The one wardrobe item Kate Middleton's never worn since becoming a senior royal - and she used to love it!

This wardrobe item Kate Middleton's never worn as a royal is something she was pictured in a number of times in the past

The wardrobe item Kate Middleton's never worn as a royal explained. Seen here is Catherine, Princess of Wales on day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

There’s one wardrobe item Kate’s never worn since becoming a senior royal - and she used to love wearing this style in the summer. 

The Princess of Wales has been pushing her style boundaries in recent years, from Kate’s red nail polish at Easter 2023 to her pastel pink suit. Kate’s dresses tend to remain a little more classic, especially her ones for formal occasions, but she’s been incorporating bolder colours here too. However, there’s one wardrobe item Kate’s never worn since becoming a member of the Royal Family in 2011. And it’s something that the future Queen Consort used to opt for in the summer…

When it comes to necklines, we’ve seen pretty much all of them from the Princess of Wales over the years but she’s not been as much of a halterneck fan since before her and Prince William’s wedding. During the early years of their relationship, Kate was pictured wearing halterneck dresses at the polo on multiple occasions. 

Kate Middleton wearing halternecks on three separate occasions

(Image credit: Future//Image 1:Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images // Image 2:Photo by Indigo/Getty Images // Image 3:Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

One particularly beautiful one was a stand-out red option with a tie-waist detail and subtle polka dot pattern that Kate wore back in 2006 when Prince William competed in the Chakravarty Cup charity polo match. She then went on to be photographed wearing another stunning halterneck dress also that summer at Tidworth Polo Club.

This dress featured a bold black and white botanical print trimmed with black piping that accentuated the classic neckline design. Tied simply at the back, Kate wore her long brunette tresses in a loose bun, keeping it neatly out of the way of the halterneck bow. And whilst these were very day-wear appropriate, the Princess of Wales also stepped out in a halterneck top as part of one of her most iconic pre-marriage looks. 

Kate Middleton attends The Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco

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

She was joined by her sister Pippa as she attended the Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco charity disco in London in September 2008 wearing an emerald-green sequin halterneck top. She paired it with yellow shorts, a bright pink Mulberry bag and matching leg-warmers, keeping to the disco theme. 

Since becoming a senior royal, however, halternecks have become the one wardrobe item Kate’s never worn. For daytime royal engagements and appearances at events like Wimbledon and Services of Thanksgiving, she generally opts for outfits that are more modest and formal. 

On occasions where Kate can experiment and have fun with more fashion-forward dresses like red carpet occasions, she’s not been afraid to show her shoulders - but she tends to choose bardot or one-shoulder neckline gowns.

Kate Middleton wearing a one shoulder gown and a bardot gown on separate occasions

(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images //Image 2: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

We’ve seen her wow in some magnificent gowns featuring these more daring necklines in recent years alone, from her lime green Earthshot Prize 2023 dress to her upcycled Alexander McQueen dress from this year’s BAFTAs.

It’s not known exactly why she’s not reached for halterneck clothes like she used to, but perhaps her fashion taste has simply evolved and she now prefers other necklines. Whatever the reason, halterneck fans can still take some summer style inspiration from Kate's old looks as we await her next high-profile red carpet or premiere appearance and what design she might step out in.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.