Outfit Mishaps Kate Middleton Can't Erase

Since the revelation of her cancer diagnosis, Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been constantly in both the news and the public's hearts. Naturally, we find our memories wandering over highlights of her time in the royal family, from her elaborate wedding to William, Prince of Wales, and the easy charm of her first royal appearance to welcoming her children into the world. Since the start, the princess has been a paragon of grace and style, and we've admired everything from her hard-working spirit to glimpses of her natural, makeup-free beauty.


Of course, any life in the public eye also has a few missteps that we can look back at with fondness, including some unforgettably inappropriate royal outfits. These moments humanize famous folks like the royal family, and Kate has always been a particularly personable celebrity, as she laughs away the occasional faux pas. Like we can't help tell and retell those funny-in-retrospect stories that get pulled out at every family gathering, there are a few Kate outfit mishaps that we can't help but revisit along the way.

Kate Middleton has narrowly avoided Marilyn Monroe moments

To help keep their clothes from flaring up, women in the royal family sometimes wear clothing with hems pre-stitched with pennies or curtain weights, but accidents still happen. During a 2011 visit to Canada, Kate Middleton's adorable, butter-yellow dress found itself fighting a tough battle against the wind. While Kate handled her flaring dress with aplomb, there were a few close calls that strayed from the monarchy's modest dress code. The princess faced similar struggles in New Zealand in 2014 and India in 2016, showing that some fashion fails are hard to avoid.


Kate Middleton got caught in a drain cover

Royalty, they're just like us. Or at least they can be as awkward and relatable as us. Back in 2013, Kate Middleton showed that she was just another accident-prone human when she got the heel of her shoe caught in a drain cover at the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Aldershot Barracks. That said, the princess handled her momentary capture with more grace and dignity than we might have. If anything, the gentle support of her husband and Kate's amused smile make this fashion mishap a win in our affections.


She accidentally matched another wedding guest

It's any fashionista's worst nightmare: unintentionally matching someone else's outfit. Unfortunately for Kate Middleton, this nightmare played out while attending a friend's 2014 wedding in Gloucestershire. Princess Catherine arrived in a fitted, distressed-hem Missoni coat that she'd worn several times before. The unique jacket — one of our favorite Kate Middleton wedding guest looks — should have been an easy standout. However, another guest had gravitated toward the same exact piece. Was that guest inspired by Kate's previous styling? We may never know. But both women had to make the best of their accidental twinning.


Kate Middleton wore her Gucci blouse backward — twice

To her 2019 visit to the Henry Fawcett Children's Centre in London, Kate Middleton selected a button-up Gucci blouse with a sweet pussy-bow neckline. However, sartorial sleuths spotted an oddity with the outfit: Princess Kate appeared to be wearing it backward. While the blouse is no longer for sale at Gucci, its original listing specified buttons running down the back, not down the front. This didn't seem to deter Kate, who wore the same top — oriented the same way — in a November 2020 video on Instagram.


Kate Middleton's green-screen dress was meme-worthy

Being memorable is one thing, but being meme-able is another. Kate Middleton found this out the hard way when she wore a turf-green Solace London dress to the 2022 Earthshot Prize Awards. Green was thematically appropraite for the environmental event, and the dress itself was stunning. Still, there were two unforeseen downsides: The gown nearly blended into the event's carpet, and it gave off green-screen vibes that practically begged for Photoshop hijinks. As one TikTok shows, the internet answered the call, editing Kate's outfit into everything from Marge Simpson to skeleton bones.


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Kate wore Princess Diana's earrings backward

At King Charles III's coronation in 2023, Kate Middleton honored her husband's family legacy by wearing an heirloom left behind by Diana, Princess of Wales — namely, a pair of pearl and diamond earrings. Diana often wore these earrings before her tragic death in 1997, but fashion historians quickly noted that something was different about Kate's look. She inadvertently swapped the left and right earrings, wearing them backward so that the design faced inward instead of outward. It was a minor but critical error when dealing with such iconic jewelry.