The A-Z of fashion designers that royal women turn to when they REALLY want a regal look. (And, yes, we have Y and Z!) By ELIZA SCARBOROUGH

With so many demands and so much scrutiny, royal fashion is exacting.

Perhaps it’s natural, then, that many of the leading ladies, from Queen Letizia of Spain to Queen Mary of Denmark, or from Beatrice to Kate, turn to the same designers. 

When Catherine, Princess of Wales finds a label she likes, she grabs hold and wears the look with regularity. 

Think Alexander McQueen, Emilia Wickstead, and Jenny Packham, together with new additions Alessandra Rich and Self Portrait.

Queen Elizabeth chose her own select brands and designers, bestowing them with prestigious royal warrants and so catapulting them to fame.  

This was the case, for example, with her Launer handbags, Barbour coats and exquisite Norman Hartnell tailoring.

The same is true across the European monarchies, as these pictures – an A to Z of top royal fashion designers, make clear. 

A – Alessandra Rich

One designer who the Princess of Wales is increasingly turning to for her royal engagements is Alessandra Rich, whose signature tea dress has long been a favourite with the social set.

Kate wore this striking Alessandra Rich dress at Ascot in 2022

Kate wore this striking Alessandra Rich dress at Ascot in 2022

Catherine with daughter Charlotte in hand attendsd Prince Philip's Service of Thanksgiving in essandra Rich dress

Catherine with daughter Charlotte in hand attends the 2022 Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip in this pleated Alessandra Rich dress

From Wimbledon to the Caribbean, Kate has relied on Alessandra Rich time and again, often choosing one of the label’s polka-dot creations.

Rich’s designs are varied but the ones seen on the princess are often demure – think high-neck polka dot midi dresses, or chic, 50s-inspired two-pieces with peplum detailing and puff sleeves.

 B – Beulah

No design to date has made as many appearances and reappearances among the royals as the Ahana dress by Beulah London.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wears a cream Ahana dress for a visit to the Willem-Alexander Children's hospital in Leiden, the Netherlands, in 2022

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wears a cream Ahana dress for a visit to the Willem-Alexander Children’s hospital in Leiden, the Netherlands, in 2022

Kate's pink Ahana dress was seen at Wimbledon  in 2021

Kate’s pink Ahana dress was seen at Wimbledon  in 2021

Cap-sleeved with a button-front bodice, the 50s inspired frock has become a regal staple, as has the brand itself. 

C – Catherine Walker

It all started in the early 80s for Catherine Walker, when Princess Diana was introduced to the label by Vogue House. The small British couture brand quickly became synonymous with Diana’s style. 

Princess Diana attends a performance of Swan Lake At The Coliseum In London. This was one of her most memorable Catherine Walker dresses

Princess Diana attends a performance of Swan Lake At The Coliseum In London. This was one of her most memorable Catherine Walker dresses

Kate was seen in this green Catherine Walker coat for her tour of Pakistan in 2019

Kate was seen in this green Catherine Walker coat for her tour of Pakistan in 2019

The eponymous label was founded by the late French-born, Chelsea-based designer and her husband Cyrus in 1977.

In time, it would create a number of the Princess of Wales’s most memorable outfits, including a series of bespoke dresses for her tours of Asia- as well as the black dress in which she was buried. 

Kate, the current Princess of Wales, has inherited her mother-in-law’s love of the label, looking to Catherine Walker to dress her for a tour of Pakistan, as well as for occasions including Queen Elizabeth’s birthday and last year’s Scottish ‘Coronation’.

D – Dior

From Lady Amelia Windsor to Queen Camilla, the Royal Family has always loved Christian Dior. 

Princess Margaret arrives at The Hertford Hospital Ball at The Cercle Interallie in Paris. She was wearing her 21st birthday off-shoulder Dior Gown

Princess Margaret arrives at The Hertford Hospital Ball at The Cercle Interallie in Paris. She was wearing her 21st birthday off-shoulder Dior Gown

Queen Camilla looks stunning in Dior as she arrived at the Chateau de Versailles for last year's State visit to France

Queen Camilla looks stunning in Dior as she arrived at the Chateau de Versailles for last year’s State visit to France

Lady Amelia Windsor attends the Christian Dior show as part of Paris Fashion Week in 2017

Lady Amelia Windsor attends the Christian Dior show as part of Paris Fashion Week in 2017

Princess Diana carries her famous Lady Dior bag on a visit to Liverpool in 1995

Princess Diana carries her famous Lady Dior bag on a visit to Liverpool in 1995

Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday dress, which she described as her ‘favourite dress of all’, was designed by Dior.

