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Trolley good: Carole Middleton

DERIDED by the press for being an upwardly mobile, former trolley-dolly, pushing her eldest daughter into princess land, Carole Middleton showed excellent taste yesterday, wearing a sophisticated wool crepe coat dress designed by the house of Catherine Walker, one of Princess Diana's favourite designers.

Mothers of the bride are often nightmarishly over the top, and with Carole's competitive nature, there was always the chance that she'd want to shine very brightly. Indeed, eve of wedding stories that she had walked away from an outfit by Linda Cierach (who designed Sarah Ferguson's bridal meringue in July 1986) raised concerns that she would end up with a hastily bought, 11th-hour buy.

However, the pale blue coat dress with satin piping and a military-inspired 'passmenterie' or ornamental trim at the waist and on the cuffs was bang on the money. Underneath, she wore a blue silk shantung 'Sydney' day dress with short, pleated sleeves, smart heels in a neutral shade, and a hat from a Berkshire milliner.

Irish Independent Supplement