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Prince Charles splashes 35K pounds on daughter-in-law Kate's dresses

June 26, 2012 - London

Duchess of Cambridge's penchant for designer outfits may have cost father-in-law Prince Charles 35,000 pounds already this year.

"High Street Kate" had left on her honeymoon in a 49.99-pound Zara dress but her increasingly expensive look is expected to send the clothing budget soaring when Charles's Clarence House annual accounts are published on Friday.

Although Prince William has just inherited 10 million pounds from his mother Diana's estate, Charles picks up the tab for all the clothes that he, Camilla, William, Kate and Prince Harry wear on royal engagements.

Charles pays for them out of the private income from his 696 million pounds Duchy of Cornwall estate.

The cost of Kate's couture will be lumped in with all other official expenses, but fashion industry pundits have estimated that Kate has spent up to 35,000 pounds this year alone.

According to sources, the bill could be higher when the cost of her outfits for her first overseas tour to Canada last year are included.

But Claire Brayford, deputy fashion editor of the Daily Express, pointed out that many of her designer outfits come from discount outlet stores at Bicester Village, in Oxfordshire.

"I don't think she will have spent much more than 35,000 pounds - probably less," she said.

"It's absolutely vital that she looks good. She's representing our country and the whole British fashion industry. She's the most powerful ambassador we have.

"Can you imagine if she was going out looking like Boris Johnson - how scruffy he is? She has to look gorgeous. She boosts the economy."

When William and Kate first announced their engagement, royal aides insisted she would not become a "clothes horse" and refused to identify the brands she wore," she added.

But amid increasing public fascination with Kate's wardrobe, St James's Palace officials now routinely give out the details.

30-year-old Kate has gone noticeably upmarket this year.

For the boat trip down the Thames for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant, Kate wore a 1,185 pounds Alexander McQueen dress.

Even when she spent the day camping with children in Kent, her Wellington boots cost 300 pounds and the price tag for her complete outfit is likely to be more than 1,000 pounds.


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