It was commissioned following a private show requested by the Royal family at the Savoy. 

Who can forget Queen Camilla in Paris? Some say she as never looked so good and looked so truly a Queen as when she appeared in flowing Dior. 

Princess Diana was another fan. The iconic Lady Dior bag was famously being named after her after the princess ordered it in an array of colours and fabrics in 1996.

E – Emilia Wickstead

If you spot Princess Kate in a brightly coloured midi dress, the chances are it’s by Emilia Wickstead. 

Kate stole the show in this beautiful Emilia Wickstead dress when she attended the National Service of Thanksgiving  at St Paul's for the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee in 2022

Kate stole the show in this beautiful Emilia Wickstead dress when she attended the National Service of Thanksgiving  at St Paul’s for the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022

Mary of Denmark wore an Emilia Wickstead dress for an appearance in Tokyo in 2015

Mary of Denmark wore an Emilia Wickstead dress for an appearance in Tokyo in 2015

The designer is yet another of the royal’s go-to’s and has even named a dress after her.

Other royals including Queen Mary of Denmark royals seem to like the label (she owns the Kate dress in blue). 

Princess Beatrice and the Duchess of Edinburgh have also worn Wickstead designs. 

F – Fiona Clare

Queen Camilla is known for her elegant style, opting for strong colours, pastels and some impressive headgear. 

Queen Camilla wears a Fiona Clare dress coat to meet guests after a ceremony to present new Standards and Colours to units including the Royal Navy and the Household Cavalry in April 2023

Queen Camilla wears a Fiona Clare dress coat to meet guests after a ceremony to present new Standards and Colours to units including the Royal Navy and the Household Cavalry in April 2023

For this, Camilla has often looked to Fiona Clare, who creates bespoke formalwear for her own label. 

It is partly thanks to Fiona Clare that Camilla’s look has evolved to become so polished, elegant and – importantly – figure-flattering.

G – Givenchy

Givenchy is to Meghan as Alexander McQueen is to Kate – a trusted staple.

Meghan arrives in Givenchy to open the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in September 2018

Meghan arrives in Givenchy to open the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in September 2018

Meghan accompanies the Queen to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge wearing caped Givenchy

Meghan accompanies the Queen to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge wearing caped Givenchy 

Then-creative director of the label, Claire Waight Keller, dreamt up the duchess’s wedding gown in 2018 and promptly caused a minimalist bridal revolution. 

The course of Meghan’s career as a senior royal was marked by loyalty to Givenchy, from a black dress on her first solo outing, to a caped, off-white midi on Meghan’s first public engagement with the late Queen Elizabeth.

H – Hardy Amies

The designer and expert tailor Hardy Amies was the Queen’s official dressmaker for 50 years.

The late Queen wears a lilac Hardy Amies outfit  to the wedding of Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, to Marie Chantal Miller. King Hussein of Jordan stands to the left

The late Queen wears a lilac Hardy Amies outfit  to the wedding of Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, to Marie Chantal Miller. King Hussein of Jordan stands to the left

Queen Elizabeth II is pictured in Hardy Amies with a hat by Frederick Fox as she arrives at the village of Devara Yamzal in the course of a nine-day State Visit to India in 1983

Queen Elizabeth II is pictured in Hardy Amies with a hat by Frederick Fox as she arrives at the village of Devara Yamzal in the course of a nine-day State Visit to India in 1983

The two first started working together in the 1950s when she was not yet queen. 

In 1955 she appointed him one of her three official dressmakers, though he gave up his Royal warrant in 1990. 

The designer once said of the Queen, ‘she knows exactly what she wants and she wants her clothing to be friendly.’

I – Issa

When Middleton joined her fiancé Prince William to publicly announce their engagement in 2010, the future princess wore a memorable royal-blue dress by Issa – matching her sapphire ring. 

The future Queen wore a royal-blue dress by Issa when she announced her engagement to Prince William in 2010

The future Queen wore a royal-blue dress by Issa when she announced her engagement to Prince William in 2010

The brand was quickly identified and the dress sold out within five minutes, one of the first examples of what is now known as the ‘Kate Effect’ into motion.

