When in London, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reside in Kensington Palace, a stone’s throw away from Kensington High Street, one of London’s busiest shopping areas. Kensington High Street is home to many of the Duchess’s favourite brands, and it seems fairly likely that it’s here that the Duchess does quite a lot of her shopping – maybe even stocking up for the Royal tour in India!
For example, the high street is home to Accessorize, who provided a pretty pair of filigree earrings the Duchess has worn several times on the India tour. Branches like this often stock Monsoon accessories as well, so this could also be where Kate picked up her Fleur wedges!
A brand that Kate hasn’t worn recently is Banana Republic, sister company of GAP, and also home to a collaboration with ISSA, which was the designer behind Kate’s famous sapphire blue engagement dress.
Dominating the high street is Barkers of Kensington, a grand old department store now occupied by some familiar brand names. This beautiful building has an art deco style, and neighbours Derry & Toms, which features Europe’s second largest roof garden, complete with flamingoes. Yes! The garden can be accessed by the public and even has a restaurant with stunning views.
Now some more familiar brands for Kate – she’s fond of picking up pretty fitted shirts at GAP, and even worked at Jigsaw for a time, although it’s been a long while since she’s worn anything from the brand.
If you sneak down a side-street you’ll find a branch of Reiss, one of Kate’s favourite high street stores, where she recently purchased her beautiful sheer white Vinnie blouse. She’s also fond of coats from the brand, which is famous for its fitted style and belted jackets.
Before her royal tour began, Kate must have made a trip to Russell & Bromley, as she’s already debuted two new items from the retailer, a pair of pink Xpresso flats, and her beige suede Curvy clutch. In the window of the Kensington branch, you can see at the front they still have plenty of stock of Kate’s navy Chester tassel loafers, which she was pictured wearing at the British Museum with George.
Seraphine provided clothes to dress the royal bump on Kate’s trip to New York – will the Duchess have reason to visit this maternity clothing specialist again? Who knows, but if she does, it may well be this handy branch just a short walk from her palace…
Yet another brand with a royal tour link lurks on Kensington High Street. Kate’s most recently worn this brand’s beautiful boho pink and black midi dress, but she’s previously also been seen wearing a beautiful black dress with white peter pan colour, and a flippy white dress with black polka dots, all from Topshop. Topshop’s biggest store is on Oxford Street, but this branch may be quieter for when you fancy a royal browse…
If you were a princess and you were set to go on safari, where would you shop? If you’re Kate, you’d pop into your local branch of Zara and find yourself a nice pair of khaki biker trousers, of course! This is a firm favourite for the Duchess, and it’s huge range of fashion-forward items are reasonably priced and continually updated.
Here’s a bit of an odd one – Wilko, home of just about anything and everything practical you could ever want, from paint to pots, and gardening equipment to soft drinks. Hard as it may be to imagine, given its less than glamorous connotations, but Kate and William have reportedly shopped here – for Christmas presents!
Kate most recently shopped at Zara Home for some cute polka dot tumblers and nautical towels, but it was at the Duke of York branch, rather than her local one. Zara Home is one of my favourite homeware stores, it’s like an eclectic Aladdin’s cave of weird and wonderful goodies!
Kensington is off the beaten track for tourists somewhat, because it isn’t as easy to get to as many other places (relatively speaking!) and there are plenty of shopping locations in central London which boast a greater number of big brands. But if you have the time, it’s well worth a visit – and you can even pop along to Kensington Palace too, for a bit of royal watching (just remember, no pictures!). It’s a beautiful place, rich with history – and I even have a secret shop to share with you, too…
Okay, so it’s a gentleman’s outfitters, but if you venture beyond the church on the high street you’ll discover this, plus a few other hidden gems. I took a tour of Kensington and was told that the Palace very often make deliveries to this second-hand shop… If you’re after any of Charles’ and William’s old cast-offs, this may be the place to get it…