Why the Princess of Wales’ ensemble at King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation will go down in history
Kate Middleton might not have an official role at King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation, but all eyes will be on the Princess of Wales — and what she’s wearing.
“I think Kate will wear something thoughtful that will in some way show her loyalty to King Charles,” Bethan Holt, fashion director at the DailyTelegraph tells PEOPLE. “She will recognize this as a huge moment, and I think we’ll see something that sets her apart from the crowd.”
Next in line to the role of Queen Consort and the first Princess of Wales to attend a coronation since 1902 means royal watchers could see Kate making quite a grand statement.
“It’s quite nice for her in a way that she can really make this her own, as every time she’s on a tour, either the Queen or Diana has been there before — and there’s an expectation,” Holt says.
Related:Will Kate Middleton Break Tradition by Not Wearing a Tiara to the Coronation?
So what will Princess Kate wear?
“McQueen would be the obvious choice, although I think it would be interesting if she went for a younger designer or an unexpected name,” says Holt, author of The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Royal Modern Style. Alexander McQueen was behind Princess Kate’s 2011 bridal gown and is still a staple of her wardrobe 12 years later.
Holt adds, “While tradition would lean towards a full-length ivory gown, so many rules have changed. She might just surprise us!”
Related:All About the Crowns That Will Be Used at King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Coronation
While the coronation robes of both King Charles and Queen Camilla have been confirmed, there has been no mention of a robe for Kate — although in 1902, the then-Princess of Wales, later Queen Mary, did wear one for her father-in-law law King Edward VII’s coronation.
A modern twist might be a gown incorporating a cape, a style Kate has worn numerous times before.
“A cape would be amazing. She wore a beautiful Jenny Packham caped dress at a state banquet last autumn with jeweled detailing that would make a great template,” says Holt.
It’s likely her title as Princess of Wales, which was given to Kate by King Charles after the Queen’s death in September last year, will be acknowledged in her outfit.
“I’m really hoping to see references in Kate’s coronation outfit to her role as Princess of Wales,” Lauren Kiehna of The Court Jeweler tells PEOPLE. “The incorporation of symbolic jewelry, like Queen Alexandra’s Three Feathers Brooch, or the inclusion of national symbols like the leek or daffodil embroidered on her dress, would be a lovely nod.”
Queen Elizabeth’s coronation dress was embroidered with roses, thistles, shamrocks and leeks to represent all the national emblems of the UK in addition to those of the Commonwealth such as the Canadian maple leaf, an Australian wattle and a New Zealand silver fern. The Queen Mother and Queen Mary’s coronation dresses both featured floral symbolism.
While the dress code for coronation guests is formal daywear and fascinators, it’s still unknown if Kate will wear a tiara. Five weeks before the May 6 coronation, PEOPLE reported that the Princess of Wales was considering forgoing a tiara but with increased anticipation for her to deliver glamour, PEOPLE understood the conversation was ongoing.
more recently, The Times it was reported that Kate would wear a “floral headpiece” in the form of real flowers — but Holt thinks the floral symbolism is more likely to be found on her dress.
“I wonder if the wildflowers that featured on the invitation might be incorporated into Kate’s gown, as a way of showing her loyalty to Charles,” she says. “There will be some floral symbolism in her outfit of some kind for sure.”
Related:Designer Shares Thoughts on Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ Coronation Style (Exclusive)
Should Kate change her mind, a floral tiara might just do the job.
“The idea of the ‘floral headpiece’ actually being a tiara is really interesting, but there aren’t a ton of floral options in the collection (that we know of) that would fit,” says Kiehna. “There is the Strathmore Rose Tiara, an antique diamond bandeau that belongs to the Queen Mother, but it’s pretty tiny.”
Adds Holt, “I think if Kate did decide to wear a tiara, that would be a nice one for her to wear because Charles was so close to the Queen Mother, and it’s very demure.”
Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
One striking nod to the past might be for Princess Kate to wear one of the six golden floral headpieces worn by Queen Elizabeth’s maids at her 1953 ceremony.
“That would be amazing if they’ve been preserved,” says Holt. “If not, then maybe a game of one would be really nice.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.