Kate Middleton Has Been Recycling Some of Her Favorite Outfits — Including One Dating Back to 2012

Kate Middleton is the queen of royal rewears — and this week, she went back into her closet more than once!

The mom of three shared the results of her U.K.-wide "5 Big Questions on the Under Fives" survey surrounding the early years of childhood, recycling some of her favorite outfits along the way. In an Instagram video revealing that just one in four survey respondents recognize the importance of the first five years of a child’s life, Kate wore the Reiss "Trina" dress featuring a double-breasted front and wide lapels — the same outfit she wore back in 2012 for her first-ever speech as a royal!

In addition to Kate recycling the blue dress, her mother, Carole Middleton, wore the same piece in 2010 for the final day of the Royal Ascot. Carole paired the ensemble with a white fascinator featuring a matching blue flower.

Kate, 38, also appeared in photos from her meetings on the survey in a white blazer from Zara that has also been in her closet for years. The Duchess of Cambridge previously sported the single-breasted blazer, which features a waffle-weave and metal buttons, during her royal tour of Canada with Prince William in 2016 and again the following year during a visit to the 1851 Trust roadshow at Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre.

In another Instagram video, Kate answered questions about the early years of a child's life that were submitted by people on Instagram. She wore a purple blouse by Gucci with a neck tie — the same top she wore for a visit to the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre in March 2019.

Kate added her own spin to the blouse. Although the bow around her collar partially hid the front of her shirt, eagle-eyed fans realized that she was wearing her shirt backwards so that the buttons ran down the front instead of the back like they do in the retail version. Upon closer inspection, it also appears that the cuffs on her sleeves are placed differently than the retail photos – meaning Kate may have opted to wear the top backwards. Another possibility is that the royal had the top customized with buttons in front.

The royal revealed another insight from her survey while sporting a black blouse with white polka dots, another recycled piece from last year. Kate wore the top in September 2019 for an engagement related to her early years mission, a visit to the Sunshine House Children and Young People's Health and Development Centre.

Kate also pulled off a repeat ensemble from earlier this year, recycling the pink blazer that she wore in March to visit a call center run by the London Ambulance Service amid the coronavirus pandemic. She previously wore the trousers from the pantsuit without the blazer to meet with parents at a London park this past September.

Kate's history of repeating outfits follows the footsteps of another royal: her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth.

“Her Majesty is always thrifty," Angela Kelly, the Queen’s longtime dressmaker, wrote in her 2019 memoir The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser and the Wardrobe. "After two or three outings, a piece will have become familiar to the media and the public, so we will either look for ways to modify it or it will become something that is worn on private holidays at Balmoral or Sandringham."

The Duchess of Cambridge — who has made the early childhood years a central area of her work throughout her royal life — explained that becoming a mother wasn't what piqued her interest (in fact, it predates the birth of her oldest child, Prince George, 7.)

“People often ask why I care so passionately about the early years. Many mistakenly believe that my interest stems from having children of my own," Kate explained. "While of course, I care hugely about their start in life, this ultimately sells the issue short."

She continued, “Parenthood isn't a prerequisite for understanding the importance of the early years. If we only expect people to take an interest in the early years when they have children, we are not only too late for them, we are underestimating the huge role others can play in shaping our most formative years too."

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