32 of the Royals' best off-duty looks, from Princess Diana's athleisure to Kate Middleton's comfy casuals

The royals have proven time and time again they don't need the crowns and tiaras to look stylish

Some of the best off-duty looks from the likes of Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
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The Royal Family know how to dress up, and there's been plenty of royal gowns we just can't get over throughout the years. From Kate Middleton's best style moments to the best royal wedding outfits, they never disappoint. 

But what does a Princess or a Duchess wear when they've hung up their tiaras for the evening? These looks prove the likes of Catherine, Princess of Wales, the late Princess Diana and Meghan Markle can look just as stylish dressed down. 

The Royal Wardrobe by Rosie Harte | £17 at Amazon

The Royal Wardrobe by Rosie Harte | £17 at Amazon 

Royal fashion lovers will be fascinated by the journey through history taken in this book, reflecting upon how royal style has evolved from the Tudor and Victorian era to the modern day. It considers the impact of royal apparel and how much meaning each item can have.

32 of the Royals' best off-duty looks

Princess Diana’s iconic Fly Atlantic sweatshirt, 1995

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt, leaves Chelsea Harbour Club, London in November, 1995.

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The Fly Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt that Princess Diana wore became so well known partly because she was pictured in it so many times - and this wasn't a coincidence. 

According to the royal's personal trainer, Jenni Rivett, Diana wore it to every single gym session so that photographers were less interested in following her. 

Of course, the athleisure look became one of her most memorable off-duty ensembles, and the jumper - which was a personal gift from Richard Branson - eventually ended up selling at auction for over £40,000.

Queen Elizabeth's Hermès headscarves

Queen Elizabeth II wearing one of her famous headscarves.

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The late Queen Elizabeth II was famous for her silk scarves. 

When she was at Balmoral, her Scottish getaway where she was said to be most at peace, she'd wrap her head in the iconic scarves and be seen trekking about the highlands.

When it came to her vast collection of scarves, she had a particular affinity for Hermès. The brand was founded by harness-maker Thierry Hermès in 1837 and continued specialising in equestrian gear for decades, while the late Queen herself had been a lifelong lover of horses and riding.

Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson skiing

Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson skiing

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In keeping with the neon-bright hues that were all the rage in the late ’80s, Diana and Fergie kept their fashion game up as they went skiing down the slopes. 

The one-time sisters-in-law were pictured play-fighting on the ski slopes of Klosters in Switzerland where they were enjoying a trip away with Prince Andrew and Prince Charles. 

Queen Camilla’s Barbour jacket and hat

Queen Camilla out for a walk wearing a Barbour jacket.

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The waxed Barbour jackets are favourites of the royals and the upper classes, and it's no surprise - these jackets can be worn for a lifetime. 

Inspired by a mix of country heritage and contemporary designs, the now Queen Camilla sported the popular trend of rocking the timeless jacket with a pair of jeans and Hunter wellies. 

Princess Diana's countryside chic

The best off-duty royal fashion moments, from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton

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Before their royal wedding, Princess Diana posed for a photo with the then Prince Charles at Balmoral wearing a pink patterned V-neck with trousers and Hunter Wellington boots.

It's a classic Diana look. Her way of fitting in with the uniform of the royals when out and about in Balmoral, but still finding a way to add a touch of personality. 

Kate Middleton's sailing attire

Catherine, the Princess of Wales, getting ready for a boat race against her husband, Prince William, in Germany in 2017.

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Nautical has never looked as nice as when the now Princess of Wales got casual and sporty in a light blue and white striped top for a competitive ride against Prince William in 2017. 

Thousands had lined the River Neckar in Heidelberg, Germany to see the royal couple cox rival boats.

Before they set off, Kate told her crew, which included German Olympic rowing champ Filip Adamski, "No pressure, but I do want to beat my husband!" Alas, Kate didn't beat her husband this time. 

Princess Diana does double denim

Princess Diana wearing double denim alongside her son, Prince Wiliam.

