It can be lonely at the top. When the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, married into the royal family in 2011, she was instantly thrust into the spotlight, her every look, word, and action dissected by the masses. Since becoming a mother to three precocious children, the attention on her life has only increased. But when Meghan Markle entered the picture in 2015 when she first began to date Prince Harry, the Duchess welcomed her with open arms. Markle has repeatedly told the press that Middleton has been “absolutely amazing” by welcoming her to the family without hesitation, and Markle has repaid the kindness by spending time with her new friend when pregnancy sidelined her from a royal outing on Boxing Day. When reporters asked Middleton about her feelings toward Prince Harry’s bride-to-be, she replied warmly, “William and I are absolutely thrilled.” The two couples frequently double-date, and the older pair has invited the younger to stay with them at their Anmer Hall home in Norfolk.
Their budding relationship is heartwarming, especially when society tends to pit women against each other in nasty and discouraging ways. However, there is one arena where the two have some mutual competition. While hats are mandated for royal occasions, Middleton has seven years of chapeau-wearing experience on Markle. This comes through in her dramatic hat choices, created by the famed milliner, Philip Treacy. Markle’s choices tend to be simpler, and she has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to nailing the royal hat look. Fortunately, Middleton is happy to provide stunning examples, especially when it comes to matching one’s hat with one’s outfit.
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Kate Middleton’s hats are design marvels, often sporting floral appliqués, jaunty feathers, and other dimensional arrangements that add volume and elegance to her look.
Meghan Markle’s hats tend to be a bit simpler. You’ll often see her out and about in minimal fedoras, berets, and boating hats. Lately, she’s been expanding her hat arrangements to include more dramatic volumes and the occasional accent piece.