Meet the former Vogue editor behind the Duchess of Cambridge's new wardrobe
Since returning to royal duties post-maternity leave, the Duchess of Cambridge has noticeably left her sartorial comfort zone in a series of surprisingly bold ensembles.
It all kick-started on December 5, 2018 when the mother-of-three became a desk-side talking point – all thanks to a pair of wide-leg Jigsaw trousers.
Although a seemingly un-newsworthy garment at first glance, the sartorial move flagged the beginning of a new fashion era for the 37-year-old.
Having rarely been photographed in trousers before, the airport attire sparked rumours that she sought inspiration from sister-in-law Meghan‘s closet.
But in actual fact, there’s a someone behind her shift in headline-worthy style tactics.
Who is the Duchess of Cambridge’s new stylist?
According to multiple reports, the royal has hired former British Vogue editor and personal stylist Virginia Chadwyck-Healey.
Cashmere dress. 😱 You imagine over-heating, clingy, ageing, generally too close for comfort. Not so tonight. I got to wear this number, current collection @chintiandparker – exceptional design, a flattering drop waist, movement, good ‘swish’ of the below the knee skirt. Ideal with trainers, knee high boots or biker boots. In short, they did their research and they got it right 💯 #chintiandparker #barclays #cashmere #design #movement #navy #dresses #popupshop #vchstyle
A post shared by Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey (@ginniech00) on Feb 13, 2019 at 1:09pm PST
Known as ‘Ginnie’, the 36-year-old runs her own consultancy, VCH Style, and regularly contributes to The Telegraph.
Life after Vogue, and the brands and beauty products (and THE facialist) I swear by – in today’s Stella Magazine. Thank you SO much to @bethanholt @ana__cuba @stella_telegraph @mariannejonesuk and Team Telegraph in general. As much as I miss my Vogue days, I learnt so much and it will all be put to very good use in this new venture. #vchstyle #lifeaftervogue #pasturesnew #buyfewerbuybetter PS you are all asking, the top is @batshevadress 👍🏻👍🏻 Make-Up @pollymorton.makeup
A post shared by Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey (@ginniech00) on Oct 28, 2018 at 3:58am PDT
She is the daughter of the 3rd Lord Strathalmond and lives with her husband Oliver Chadwyck-Healey and their two daughters, four-year-old Nancy and two-year-old Maggie, in Berkshire.
How does the Duchess of Cambridge know Virginia Chadwyck-Healey?
The Duchess of Cambridge reportedly met Chadwyck-Healey while studying at the University of Edinburgh where they soon became close friends.
In 2011, she bagged an invitation to the royal wedding and wore a colour-block Emilia Wickstead ensemble which wouldn’t look out of place in the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe.
“Ginnie is Catherine’s secret weapon,” a royal source revealed. “She has made a big difference to the Duchess’s wardrobe for public engagements and has helped give her a whole new sense of confidence.”
READ MORE: The best royal maternity looks of all time
Why has the Duchess of Cambridge hired a new personal stylist?
The ‘Kate Effect’ is largely credited to the Duchess of Cambridge’s former PA and personal stylist, Natasha Archer.
But with news that she has just welcomed her first child with husband Chris Jackson, the royal has hired a major fashion name to fill her place until Archer returns to Kensington Palace.
READ MORE: Every outfit the Duchess of Cambridge has worn in 2019
How has the Duchess of Cambridge’s style changed?
Aside from her newfound penchant for slick tailored trousers, the Duchess of Cambridge has given some of her most photographed ensembles a trend-led makeover in recent months.
For instance, on March 12, 2019 the royal attended a National Portrait Gallery event in the same Alexander McQueen gown she first wore to the 2017 BAFTAs.
But instead of simply recycling the cold-shoulder garment, the designer dress was reworked to feature dainty cap sleeves.
In a similar strategic move, she dug out the now-famous pair of Jigsaw trousers – first worn in Cyprus in December 2018 – for a trip to the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre last month.
In a further bid to showcase her high fashion know-how, the Duchess finished the ensemble with a £790 Gucci pussy-bow blouse in on-trend lilac.
But it comes as no surprise to see Chadwyck-Healey reinterpreting some of the royal’s past engagement ensembles.
According to her website, the personal stylist’s mission is to help “sort through and ‘curate’ new ways of wearing pieces you never knew worked well together and ‘create’ space for new pieces”.
This also means upgrading the royal’s accessories collection, as the Duchess has been spotted out and about carting the likes of a miniature Manu Atelier handbag and block heels – a far cry from her usual stiletto.