Royals Who Borrowed Clothes From Their Mom's Closet

The fashion choices of royals have drawn the admiration (and criticism) of the public for practically as long as they've been around. From bold fashion decisions to inappropriate royal outfits, their clothing continues to be used as a way for royals to express themselves. With a long list of engagements including state banquets, tours of non-profits, and royal weddings, the royals have no shortage of opportunities to debut new looks — or recycle old ones. It seems to be just part of the job to know when — and how — to bring back a previously seen piece. Whether paired with a new fascinator or re-worn in precisely the style it first debuted in, the art of recycling clothes is one that the royals have perfected.

Even royals sometimes take clothes from the glamorous closets of their royal moms — and who can blame them? The jewels and the gowns of an emerging royal can represent the perfect opportunity to find their own style — and perfect it. Here is a look into times that royals have borrowed clothes and attempted (successfully or not) to make the pieces their own.

Lady Louise Windsor

Lady Louise regularly steps out in her mother's glamorous hand-me-downs. The only daughter of Duchess Sophie of Edinburgh and Prince Edward, Lady Louise is becoming a style icon just like her mom. However, she has grown so accustomed to borrowing her mum's dresses and jewels that many royal fans have begun calling for her to establish her own style. And, though Lady Louise may look beautiful in the stylish Duchess of Edinburgh's clothes, her critics may have a fair point. Take, for instance, the 2022 Commonwealth Games when Lady Louise donned Duchess Sophie's £985 Peter Pilotto gown. This colorful and funky dress was first worn by the Duchess of Edinburgh at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2015, and though a re-wear can be a fun way to recycle clothes, this wasn't the last time Lady Louise would reach into her mum's wardrobe. 

In May 2023 alone, Lady Louise wore several pieces belonging to her mom. She attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Duchess Sophie's £325 Me and Em camel blazer — which onlookers were quick to point out had only been worn for the first time just a month earlier. At the same event, Lady Louise also wore a Hayfield Fedora hat and a Stella McCartney coat belonging to her mother. Though no one is debating whether or not Lady Louise looks great in her mother's clothes, many are left questioning if she has any personal or unique style.

Princess Estelle of Sweden

As one of the future queens of Europe, and daughter to future queen Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Estelle of Sweden has grown up in an environment of exquisite gowns and glittering jewels. As she finds her own fashion style, Princess Estelle has had the privilege of looking to her mother, Crown Princess Victoria, for inspiration — and for clothes.

In September 2023, the oldest of Crown Princess Victoria's children reached into her mother's closet in order to celebrate her grandfather, King Carl XVI Gustaf, in style. As part of His Majesty's Golden Jubilee, Princess Estelle joined her brother, her parents, and the Danish royal family at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in Stockholm for a special performance. Princess Estelle looked the part of a future queen as she stepped out in her mother's green tulle gown, which comes from the H&M Conscious Collection. This stunning number was first worn by Crown Princess Victoria in 2022 when she attended a gala dinner in Amsterdam. Both mother and daughter looked gorgeous in this green garment, pulling their hair back and choosing simple jewelry that made them each seem like they floated off the pages of a fairytale book.

Crown Princess Victoria

Just as Princess Estelle once publicly borrowed from Crown Princess Victoria's closet, the Crown Princess of Sweden has also stepped out in a couple of looks from her own mom, Queen Silvia. In 2018, Crown Princess Victoria gave her mother's Nina Ricci ball gown new life when she wore it to the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm in a moment that is now considered to be one of Crown Princess Victoria's best looks. Her mom, Queen Silvia wore this exact gown to the very same ceremony in 1995. Both times, the royal women stunned in the dazzling shades of pink, silver, and gold.

Barely a year before this jaw-dropping moment, Crown Princess Victoria went vintage when she wore a striped yellow outfit that once belonged to her mom. This stylish ensemble was first worn by Queen Silvia on a trip to Moscow in 1978. Though her daughter did not also wear the matching hat that once went with this ensemble, she still looked radiant when attending a conference in August 2017.

Princess Catherine of Wales

Ever since she officially became a royal in 2011, Princess Catherine has experienced quite a style evolution. Now, she is easily one of the best and most smartly-dressed royals of all time. Part of the Princess of Wales' cleverness when it comes to fashion is knowing when to recycle an outfit — especially when it comes from the closet of her mum, Carole Middleton. Like many mother-daughter pairs, Princess Catherine and Carole Middleton are fashion look-alikes. They both appreciate a simple but flattering aesthetic, and they may even be caught stepping out in the exact same outfit. 

When Princess Catherine was choosing a look for a 2012 appearance at the Treehouse Children's Hospice in Ipswich, Suffolk, she found her pick in a £139 dress that her mum, Carole Middleton, wore to the Royal Ascot in 2010. This cobalt blue dress, designed by Reiss, evokes a double-breasted blazer and is elevated by a black belt which simultaneously provides a shape and a statement. When Carole Middleton first wore this look in 2010, she dressed it up with a fascinator that was previously worn by her daughter, Princess Catherine, at a 2009 wedding.

Princess Isabella of Denmark

As the oldest daughter of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Princess Isabella has access to looks that would spark the admiration of any fashion lover. Part of the Danish royal children's lavish lives includes borrowing outfits from the ever-glamorous Crown Princess Mary of Denmark — an opportunity that Princess Isabella took full advantage of when it came time to celebrate her confirmation in April 2022. Although this mother-daughter pair may have worn this particular look before, they were both able to look distinctly, and beautifully, themselves.

