Why Kate Middleton has become a fashion muse for Gen Z.

Since season 6 of The Crown dropped on Netflix, Gen Z has taken a particular interest in Kate Middleton's pre-royal days

You see, long before she became a princess, she had developed a label that belonged only to her: style icon. And now, the media's obsession with the then-potential future Queen has meant that almost 20 years on, Middleton's early-noughties wardrobe is having a revival on social media.

We first heard about a then-very normal girl back in 2004, when The Sun broke the news Prince William had a girlfriend. It was Middleton, a fellow student at the University of St Andrews.

Watch: Styling tips from Kate Middleton's hairdresser. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

From there, paparazzi were intent on catching her out and about doing basically anything — from trips to and from university, to jumping in a taxi after leaving the club at 1am, or running errands with her father.

And while most would probably consider their hounding as harassment or stalking, Middleton took it all in her stride –and delivered elegance, era-appropriate fashion, and understated style time and time again.

But what TikTok is really loving at the moment are the royal's best looks from her partying days, aka before she married Prince William in 2011.

Kate Middleton's party days are being remembered for her iconic Y2K outfits. Image: Getty.


A viral clip showing Middleton living her best early-20s life has raked in more than 4.5 million views and 250,000 likes.

Back then, Middleton was not an obvious choice to be considered a Y2K pioneer, but a few decades later, the royal is just as iconic as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Beyoncé.

She rocked low-slung belted jeans, paisley scarves and slouchy knee-high boots. She wasn't afraid of a cheeky midriff or a scrunched white singlet. Sequins were the look. Smudged eyeliner was a choice, not a mistake or the result of going to bed without washing off her makeup.

Kate Middleton, 2005. Image: Getty.


Where fashion was risque and outlandish sometimes in the noughties, the royal was redefining the trends for herself.

There have been more than 4.1 million searches for "young Kate Middleton" on TikTok, and some Gen Zers are now recreating Middleton's outfits with their own pieces. Vintage resellers have even began curating "Kate Middleton drops" to cater to the Y2K revival craze that has honed in on the royal.

Kate Middleton, 2008. Image: Getty.


The new appreciation for a fashion era that was once perceived as outdated and tacky has come hard and fast. And while some other notable celebs of the naughties are not being recognised for their fashion efforts (Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes, for example), Middleton most definitely is.

But according to The Palace Papers author Tina Brown, it makes sense Middleton's style has come back around, all thanks to the affordability of her looks.

"Rarely dressed in anything that the British public couldn’t afford, she presented as the perfectly pitched girlfriend from the manor next door in fresh, swingy high street dresses [and] cropped blazers," wrote Brown. 

"She became a mute icon of appropriate style."

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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