Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is the Michelle Obama of the United Kingdom. Known for her slender figure as well as her beautiful closet, this fashion icon is seldom seen in public without perfect hair and dreamy duds.
If you’re a fashionista looking to experience London Kate-style, consider our 48-hour Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour pass and check out some of her favorite places to frequent out on the town. Too long? We’ve got you covered with a 24-hour ticket as well, which still lets you visit all of Kate’s favorite London shopping hotspots, listed below. Though you can do plenty of browsing at her higher-end sources, be sure to bust out your own wallet at some of her more affordable stops.
Before you do, though, why not take time to dream?
Garrard Jewellery Collections
For instance, do you love ogling that huge blue rock Kate wears? Check out Garrard Jewellery Collections, located on Albemarle Street, not too far from the Piccadilly Square stop and accessible off the Red and Blue routes. Garrard designed the famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring back in the 1980s for Lady Diana Spencer’s engagement to Prince Charles, and their other inventory is almost as impressive. If you enjoy gawking at diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other beautiful gems, this is a must-stop.
Located a few blocks away from Green Park, Alexander’ McQueens gorgeous studios serve up the stuff of legends. That includes many of Princess Kate’s spendier outfits, including trailing evening gowns, woolen winter coats and summer frocks. And lest we forget, it was Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton who dreamed up Kate’s frothy wedding dress for her 2011 nuptials. So although you may not be able to afford her style in this case, it’s still worth a quick walk to check out the Old Bond St. headquarters of this trendy designer.
Diane von Furstenburg
You’ll find another fabulous fashion fix close by on Bruton Street: Diane von Furstenburg. Here Duchess Kate finds sparklers such as printed wrap dresses that sell out minutes after she showcases them. If you're lucky, maybe you'll spot a sale.
For a slightly less grandiose taste of Kate’s clothing choices, check out Reiss on Kensington Church St, on the outskirts of Hyde Park. This retailer offers ladylike pieces such as svelte skirts, tailored dresses and filmy blouses. Its offerings range in the hundreds rather than the thousands of pounds, so if you want a splurge, head here.
If you’re up for more of a walk, hoof it down to Issa, located on Lots road. There you’ll discover some of the Duchess’ favorites, such as the fabulous blue dress she wore to announce her engagement to Prince William. Gawkers will remember how perfectly the sapphire tones set off her new ring’s giant gem, and won’t be surprised to discover a wealth of jewel-tones permeating this shop’s collections.
Peter Jones and Harrods of London
Even the youngest fashionista will appreciate Kate’s ability to stay on top of fashion while pregnant. So if you’re curious about the maternity wear Kate used to show off her craze-inducing baby bump, hop off the Blue Route at Harrods of London and head down Sloane Street until you get to Sloane Square. There find Peter Jones, the stylish expecting mother’s source of dresses, suits, jackets and more. On your way back, check out Harrods, a department store known for its wide range of fashion items, including clothing, accessories, scents and beauty products.
The Duchess is also known for her love of lower-end clothing. Topshop, one of the Duchess’ best beloved brands, lies on the other side of Hyde Park on Oxford St. As a bonus, it’s located next to London’s Marble Arch, a favorite tourist attraction.
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Foundation
While you’re near Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, be sure to pay homage to another of the United Kingdom’s royal icons: Kate’s mother-in-law. Though these days the Princess Di’s fads look terribly outdated, let us not forget what a style maven she was in her time. Her memorial is located at the south end of Hyde Park, and is officially noted on the map as “Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Foundation.”
Dans le Noir?
When you get tired, consider taking a break from shopping to dine like a duchess. First thing’s first, though: You’ve got to protect your identity. Head to Dans le Noir?, an upscale eatery where you can sup in total darkness just like Will and Kate. Not only is the sensory experience enhanced by the restaurant’s staff of blind waiters, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to sneak out with Prince William! Jump off the Purple Route at Great Russell Street, and then follow Theobald’s Road to Clerkenwell, where you’ll find the restaurant of darkness. Afterwards, walk off the calories by touring some of the fun shops on the way back.
Buckingham Palace and Buckingham Gate
Of course, if you’d rather take your chances on seeing Duchess Kate already dressed in her finery, you can make a stop by Buckingham Palace. First head to Buckingham Gate, a famous street on the rim of the Buckingham Palace grounds. Although you’re not likely to catch Kate out and about, you can get a taste of the high life by checking out the 5-star hotel, Taj Suites and Residences, as well as the palace itself and a swath of fancy eateries.
Whether you’re heading to the UK for the express purpose of getting a taste of Kate’s London or simply want to take in all the city has to offer, investigating a few of the Duchess’ favorite stops can’t lead you astray. Her taste and charm are sure to guide you toward the finest the city has to offer.