The young royal looked stunning on the steps of the Fredensborg Palace Church in a three-piece Max Mara pantsuit from the closet of her royal mom. This all-white number was elevated with a diamond and pearl brooch. To top it all off, she also dipped back into Crown Princess Mary's collection to borrow her mom's pink diamond earrings and Dulong Fine Jewelry rings. The Crown Princess Mary wore this sharp white pantsuit once before in 2017 while on a trip to Stockholm. She wore it for a second time in 2019 while visiting South Korea — though she did don a different brooch. 

Princess Alexia of The Netherlands

Princess Alexia, who is second in line for the Dutch throne, is the second-born of Queen Máxima's three daughters. In September 2023, Princess Alexia of the Netherlands made a giant step as a young royal when she completed her first royal engagement in Rotterdam during which she represented the royals at the christening of the ship, the Vox Alexia. Although she successfully fulfilled this public engagement solo, she had a little help from her mom Queen Máxima when it came to choosing her outfit for the significant event.

When Princess Alexia of The Netherlands arrived, she exuded poise and elegance — just like her mother when she attended the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the same dress. On each occasion, both mother and daughter looked beautiful in this navy Oscar de la Renta number. Featuring elegant ruffled sleeves trimmed with white detailing, the dress is the perfect blend of drama and regality. With her hair pulled back, Princess Alexia's flower earrings sparkled as she confidently walked in cream heels. With her head held high, this young royal looked radiant as she followed in her mother's footsteps.

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice is yet another young royal who has found fashion inspiration from her own mum. Sarah, Duchess of York, has not always followed royal fashion rules, but she has curated a closet worth borrowing from. In June 2023, Beatrice attended the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa Al Hussein wearing her mother's tiara — known as the York tiara.

While Princess Beatrice celebrated the Jordan royals' love story, she sparkled in the very same tiara that Sarah, Duchess of York wore on her wedding day back in 1986. To the delight of royal fans, it was given another chance to shine when Princess Beatrice wore it and, while doing so, honored her mum. Many royal followers believed that they would never see the tiara again in a royal context when the Duchess of York divorced Prince Andrew in 1996. However, although Duchess Sarah may have taken personal ownership of this diamond tiara, the Garrard & Co. jewels have found new life with her daughter. 

Princess Leonor of Spain

The oldest of King Felipe and Queen Letizia's two daughters is Princess Leonor, who will one day become the queen of Spain. Until then, however, she must look to her mother, Queen Letizia, as a role model in how to lead — and how to look effortlessly glamorous while doing so.

On a solo engagement in Madrid in 2022, Princess Leonor visited the headquarters of the Spanish Red Cross wearing a sharp blazer belonging to her mom. Eagle-eyed onlookers identified this to be the same Carolina Herrera blazer that Queen Letizia wore when touring the Mercamadrid market in 2020. In addition, Princess Leonor accessorized her look with her mother's gold earrings which Queen Letizia wore on a visit to Cuba in 2019. Though some critics praised the princess's look for the event, others thought it made the then-17-year-old look older than her young age.

But this was not the only time Princess Leonor dipped into the Queen of Spain's closet. Wearing her mother's black coat in 2020, a Sfera shirt previously worn by Queen Letizia in 2022, and a few borrowed earrings for events in 2023 and 2022, it's safe to say this royal mother-daughter pair has similar tastes in fashion.

Princess Anne

Sometimes, a royal daughter will wear an item from their mother's closet not because of fashion, but with the intent of honoring them. This was the case for Princess Anne in December 2023 when she nodded to her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, by wearing The Late Queen's Admiral's cloak as she addressed the gathered audience at the Mission to Seafarers' carol service. 

This cloak was an iconic fashion item of the late queen. She wore it most notably when she was photographed in 2007 by Annie Leibovitz in a now-famous portrait. As the only daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip sported this special cloak, the respect and admiration Princess Anne still has for her late mother was evident. This black cape is not showy and rather simple in design — except for the gold detail at the neck. Princess Anne's choice of styling the cloak with a simple floral dress and understated shoes was similarly reserved. She knew of the cloak's significance for her mother during her reign, and so chose to wear it with great strength. 

Charlotte Casiraghi

Both Charlotte Casiraghi and her mother, Princess Caroline of Hanover, are darlings of the fashion community. From sitting in the front row of fashion shows to gracing the red carpet, the Monégasque mother and daughter are both extremely talented at balancing fashion risks and looking effortlessly glamorous. For instance, Charlotte Casiraghi turned heads in 2017 when she attended Monaco's annual Rose Ball wearing a gown that was first debuted by her mother, Princess Caroline of Hanover.

The gown, which is vintage Chanel, came out with the fashion house's Fall 1996/97 collection. With dramatic black details that resemble winding vines, this haute couture is practically dripping in elegance. And even though Charlotte Casiraghi dazzled on the red carpet, she wasn't the first to turn heads in the very same dress. In December 2000, Princess Caroline of Hanover wore it to the Monaco Dances Forum in celebration of the Nijinsky Award Winners. Though the dress looked slightly different when it reemerged in 2017, its essence was just as breathtaking.