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It's a trend which is in one year and blacklisted the next. But Princess Diana certainly made a strong argument for the double denim look when she was out and about with her young children.

Proof that Princess Diana wasn't afraid of trying a controversial look? She paired the already divisive double-denim with a pair of white boots. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton's matching hoodies

The Prince and Princess of Wales wearing matching hoodies on their honeymoon tour of Canada in 2011.

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On their honeymoon tour of Canada in 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton were presented with matching hoodies. 

The couple's cosy red hoodies were symbolic of a gift they were bestowed by the Canadian Rangers. William and Kate were both made honorary Rangers and turns out it was a great colour for the now Prince and Princess of Wales. 

It's thought Kate made red a more recurrent colour in her wardrobe once she took on the Princess of Wales title, as the colour is central to the Welsh flag. It's thought Diana would wear red to important occasions for the same reason. 

Cowgirl Kate

The Princess of Wales at the Festival of British Eventing in 2005.

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The saying might be 'when in Rome', but for Kate in 2005, she was following the adage of 'when it Gatcombe'. 

The future Princess of Wales joined her future family at the Festival of British Eventing at Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate. She committed to the look with a brown suede cowboy hat and relaxed V-neck. 

Princess Diana's puff-sleeved shirt

Princess Diana at the Cirencester Polo Match in 1983.

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Nobody channelled 80s trends quite like the late Princess Diana. 

For the Cirencester Polo Match in 1983, Diana looked stunning in a puffed-sleeve shirt, which really captured the oversized-shoulder silhouette. 

Diana's fun blouse included a black-and-white print, and she cinched herself in at the waist with a chic black belt. 

Diana's casual school drop-off look

Princess Diana wearing an unusual combination of white trousers, boots, a blazer jacket and a baseball cap after taking her sons to school at Wetherby, 25th April 1989.

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The likes of supermodel Kendall Jenner was photographed wearing joggers and cowboy boots in 2019, but Diana did it first. 

Proving that she could always make a difficult style work for her, the late Princess of Wales was seen doing the school run at Wetherby in 1989, wearing a relaxed pair of grey jogging bottoms tucked into a pair of brown cowboy boots.

A chic, fitted blazer added a sophisticated balance to her relaxed look. 

Princess Anne's go-to Gatcombe look

Princess Anne pictured at Gatcombe Park.

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Princess Anne's off-duty look has stayed consistent for years. She is famous for her no-nonsense, tried-and-tested style. 

From her iconic, sporty sunglasses, Barbour jackets and walking boots, the Princess Royal is the definitive country girl whenever she's at home in Gatcombe Park or enjoying the great outdoors, something she most definitely inherited from her parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. 

Sarah Ferguson's 1990's polka dot and denim

Sarah Ferguson pictured with her daughter, Princess Eugenie.

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If anyone ever needed a snapshot of what was popular in the 90s, this photo of Sarah Ferguson pretty much captures it all. 

Denim jean jacket? Check. Polka dots? Yep. The small, oval sunglasses? Present and accounted for. The Duchess of York's look is a great inspiration for achieving a simple look that still looks well thought out. 

A patterned skirt with a simple top and a staple piece of outerwear will keep you looking stylish, even if you're caught on the school run or popping to the shops in a rush. 

Kate Middleton's white jeans

Kate Middleton watches Prince Harry and Prince William play in a charity polo match at the Beaufort Polo Club on July 29, 2006 in Tetbury, England

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The now Princess of Wales is a huge fan of powerful dressing, sporting a series of tailored pantsuits in a rainbow of colours. But back when she was just Kate from Berkshire, she'd offer up a look very on-trend with her contemporaries, while watching Prince Harry and Prince William play in a charity polo match at the Beaufort Polo Club.

In the early 2000s, Kate's white jeans and light cardigan was an easy look to emulate, and would look suitable hanging out with friends or heading to work - and we know Kate held down some "normal" jobs like waitressing and fashion buying before she'd go on to secure her place in royal history. 