J – Jenny Packham

From the early days of her royal life to her Caribbean royal tour, Kate knows she can trust the sleek lines – with a touch of glitter – that Packham brings to make her feel her best when the eyes of the world are on her.

Kate looked magnificent in this green Jenny Packham dress in Jamaica in 2022

Kate looked magnificent in this green Jenny Packham dress in Jamaica in 2022

This gold caped Jenny Packham dress, worn to the premiere of No Time To Die, has become one of Kate's most memorable

This gold caped Jenny Packham dress, worn to the premiere of No Time To Die, has become one of Kate’s most memorable 

Whether it is delivering Hollywood glamour at a James Bond premiere or channelling regal chic in navy blue for a charity gala, the princess and Jenny Packham are a match made in style heaven.

K – Angela Kelly

Personal assistant and senior dresser to the Queen from 2002 until her death in 2022, Angela Kelly made many of the colour-popping ensembles for which Her Majesty became noted.

The Queen wore her Nizam of Hyderabad diamond rose brooch with Angela Kelly burnt orange outfit for the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

The Queen wore her Nizam of Hyderabad diamond rose brooch with Angela Kelly burnt orange outfit for the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Cobalt blue was the perfect choice for British Champions Day at Ascot in 2021

Cobalt blue was the perfect choice for British Champions Day at Ascot in 2021

Kelly was responsible for the Queen’s clothes, jewellery and insignia. She researched the venues for royal visits plus the significance of different colours in order to create appropriate outfits.

L – Launer

There are few silhouettes more iconic than that of a Launer handbag. 

Launer was the Queen’s bag of choice for decades. She reportedly owned more than 200 Launer bags, of which three seemed to have been her favourites – the black leather Royale, the black patent Traviata, and the cream Lisa.

Queen Elizabeth shaking hands with Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop Of Canterbury, following a special service to Commemorate the 50th anniversary of her accession and Coronation at Westminster Abbey in 2002. The suit is by Stuarat Parvin - the bag by Launer

Queen Elizabeth shaking hands with Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop Of Canterbury, following a special service to Commemorate the 50th anniversary of her accession and Coronation at Westminster Abbey in 2002. The suit is by Stuarat Parvin – the bag by Launer

Accompanied by a cream Launer hand, Her Majesty laughs with a stall holder in Kingston-upon-Thames

Accompanied by a cream Launer hand, Her Majesty laughs with a stall holder in Kingston-upon-Thames

Founded in the 1940s, the brand started out with humble beginnings in a Soho workshop before being awarded with a royal warrant in 1968. 

Even in her final picture her glossy Launer handbag was tucked neatly beside her.

M – ME+EM

Founded by Clare Hornby, this British brand likes to suggest it offers intelligent style for intelligent women – and is fast becoming a secret style weapon for the royals.

Carole Middleton wears pink ME+EM for Royal Ascot in 2022

Carole Middleton wears pink ME+EM for Royal Ascot in 2022

Kate wore the same model - and colour - of ME+EM dress for last year's Chelsea Flower Show

 Kate wore the same model – and colour – of ME+EM dress for last year’s Chelsea Flower Show

Sophie chose for a stunning midaxi navy dress by luxury brand ME+EM for a visit to Frimley Park Hospital

Sophie chose for a stunning midaxi navy dress by luxury brand ME+EM for a visit to Frimley Park Hospital

The label is a favourite for Middletons – Carole, Kate and sister Pippa, who wore one of its dresses to the Platinum Party at the Palace.

It has also found fans in Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh and Zara Tindall.

N – Norman Hartnell

In the 1940s Norman Hartnell was appointed official dressmaker to the Queen Mother, and subsequently to Queen Elizabeth II. 

He was asked in 1947 to design her wedding dress, and six years later, her Coronation dress too.

Princess Elizabeth had to purchase the material for this beautiful wedding dress using ration coupons

Princess Elizabeth had to purchase the material for this beautiful wedding dress using ration coupons

Princess Margaret chose the same designer for her wedding dress in 1960

Princess Margaret chose the same designer for her wedding dress in 1960

Princess Beatrice revived a Hartnell dress first worn by her grandmother, the Queen, in 1961 for her own wedding day in 2021

Princess Beatrice revived a Hartnell dress first worn by her grandmother, the Queen, in 1961 for her own wedding day in 2021

 Norman Hartnell is celebrated throughout history as the man responsible for dressing some of Her Majesty’s most significant moments and Princess Margaret’s wedding dress too, earning a royal warrant in 1957. In 2020 Princess Beatrice revived a Hartnell style debuted by The Queen in 1961, for her wedding day almost 60 years on.

