Duchess of Cambridge crowned top royal fashion influencer

Meghan Markle may have commanded more media attention in recent weeks, but when it comes to royal fashion icons, Kate Middleton remains the UK’s favourite.

Nearly half of Britons say that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is the top royal female influencer, whereas only 20.1% think it’s Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, new research from the Fashion Retail Academy has revealed.

Kate Middleton, known for her simple dresses and structured coats, proves popular across generations, while Meghan Markle’s look resonates more among those under the age of 45. Just 9% of over 55s support her sartorial choices, compared to 47% who are influenced by the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen is the third most influential royal fashion icon. With her bright coat-dresses and matching hats, she beats Meghan in the 55+ age group. Notably, the Queen also does surprisingly well with the younger generation, with an incredible 9.8% of 18-24 year olds saying she influences their style the most.

Meanwhile, the title for the UK’s most stylish royal man goes to Prince Harry. His laid back look attracted top marks from 14% of Britons, while only 11% of respondents endorsed Prince William’s more structured style. Prince Harry beats Prince William in every age group except for the over 55s.

Knowing who’s the top royal fashion icon matters because nearly 20% of Britons are influenced by royal style, and the same percentage of men are influenced as women.

“Ever since newspapers became widely available in the UK, the royal family has influenced people’s style, and nowadays with the internet and social media at their disposal, it’s even easier for people to mimic their outfit choices,” said Lee Lucas, principal and CEO of the Retail Fashion Academy.

“The sheer influence they have is apparent when photos emerge of them wearing items from high street retailers which then sell out in minutes.”