Sure, red and green are shades that exude festive cheer but the Princess of Wales showed on Friday evening that “snow queen cream” may be the stealth power hue which triumphs them all when she arrived at her Together at Christmas carol concert in a head-to-toe ivory look.
It’s rare these days for the Princess to introduce a new label to her wardrobe, so it’s especially fascinating to see her wearing a longline coat by Savile Row tailor Chris Kerr whose work is usually with male clients. Kerr has previously created costumes for Downton Abbey and Dr Who and made suits for celebrities as varied as Nick Cave, Keanu Reeves and Paddy McGuiness.
After an autumn in which many of the Princess’s outfits have been some variation on a suit, this immaculately tailored bespoke coat represents her firm commitment to sleek suiting.
“Part of a generation of tailors who were trained in Savile Row tradition but set up shop in Soho, Chris Kerr – which was founded by Kerr’s father Eddie – specialises in classic, masculine suiting. Nothing wildly experimental, just handsome, exceptionally made tailoring,” says Stephen Doig, The Telegraph’s men’s style editor.
“Part of the appeal for the Princess may well be the fact that the brand is well-versed in celebrity and the importance of discretion, and that the end product just works – Chris Kerr has made suits for myriad films, including dressing Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible and the debonair cast of the Kingsman movies. Likewise the early, laddish films of Guy Ritchie, chosen for his sharp, alpha-male inflected suiting,” Doig continues. “Serious shoulders, nipped in waists and precision over soft-cuts. Perhaps Kate is set for a new era of British tailoring prowess?”
The introduction of Kerr to Kate’s wardrobe follows her favourite designer Sarah Burton’s departure from Alexander McQueen. She’ll undoubtedly have been in search for new names to help fulfil her wardrobe requirements and this commission for such an important moment in her calendar is a significant seal of approval.
The Princess emphasised her support for British brands with the rest of her look, debuting a new pair of £299 trousers by Holland Cooper and carrying a new £395 handbag by Scottish label Strathberry to complete the modern snow queen effect. She added her £6000 Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra earrings which she first wore in public in 2020.
Now in its third year, the carol concert is cemented as an event where most of the Royal family, especially the younger generation, turn out in support of the Princess of Wales. Where last year, many of the royal attendees, including Kate, coordinated in burgundy, this year the sartorial signals all pointed to the Princess as the glamorous star of the show.
The snow queen effect was underscored by the Princess’s beauty choices. “Kate’s polished make-up combines a very on-trend ashy-mink smokey eye with glowing skin and glossy nude lips,” says Lucia Ferrari, The Telegraph’s beauty editor. “Her hair looks recently glossed with some subtle balayage-ed caramel ends which adds extra shine to winter brunette.”
It’s perhaps worth noting that as the royals continue to deal with the fallout from Omid Scobie’s revelation that the King and Princess of Wales are the Royal family members accused of discussing the colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby’s skin, Kate opted to wear a shade renowned for its association with purity and innocence.
And the other royals wore:
Princess Charlotte made the case for making do with the same winter coat you had last year, in the traditional £165 burgundy Trotters coat that she wore for the annual carol service last year, and again later that month on Christmas Day at Sandringham.
In a £895 tartan dress by Beulah, a label beloved by all the young royals thanks to its ladylike designs and ethical credentials, Princess Beatrice epitomised Christmassy elegance, adding navy velvet Zara boots for good measure.
Princess Eugenie opted for a more understated look, accessorising her sparkly black fit-and-flare coat with a burgundy mini hat box-shaped bag by Aspinal of London and black leather Aquazzura knee-high boots.
The Duchess of Edinburgh
The Duchess of Edinburgh also drew inspiration from Christmases past, in the same
bespoke coat by Suzannah that she wore on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2018. For Friday’s carol service, she made it look modern by removing the belt and adding a tan bag and boots, making for a sophisticated colour combination.
Perhaps the Princess of Wales has been discussing her new love of tailoring with her sister, Pippa, who chose to wear a chic tweed suit by Saloni for the carol service. Anyone who’s a fan of this elegant alternative to a dress might be pleased to know it’s currently on sale; the velvet-trim tweed belted jacket was £750, and is now down to £450 and the trousers, formerly £375, are now £206.
Sophie Winkleman and her daughters Maud and Isabella were a picture-perfect festive trio in coordinating wool coats. Sophie’s vibrant red and black style was the guards red Bria wool coat-dress by Catherine Walker & Co, also a favourite of the Princess of Wales.
Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall also chose a subtly elegant re-wear for the carol service, opting for a plum coat by Shropshire-based Claire Mischevani which she last wore at Cheltenham in 2020.
The Princess of Wales’s famously stylish mother proved that you can have fun with your festive dressing. She debuted a £495 nipped-waist jacket called the Lady Mary from Scottish tartan and tweed specialists, Great Scot. Black velvet wide-leg trousers completed the look.