O – Oscar de la Renta

For the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 2019 wedding, it was fashion house Oscar de la Renta who Meghan reached out to for her mother Doria Ragland’s classic mother-of-the-bride look.

Meghan wore this beautiful creation to the Australian Geographic Society Awards in 2018

Meghan wore this beautiful creation to the Australian Geographic Society Awards in 2018

Kate wore a peplum suit jacket in bright violet with a matching skirt - both by Oscar de la Renta

Kate wore a peplum suit jacket in bright violet with a matching skirt – both by Oscar de la Renta

Since then, Meghan has chosen the brand for a number of high-profile occasions, as have other royals including Queen Rania, Queen Maxima and Kate Middleton.

P – Preen

Kate loved the red Preen dress she wore on her 2016 tour of Canada so much, she bought it in black for the Place2Be Awards. Both colours swiftly sold out. 

Kate wore this red Preen dress for a visit to Canada in September 2016

Kate wore this red Preen dress for a visit to Canada in September 2016

Catherine bought the same dress in black for a function at the Mansion House in November 2016

Catherine bought the same dress in black for a function at the Mansion House in November 2016

Preen also counts the Duchess of Sussex as a fan. Meghan wore a pleated midi in camel in 2020.

Q – Alexander McQueen

It might be easier to count the moments Princess Kate hasn’t worn Alexander McQueen than the moments she has. 

This Alexander McQueen wedding dress was a crowning glory

This Alexander McQueen wedding dress was a crowning glory 

The Princess of Wales wore cobalt blue McQueen for Christmas Day last year

The Princess of Wales wore cobalt blue McQueen for Christmas Day last year

This red McQueen dress with a matching hat was a hit at Royal Ascot in 2023

This red McQueen dress with a matching hat was a hit at Royal Ascot in 2023

It was the British label’s creative director Sarah Burton that she sought out for her iconic wedding gown in 2011.

Since then, Kate has shown her allegiance to Burton’s designs time and again, choosing her sleek, structured pieces for the most significant royal occasions.

These include a trio of gowns for her Catherine’s 40th birthday portraits to the dress and crown she wore to the King’s Coronation last May. 

If Kate is McQueen’s most frequent flagbearer, other royals including Princess Mary of Denmark, Queen Letizia of Spain and the Duchess of Sussex have also been spotted in the brand.

R – Rebecca Vallance

Rebecca Vallance’s designs account for some of Zara Tindall’s most memorable fashion moments. 

Zara Tindall's style transformation wouldn't be complete without Rebecca Vallance

Zara Tindall’s style transformation wouldn’t be complete without Rebecca Vallance

Zara is a loyal follower of the designer, a favourite with celebrities, showing a natural confidence when wearing the label. 

During a recent trip to Australia, Zara wore a number of frocks by the brand which was founded by former fashion publicist Vallance in 2011.

It is recognised for its sophisticated, rigid tailoring and elegant evening gowns.

S – Self Portrait

Self-Portrait’s Han Chong studied at Central Saint Martins. He launched his contemporary womenswear label shortly after graduating in 2013 and promptly became a high street hit.

Princess Beatrice looked beautiful in this pale blue lace dress from Self Portrait

Princess Beatrice looked beautiful in this pale blue lace dress from Self Portrait

One of Kate's best looks in 2023 was this belted white outfit from Self Portrait

One of Kate’s best looks in 2023 was this belted white outfit from Self Portrait

Kate first wore the British label in 2016 and has since stepped out donning a number of their dresses for public engagements, royal tours, and family gatherings. 

She isn’t the only royal who loves Self-Portrait either, Princess Beatrice is also a big fan and Meghan Markle has previously made an appearance in one of their reasonably priced frocks.

T – The Vampire’s Wife

The Falconetti dress by The Vampire’s Wife has become a cult must-have. 

Kate’s version comes in a metallic green, which she debuted in March 2020 and then immortalised in a royal portrait with Prince William that same year.

