x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The Instant Expert: The year of living royally

This week Gemma Champ looks at the first year of wedded life for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Float through any social event with M's fast facts. This week, Gemma Champ looks at the first year of wedded life for the always-in-the-headlines Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

THE BASICS The Royal Wedding is so last year. 2012 is all about the first anniversary of the heir to the British throne, Prince William, and his university love, Catherine Middleton – no longer Waity Katie, after (as Beyoncé sings) he put a ring on it on April 29, 2011.

WAITROSEY KATIE What, no honeymoon? The glamour of a blue-blooded lifestyle beckoned for the new Duchess of Cambridge, but not just yet: Flight Lieutenant Wales was back to work as a search-and-rescue pilot three days after the low-key wedding, while his wufe was seen pushing a trolley round Waitrose in Anglesey, Wales.

FOR THEIR EYES ONLY The couple made up for their humble start with a honeymoon later in the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean paradise that inspired Ian Fleming. Staying on the remote isle of Desroches, they reportedly had their own butler and the use of three yachts.

DUTY BOUND Soon the newlyweds embarked on a series of public engagements, including meeting that other power couple, Barack and Michelle Obama, at Buckingham Palace. The Duchess won in the fashion stakes, her Dh1,000 Reiss "Shola" dress virtually selling out by the end of the day.

MAPLE LEAF RAGS When the royals hit Canada and Los Angeles, mania ran high. But unlike William's last visit, when he set hearts aflutter, this trip was all about his wife's wardrobe, from her maple-leaf hat in Ottawa to the flowing goddess dress by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen at a Bafta ball.

OLD HAT Perhaps in training for that future crown, Kate has worn many hats, often perched at a jaunty angle on her glossy mane, that the Headwear Association named her Hat Person of the Year. She's been known to share her hats - and clothes - with her mother, Carole, and sister, Pippa. Such largesse.

WHAT A FRIGHT While the Queen seems to be getting on marvellously with her granddaughter-in-law Catherine, she didn't hold back when her McQueen wedding gown went on display at Buckingham Palace, describing the spookily levitating veil and the headless dummy as "horrid" and "creepy". The Instant Expert was royally amused.

GIRL POWER The recent decision to overturn centuries of patriarchal tradition by ditching male primogeniture in the UK - the accession to the throne of the first male heir even if he has older sisters - means that should Wills and Kate have a baby girl first, she will be next in line to the throne after William.

LIFE LESS ORDINARY Those sorts of concerns are a reminder that the whole weight of the monarchy is now on the couple's shoulders. Still, don't feel too bad for them: did you, like the Duchess, spend your birthday with Steven Spielberg at the War Horse premiere wearing a gorgeous Temperley dress? Luckily she gets to share this tough life with Lupo, the black cocker spaniel Wills gave her, whom they're apparently training as a gun dog for their favourite upper-crust pastime, hunting.

COMMON PEOPLE After the Flight Lieutenant returned from a six-week tour of duty in the Falklands - sparking protests in Argentina - the royal couple jetted off to the French Alps to ski. They returned on the no-frills airline easyJet. It's what every little princess dreams of.

WAXING MIRACLE For those not lucky enough to have sat next to the great couple on the plane from Geneva, a visit to Madame Tussaud's is a must: new wax figures have been placed in Amsterdam, London and New York, and while poor old Wills is stuck in classic Gieves & Hawkes, Kate's likeness wears Issa in London, McQueen in New York and Temperley in Amsterdam. The Instant Expert is royally envious.

 

Five other right royal fashionistas

MARIE ANTOINETTE The doomed wife of Louis XVI was infamous for her extreme fashions. Sadly, she ended her days at the guillotine dressed in a pristine white slip.

PRINCESS GRACE One of cinema's most beautiful stars was famed for her poise and glamour before she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Hermès named the Kelly bag after her, and she wed in a gown by the Hollywood costumier Helen Rose.

PRINCESS DIANA William's mother enchanted the world with her distinctive style, developing from ingénue to Catherine Walker-wearing sophisticate during her marriage to Prince Charles.

SHEIKHA MOZAH The second wife of the Emir of Qatar never looks less than immaculate, and on recent global tours has worn couture labels such as Dior and Stéphane Rolland - as well as a natty line in chic turbans.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II Her colourful style has been an inspiration since she chose Norman Hartnell to design her wedding and coronation gowns. Today she is cited as an influence by everyone from the Issa designer Daniella Helayel to Dolce & Gabbana.