Kate Middleton, the style queen: Duchess of Cambridge named biggest fashion influencer of 2020

From floral day dresses to vintage Oscar de la Renta – look back at the royal's fashion highlights over the past year

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She may be known as a duchess for now, but it seems that Kate Middleton is a true style queen.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has been named the UK's top fashion influencer in 2020, based on the number of searches made by people seeking to to replicate her looks. The royal beat This Morning host Holly Willoughby and sister-in-law Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who took the second and third spots respectively.

The research, complied by Love the Sales, analyses spikes in sales and searches when public figures wore certain looks last year.

For the duchess, her most popular outfit was a floral dress midi dress by Australian label Faithfull the Brand, which saw sales increase by 112 per cent after she wore it in June. The dress reportedly sold out in 24 hours.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Nook in Framlingham Earl, Norfolk, which is one of the three East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) on June 25, 2020 in Framlingham Earl, United Kingdom. (Photo by Joe Giddens - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
After the Duchess of Cambridge wore this floral summer dress in June 2020, Faithfull The Brand saw a 112 per cent spike in sales. Getty Images

For much of the year, the royal was only seen via Instagram posts and on Zoom calls, which both she and Prince William regularly took part in.

For many of the calls, she recycled familiar pieces from her wardrobe, including a bespoke yellow crepe Roksanda Ilincic dress, which she first wore in 2014 on a tour of Australia. As fans couldn't get their hands on doubles of the actual piece, it was noted that searches for "yellow crepe dresses" went up by 51 per cent in June.

It seems that, overall, her more casual looks were the most popular. Other style searches Catherine seems to have had an impact on include "broderie anglaise shirts", which increased by 106 per cent; "scalloped cardigans", which increased by 67 per cent; and "checkered overcoats", which increased by 32 per cent.

Last year, the royal delighted fashion fans by wearing a number of brands new to her wardrobe, including The Vampire's Wife and Faithfull The Brand, as well as a vintage Oscar de la Renta dress, which was marked as a major departure from her more contemporary style.

Click though the gallery above to look back at some of the duchess's most stylish moments of 2020. 

It is not just her sartorial choices that are notably popular. The Duchess of Cambridge's sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which was given to her by Prince William on their engagement in 2010, was voted the world's most popular last year. The ring was famously previously sported by William's mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

In a study commissioned by the Natural Diamond Council, a fifth of 2,000 participants named the duchess's oval-cut gem as their favourite engagement ring. The 12-carat sapphire, surrounded by a halo of white diamonds, just pipped the ring worn by the royal's sister-in-law to the post.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during the match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Nicolas Almagro of Spain in the Quarterfinal of Men's Singles Tennis on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's engagement ring was voted the most popular in a 2020 survey. Getty Images 

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's jewellery came in second place, with her trilogy ring designed by Prince Harry. The central diamond sourced from Botswana, flanked by two smaller diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal jewellery collection, garnered 18 per cent of the study's votes.