Kate dazzled in a magenta pink metallic dress by The Vampires Wife in March 2022

Kate dazzled in a magenta pink metallic dress by The Vampires Wife in March 2022

The first time Kate wore this brand was at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador at the Gravity Bar in Dublin, 2020

The first time Kate wore this brand was at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador at the Gravity Bar in Dublin, 2020

Princess Beatrice wore this striking floral outfit from The Vampire's Wife at a Royal Garden Party in May 2019

Princess Beatrice wore this striking floral outfit from The Vampire’s Wife at a Royal Garden Party in May 2019

The green Falconetti dress also has a home in Princess Beatrice’s wardrobe, side by side with a version of the design in floral satin, worn to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

A dash of dark glamour can benefit every royal wardrobe.

U – Uterqüe

Uterqüe is the glamorous, lesser known sister brand of high street giant Zara.

Queen Letizia loves affordable fashion as this Uterque jacket proves

Queen Letizia loves affordable fashion as this Uterque jacket proves

 Nailing that elusive balance of grown-up elegance and trend-led detail, Uterqüe is a favourite of Queen Letizia of Spain, a frequent wearer of affordable fashion. 

This monochrome houndstooth double-breasted style jacket could easily been have mistaken for Chanel tailoring.

V – Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham has long been a favourite of the royals. 

Meghan Markle, for example, has often been snapped in her designs. 

Queen Letizia of Spain attends the Coronation Reception For Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace in a striking Victoria Beckham dress

Queen Letizia of Spain attends the Coronation Reception For Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace in a striking Victoria Beckham dress

Sophie attends the annual BGC Global Charity Day in 2015 wearing Victoria Beckham

Sophie attends the annual BGC Global Charity Day in 2015 wearing Victoria Beckham

Victoria’s royal client base includes the Princess of Wales, Queen Letizia of Spain, the Duchess of Edinburgh and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. 

And royal fans have duly helped transform her from Victoria from WAG to fashion leader.

W – William Chambers

No one does bespoke headpieces quite like the Windsors.

Meghan wore this brand for her last official appearance as a working royal

Meghan wore this brand for her last official appearance as a working royal

Known for his exceptional attention to detail, miliner William Chambers has become a favourite with the royals. 

He was the milliner of choice for the Duchess of Sussex when she stunned in an emerald Emilia Wickstead dress and matching fascinator by Chambers for one of her final appearances as a working royal.

X – Barbour X Alexa Chung

 Barbour’s wax jackets have been a staple in the British royal family’s wardrobe for decades. 

Catherine, Princes of Wales, wears a Barbour jacket for a visit to  Dowlais Rugby Club in Merthyr Tydfil last year

 Catherine, Princes of Wales, wears a Barbour jacket for a visit to  Dowlais Rugby Club in Merthyr Tydfil last year

Kate has been spotted in the label’s parka sold under the Barbour X label – a collaboration between Alexa Chung and Barbour. 

The late Princess Diana was also a fan. 

Barbour pride themselves on timelessness and there’s a rumour that the Queen wore the same jacket for more than 25 years.

Y – Yves Saint Laurent

The Princess of Wales showed off her sustainable fashion credentials by re-wearing an Yves Saint Laurent jacket as she left Belize during the royal tour of the Caribbean in 2022.

Kate is pictured at Philip S W Goldson International Airport as she departs Belize for Jamaica. She is wearing her vintage Yves Saint Laurent jacket

Kate is pictured at Philip S W Goldson International Airport as she departs Belize for Jamaica. She is wearing her vintage Yves Saint Laurent jacket

It is understood that she bought the vintage red jacket while studying at the University of St Andrews two decades ago.

Z – Zara

A royal look can also be created on the high-street – as Spanish brand Zara has shown.

Queen Letizia of Spain in Zara,  with Queen Sofia leaving the Beatnik restaurant in August 2022

Queen Letizia of Spain in Zara,  with Queen Sofia leaving the Beatnik restaurant in August 2022

Kate looked business chic in a cream-hued Zara buttonless blazer worn over a co-ordinating top for a visit to a baby bank last year

Kate looked business chic in a cream-hued Zara buttonless blazer worn over a co-ordinating top for a visit to a baby bank last year

From Queen Letizia to Queen Mary and Princess Beatrice to Princess Kate, the ladies all turn to Zara for regal looks on a budget. 

Whether it’s Kate’s blazer collection or Letizia’s floral frocks, the fashion chain has dressed many high profile royal moments.

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