Why Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle can't accept free clothes

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

When William and Kate announced their engagement in 2010, the blue Issa dress she wore flew off the shelves and she’s been a trend-setter ever since.

The Kate effect is still going strong eight years on from their wedding and the duchess has her own fail-safe fashion formula.

She loves to team designer pieces with high street wears and champions British fashion brands, including Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham and Catherine Walker.

Kate wearing Gucci for the 100 Women in Finance gala and Meghan in Carolina Herrera in Morocco [Photos: Getty]

Meghan has added some Hollywood glamour to the royal fold and introduced us to some little-known Canadian and American fashion labels.

She’s also renowned for her love of high-end pieces from the likes of her wedding dress designer Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, Dior and Stella McCartney.

The former actress would have been loaned clothing from fashion labels for the red carpet, press junkets and photoshoots, but that’s all changed since she married into the firm.

Kate in the Issa dress that kick-started the ‘Kate effect’ on her engagement with William in 2010 [Photo: Getty]

The Daily Mirror‘s fashion and beauty director Amber Graafland says the Royal Family members do not accept free clothing.

She tells Yahoo UK‘s ‘The Royal Box‘: “You can imagine that every brand in the world is desperate for Meghan or Kate to be seen wearing their clothes because it’s a huge endorsement, it’s amazing advertising.”

She explains that packages will arrive at the palace and get shown to Meghan and Kate and if they decide to wear something, they pay for the items they keep.

So who funds it?

Prince Charles’ private estate The Duchy of Cornwall funds his immediate family [Photo: PA]

Prince Charles runs his own estate called the Duchy of Cornwall which funds the public, charitable and private activities of his immediate family, including William and Harry and their wives and children – including a clothing allowance. 

This private estate was set up in 1337 to provide an income to the heir to the throne. The Duchy of Cornwall owns and operates a vast amount of land and properties across the country, bringing in an annual surplus in excess of £20m ($26.5m) that goes to the royal couple.

They also receive some money from the Queen’s Sovereign Grant and UK government departments to pay for their official trips, property expenses and security.

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Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

Kate Middleton’s style file: Every outfit the Duchess of Cambridge has worn to work in 2019

Meghan Markle’s 2019 style file: Every outfit the Duchess of Sussex has worn out this year

Meghan Markle’s outfits from her Morocco royal tour 2019