20 times royals wore hand-me-downs

Tim Graham Photo Library/Gareth Cattermole/Getty ImagesKate Middleton wore a pair of pearl earrings from Princess Diana’s collection to the 2019 BAFTAs.

Even royals are known to wear hand-me-downs.

Throughout the decades, royal children have been known to wear their brother’s or sister’s clothes, as well as items from their royal parents and other family members.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have also been spotted wearing heirloom items like jewellery and tiaras, passed down from Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.

Here are 20 times royals wore hand-me-downs.


Perhaps the most famous royal “hand-me-down” is Kate Middleton’s engagement ring — it originally belonged to Princess Diana.

Tim Graham Photo Library/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana in 1983 and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2019.

Princess Diana chose the ring herself from a Garrard’s catalogue, meaning that anyone in the world technically could have bought the same ring. It features a 12-carat sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds.

Prince William proposed to Middleton with the family heirloom in 2010. The royal has continued to wear it ever since.


Meghan Markle has also inherited a few pieces from Princess Diana’s collection, like these butterfly earrings.

Greg Kinch PN/CMC/Reuters/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has been pictured wearing Princess Diana’s butterfly earrings.

The earrings, worn by Meghan Markle to her charity clothing line launch in 2018, were last seen on Princess Diana in 1986.


Meghan Markle’s engagement ring features diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal collection.

Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle in March 2018.

The centre diamond is from Botswana, where the couple went on safari together, and the other two are from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection, according to Town & Country.


On her wedding day, Meghan Markle’s “something blue” was Princess Diana’s iconic aquamarine ring.

Julian Parker/UK Press/Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana during her visit to Sydney, Australia, in 1996 and Meghan Markle on her wedding day in 2018.

It was known as one of Princess Diana’s favourite jewellery pieces, and she wore it often in the years before her passing.


Kate Middleton turned a pair of Princess Diana’s sapphire-and-diamond stud earrings into a pair of drop earrings.

AP/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana and Kate Middleton wearing the same sapphire and diamond earrings.

The sapphires found in the earrings are believed to have originally come from the strap of one of Princess Diana’s watches. According to the Daily Mail, the watch was given to Princess Diana as a wedding present by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and later turned into a pair of stud earrings and then drop-style earrings.


Other jewellery pieces don’t need any changes — Kate Middleton wore this pair of pearl earrings from Princess Diana’s collection to the 2019 BAFTAs.

Tim Graham Photo Library/Gareth Cattermole/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana attends a gala at Bridgewater House in 1995 and Kate Middleton at the 2019 BAFTAs.

Princess Diana is pictured wearing the earrings to a gala at Bridgewater House in 1995.


Middleton has worn Princess Diana’s Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara on multiple occasions.

Anwar Hussein/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana in 1983 and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2015.

According to a previous article by Insider, the crown was given as a wedding present to Princess Diana from Queen Elizabeth. The ornate crown features 19 arches and contains 38 drop-shaped pearls suspended from “pretzel-like twists” referred to as lover’s knot bows.


The Duchess of Cambridge has also been photographed wearing one of Princess Diana’s bracelets.

Tim Graham Photo Library/Chris Jackson/Pool/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana wearing her ‘Elvis’ outfit in 1989 and Kate Middleton on tour in Germany in 2017.

Kate Middleton wore the pearl bracelet on tour in Germany in 2017. It’s the same one Princess Diana wore with her iconic “Elvis” outfit in 1989.


In 2020, eagle-eyed royals fans noticed Prince Louis wore one of Prince George’s hand-me-downs to meet David Attenborough.

Kensington Palace/Reuters/Pool/Sam Hussein/WireImage/Getty ImagesPrince George during the Royal Tour of Canada in 2016 and Prince Louis, Prince George, and Prince William pictured in September 2020.

According to People, the merino wool jumper is from children’s brand Wild & Gorgeous and is the same collared sweater that Prince George wore during the Royal Tour of Canada in 2016.

However, Duchess Catherine decided to style the boys slightly differently – Prince George wore red shorts with the sweater, while Prince Louis was photographed wearing a navy blue pair.


From the very beginning, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis had their matchy-matchy style down pat.

John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesPrince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

During the royal babies’ “first looks,” they all were wrapped in the same cream knit blanket by G.H. Hurt & Sons. The blanket holds a great deal of significance in the royal family and has been passed down through the generations.

