10/01/2020 8:35 AM AEDT

Kate Middleton, Fashion Icon, Kicks Off Her Birthday In Jeans

On the occasion of her 38th birthday, a look at the duchess's year in style.

What might Kate Middleton, a senior royal, do on the occasion of her 38th birthday? Will she awake to the sound of heavy goblets toasting in her honour? Will she be whisked away to a midnight ball, where she misplaces a single glass slipper?

Perhaps we’ll never know. What we do know, though, is that she spent at least part of it with friends and family. The royal mom of three and Prince William hosted guests at their beautiful country home in Norfolk, U.K., this past weekend, where the duchess was seen sporting a structured multi-coloured coat — very on-brand — and a blue fedora hat by Hicks & Brown.

And on the occasion of her actual birthday, the Kensington Palace social media team took to Instagram to celebrate the Duchess of Cambridge:

It’s a beautiful image shot by Matt Porteous, the royal photographer who took Prince Louis’ christening shots, Prince George’s birthday photos, and the family’s Christmas cards the past few years.

And if you comb through the thousands of customary birthday wishes underneath the post, what you’ll find is a comment from the official Sussex Royal account — the first visible Instagram activity we’ve seen from Meghan and Harry since they announced their decision to “step back as senior members of the Royal Family.”

“Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Cambridge today!” the pair wrote, appending the message with a birthday cake and heart emoji.

But the birthday photo isn’t just a birthday photo, because a royal post is never just a royal post. It’s also an outfit pic, and according to the Daily Mail, Kate might be wearing the very same $150 Fjallraven sweater that she previously wore in her family’s 2018 Christmas card (the first formal photograph they had as a family of five).

The Duchess of Cambridge, of course, is no stranger to fashion. From her official engagement appearances to her dressy state banquets to even the most casual days off, Kate is known for always being dressed to the nines. She consistently turns out the most polished, effortless looks, and makes elegance look like a matter of birthright.

The duchess hit her sartorial stride relatively early on in her days as a royal, but it’s really in the last year that she’s emerged as a style icon. Throughout her various philanthropic efforts, extensive research into early childhood education, and her life as a mother of three, Kate has managed to consistently hit the mark.

Between her heavy, structured coats and her beautiful tailored dresses, it doesn’t strain credulity to say it seems she can’t make a wrong fashion move. (Plus, she’s never scared to work in some Alexander McQueen, who is her favourite fashion designer.)

And so in honour of the duchess’s 38th birthday, here are some of her best looks of 2019:

  • Jan. 5, 2020
    Jan. 5, 2020
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    In a Roksanda Denton coat and Hicks and Brown fedora at Sunday service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on Jan. 5.
  • Dec. 25, 2019
    Dec. 25, 2019
    Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    For Christmas, she opted for a custom Catherine Walker coat and a Lock & Co. fascinator.
  • Dec. 11, 2019
    Dec. 11, 2019
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    In a long velvet gown by Alexander McQueen for a reception at Buckingham Palace.
  • Nov. 18, 2019
    Nov. 18, 2019
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    She wore this stunning lace gown, also by Alexander McQueen, one of her favourite designers, to the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in London.
  • Nov. 15, 2019
    Nov. 15, 2019
    Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    At the opening of The Nook Children Hospice, she wore a charming Oscar de la Renta skirt suit.
  • Oct. 29, 2019
    Oct. 29, 2019
    JEFF SPICER via Getty Images
    Here, she's wearing a ARoss Girl x Soler maxi dress for a visit to the Aga Khan Centre in London.
  • Oct. 17, 2019
    Oct. 17, 2019
    Karwai Tang via Getty Images
    In traditional Pakistani dress while in Islamabad during a royal tour of Pakistan.
  • Oct. 15, 2019
    Oct. 15, 2019
    Karwai Tang via Getty Images
    In a sparkly emerald Jenny Packham dress for a special reception hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan.
  • Oct. 15, 2019
    Oct. 15, 2019
    Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    In a traditional salwar kameez by Pakistani designer Maheen Khan during a stop at Margalla Hills National Park in Islamabad.
  • Sept. 10, 2019
    Sept. 10, 2019
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    For the "Back to Nature" festival at RHS Garden Wisley in Woking, U.K., Kate opted for a maxi dress by Emilia Wickstead.
  • Sept. 5, 2019
    Sept. 5, 2019
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    The belted dress she wore to bring Princess Charlotte to her first day of school is by Michael Kors. 
  • July 14, 2019
    July 14, 2019
    Karwai Tang via Getty Images
    In an Emilia Wickstead dress at Wimbledon.
  • June 18, 2019
    June 18, 2019
    Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    In Elie Saab at the Royal Ascot.
  • June 8, 2019
    June 8, 2019
    SOPA Images via Getty Images
    In Alexander McQueen at Trooping the Colour. (Plus the same Philip Treacy hat she wore to Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle.) 
  • May 21, 2019
    May 21, 2019
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    In Alexander McQueen for the Queen's garden party.
  • May 20, 2019
    May 20, 2019
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    This dress, which she wore to the Chelsea Flower Show preview, is by British-Canadian designer Erdem.
  • May 14, 2019
    May 14, 2019
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    She opted for an Alessandra Rich dress for a spring visit to Bletchley Park.
  • March 19, 2019
    March 19, 2019
    Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images
    Wearing her old favourite, Catherine Walker, with a John Lock hat.
  • March 12, 2019
    March 12, 2019
    Karwai Tang via Getty Images
    She wore a gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress with a reworked bodice for a gala at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • Feb. 13, 2019
    Feb. 13, 2019
    Chris Jackson via Getty Images
    The Duchess wore a pink flowy Gucci gown for a gala celebrating women in finance.
  • Jan. 29, 2019
    Jan. 29, 2019
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    She started her 37th year with a gorgeous McQ Black Watch tartan jacket.

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