When the Princess of Wales stepped out for the 2023 Royal Variety Performance, she delighted crowds of commoners and fashion fanatics with her Safiyaa Destiny gown in a deep sea blue. The elegant dress had all the makings of a royally resplendent gown — strong structured shoulders, crystal embellished neckline and split sleeves creating a dramatic cloak effect. The alluring dress was part princess, part glamorous guardian of the Crown.
Still, this was not Princess Kate’s first tango with statement sleeves and capelet fashions. In fact, the British beauty has long been devoted to the superhero silhouette. Worn for casual coffee runs, royal tours and fancy palace parties, the princess can’t resist a drapey design.
Here are 10 of Kate Middleton’s Best Cape Fashion Moments:
1. Jenny Packham Elspeth Cape Dress
A bridal dress turned royal showstopper, this sophisticated dress from Jenny Packham made its debut on the princess during the State Banquet for the President of South Africa in November 2022. The snowy dress was perfect for the pre-Christmas season with its dazzling detailed shoulders and captivating slit sleeves.
2. Jenny Packham Goldfinger Gown
An enchanting dress with golden gladiator glamour, this sparkly cape gown was exclusively designed for a commemorative capsule collection celebrating the 60th anniversary of James Bond. Kate glided down the red carpet in the foiled floor-sweeping dress with gleaming sequin, heavy crystals and sparkling spangles.
3. Alexander McQueen Blush Pink Cape Gown
For an elegant black-tie affair at The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway, Kate demonstrated her knack for pulling off mom-to-be glam. Clad in a custom soft pink Alexander McQueen ballgown with an embellished crystal cape, the duchess was stunning and stylish in the frothy silk design. Barring the BAFTA Awards, the February 2018 dinner marked Kate’s final ‘posh princess’ event before taking maternity leave after the arrival of little Prince Louis a few months later.
4. Paul & Joe Embroidered Wool Cape
In April 2016, during a visit to Bhutan, the princess wore this Paul & Joe wool cape embroidered in India with colorful turquoise, pink and red flowers. Designed entirely of wool with a silk lining, the ready-to-wear cape in soft cream looked gorgeous when paired with a purple skirt from Kate’s London-based private dressmaker.
5. Zara Tartan Checked Wool Cape Coat
For coffee stops and retail runs, Kate was spotted in this sleeveless checked Zara poncho. Hailing from around 2010, the checked cape has wide arm slits, deep front invisible pockets and a leather and brass fastener near the neck. Kate paired the front closure tartan style cape with dark skinny jeans and her Seville riding boots by Really Wild. Similar cape on Amazon HERE
6. Catherine Walker Red Cape Coat
The princess met with the President and First Lady of South Korea in late 2023 in this colorful cape coat; Kate’s holiday friendly red ‘Beau Tie’ coat from Catherine Walker was strategically peeking out through the long scarlet topper. Dubbed a ‘Regal Red Riding Hood’ by royal watchers, Kate looked smart and sophisticated in the monochrome red on red ensemble.
7. Mulberry Ashleigh Virgin Wool Cape Coat
Playing duchess detective, Kate was photographed on a visit to Northern Ireland in February 2019 wearing this lavender trench dress. The unique design has a removable shoulder cape, oversized collar and coordinating square belt.
8. Zara Red Cape Blazer
The princess wore this swing jacket with a cape silhouette for the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2016. For the evening outing, the princess donned her frilly Dolce & Gabbana all white lace dress with the cropped crimson topper. The stylish topcoat features a peter pan collar, oversized buttons and two front pockets.
9. Zara Long Black Cloth Cape
In December 2017, the princess appeared twice in this long cape with trailing side vents. The brunette beauty wore the budget friendly black cape for a pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace and a performance of the Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House.
10. Safiyaa Destiny Poseidon Long Dress
Bringing the dress drama to dangerously high levels, Kate stunned in a teal blue gown by Safiyaa for the Royal Variety Performance in November 2023. The princess looked every inch the style standout in the slit sleeve evening gown with a crystal embellished collar and puffed padded shoulders.
On another interesting note is how Princess Kate’s sister Pippa has long been a fan of ‘casual cape’ wear. The socialite and author has frequently worn cape coats around London. She was spotted in 2013 running errands in a camel colored Somerset by Alice Temperley for John Lewis Cape Coat. The military inspired double-breasted coat is designed of Italian cashmere with a matching tie belt.
The younger sister of Princess Kate was also spotted at Heathrow airport in October 2013 in a rust brown Leon Max Doubleweave Wool Cape coat. In addition, the mom of three wore a Max Studio single breasted black cape coat for errands and shopping excursions. Shop the look at Nordstrom with the Wool Blend Cape from Ralph Lauren