Kate Middleton — sorry, The Duchess of Cambridge — has just arrived at The Treehouse hospice in Ipswich where she will make her FIRST. EVER. public address. EEP. Clarence House has confirmed that the blue dress she's chosen for the occasion is from Reiss. She's accessorised the look with a thick black belt, classic black heels and a matching clutch.
This latest outfit is classic DoC. Firstly, the royal hue is proving to be Kate's favourite colour — the Issa frock she wore to announce her engagement, the Zara number for the day after her wedding, the lace Erdem dresses for her Canadian tour (to name but a few) all came in the same sapphire shade to match her glittering engagement ring. And let's not forget she chose that pair of blue suede shoes from an array of student-designed footwear earlier this month.
Secondly, she's keeping it real by continuing her obsession with that bastion of British fashion: the high street. Remember when the down-to-earth Duchess met the Obamas at Buckingham Palace last May wearing a foxy fitted taupe dress also by Reiss? She attended the Epsom Derby sporting another purse-friendly chiffon dress from the high street hero. And most impressively, she recycled the white 'Nanette' dress which she wore for her official engagement photograph by wearing it a second time on Canada Day. As such, she's earned a reputation as the prudent princess who's boosting the British economy (last year, Reiss posted a near doubling in profits thanks to the 'Kate Effect').
Speaking of recycling, what we didn't expect was Kate to raid her MOTHER's wardrobe to find an outfit for today's big speech. Oh yes, this is the very same frock that Carole Middleton wore to Ascot in 2010 and mini-Middy has styled it up in almost exactly the same way (just minus the fascinator, phewf). We know it was Mother's Day yesterday, but regurgitating an outfit your mum wore two years prior is quite the shocker, no?
Of course, the Duchess has been praised for her clothes-swapping ways in these times of austerity. She's often been seen in the same pieces as her sister Pippa and a blue Jane Corbett fascinator which Carole wore at Ascot last year was subsequently worn by her royal daughter at the wedding of Hugh van Cutsem. Oh, and lest we forget that red lace dress by Colette Dinnigan that Carole wore at a Royal Academy summer preview, followed by the Duchess wearing it at the wedding of Thomas Sutton and Harriet Colthurst...
Over on Grazia UK's Facebook page, the debate is raging. 'Isn't it awful when your mum looks better in it than you!' says Rachel Church of the dress double-up while Deborah Hilliam says, 'I share with my daughter all the time - and why not?' What do YOU make of the Middletons' frugal fashion?