Kate Middleton's timeless trench coat is perfect for rainy spring days and chilly summer breezes

The Princess of Wales knows a classic piece when she sees one and her stunning trench coat from 2011 is a style staple that will last years

Composite of two pictures of Kate Middleton wearing a trench coat in Belfast in 2011
(Image credit: Image 1: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Image)

The Princess of Wales's trench coat is a timeless piece that's perfect for rainy spring and cooler summer days.

Whilst we might have hoped the arrival of spring means no need for umbrellas or coats, it seems that the weather is determined to prove us wrong. So far it’s been a rain-filled season and although warmer weather is finally beckoning, the need for a light yet practical layering piece to keep you warmer is still very much felt. It doesn’t come much more classic than one of the best trench coats and the Princess of Wales’s trench coat from March 2011 is still one of our favourites.

She wore hers for a trip to Belfast with Prince William the month before their wedding at Westminster Abbey. Kate’s trench coat was a wool one from Burberry which had a double-breasted design and statement buttons running down the front, as well as buckled cuffs and a flattering waist belt.

Kate Middleton stands on the steps of City Hall during a visit to Belfast on March 8, 2011

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

The buttons and buckles on the cuffs and belt were black, adding a lovely element of contrast to the look alongside the soft beige tone of the fabric. For those wondering how to style a trench coat, the neutral shade of this one made it all the more wearable as it would work seamlessly with everything from bold tones to pastels. 

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With the coat fastened all the way up to her neck on this rainy spring day, Kate’s trench was the star of the show and although the rest of the design was incredibly timeless and simple, the bottom of the coat was a little more fun. All along the hem was a subtle peplum-like frill which brought a feminine feel to the coat without being overly fussy or overwhelming. 

On this occasion in Belfast, the Princess of Wales went for an all-black look underneath her coat which matched the detailing. She stepped out in a black dress, opaque tights and timeless high heeled shoes and finished off her look with a minimalist clutch bag. This was the perfect way to execute a simple yet impactful spring outfit and even though Kate’s trench was last seen publicly over a decade ago, trenches are still just as popular now.

Catherine Middleton visits Belfast City Hall In Northern Ireland

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

They are the perfect spring/summer styling piece as they provide an added layer without being too heavy as the weather gradually gets warmer. On rainy days the temperature is often that bit lower and so a trench coat is an easy piece when you don’t want to wear a full wool coat.

Depending on how much of an investment you want to make, some trench coats are actually crafted from waterproof or shower-resistant fabric, making them even more practical for rainy days. Alternatively, just as a layer it’s a lovely choice and even when summer arrives, a trench coat is a great staple to have on hand for cooler evenings and breezy days.

Kate Middleton arrives for a visit to Belfast City Hall on March 8, 2011 in Belfast

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

You can also easily make trench coats more casual with trainers and jeans or style them up for work or other formal occasions with trousers and a blouse or a beautiful dress. To wear with dresses, you’d just need to consider the shape and length of your trench coat compared to the dress to ensure they work well together.

In recent years the Princess of Wales has continued to love a trench coat shape though she’s branched out with her choice of colours. In 2021 for a spring visit to Scotland she wore an electric blue tartan trench coat with a longline fit and gold buttons for a more statement take on this timeless piece of outerwear.

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!