By REBECCA ENGLISH
Something blue: The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at St George's Chapel, Windsor for His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh's 90th Birthday service yesterday, and, right, wearing the same coat dress in 2009
She has injected new life into the monarchy with her much-admired sense of style.
But it seems the Duchess of Cambridge is also following a considerably older royal tradition – recycling favourite garments.
At a church service yesterday to mark the 90th birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh, Kate wore the same periwinkle blue Jacquard coat dress that she donned in 2009 for the wedding of her husband’s close friend, Nicholas van Cutsem.
She paired it with the £175 nude LK Bennett heels that she has sported several times recently – which are identical to pairs owned by her sister Pippa and mother Carole.
And a day earlier, the 29-year-old attended the wedding of close friend Sam Waley-Cohen in the same black and white silk cocktail dress that she wore on a night out in London with Pippa in 2007, during her brief split from William.
At the double: The Duchess at Sam Waley-Cohen's wedding nuptials (left), and wearing the same dress on a night out in London in 2007
By dusting down her old outfits for high-profile occasions, the Duchess echoes the policy of the Queen and the Princess Royal, who both take great delight in getting the most out of their wardrobes.
But despite her stylish appearance, Kate had competition for the best dressed crown as members of the royal family braved squally winds and driving rain to arrive at St George’s Chapel in Windsor yesterday.
Happy couple: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in good spirits as they spoke to the Dean of Windsor, Reverend David Conner, after a service to mark Prince Philip's 90th birthday at Windsor Castle
Pristine: Catherine, pictured with Prince Harry looking on as she greets the clergy, wore a blue Jacquard coat with colour-matching hat and dress
It was Lord Freddie Windsor’s wife, the actress Sophie Winkleman, who was arguably the belle of the ball in an oversized white straw hat, white dress and fitted jacket.
Sophie, 30, whose husband was not present, was accompanied by her in-laws, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Zara Phillips, meanwhile, arrived with her mother, Princess Anne, but without fiance Mike Tindall, who is on his stag weekend in Miami.
Re-run: The Duchess wore the same coat when she and attended the wedding of Nicholas Van Cutsem and Alice Haddon Patton before she was married, right, but teamed it with a different dress and hat
Dazzling accessories: Catherine wore diamond and sapphire earrings which coordinated with her engagement ring, which first belonged to Prince William's mother Princess Diana
Room for one more: Prince Harry arrived and quickly ducked under the umbrella Prince William had held aloft for his wife
However, Zara’s brother, Peter Phillips, flew back from Tindall’s party in time to attend the service with his wife, Autumn Kelly.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie also made an appearance, wearing chiffon summer dresses – although Beatrice, 22, was forced to take refuge behind a police protection officer as hers was whipped up by the wind. The man of the hour, Prince Philip, arrived last with the Queen, who was dressed in aquamarine and sky blue.
Bride-to-be: Zara Phillips attended without fiancé Mike Tindall, who is currently on his stag weekend in Miami
Family affair: Princess Anne, left, arrived at the service with her Zara, while her son Peter attended with his wife Autumn who wore a blue suit with black high heels
The Duke looked remarkably cheerful given that he had insisted he didn’t want a fuss to be made over him. In accordance with his wishes, the 50-minute service included only a brief reference to his birthday, which was on Friday.
Afterwards the entire gathering headed to Windsor Castle for a champagne reception.
Stylish: Lady Frederick Windsor, the actress Sophie Winkleman, pictured left with her father-in-law, Prince Michael of Kent, didn't let the wet weather stop her wearing a summery cream dress
Smart: The Duchess of Cornwall, pictured with her husband Prince Charles, also opted for cream
Birthday boy: The Queen, Prince Philip and the Dean of Windsor David Conner look delighted after the religious service to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday
My husband and I: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh looked happy and relaxed at the service
Rain, rain, go away: Meanwhile, Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, looked glum as she braved the conditions
All smiles: Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto arrive