lk-bennett-shoes-kate-middletonI remember reading a Vogue article about the greatest style icons of the 20th century. Who got the top spot? Queen Elizabeth II, who the author said has no style “which is why she had it.” When it comes to shoes, the same words could well be said of her granddaughter by marriage, Princess Kate Middleton.

As the Duchess of Cambridge knows better than anyone, marrying the crown prince involves more than riding around in a carriage all day. One of Kate’s royal responsibilities is to boost the British economy by rocking British designers. And word is she might not be rocking them hard enough, at least where footwear is concerned. Let’s take a look at Kate’s shoe choices for a few of her most iconic outfits.

Blue Engagement Dress


Basic black pumps.
Wedding Dress


Lacy white pumps.
Meeting With the Obamas


Basic black pumps.

My impression is that the woman dresses to occasion, but not everyone in the fashion world agrees with me. A lot of the controversy about her footwear comes from one quote in the Daily Mail. Designer Nicholas Kirkwood had this to say about her penchant for wearing basic LK Bennetts:

I know she’s trying to be democratic, but I don’t know how many pairs of LK Bennett you can wear. She does occasionally come out and is wearing McQueen or something like that. It’s like, ‘Do that more! You’re meant to be a princess-y type of person, so act like one!

Before you break out the hatorade, you should know a little bit about this guy. (Forgive me if you already own five pairs of him). He is England’s hottest name in shoes right now, and he’s eager to build a brand with the same sense of drama and statement as McQueen or Chalayan. Many would say he already has, and he’s just as much a British designer as LK Bennett. FYI: Princess Kate has never gone out wearing him.

A Very “Princessy” Kirkwood Shoe

kate-middleton-heelsSo is his distaste just jealousy at being ignored or is it a valid opinion? Is Kate missing an opportunity to show the world what Britain has to offer beyond basic styles?

Now, I have an opinion about this, but I’m not sure it really counts. I was up at 5 AM, scone in one hand, tissue in the other, when she and Prince William tied the knot over a year ago. She could wear Crocs and I’d still love her. The real question is what do you style mavens and shoe addicts think? Is she being real, or just real boring?