Royal christening: Why everyone is talking about Kate's dress

The christening was a very royal affair.
The christening was a very royal affair.  Photo: Supplied

This is not an article about the supposed feud between the duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex. Nor is it a thorough investigation as to why the Queen was absent from Master Archie's christening at Windsor on Saturday (reportedly she had other things on because, like, she's the monarch, OK).

But if you look at the family portrait released by the royal family following the intimate affair, there is plenty of messaging going on in the fashions.

Remember, this is a family, especially the women, whose every outfit is chosen with plenty of thought and symbolism. So there are no accidents. Here's what we can see.

Kate's style star continues to rise

Whatever has been going on with the Cambridges lately appears to be working. Kate has enjoyed a summer of style slam dunks, from nailing "flower show casual" at Chelsea to her cornflower blue Elie Saab dress at Ascot.

Sticking to the pussy bow theme that was a feature of her races garb, for the christening, Kate chose a Stella McCartney dress in dusky rose.

A few things to note about the dress. First, the Duchess, who often re-wears her outfits, previously wore it to the Queen's Christmas lunch in 2018. She also owns a similar style, in a more shimmery fabric, that she wore to Prince Philip's 90th birthday in 2011.

Second, many have complimented Kate on her "most fashion-forward look yet" on account of the chic, above-the-knee hemline (a rarity in royal portraits) and the playfulness of teaming it with a red headband and shoes.

Meghan goes French (but feminist)

In not going with a British designer, Meghan may have deviated from the norm but she gets points for her pick of Dior, since designer Maria Grazia Chiuri last week received the French Legion D'honneur.

Chiuri was awarded the country's highest civilian honour for her work in championing female causes through fashion since taking over the maison in 2016. So perhaps Meghan was tipping her (custom-made) hat to that.


The dress Meghan wore also bears some resemblance in neckline and colour to her wedding gown by Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller.

And not to completely discount the blokes, Harry's light-grey suit is also a relaxed contrast to Princes Charles and William's dark-navy attire. Nice to see he's also flashing the bracelets he's worn for years that have a special connection to his late mother, Princess Diana, and Africa, where the couple will take Archie on his first royal tour later this year.

Doria is proud as peach

Is Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, the world's most stylish grandmother or what? The peach-colour, turban-style hat and brooch are all oozing sophistication.

While there was no confirmation of the designer, it would come as no surprise if the outfit is by Oscar De La Renta, which Ms Ragland wore to her daughter's wedding last year. Online e-tailer Farfetch currently has a dress that looks similar in neckline and colour to Ms Ragland's on sale for $1626.

As for placement, personally I would have liked to see Ms Ragland sitting down next to the happy family but as the most senior female royals in the photo, Camilla and Kate clearly got first dibs on the chairs.