny Packham for a BAFTAs event in LA as a newlywed, before recycling the same gown – this time with a different belt – a decade later for the Earthshot Award ceremony in London.
2019 and 2021
Clearly a red-carpet favourite, the Duchess re-wore a glittering Jenny Packham gown at the Royal Variety Show, which she first debuted during a tour of Pakistan.
From British Vogue