From a “commoner” she metamorphosed into a royal fashion icon overnight. Despite the fame and media galore, Kate Middleton has got her head in the right place. Arguably one of the most photographed women in the world, she is known to raid her mum’s wardrobe as often as possible. And that’s not all, for we spotted the Duchess of Cambridge donning the same dress at two different events recently. Being grounded is probably one of the most important factors that has endeared the Duchess to common people. It, therefore, came like no surprise when we heard this small piece about Kate Middleton hiring hats and not buying them prior to her royal wedding. And for admirers of this new age royal fashionista the good news is, two of her hired hats, will be put up for auction at Kerry Taylor auctions on June 26.
The first of these two hats, a Phillip Somerville creation, is made from straw. The disc shaped black and white beauty features feather plumes and horsehair brim woven to perfection. The hat was worn by Middleton when she attended the Order of the Garter in 2008. Looking suave in a chic dress, the hat only added to Middleton’s charm and aura as she watched boyfriend William parading through the grounds of Windsor Castle. William’s attire, on the other hand, sent her into peels of laughter!
The second hat is from the stable of Aurora and flaunts a magnificent swirling organza crown. Kate wore it to the wedding of William’s close friend Harry Meade in 2010. The couple’s obvious closeness to each other became all the more evident that day, sparking rumors of a possible engagement. For once the gossip columns were bang on target, as the two love birds announced their engagement shortly afterwards.
A style icon in every sense of the term, Kate, on both the occasions above wore the hats with such perfection that fashion watchers naturally assumed them to have been bought. In reality, Middleton had hired them from a shop close to her family home in Berkshire. Part of a co-operative run by farmer’s wives, the shop is reported to have been a favorite with Kate. Together with mother Carole and sister Pippa, Kate would visit the store often. Even as a commoner from Berkshire she would know exactly what she needed, said a source at the hat shop. Now the question is, why did Middleton decide to hire hats instead of buying them? Well, there can be two possible reasons. For one, hats are expensive and Middleton has always been known for her thrifty ways. Secondly, hats normally take up a lot of space considering which it would be feasible to have them hired and not bought. The lot up for grabs at the auction will be accompanied by copies of diary entries and receipts showing Kate’s association with the shop.
The recent news about Kate Middleton’s hired hats going under the hammer brings back memories of another Kerry Taylor auction where a dress worn by Middleton in 2002 fetched a whopping $11,9503. The same house created news last year by having the gable banged on a copy of Princess Diana’s wedding dress. Considering the craze for royal memorabilia, including the recent auction of the Wills-Kate's royal wedding cake which was finally sold for a pricely $3,000, just for a slice, and in the wake of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, we expect the hats to fetch more then their estimated prices at $1532 to $ 2298.
Update: Two of the hats worn by Duchess Kate back when she was only Prince William’s girlfriend got sold for a price of $10,836, more than double the highest estimates.