Thrifty Kate wins praise from queen

Hannah Furness

The queen has grown fond of Kate Middleton, due to her thrifty attitude towards her wardrobe and willingness to wear the same outfit twice, a royal historian has claiming.

The monarch, who grew up during the austerity of wartime Britain, is said to approve of the decision by the Duchess of Cambridge not to "spend, spend, spend" and set an example with her choice of clothing.

The young royal has already been photographed more than once in the same outfit for public and private engagements and has shared clothes with her mother.

In an article dedicated to the queen as she approaches her Diamond Jubilee celebrations Roy Strong, the historian, has spoken of the monarch's affection for the duchess and approval of her much photographed wardrobe.

He said the queen has never been an extravagant person, affectionately calling her a "make-do-and-mend queen".

Kate has attended public engagements with the queen. She has been praised for her thriftiness and is known for wearing the same outfit more than once, adding different accessories to change her look.

Fashion insiders spotted she had worn the same white dress for her engagement photographs and on a tour of Canada, and she donned a cream coat for the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall that she wore to an event in 2006.

The green dress that she wore to the couple's pre-engagement party was reused for a visit to Los Angeles.


Earlier this year, Kate said she wouldn't be a "clothes horse" and would wear dresses more than once.

When she joined the royal family Kate (30) vowed not to accept freebies from fashion outlets.

She has kept her word -- in part by rejecting the "only-one-wear" policy.

She also celebrated the 90th birthday of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in the same periwinkle blue Jacquard coat dress she wore to the 2009 wedding of her husband's close friend Nicholas van Cutsem.

While some royal watchers are horrified, Kate told a friend: "Times are tough -- I cannot be expected to wear a new outfit for every royal engagement. I am not a fashion model."

The friend said: "The duchess is aware people are struggling in the current economic climate.

"Changing outfits for every engagement is simply not practical or affordable and would send the wrong message."

Staying chic for royal occasions is expensive.

The wardrobe costs of her first foreign tour to Canada last year were expected to top €30,000.

The duchess is known to favour sale items and also shops online.

Prince William's mother Diana once said "I am not a clothes horse" after being criticised for wearing jeans and a shirt on a charity trip to Africa.