Until recently, the British royal family were not exactly known for their style; wearing arcane eccentric clothing, the type of style which had been worn by British aristocrats for decades, meant that the Royals fashion sense often came across as stuffy and out of touch. The Queen, who was observed poking fun at her image in the opening ceremony by seemingly parachuting from a helicopter, has been spotted at the game wearing the frumpy yet eccentric style which has become her trademark since ascending to the throne and continuing the stereotype of the aristocracy boasting poor sartorial choices. However, Kate Middleton, whose marriage to Prince William has made her a princess, seems to be on a one lady mission to change all this.
The 30 year old Duchess of Cambridge is often praised in the press and throughout the fashion world as a stylish and elegant young lady. Her ability to combine the debonair style befitting of her status with more high street-esque fashion has won her many admirers. Earlier this year, the Princess started off something of a fashion craze when she seemed to single-handedly bring nude heel court shoes back into fashion by sporting them on an almost omnipresent basis. Middleton was able to mix the sleek heels with an array of styles and used the versatility of the shoes to create the illusion of longer legs. The way she embraced the LK Bennett heels led many to speculate that she only owned one pair and an even larger group of people to follow the trend and invest in the shoes themselves; the fact that there was high street alternatives that looked very much like the real thing on the market certainly helped the craze spread.
If Olympic Bronze medallist Rebecca Adlington’s reaction is anything to go by then the princess may be once again on the cusp of starting a whole new fashion craze again. When Kate Middleton, her husband William, and Prince Harry decided to make a surprise morale boosting visit to the official place of residence for the British Olympics team, Adlington was more impressed by Middleton’s shoes that any words of inspiration. The swimmer gushed about Kate’s choice of summery footwear and is quoted as saying “I just love her shoes. They’re much nicer that the sports gear we’re wearing this week”.
The shoes in question which Kate sported managed to be incredibly on trend in their style. Whilst heels have previously been the be-all and end-all of women’s high fashion, the summer period has seen wedges become a contender for their throne. Whereas heels are incredibly stylish they can sometimes cause the feet much pain; wedges offer more support to the wearer’s arches and, as such, are a more practical shoe to wear. Kate’s shoes were a £245 pair of navy wedges from high street outlet Russell & Bromley which perfectly complimented the nautical theme of her outfit (which also included a blue and white striped Breton top and a matching navy Smythe jacket).
Kate illustrated that the wedges needn’t be worn in the stuffy style that the Royal Family have made a trademark and even teamed them with skinny jeans making the shoe a fun finish to her outfit. As similar cheaper pairs are already available it seems that Kate’s endorsement of these shoes will further the popularity of wedges even more and it is certainly conceivable that the Princess’ footwear choices will once more start a fashion craze.
Kieron Casey is a fashion writer who blogs regularly about the latest womens shoes trends.