40 of Kate Middleton's Best Formal Looks

Madison Breaux | Feb 12, 2019 Celebrities
Image: Splash News

Kate Middleton
Splash News

Many little girls grow up wishing they could wear beautiful ballgowns and dress like princesses. Unfortunately, few of us actually get to live out those dreams, but every once and a while, a lucky lady gets to live the princess life. One of those fortunate women is our dear Kate Middleton. This royal woman has been living as a duchess for nearly nine years, and she has yet to step out in a bad formal outfit. Event after event, Kate dons some unforgettable ballgowns that never fail to make us jealous. Envious or not, we still love our Duchess of Cambridge and that wonderful (and expensive) closet of hers. 

From sleek black lace to straight up princess dresses, Kate has had the opportunity to wear it all. That's just one of the perks of being married to an heir to the throne. Yes, it must be nice to be in the duchess's shoes, but since we can't do that or wear her dresses, we might as well admire them, right? And she's given us so much to work with. With nearly nine years on the job, she's attended every gala, award show, and movie premiere that we could imagine, and that means she's worn a lot of ballgowns. No complaints from her or from any of us, we're sure. 

Plus, like any responsible royal, she's re-worn a lot of these gowns, because even the royal budget couldn't handle a new dress for every event she has to attend. There are some limits!

So, because we all want to live vicariously through our dear Kate, here are 40 of her best formal looks so far. Enjoy!

  • Ice Princess

    Splash News

    Kate was a true icy vision in this snow white ballgown. Plus, this dress looks completely new to us, so the duchess didn't opt for an outfit repeat this time around!

  • Blue Beauty

    Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    Kate has worn this blue dress a couple of times now, but she still manages to look better and better each time she wears it. 

  • Pregnancy Glow

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Kate has worn this gown a couple of times, too, but the best time was when she paired it with an unbelievable pregnancy glow. Who needs makeup at that point?

  • Caped Duchess

    Pool/Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    OK -- if there's one thing duchess Kate and duchess Meghan are showing us, it's that cape dresses are coming back!

  • All Bedazzled

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Only Kate could pull off this much bedazzling. We don't know how she shines brighter than the jewels on her dress, but here she is!

  • Emerald Vision

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    We've said it before, and we'll say it again ... emerald is Kate's color! Please keep buying more of this rich green shade, Kate.

  • Classic White

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Will the duchess ever be washed out from one of her all-white ensembles? We're banking on one day short of never.

  • Bollywood Attire

    Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    Kate and Will attended a Bollywood premiere, and the duchess definitely dressed for the occasion. But then again, when has she not?

  • Floral Duchess

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    This dress would look absolutely atrocious on anyone else, but somehow this lovely duchess pulls it off with so much ease.

  • Light & Airy

    Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    This dress looks equally as comfortable as it does elegant. This was definitely a wise choice by our favorite duchess. 

  • All Lace

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    She can't really go wrong with lace, now can she? There isn't anything more elegant or royal than a delicate black evening gown. Nice job, Kate.

  • Fancy Dress, Casual Hair

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    We're loving the simplicity of this look. Kate has her hair in a ponytail with a classic white gown, and the result is absolutely perfection. 

  • Not Enough Glitter

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Kate was back at it with the glitter and sparkles. Seriously, we think her beauty is more enhanced the brighter her dress shines.

  • Bold Statement

    Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    This is definitely one of Kate's more interesting choices for a formal gown, but she is still rocking the look. There isn't anything this duchess can't wear.

  • So Glam

    Samir Hussein / Getty Images

    OK -- we can't with these two. Kate's dress may be simple, but she and Will are still looking like one rock star royal couple.

  • Scandalous Duchess

    WPA Pool/Getty Images

    The duchess ... in a strapless dress??? What would Queen Elizabeth think? See, Meghan wasn't the first duchess to bend the rules a little bit.

  • Even More Lace

    Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

    And the black lace strikes again! Hey, if she's got the budget for it, then why not buy all the lace the royal family can afford??

  • Greek-Inspired

    WPA Pool / Getty Images

    Kate's draped dress looks like something out of a Greek tragedy, but we know there's nothing tragic about her royal life.

  • Prom Dress?

    Getty Images

    This gown looks more like something we would have worn to our senior proms, but somehow, Kate still makes it look completely regal.

  • Daring Red

    Getty Images

    Kate isn't afraid to go bold with her colors. She's worn bright yellows, pinks, and of course, she's no stranger to the daring reds.

  • Soft Lilac

    Pool / Getty Images

    But when Kate does decide to go on the softer side with her colors, she still looks just as elegant. We're loving how this light purple looks on her!

  • Nothing Short of Stunning

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    I mean ... there are almost no words. This was one of her early royal looks, and boy has she been killing it from day one.

  • Super Floral


    This isn't a dress that we would have automatically picked for the duchess, but she definitely just went for it ... and succeeded, unsurprisingly. 

  • Her Best Gown

    Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    Well ... sorry, Kate, but we don't think you'll ever be able to top this gown. But then again, why would she want to?

  • Sweater Gown

    Splash News

    This dress looks like it should be a sweater or a jacket, but nope, it's an elegant gown. This has been one of Kate's go-to's for a while now.

  • Super Prom Dress

    WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Back in the early days, Kate stepped out in another prom-looking gown, but we're going to forgive her for this one. Plus, she still looks beautiful, so this really can't be that much of a misstep. 

  • Pregnancy Floral

    Splash News

    Most people shy away from bold and busy patterns while they're pregnant, but not Kate. She's ready to wear it all.

  • Vintage Vibe

    Splash News

    Some people weren't total fans of this dress, but we think it gives Kate an irresistible vintage vibe, so we still say it's a win for the duchess.

  • Victorian Duchess

    Splash News

    We're loving the Victorian era vibe that this dress has going on. We also hope that Kate decides to dig this one out of her closet again in the future.

  • A Lot Going On

    Splash News

    This particular dress might have a lot of different colors and patterns happening at once, but Kate's beauty isn't detracted from one bit.

  • Semi-Formal

    Splash News

    Sure, this dress is more on the casual side, but there's something about our duchess that makes it seem so much more fancy.

  • Tea-Length Formal

    Splash News

    A formal gown doesn't have to go all the way down to the ankles for it to be considered fit for a royal! Kate makes even tea-length dresses look like ballgowns. 

  • Burgundy Bliss

    Splash News

    Kate looks like a true duchess in this deep red gown. She rarely looks un-royal, but still, we're constantly amazed by her.

  • Coat/Dress Combo

    Splash News

    It must have been pretty cold in there for Kate to not take her jacket off, but we're liking the way it looks with her white gown.

  • Daring Prints

    Splash News

    And more with the busy dresses! Kate had no fear during her third pregnancy, so she just wore whatever she felt like.

  • Royally Sexy

    Splash News

    Yeah ... we don't know how William kept his hands off of his wife this night. She looks positively classy and sexy all at the same time!

  • Fit for Paris

    Splash News

    Kate tends to err on the side of conservatism when it comes to her gowns, but this time, she went for a more bold look.

  • A Vision in Red

    Splash News

    Kate definitely knows how to color-coordinate like the best of them, and especially good at it when red is involved.

  • The Royal Ascot

    Splash News

    All of the royals really bring their A-game for the Royal Ascot races, but Kate always steals the show in her white ensembles.

  • A True Rose

    Splash News

    We don't know if Kate's dress was supposed to look like a rose, but she sure does look like a beautiful bouquet in it. Bring this one back, Kate!

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