Kate Middleton is an expert at heatwave styling and her cherry red halterneck dress and espadrille wedges prove it

The Princess of Wales wore a bright red dress and wedges to watch the polo in 2006 and it's the perfect hot weather combination

Composite of images of Kate Middleton wearing a red halterneck dress and wedges to watch a polo match in 2006
(Image credit: Image 1: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images//Image 2:Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales is an expert at heatwave styling and her cherry red halterneck dress and espadrille wedges for a day at the polo in 2006 proved this beyond doubt.

Dressing in a heatwave is never easy, no matter what staples you’ve got in your summer capsule wardrobe. For the Royal Family things can get even trickier when a formal dress-code is in place for occasions like Royal Ascot, but in her pre-royal days the Princess of Wales often went a little more casual with her summer looks. She especially showcased her expertise at dressing for hot weather whenever she watched Prince William play polo in the warmer months and there’s one simple yet bold outfit from her we’ve never forgotten. In 2006 Kate attended the Chakravarty Cup charity polo match which the Prince of Wales was competing in and she wore a stunning cherry red halterneck dress and classic espadrille wedges. 

Kate’s red dress was the perfect day dress for a hot, sunny day in June. It had a classic halterneck neckline which appeared to be part of a wrapover design and the shape was flattering whilst still being relatively modest.

Kate Middleton attends the Chakravarty Polo Match at Ham Polo Club in 2006

(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

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The bodice hugged her silhouette without being rigidly fitted and then flared out slightly into an A-line knee-length skirt. If you’re not sure about bearing your legs with a mini dress or shorts in the summer then a knee-length dress is the perfect elegant alternative. There are so many stunning knee-length options available right now in neutral tones and breathable linen and cotton fabrics, though back then Kate went bold with a vibrant cherry red polka dot colourway. 

Red is one of her favourite colours to wear to this day and the bright tone looked particularly gorgeous in the summer sunshine. Kate is also a huge fan of polka dots and the micro dot print running across her dress added a subtle touch of detail and contrast to the scarlet hue. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what colour suits you, then scarlet reds particularly suit those with winter colouring, though different shades of red can work for anyone and this bright tone looked amazing worn by the future Queen Consort.

Kate Middleton walks across grass as she attends the Chakravarty Cup charity polo match

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

She continued her heatwave styling with a pair of matching espadrille wedges with a classic jute woven sole and red straps. The coordination of her shoes to her dress tied Kate’s outfit together and the addition of the straps helped to provide a little more stability when walking across grass. Wedges are a great middle ground between high heels and flats like your best white trainers and they’ve remained a go-to in the Princess of Wales’s summer wardrobe.

The jute material of the wedge added some more texture into the look and Kate went for simple jewellery pieces to accessorise even more. She wore several thin silver-toned bangles, two rings, a watch, pearl drop earrings and a pendant necklace that was framed by the neckline of her dress. To make her summer look that bit more practical for hot weather she also donned brown sunglasses to shield her eyes from the sun.

Kate Middleton and Prince William's Private Secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton watch Prince William compete in the Chakravarty Cup charity polo match in 2006

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Even now, 18 years later, Kate’s cherry red halterneck dress outfit is still a fabulous one to take inspiration from during a heatwave in the UK. Chic yet simple, you can easily throw on a red dress and wedges in a matter of moments for a daytime outing. If the weather turns a little cooler than a denim jacket or a linen blazer would look lovely over the top but we love this outfit just as it is.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!