Amidst all of the buzz around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the royal family, Kate Middleton was spotted yesterday tending to her royal duties wearing a black turtleneck with a pleated leopard print skirt from Zara. While the skirt is not currently listed on the Zara website (sad face), according to multiple outlets, it cost $13. Though the price tag and outfit choice might come as a shock to some, this isn’t the first time the Duchess of Cambridge has worn a Zara item. In fact, one might even go as far as to call her a Zara superfan.
Earlier this month, Kate wore a houndstooth dress by the brand that originally cost $129 — but was marked down to $35.99 — before it sold out, according to Insider. In the past, she’s been spotted wearing $50 black Zara work pants and a $35 sparkly Zara necklace. She even wore a Zara dress to her sister Pippa’s wedding. While Kate’s longstanding affinity for the mainstream brand has been the subject of many articles, fan blogs, and more, Cosmopolitan went as far as tracking all of her best Zara moments.
As the media and fans alike have relentlessly obsessed over her Kate’s style choices, particularly her ability to successfully execute a high-low wardrobe and rock casual looks while still looking regal, it’s worth pointing out why her love of Zara matters.
The royal family was infamous for its mysteriousness and inaccessibility until Princess Diana came into the picture. With her iconic athletic sweatshirts and biker shorts, Diana stole the hearts of people across the globe. She was a bit of an outsider (though her family is said to have had ties to the royal family); she was kind and nurturing; and in a way, she was almost one of us. While Kate’s family also has ties to the royal family, there’s a similar air about her, and it is through her style that she’s also developed an even deeper approachability.
Therefore, when the Duchess wears a brand like Zara, it makes people feel like they can connect with her and potentially own something she’s worn, too. While Diana fans saw images of her on the pages of their newspapers and magazines (gossip ones especially), and could emulate her style, thanks to the advent of digital media, we can see images of Kate within hours of an appearance and easily find out the brands behind her clothes. It’s no wonder many of the items she wears sell out immediately.
While Zara’s relative accessibility has helped make Kate a more approachable royal, it’s important to note that the company is one of the major brands that has come under fire for its fast fashion practices. With this, it would be impactful if Kate further used her platform to talk about how to be a more mindful consumer. And while she’s already a fan of re-wearing clothes and donned ethical fashion label Beulah, we’d love to see her support more affordable, eco-conscious brands, too.