No risk, no reward! Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, took the plunge at a Buckingham Palace banquet for Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia on July 12 — and made worldwide headlines with the deep décolletage on her custom Marchesa gown. While the attire was nothing that would cause comment at a Hollywood premiere, it was a major departure from the conservative, high-necked looks the 35-year-old fashionista usually favors, one she knew wouldn’t go unnoticed.
“Kate is feeling more confident than ever about her style, and she really pushed for a more revealing neckline,” says a palace insider. “It’s never easy for the younger royal women to find the right balance between modernity and tradition, and Kate’s had a few frumpy misfires lately. She’s making an effort to have her design choices reflect more of her personality and saw this as the perfect opportunity to do it. She looked stunning!”
a passion for fashion
The style stakes at the banquet were high, as Kate and Letizia, 44, often sport similar looks and have been compared to each other. But sources say Kate took pains not to steal the spotlight from the Spanish queen, who wore a stunning off-the-shoulder red gown that also drew plenty of attention.
Kate, who accessorized her décolletage with a massive diamond and ruby necklace that once belonged to the Queen Mother, had her royal hubby firmly in her corner, the insider notes: “Prince William loved the gown and told her to ignore anyone who didn’t — including his grandmother, if it came to that.” Indeed, the Queen was a bit taken aback, the source adds, and questioned whether a state banquet was the right place to take such a risk. “But Kate is on a mission to set the fashion agenda again, the way she did when she was first engaged and anything she wore sold out in minutes,” says the insider. “She knew she was pushing the boundaries — and got the reaction she wanted.”