There was a time when the Duchess of Cambridge was rarely seen on an official engagement without a small box clutch, often clasped in front of her with both hands.
However in recent weeks, Kate Middleton, 39, has been spotted out and about without a bag in hand.
Yesterday, the mother-of-three stepped out at the Imperial War Museum in London to open two new galleries without a bag, while earlier this month her signature clutch was notably abset when she walked the red carpet for both the James Bond premiere and Earthshot prize.
Stylists have now revealed how the decision could be more than a fashion choice, with Hannah Eichler telling FEMAIL: ‘Accessories have often been a clever trick for royals, as a means of busying nervous hands.
‘Now that Kate has been a pivotal part of the Royal family for over a decade, she no longer needs tricks to drawing attention away from shaking hands, and instead is at ease with public speaking.’
There was a time when the Duchess of Cambridge was rarely seen on an official engagement without a small box clutch, often carried in front of her with both hands. However in recent weeks, Kate Middleton, 39, has been spotted out and about without a bag in hand
The celebrity stylist explained: ‘The so called It bag has long been heralded as the most coveted piece in a woman’s wardrobe, but as our style takes on a more modest note, arm candy seems to be fading in significance.
‘The Duchess of Cambridge’s collection of luxe handbags have received the fashion approval of even the most discerning designer bag experts, but the eagle eyes among you will note Kate has ditched the look of late.’
She continued: ‘With her new found confidence in public speaking and engaging with members of the public comes a genuine desire to appear more genuine.
‘Hands are considered the emotional barometer, and therefore using her hands to express her feelings allows Kate to connect more to those who she is speaking.’
Stylists have now revealed how the decision could be more than a fashion choice, and could be a sign of the royal’s increasing confidence in The Firm (left, walking the red carpet at the James Bond premiere in September, and right, at the Earthshot Prize awards in October)
Meanwhile Hannah also revealed the Duchess’ choice of outfits may also be impacting whether or not she carries a bag.
She said: ‘The trend for pockets has mean that fashion fans are enabled to go hands free!
‘Kate often opts for coats with disguised and patch pockets to keep a limited number of personal possessions.’
The celebrity stylist continued: ‘Kate has also been becoming more daring on the fashion front and as any style expert knows it’s all about letting your look take centre stage.
In previous years, the Duchess has regularly been spotted with a clutch bag in hand (left, at an engagement in May 2019), but recently she has been attending engagements without one (right, in October at an Earthshot prize event at Kew Gardens).
‘Take the Jenny Packham gown she wore to the Bond premiere – any additional accessories would have detracted from her look and added fuss to an otherwise high maintenance look.’
Celebrity stylist Rochelle White agreed, saying: ‘I feel that Kate has ditched her bag because she doesn’t feel she needs one as an accessories.
‘I think she is going for a minimalist look with her fashion choices these days and trying it keep it, clean, simple and stylish.
‘I also feel like because of the level she is now at in regards to being seen, she could of been advised to not carry a bag.
Weeks after returning to royal duty after her summer break in September,the mother-of-three was practical as she arrived at the RAF Air Cadets’ Windermere Adventure Training Centre, wearing a smart blazer and a pair of black jeans and did not carry a bag
‘Many celebrities with status don’t tend to walk red carpets or attend shows with bags in hand, unless it is part of the overall outfit. I think it is now all about clean looks for Kate.’
In recent months, the Duchess has stepped out without a handbag on multiple occasions.
Weeks after returning to royal duty after her summer break in September, the mother-of-three was practical as she arrived at the RAF Air Cadets’ Windermere Adventure Training Centre, wearing a smart blazer and a pair of black jeans.
The royal finished the look with her £250 trusty brown suede See By Chloé boots, which feature leather trim detailing on a round-toe, lace-up base.
When visiting the University College Londons Centre in October, she recycled an old Zara hounds tooth dress, but avoided carrying a bag
However she decided not to carry a bag on the outing, at which she also spoke to ‘Windermere children’ who were rescued from concentration camps and taken to the Lake District during a visit to Cumbria.
She continued the trend when she stepped out for the James Bond premiere alongside Prince Charles, Camilla and Prince William weeks later,.
Mother-of-three Kate dazzled at the event in a custom Jenny Packham embellished gown – which is usually priced at £2,800. Featuring cape sleeve detailing and structured shoulders, she teamed her dress with bespoke £290 Onitaa earrings – which were made in Pakistan by the South Asian luxury couture label.
But while Camilla carried a small silver clutch, the Duchess of Cambridge opted to go without.
Stylist Hannah Eichler said losing a bag allows Kate to use her hands to express her emotions and ‘connect more’ to those whom she is speaking with (pictured, yesterday at the Imperial War Museum)
Yesterday the Duchess stepped out without a bag to visit the Imperial War Museum in London to open two galleries
Weeks later, as she attended the Earthshot prize awards, she also chose not to carry a handbag.
And it’s not just on the red carpet that Kate has ditched her handbags.
When visiting the University College Londons Centre in October, she recycled an old Zara hounds tooth dress, but avoided carrying a bag.
Meanwhile it was a similar story at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in south London, when she joined Prince William to take part in a Generation Earthshot event.
In 2017, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette Myka Meier told Good Housekeeping that the way the Duchess ‘holds her bag in front of her in both hands when shaking hands might be awkward’.