The Scotsman

Kate crowned power behind the throne in style influence

● ebay reports search surge when she unveils new designer outfits


The Duchess of Cambridge has taken the No 1 spot as this year’s royal style influencer.

Kate, rather than royal newcomer the Duchess of Sussex, had the biggest impact on shopping habits, according to ebay’s annual UK retail report.

Her maternity style while pregnant with Prince Louis generatedm­oreonlines­earches on ebay than any other royal over the past year.

Searches for tailored maternity coats more than tripled in November 2017, while Kate was expecting her third child.

In April, searches for designer Jenny Packham more than doubled when Kate appeared in a red Packham smock dress after the birth of Prince Louis.

Kate’s go-to choices of Jenny Packham, Alexander Mcqueen and Seraphine also sparked a 20 per cent upsurge in searches year-on-year.

The Duchess of Sussex, who is known for her signature boatneck necklines, came a close second.

Her fashion influencin­g power peaked at her wedding in May, when the Givenchy dress she wore to marry Prince Harry led to a more than 60 per cent increase in searches for the designer on ebay, hitting 55 an hour.

The former Suits star’s Stella Mccartney halterneck evening wedding dress doubled searches for the brand. The duchess’s icepink off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress at Trooping the Colour in June was also popular, with searches for the designer almost doubling.

Rob Hattrell, UK vice president of ebay, said: “While Meghan was clearly the focus of the fashion pages this year, Kate’s distinctiv­e style has long been a hit with shoppers.

“We always see an uptick in searches around landmark royal events and 2018 was a bumper year for small businesses on ebay, with both the birth of Prince Louis and Meghan and Harry’s wedding driving purchases.”

Princess Charlotte, who was top in 2017, came third, with the flower crown she wore as a bridesmaid at Meghan and Harry’s wedding prompting a 60 per cent increase in searches for similar products.

There was almost a 40 per cent leap in searches for floral print dresses after she wore one to the polo in June. Charlotte’s five-year-old brother Prince George was fourth, with his trademark Peter Pan collarshir­tsinspirin­gsearches throughout­theyear.therewas a 30 per cent leap in searches

0 The Duchess of Cambridge’s designer red smock dress sparked feverish internet searches for similar outfits on ebay after he appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony in June.

But George trumped his sister in the memorabili­a stakes.

The release of a special coin for his fifth birthday in July prompted a surge in listings on ebay, with more than 4,300 Prince George-related products on the site, compared with around 1,700 for Princess Charlotte.

The Queen also made it into the top five royal style influencer­s. Media attention on the meaning behind her brooch selections during Donald Trump’s visit to the UK contribute­d to a renaissanc­e for the traditiona­l piece of jewellery in 2018, said ebay.

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