Kate Middleton's red puffer

Kate Middleton at Peterley Manor Farm on December 04, 2019.

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Kate's red puffer jacket is the perfect pop of colour to quickly and easily elevate any outfit. She's worn the colourful jacket on many occasions, often pairing it with an all-black outfit.

Kate’s red puffer could also have been an early sign that she was studying the likes of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Red has the longest wavelength of all the colours in the visible spectrum, meaning it hits our eyes before we process any other colours.

Kate could’ve been taking style cues from the late Queen Elizabeth with this comfy-looking puffer, understanding as Her Majesty did, that wearing brighter colours meant more fans could catch a glimpse of her.

Princess Diana's honeymoon suit

Princess Diana and Prince Charles during their honeymoon at Balmoral.

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After her grand spectacle of a wedding to Prince Charles, one of the next sightings people got of Princess Diana was a much more relaxed look. 

Enjoying their honeymoon in Balmoral, Diana looked every inch the Princess she became in a matching suit designed By Bill Pashley. 

Meghan Markle's high-low look

Meghan Markle supporting Prince Harry at Invictus Games in 2022.

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While supporting Prince Harry's Invictus Games in 2022, Meghan Markle proved the power of mixing some casual items with some high-fashion statement pieces. 

The Duchess of Sussex wore a pair of faded Moussy Vintage jeans with a simple white t-shirt underneath a black tweed Celine jacket and chain-handled Triomphe bag, also from Celine. 

She finished off the look with cap-toed Chanel ballet flats. 

Kate Middleton's country girl look

The Princess of Wales during a trip to County Durham.

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For a trip to County Durham, Kate kept it clean, classic countryside, wearing a Fair Isle knit sweater over a pie-crust collar blouse and dark-wash denim. 

Proving she's just as happy in the mud, Kate was all smiles in her Wellington boots as she enjoyed the fresh outdoors. 

Meghan Markle's shades of blue shirt-dress

Meghan Markle at the 2023 Invictus Games.

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Meghan Markle's appearance at the 2023 Invictus Games was one of her first major appearances since choosing to eschew the spotlight following bombshell headlines around her and Prince Harry's Netflix series and memoirs. 

For the 2023 volleyball, Meghan was courtside in a denim Carolina Herrera shirt-dress, Dior shoes and Pippa Small earrings.

Princess Diana's seersucker trousers

Princess Diana at a charity polo match.

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Diana, the late Princess of Wales looked effortlessly elegant while still keeping things less formal for a charity polo match. 

Diana co-ordinated a pair of high-waisted, pleat-front trousers with an ivory blouse, brown aviator sunglasses, a stack of bracelets, gold earrings, and a floral quilted purse on her second wedding anniversary at a polo match in 1983.

Princess Diana's yellow dungarees

Princess Diana attending a polo match in July 1981.

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Princess Diana sported a floral shirt and yellow overalls while attending a polo match in July 1981.

Her yellow overalls were teamed with a printed yellow and pink floral top, for a springy look which positively radiated joy. 

The look became such a signature that it was recreated in Netflix's The Crown. 

Duchess Sophie's 90s brown leather jacket

Duchess Sophie pictured in London.

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Before she married Prince Edward, the now Duchess of Edinburgh was a stylish and powerful PR official for Capital Radio. 

Being a career woman in the city, it's no surprise her wardrobe was full of chic outfits like this brown leather jacket and black trousers. 

Meghan's full-length coat and black jeans

Meghan Markle alongside Prince Harry at the 2018 Invictus Games.

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Meghan joined her then-future husband at the 2018 Invictus Games and kept things typically laid-back. 

Meghan wore an olive military jacket with wide-leg trousers and an Invictus Games polo, repping the charity dear to her husband. 

Kate Middleton's school drop-off dress

The best off-duty royal fashion moments, from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton

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Back-to-school season has never looked better than when Kate Middleton accompanied Prince George and Princess Charlotte for their first day of the new term. 

