All hail Her Royal Highness, Princess of the mid-2000s party scene: of course, the only woman we could be talking about is Kate Middleton.
The Princess of Wales, who celebrated her 42nd birthday on Tuesday (local time), has embodied the image of elegance in her more than a decade as a royal. To a new generation, she’s the Queen of the Y2K club girl.
On social media, Middleton’s mid-2000s era has gone viral with Gen Zs who were too busy learning the alphabet in 2006 to pay attention to paparazzi photos of the almost-Duchess stepping out of Boujis.
Thankfully, the internet keeps all memories.
TikTok slideshows of Middleton’s style circa 2004 and 2008 have gone viral as younger social media users seek inspiration from the woman who had the best of both worlds: an insane wardrobe to take to nightclubs, and a rich royal boyfriend to dance with while you’re at it.
Iconic looks include the 2008 outfit she wore to Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco: a sequin green halter top, paired with yellow sports shorts and black knee-high heeled boots with pink socks peeking over the top.
There’s a floral dress with a ruffled hem paired with a cropped pink jacket, a psychedelic minidress, and the noughties take on the Sloane Ranger.
Or, her halterneck satin dress in scarf print, worn on a girl’s night trip to Mahiki alongside her sister Pippa, fresh off Middleton’s breakup from Prince William in 2007. It was the revenge dress of the 2000s.
She gives the image of the ultimate single woman: losing the man destined to be King doth not mean you lose your social life (or style).
Then, there’s that one image of the younger Prince and Princess of Wales burned into the minds of many: Middleton in bed with William, his hand holding her hair after she’s written “KING” across his chest in lipstick.
Middleton’s treasure trove of 2000s accessories include chunky handbags, layered bracelets, UGG boots, perfectly voluminous hair (blow-waved, always), a flip phone, an heir to the British Royal Throne, and a whole lot of blush and bronzer.
Middleton’s 2000s era was recently explored on Netflix’s The Crown, which recreated the future Duchesses’ see-through black skirt-turned-dress with a bikini underneath, worn down the runway of a student charity fashion show at Middleton and Prince Williams’ former university, St. Andrews.
Her runway appearance is said to be the moment that caught Williams’ eye, because a true Queen knows a good outfit can take you anywhere.
Middleton’s outfits are a snapshot of London’s 2000s club scene, like looking through your mum’s old photo album, and thinking, ‘wait, you were actually cool once?’
These days, Middleton opts for elegance with Alexander McQueen in regular rotation in her closet, chic business casual (her frequent double-breasted blazer and trousers or simple dress looks) for royal engagements, and designer gowns for red carpets and other important events you would attend as the Princess of Wales.
The eye-popping colour coordination of the 2000s has gone, replaced with the favourite monotones of the royals: red, cream, blue, and green. Her accessories are a lot more subdued yet sophisticated, trading the rows of bracelets lining her wrists for pearls and diamonds.
Perhaps it all just goes to show Middleton is a woman who can do both – rocking a satin slip-on dress to the club to forget your ex-boyfriend, then standing next to him at his father’s coronation in custom-made Alexander McQueen and an embellished crystal headband.