According to Cosmopolitan, the world caught a glimpse of the iconic wrap back in 1948 when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip presented Prince Charles to the world in an official royal portrait. Princess Diana and Prince Charles were also photographed leaving the hospital after the births of both Prince William and Prince Harry in the same blanket.


Ever since, the Cambridge kids have been known to wear each other’s clothes.

Ben Pruchnie/FilmMagic/Chris Jackson/Pool/Getty ImagesPrince George arrives to greet Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Princess Charlotte during the Royal Tour of Canada in 2016.

Prince George first wore the blue cardigan, which is by the brand Amaia, to greet his new baby sister at the hospital in 2015. The next year, Princess Charlotte wore the sweater to a children’s party for military families while on tour in Canada.


Prince Louis wore a pair of adorable overalls originally worn by Prince George in 2014.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Matt Porteous/ReutersPrince George at Cirencester Park Polo Club on June 15, 2014, and Prince Louis pictured at the Back to Nature garden in 2019.

For the 2019 photo, taken at the Back to Nature garden by Kate Middleton herself, Prince Louis wore the romper from Spanish childrenswear store Neck & Neck with a blue button-up sweater.

The exact dungarees, which cost around $US35 at the time, are no longer available. Neither is Prince Louis’ affordable sweater from H&M, which cost just $US7 but quickly sold out.


Prince Louis also wore Princess Charlotte’s hand-me-downs for his first official portrait.

The Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace/ReutersPrince George holds Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis’ first official portrait in May 2018.

Both royal babies were photographed in the same white onesie in 2015 and 2018, respectively.


Prince Louis has worn Prince Harry’s hand-me-downs in the past.

Chris Jackson/Anwar Hussein/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana holding Prince Harry during the Trooping the Colour parade in 1986 and Prince Louis during Trooping The Colour in 2019.

In 1986, Princess Diana was photographed holding Prince Harry at the Trooping the Colour parade. More than 30 years later, in 2019, Prince Louis was spotted wearing the same outfit to attend the annual parade.


Princess Charlotte has also been spotted wearing a pair of red Mary Jane shoes worn by Prince Harry in 1986.

Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty ImagesPrince Harry at home at Highgrove House in 1986 and Princess Charlotte arrives in Poland for a royal tour in 2017.

Prince Harry was first photographed wearing the red shoes while spending time at Highgrove House with his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana. In 2017, Princess Charlotte wore the same pair while touching down in Poland for a royal tour.


Prince George looked almost identical to his father when he wore the same powder blue outfit from 1984.

Danny Martindale/WireImage/Anwar Hussein/Getty ImagesPrince William at the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1984 and Prince William holds Prince George during the Trooping The Colour ceremony in June 2015.

The royals likely wanted to choose something sentimental for Prince George to wear during his first public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.


Prince George also wore his father’s blue-and-white outfit from 1984 to the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 2016.

Lord Snowdon/Anwar HusseinJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty ImagesPrince William at Prince Harry’s christening in 1984 and Prince George at the Trooping the Colour ceremony in June 2016.

Only the most eagle-eyes of royals fans would spot this instance of outfit repeating.


Though Prince George’s outfit may not technically be a hand-me-down, this recreation of Prince William’s adorable look from 1984 is spot-on.

Anwar Hussein/Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesPrince William in September 1984 and Prince George in 2015.

Prince William wore the look to meet Prince Harry at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1984, while Prince George was photographed wearing a replica of the outfit to Prince Charlotte’s christening.

The almost-identical shirts feature similar red stitching on the front and red piping on the collar. However, while Prince William’s shorts were simpler, Prince George’s had cute white buttons around the waistband.


It’s not only the British royals who rock hand-me-downs — Princess Estelle wore her mother, Crown Princess Victoria’s, dress from 1980.

Keystone/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty ImagesPrincess Victoria of Sweden celebrates the King’s 34th birthday in 1980 and Princess Estelle leaves the Royal Chapel after Princess Leonore’s christening in June 2014.

Princess Victoria of Sweden wore the gold-and-white dress to celebrate the King’s 34th birthday, while Princess Estelle was spotted leaving the Royal Chapel, wearing the dress, after Princess Leonore’s christening in June 2014.


Kate Middleton has been known to wear heirloom pieces from other royals’ jewellery collections.

Matt Cardy/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the Duchess of Cambridge departs the Lindo Wing with Prince Louis in 2018.

In 2018, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a pair of drop pearl earrings to depart the Lindo Wing with newborn Prince Louis. The same earrings were worn by the Queen six years earlier to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

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