On the warm September morning, the Princess of Wales wore the perfect between-seasons outfit, opting for a red and white floral dress from Michael Kors.

Kate finished her look with a thin black leather belt that cinched in her waist.

Princess Anne's 1970's glamour

Princess Anne at Badminton Horse Trials in South Gloucestershire.

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Princess Anne is full-on 1970s here with her blowout hairstyle, bulky coat, and delicate neck scarf, photographed as she walks the Badminton Horse Trials in South Gloucestershire.

Meghan Markle's denim dress and aviators

Meghan Markle at the U.S. Open in New York City in 2019.

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In September 2019, the Duchess of Sussex attended the U.S. Open in New York City to support her close friend, Serena Williams. 

Meghan opted for an affordable and casual denim J. Crew shirt dress. She paired the look with a grey jacket draped casually over her shoulders and cool, aviator sunglasses from Victoria Beckham.

A masterclass in effortless dressing for the unpredictable September weather.

Princess Diana's animal print beachwear

Princess Diana holidaying in the Caribbean.

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Diana was truly off-duty as she soaked up the sea and sand in 1993. 

The Princess of Wales put the stresses of her divorce from Charles and intense attention from the media to one side as she frolicked around in a leopard print swimsuit and matching sarong in the Caribbean. 

A leopard never changes its spots, and a leopard print outfit will never look out of style!

Meghan Markle's short suit

Meghan Markle during a visit to the Today Show studios in 2016.

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Meghan Markle made a powerful case for sporting a short suit with this grey Veronica Beard set in 2016. 

Wearing the smart outfit to the Today Show studios, Meghan added a pop of colour to her grey and white ensemble with the Marc Jacobs Gotham Bauletto tote bag. 

She was also strutting the streets with some Jimmy Choo watersnake heels.

Princess Margaret's Bahamas fashion

Princess Margaret during a trip to the Bahamas.

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While stepping out in the Bahamas, Princess Margaret wore something a lot more casual than was expected for the royals at the time. 

Proving she kept up with the fashion of her peers, Margaret's above-the-knee colourful dress captured the spirit of the swinging sixties, and the addition of a turquoise blue bow was an inspired touch.

Queen Elizabeth's highland fashion

Queen Elizabeth II during a walk.

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Queen Elizabeth II served for a historic 70 years and saw a lot in that time. Travelling the world, meeting titans of history and serving as the head of state for seven decades, the late Queen certainly earned her days off. 

And that time off would usually see Her Majesty swap colourful palettes and rainbow dressing for tartans, checks and other traditional patterns. 

Equally at home giving a toast wearing a dazzling tiara as she was traipsing through the muddy hills of Balmoral, we love Her Majesty's way of still looking stylish and distinct while enjoying being off-duty. 

Princess Diana's colourful swimwear

Princess Diana during a holiday in St. Tropez.

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Princess Diana's neon ombre swimsuit captures the joy and freedom of being off-duty, and on the beach. 

It's thought Diana's swimsuit was a bespoke design by the brand Gottex, whose founder Leah Gottlieb met with the princess in London and offered to supply her with some one-off pieces for her upcoming trip to St. Tropez where she was due to spend time on Dodi Al Fayed’s father's yacht.

Princess Diana's black sheep jumper

Princess Diana attending one of the now King Charles's polo matches.

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Diana turned a simple jumper into a piece of history. Perhaps only her infamous "Revenge Dress" and her opulent wedding dress are more iconic. 

The late Princess of Wales was first seen wearing the red and white jumper with a singular black sheep motif when she was 19 years old at one of the now King Charles's polo matches, just a month before they were to wed. 

The jumper came from Warm & Wonderful - who were more than happy to replace Diana's jumper when it got damaged. In 1983, the two designers received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that Princess Diana had ruined her original sheep sweater, and requested for it to be repaired or replaced. 

In 2023, the now legendary jumper sold for $1.14 million at a Sotheby's New York auction. 

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.