A piece of Royal history! Hats worn by Duchess of Cambridge smash auction estimates to sell for 3,720
06:33 GMT, 27 June 2012
She is one of the nation's favourite style icons and her penchant for hats has been widely credited for reviving the trend for ladylike dressing.
And now, two of the stunning headpieces that helped propel Kate into the spotlight as royal trendsetter have sold to an anonymous seller – for more than three times their estimated value.
The two hats hired by the then Kate Middleton to wear at events she attended before she married William were listed for sale by Kerry Taylor Auctions last month with a sale estimate of 1,000-1,500.
But as bidding reached fever pitch, the pieces smashed the guide price when they sold this afternoon for 3,224 and 3,720.
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A piece of Royal history: Two hats worn by the Duchess of Cambridge sold for triple their guide price at auction today
The first item on offer was a black and
white disc-shaped Philip Somerville creation made out of straw with woven horsehair brim and feather plumes that she wore to great effect
when her boyfriend joined the Order of the Garter at Windsor in June
The second is by Aurora and features a
swirling organza crown. It was worn by Kate to attend the wedding of
William’s close friend, Harry Meade, in October 2010 shortly before
their own engagement was announced.
In fact, the couple’s happy demeanour
and evident closeness on the day sparked much speculation that
something was afoot.
While most fashion watchers assumed
that Kate had bought the hats, in fact she hired them from Get Ahead
Hats in Reading, part of a farmers’ wives co-operative – near her family
home in Berkshire, for around 100 a time.
A source there told the Mail: ‘Kate
came in with her mother, Carole, and sister, Pippa. Even then she knew
exactly what she wanted and had a very strong sense of style. She came
in on several occasions and was an absolute pleasure to deal with.’
After Kate wore the hats they were
put to one side by the owner until they were offered for sale through Kerry Taylor
Glamorous: The Duchess of Cambridge wore the black hat, which she hired, to a friend's wedding in 2012 (left), and wore a black and white disc-shaped Philip Somerville to the Order of the Garter at Windsor in 2008 (right)
Sought after: Both hats were estimated to fetch
between 1,000 and 1,500, though the current fascination for all things Kate pushed the price much higher
Kerry Taylor also auctioned the
famous see-through dress that Kate wore as a student when she caught
William’s eye for 78,000 last year.
Miss Taylor said: ‘Before
her fairy-tale wedding last year when she was created HRH the Duchess of
Cambridge Kate, like any other ordinary girl, visited her local
milliner if she needed a hat for a special occasion.
‘With an eye for economy and
practicality, as hats take up masses of storage space, she preferred to
hire a hat for the day rather than purchase it outright.
‘She was sometimes accompanied by her mother Carole who helped her make the right selection.
‘Given her recent transformation into a style icon we are confident there will be a great deal of interest in them.’
The lots were sold with hire receipts and copies of diary entries showing Kate’s appointments at the shop.
Kate Middleton wasn't the only member of the Royal family to feature in the auction today.
Other royalty-related pieces include King Charles I’s nightshirt and a handsome trunk that belonged to King George V.
Eye-catching: H.R.H. the Duke of Windsor's Hunting Lord of the Isles tartan evening suit also went under the hammer today
A green tartan Hunting Lord of the Isles evening suit worn by The Duke of Windsor in 1950 also went under the hammer.
The Duke was famous for his eye-catching style and the flamboyant item was expected to fetch up to 12,000.