The now Princess of Wales’s close relationship with the house of Alexander McQueen began more than a decade ago, on her wedding day, when she emerged from the Queen’s Rolls-Royce Phantom VI dressed in a spectacular lace gown by artistic director Sarah Burton.
Since then, Kate has chosen to wear McQueen on countless meaningful occasions, from her children’s christenings to the day she was captured for a trio of official 40th birthday portraits by Vogue photographer Paolo Roversi. Now, it appears, her daughter Princess Charlotte is making it a family tradition.
For the Coronation of Charlotte’s grandfather, King Charles III, Kate wore an Alexander McQueen dress and cape in ivory silk crepe featuring rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs representing the four nations. On her head: a Jess Collett X Alexander McQueen headpiece fashioned from silver bullion and crystal with three-dimensional leaf embroidery.
The eight-year-old Charlotte wore an Alexander McQueen dress and cape in ivory silk crepe with the same motifs, and a Jess Collett X Alexander McQueen headpiece similar to the one worn by her mother, Buckingham Palace confirmed. “In spite of eschewing the traditional platinum and diamonds, Kate’s leaf crown nevertheless follows a long tradition of royal headgear paying homage to the natural world,” notes British Vogue’s jewellery director, Rachel Garrahan. “Scrolling foliage is the theme of the Cartier Halo Tiara, which was made for Queen Mary in 1913, and which Kate wore on her own wedding day. Kate has also worn the Lotus Flower tiara on a number of state occasions—it was adapted by Garrard for the Queen Mother from a pearl and diamond necklace she received from her husband on their wedding day in 1923.”
Such naturalistic designs bring a “softer, more human touch” to the pomp and ceremony of royal occasions, says Garrahan. “The fact that Princess Charlotte is wearing a miniature one to match her mother’s makes the choice even sweeter.”
Kate and William have always been careful to protect their children from the spotlight, but Charlotte’s Coronation dress and headpiece is a sign of things to come for the young royals, who will ultimately take on a more prominent role at formal royal occasions now that their father is heir to the throne, and their mother is Queen in waiting.
This story originally appeared in British Vogue.