Princess Catherine Drank Spicy Margaritas, Wore an Off-the-Shoulder Top, and Left a Huge Tip at Her First Rave

We have a spicy margarita recipe for you to make tonight!

Kate Middleton drinking and preparing alcohol
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Perhaps the most surprising news that has emerged from the Princess of Wales’ summer break is that she attended a 24-hour music festival alongside Rose Hanbury (we have to admit—we were not expecting that, but are totally here for it). Everyone deserves to let their hair down now and again—and this includes future queens—and Catherine did so while dressed casually and sipping a relatable drink: spicy margaritas.

Kate Middleton at a music festival

(Image credit: @JazzWild_)

Catherine attended the Houghton Music Festival alongside friends and, The London Evening Standard reports, skipped the festival’s food trucks in favor of Turntable & Napkin, a restaurant on the grounds. A source told the outlet that Catherine “was in high spirits, ordering spicy margaritas, eating affogato [an Italian coffee-based dessert], and speaking affably with other members of her party.”

Kate Middleton drinking and preparing alcohol

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Catherine ordered drinks from the restaurant, her friends went BYOB and left a huge tip. “Her companions apparently carted in a huge, balthazar-sized bottle of AIX rosé and, together with Kate, left the festival restaurant staff a £700 tip,” the outlet reports. (What is a balthazar-sized bottle? The Daily Mail reports it’s a 12-liter bottle that costs about £500 from a wine shop.)

Kate Middleton drinking and preparing alcohol

(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the show, per Hello, Catherine wore an off-the-shoulder long-sleeved black top and black jeans, topped off with her Veja sneakers and gold chandelier earrings. Per the outlet, one fan wrote of Catherine “She may be a Princess but she’s still a girl who loves a good margarita!” Another fan added “Love the off the shoulder look!!!”

As we previously reported, Prince William didn’t attend the festival with Catherine; The Mirror reports that he might have been on a grouse-shooting trip at the time. Catherine was attending a dinner party hosted by the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley, otherwise known as Rose and her husband, David, at their home, Houghton Hall, not far from William and Catherine’s country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall. Though she was originally nervous to go—it was, after all, the first time she’d ever been to such an event—Catherine was eventually persuaded to come out and enjoy the Houghton Festival, billed as Britain’s only 24-hour music festival. (This year, over 200 artists performed across 13 stages, with music playing somewhere on the Houghton Estate at all times from Thursday to Sunday. Over 12,000 were expected to be in attendance.) “After dinner, one of the guests suggested that Catherine go to the festival,” a source told The Daily Mail. “Catherine was nervous about the idea but, after much discussion with her protection officers, she went with lots of security. William wasn’t there.”

Kate Middleton drinking and preparing alcohol

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Writing in The Telegraph, Ed Cummings—who has attended the festival previously—said the event is full of “ex-SAS goons, gurning public schoolboys, and untz-untz music.” He said that Catherine would have been “practically the least posh person there” (really?) and added she “would have fit in perfectly.”

Kate Middleton drinking and preparing alcohol

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Over the repetitive thud of the music you could hear a happy hum of well-spoken men and women, in the mandatory upper-middle class festival outfit of Uniqlo bum-bag and Nike Air Force trainers, bumping into Cecily and Hugo who they hadn’t seen since prep school,” Cummings writes. He added that Catherine should be praised for attending the festival: “Whether Kate’s presence raised or lowered the social standing of the event, she ought to be commended for proving that even a future queen can decide to go out after dinner, and in so doing support her friends and the U.K. hospitality industry. All hail the Princess of Raves.”

If you want to make your own spicy margarita this weekend a la Catherine—whether you are attending a rave or not—The Daily Express has a recipe to try:


150ml tequila

75ml triple sec

25ml chili syrup (see below)

25ml mango juice

25ml lime juice

Handful of ice

For the chili syrup

One sliced red chili

50g golden caster sugar

For the salt rim

A small handful of coriander

Half a lime zest

Two tsp sea salt flakes

Two tsp golden caster sugar

Half tsp chipotle chili flakes


Make the chili syrup first. Put 50ml of water, the sugar, and the thinly sliced chilis in a saucepan.

Over low to medium heat, bring the solution to a simmer while stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow it to finish cooling.

Combine all the ingredients for the salt rim garnish before spooning it out onto a small plate.

Four tumblers’ rims should be lightly wetted before being dipped in the salt-chili mixture. Set the glasses aside while you prepare the margarita.

Pour all the components for the drink into a large cocktail shaker or blender and shake until the outside feels chilly.

You may also pulse the ingredients together twice or three times to blend them. The drink should be chilled, aerated, and diluted.

However, the ice should not be totally broken down. Ice cubes should be added to both the prepared tumblers and a big jug.

After straining the cocktail into the jug, give it a good swirl before transferring it into the tumblers.


Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.