There is a lot of build up to the Royal Wedding (globally) if you haven't noticed! You can't move in London for tat and camera crews filming everywhere.
The biggest speculation is the DRESS. I admire the fact they have kept it all under wraps. I feel that Kate (soon to be Catherine Wales - unless she doesn't turn up on the day) has done exactly what she should do as the bride and keep her dress a secret. I don't begrudge them the media hype, it isn't there their fault and who doesn't like a wedding. Why under strict guidance from Mr MDS, we are taking the petit garcon to flag wave on the Mall (and I am an arch anti-Royalist - why I even moaned in Waitrose the other day as the only organic eggs I could get were the Prince of Wales's Duchy Originals). My parents are more Republicans than Royalists but even they went to the Prince of Wales investiture in 1969 at Caernafon castle and have one of the commemorative chairs from it. On balance a bit of pomp and ceremony is all they are good for it would seem, in my books.
I have to confess I'm not that bothered by the dress, I know lots of people are. My only hope is it that it is demure, I am worried she will do an arm show a la Michelle Obama. Kate is very thin, too thin for her height, and whilst thin arms are always worth a showing off (if mine were I'd flaunt them) there is something about wedding dresses that bring out the arms and shoulders and I wish it wasn't that way. I want her dress to be something different and thereby impose a new standard or alternative to the current unchallenged view of wedding dresses. But of course I doubt if I'll be satisfied but if I am I will be the first to admit it.
So, with wedding and dress aside - is Kate Middleton a style icon? The case for is the fact she copied by others. The case against she is not copied by lots of us. But this is the beginning of her journey as first lady of images - for she will out image all the others.
To date her looks have been very pedestrian. Safe Sloane or rather Middle Englander. Most women of her age from 28 to 42 tend to adopt a fashionable safe look. It is the alternative to the idea of Parisian chic with more of a nod to the British High St but the non high fashion retailers - enter stage left the demure Jigsaw, Reiss and maybe Whistles (although too borderline for the non fashionista). It is a more refined execution of high fashion mixed with British country casuals, the sweater, hacking jacket, skinny cords or jeans with riding boots or hunters even a flat cap.
Kate is not going to be the Duchess of Windsor, she will continue to play it safe, after all William is the future King of England and thereby Britain, Canada, Australia etc. William will expect her to follow his mix of well bred but polite therefore never showy and never one to judge those less fortunate. He is after all his mother's son and even his father has always made the effort to provide for other via The Princes Trust
William has eschewed high end Saville Row for popularist Grieves & Hawkes - so for what it is worth I don't expect Kate to choose Alexander McQueen but then I'm merely speculating like the rest of us!
I like that Kate does and will continue to use the high street, it will be part of her social responsibility to do so, particularly given her background and she must remain down to earth. Her price bracket will probably stay at mid end designer although when she is a bit older say 40 ish I'm sure a Chanel suit or two might slip in - who can blame her. What she wears will set a tone for younger women and like Simon Doonan I think a more staid version of younger womanhood is no bad thing to offset the Jordan/Paris Hilton culture of the last decade. The setting a tone is different to setting a style. The other Kate's are style setters, Kate Moss the model, Katharine Hepburn the movie star.
First Lady's are free to be themselves in the style stakes due to democratic elections. Kate Middleton will be bound by decency and a regard for others while the Firm relies on not exposing itself too much to tip the balance in favour of us republicans. No Westwood pirate boots for Princess Catherine then.
Diana was never a style setter either, more a mood or tone setter too. She kept it safe with white shirt and chinos a la Audrey Hepburn for her work with landmine victims and her off duty look. The only time she veered off script was with THAT dress - a Catherine Walker and of course she favoured Versace, Valentino and even Chanel only after her divorce.
It seems that Kate will be a safe bet style wise and more Charlotte than Carrie - which the men always prefer from my research. And that is the point, no matter how much the media try to shove Kate's style down our throats it will only matter to Middle England. Those counties of Bucks, Berks & Surrey will be casting an eye over what she wears more than most I suspect; after all she is a product of the area.