Princess Kate's "Scene-Stealing" Poppy Red Dress at Ascot "Reflects Her New Status," Fashion Expert Says

She went all out.

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends day four of Royal Ascot 2023 at Ascot Racecourse on June 23, 2023 in Ascot, England
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty)

Obviously, we all know that Princess Kate is capable of making a big sartorial splash, but more often than not, we see her opt for discreet looks to make sure she doesn't overshadow others during royal engagements.

But at Ascot last Friday, the Princess of Wales showed up in a bright red midi dress by Alexander McQueen, paired with a matching hat by Philip Treacy, matching heeled pumps by Jennifer Chamandi, drop earrings by Sézane, and a clutch bag by Hermès (per the Daily Mail).

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend day four of Royal Ascot 2023 at Ascot Racecourse on June 23, 2023 in Ascot, England.

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang / Getty)

Her choice of outfit was particularly bold, and since nothing in the Royal Family is left up to chance, it left me wondering what messages Kate was trying to convey here. So, I turned to an expert to comment on what she might have been saying via her all-red getup.

“Princess Kate’s choice of a bright poppy red, scene-stealing dress for Royal Ascot was a move away from her previous Ascot outfits," says Susie Nelson, fashion expert at Modes & More.

"I think it reflects her new status within the Royal Family, and she is dressing for the new job—and possibly the role she will have in future years."

As you know, Kate became Princess of Wales last September, after Queen Elizabeth passed away. And of course, in the future, she will step up as Queen to Prince William's King. Red, then, makes sense for this newfound (and upcoming) power.

"Red is viewed as a confident, statement color, the color of a leader," Nelson adds.

"Kate is aware that in the not too distant future, she and William will be head of the firm, and she is possibly practicing for it."

TBH, I think she's doing a great job.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.