The former Kate Middleton started 2018 with a bang, completing 21 engagements in January. That’s a huge increase—425 percent, to be precise—from last year when the Duchess of Cambridge completed just four engagements. Even after discounting the 11 engagements that she and Prince William undertook in Stockholm during their four-day tour of Sweden and Norway, she is working at more than double the pace of last January.
A BIG CHANGE
The huge increase of Kate’s workload is all the more impressive given she is in the middle trimester of her third pregnancy; the baby is due in April. Aside from beginning her pregnancies with extreme morning sickness (she cancelled all of her September engagements), Kate has never shown any sign of experiencing other pregnancy-related illness that can affect some women. Indeed, she’s reportedly considering giving birth at home.
Given the Cambridges moved to London in the summer, and both children are in school (Princess Charlotte started nursery school early in the year), it was expected that she and Prince William would increase their workload, especially as his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, 91, slowly reduces her duties. For the record, Prince William also completed 21 engagements in the first month of 2018.
FASHION STATS FOR THE MONTH
Kate relied on her tried-and-true designers for January. Of the 15 outfits she wore in January, half were by Catherine Walker, Mulberry and Erdem, including two wildly printed dresses that she wore in Stockholm.
The first Erdem outfit, a vividly patterned mustard yellow satin evening gown, was wildly divisive. The fashion-forward choice was either loathed or loved on social media. The second gown by the Canadian designer, a softer tone-on-tone blue velvet dress, was equally polarizing. Some liked its warm soft stylings, while others thought it didn’t show off Kate’s figure to the best.
Blue was again the top colour in January, accounting for four outfits, including that Erdem dress. And she added JJ Boden to her list of designers, wearing a red coat with ruffled accents to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
NEW OR OLD?
Of all the 15 outfits, fully two-thirds were new, never seen before on official engagements, while five were maternity repeats from her previous two pregnancies.
Perhaps the most successful outfit was a custom-designed Catherine Walker coat in a red hounds-tooth patten that she wore on her second full day in Stockholm. The impeccably tailored loose coat was perfect for a day spent going to a series of events, and offset by burgundy accessories including a Chanel handbag. Underneath, she wore a new oatmeal-coloured, empire-waisted dress by Alexander McQueen. Its simple styling highlighted the bold design of the Catherine Walker coat.