How Much Is It Worth: First Year Edition
NOTE: This is a constantly updating post and subject to change as pieces are identified.
After publishing our 2018 yearly review of the worth (please note not what the royal ladies actually spent) of 14 royal ladies new clothing, we are now taking a look at the first year of marriage (including the time the ladies were engaged ahead of their wedding) focusing on the Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Sussex, and Princess Sofia of Sweden.
The years we are looking at are 2011 for the Duchess of Cambridge, 2015 for Princess Sofia of Sweden, and 2018 for the Duchess of Sussex.
As there has been much discussion about the Duchess of Sussex’s total for 2018, we have decided to do investigate into what 2 other royals accumulated for clothing during their first year of royal marriage. We selected one royal from the same family (Duchess of Cambridge) and one from a different country (Princess Sofia). These three ladies all married into their respective royal family’s during the past 8 years.
When we calculate costs we break down the numbers into 3 categories:
Pieces that remain UFO (Unidentified Fashion Objects)
Pieces that are identified and costs can be found
Pieces where the designer is known but the design is custom or a price us unknown
In very few instances, we will estimate a price of an article of clothing. This occurs when the piece is similar to a “base model” being sold and there are minor details changed (color, neckline, sleeves, etc). We mention this in an effort to convey the most transparent and accurate view of the costs.
Our data ranges from January 1 through December 31 of the year the royal married in - meaning that part of our calculations are from before they received their titles. However, these ladies were already engaged to be married and taking on engagements on behalf of their royal family, which is important to remember. So, all three of these royal ladies took part in royal engagements alongside their soon-to-be husbands ahead of their wedding. Our calculations include any photos of them taken during their first year; however, their wedding gowns are not included in our tally.
We do fully recognize that the ladies may have paid for their items ahead of their weddings out of their own pocket, but it is important to note that after the wedding, their clothing remains to be privately funded. As we have stated above, this article is not claiming our statistics are what was actually spent - only what they are worth. It is important to remember that after the wedding, the clothing is not funded for by taxpayers- it remains to be “funded privately”.
Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland/Sofia Hellqvist
Princess Sofia married the only son and second child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip on 13 June 2015 in Stockholm. Sofia and Carl Philip have two sons, Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel.
Princess Sofia of Sweden (Sofia Hellqvist before marriage), debuted 123 new pieces during 2015. 93 pieces of those came to a calculated worth of 53,441 €. Missing from this total was 17 pieces which remain UFO and 13 pieces with the prices unknown. These 13 pieces are a mixture of custom gowns and ready-to-wear pieces (most from High Street brands but were identified too many years after being sold for a price to be recorded). Her average price per piece was 580 €.
In total, Princess Sofia was photographed in 76 outfits in 2015.
Duchess of Cambridge/Kate Middleton
The Duchess of Cambridge married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (the eldest child of Charles, The Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Prince of Wales) on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. They now have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
During 2011 Duchess of Cambridge (previously Catherine/Kate Middleton) debuted 142 new pieces. Her total for 2011 came 61,603 € for 95 pieces. 47 pieces are missing from this total, 38 being custom/no price available and 9 pieces remaining unidentified. The average price-per-piece for these 95 pieces was 648 €. Her wedding earrings are not included in this total as no price was ever released for them by the designer AND because they were a confirmed gift from her family, the British Press estimated them to be worth 15,000 £.
In 2011, Kate was photographed in 61 outfits.
Duchess of Sussex/Meghan Markle
The Duchess of Sussex married the younger son of the Prince of Wales and late Diana, Princess of Wales on 19 May 2018 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor. They are currently expecting their first child in the spring.
The latest person to marry into the British royal family was the Duchess of Sussex (or Meghan Markle before marriage). In 2018 she debuted 324 new pieces, 256 of those pieces added up to a worth 479,048 €. Her average price per piece average of 1,871 €.
You will note that we omitted a total of 64 items from our total. 26 of these pieces were unidentified and the remaining 48 items were identified but without a price (most were bespoke pieces).
One factor that we have tossed back in forth as we have watched this number climb is that included in this number are her Cartier Reflection Wedding Bracelet and Earrings. The idea has been bounced around that they were gifts, possibly from Prince Charles (our friends at Meghan’s Mirror shared their thoughts on this here), which would see them removed from our tally because we do not include gifts from family members or Government Officials. However because the Palace has not confirmed them to be gifts we left them in. The earrings and bracelet carry a hefty price tag of 206,022€ ($233,000 USD) so if they were indeed gifts, her total spending would be 273,026 € ($286,278 USD). Another thing to note is that her wedding ceremony gown is not included, as it was completely custom made for her by Givenchy and thus has no retail price. Her Stella McCartney gown is included as the designer released a near identical design.
In her first year, Meghan had 98 photographed outfits.
**At face value our calculations are what the royal’s clothes are worth, and in theory, what they would cost for you or I to buy. However, we are not saying that these calculations are what the royals ladies specifically spent, as we cannot verify that. We fully recognize that royals may receive discounts, shop sales, or be gifted some of these pieces. However, in order to stay objective, we made the decision to only use the full retail value of the pieces. These numbers should be viewed as the retail cost of their new pieces, rather than the exact number they personally spent.**
If you would like to use these numbers for your own article - please make sure to credit us and link back to our original post. If you have any questions or want more information about the data posted here, send us an email .