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Former hairdresser Katy Clee gladly goes without new clothes, visits to the beauty salon and fancy hairstyles so her daughter Poppy, three, can get the royal treatment.
She’s now started dressing Poppy’s baby brother, Leo, eight months, in Prince George-style outfits, but admitted her older two, Elliot and Samuel, won’t play ball.
“I kept seeing pictures of Prince George and then Princess Charlotte and loved the beautiful clothes,” Katy, from Lichfield in the West Midlands, said. “I decided to buy some for Poppy so she could wear them.”
But Katy admitted it was when her namesake Kate had a baby girl that the desire to dress her daughter like she was a royal really kicked in.
“When Kate had Charlotte I decided to give Poppy’s wardrobe a royal makeover,” Katy, whose husband David is a supervisor at a plastics company, explained. “Then, when I found out I was having Leo, I started stockpiling baby clothes I’d seen Prince George in."
“It’s so lovely to see them in proper girls and boys clothes. They are not old-fashioned just a proper style of dressing.”
“My husband is a typical man. He loves Poppy’s dresses. However, he just rolls his eyes when parcels arrive. He leaves it to me to sort out the clothes. He likes it when people compliment us on the kids’ clothes though.”
Katy told how she made her first purchase in 2015 after searching online for the traditional outfits like the Duchess of Cambridge favours. Over the past three years she has amassed a collection of more than 30 traditional dresses.
Like Kate, she favours ones with hand-embroidered and intricately smocked tops and Peter Pan collars.
She also likes cardigans, hair bows, knee-high socks and traditional leather shoes.
Her daughter’s dresses cost £80 each. When you add in socks, leather shoes, bows and cardigan or overcoat, each look comes to £120. A cardigan in the Royal style can cost £30, shoes up to £40, socks and bows another £5 or £10.
“It seems a lot but these clothes are actually amazing value,” Katy explained. “I see them as a real investment. When Poppy grows out of them I sell them for the same price or a little less on eBay or Facebook. People can see quality and more and more parents are copying the royal look.”
Katy agrees people may think it a large amount to spend on a single dress but she says her children come first.
“Poppy is proud of her dresses,” she explained. “She loves looking at them and can spend hours taking them off their hangers and playing dress up. Kate had really inspired me to dress the children like royalty. Since I have started doing it the response from friends and even total strangers has been amazing.”
But it is not just Poppy who has embraced Charlotte’s royal style.
Despite his tender years, Leo has a complete chest of drawers stuffed with Prince George-style outfits including romper suits, specially knitted vests, sandals and little socks.
“Leo’s outfits cost around £100 when you add in his socks, shoes, cardigan, shorts and rompers,” Katy explained. “He is growing so fast but, like Poppy’s Charlotte clothes, heaps of other parents want to buy them from me for their children.”
Katy explained a quality romper suit or Prince George- style short and shirt cost around £60 to £70. Socks and shoes cost another £30, while cardigans and coats were around £40.
“But they are investment pieces and I am happy to have nothing new myself,” she said. “When we take Poppy out we are constantly stopped by people.
“Older folk especially love her look. I am constantly told it is so nice to see them dressed like proper little girls and boys. Most people love to see care taken with dressing the kids. You see some children in a mix of mismatched clothes and often you can’t tell if they are a boy or a girl. But the royal style clothes have an old fashioned look and appeal."
“My friends all think the outfits are beautiful. Many have asked to buy them when Poppy or Leo have grown out of them
”My in-laws like giving me grief saying the youngest two look like they are members of the Royal Family and tease me that Prince Charles could be their granddad and Prince William their dad.”
Kate Middleton dazzled when she stepped out after giving birth to Prince Louis… but what did real mums look like?
Like Katy, we love Princess Charlotte – and here are the reasons why.
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