Holy purse strings! It's been revealed Prince Charles has spent an estimated £35,000 on Kate Middleton's sartorial choices in the past year and here we were thinking she's a discount Duchess.
Although Kate recycles a-plenty and shops on the bargain-tastic high street, her father-in-law has footed an enormous bill for her 'work-related' wardrobe courtesy of his official Household budget. Yep, that means Charlie is splashing out to dress the Duchess for official engagements and Royal Family outings, of which there are a LOT. What a generous chap!
Grazia Daily has oft wondered how Kate affords those dazzling Jenny Packham dresses and custom-made McQueen numbers so we're happy to finally have the answer. But! We're befuddled that the clothes Kate's worn since the start of this year has cost quite so much. Seriously, how has the thrifty spender totted up such a substantial shopping bill? Let's consider her 2012 wardrobe...
For starters, the down-to-earth Duchess wore that Jesire coat dress for a trip to the National Portrait Gallery back in February, which came from a second-hand agency in Berkshire called 'The Stock Exchange'. That would barely have made a scratch in the Prince's bank account, right? Then came the discounted M Missoni tweed coat dress from Bicester Village for an appearance at Fortnum and Mason, which was repeated earlier this month in Nottingham, saving dad-in-law a few pennies. And how could we forget the blue Reiss dress Kate borrowed from mum Carole for her first ever public speech? The Duchess also wore two Orla Kiely frocks, each costing around £325, and although her pink Emilia Wickstead dress cost an eye-watering £1,200, she got her cost per wear by recycling it just two weeks later.
So you've got to take your hat off to 'cut-price Kate' for going to such lengths to keep costs down. What's more, she returns all free samples and refuses to hire a stylist. Yep, this is one prudent princess. Which means it must be the pricier pieces that are pulling on Charlie's purse strings.
There was that black lace Temperley dress Kate wore to the 'War Horse' premiere in January, the Matthew Williamson frock for the 'African Cats' premiere and the wonderous Roland Mouret floor-sweeper for a swanky evening at Claridges. Admittedly, the stunning Jenny Packham gown she wore to the Olympic Concert in May must've cost a few quid and there's been more than one McQueen number in recent months, from the red dress she wore for the Jubilee Pageant to the bespoke lacy frock for last month's Thanksgiving Service. And that's not including all the accessories, from Kiki McDonough diamond earrings to Jane Corbett hats and those glittering Jimmy Choo heels, which must have added to the overall sum.
Considering the Duchess' style choices have brought an astounding £1billion into the ailing British economy thanks to the 'Kate Effect', is spending £35K in six months worth it? And how would you feel if your father-in-law was paying for your wardrobe? Take a look at Kate's work wear, including a spot of Emilia Wickstead for St Patrick's Day and Erdem for the Trooping of the Colour, in the gallery above and let us know your thoughts...