Are the Cambridges entering their Blue Period? They have eschewed the classic Christmas palette of red, green and gold to wear the hue on their family’s 2017 Christmas card, choosing a far more formal to-camera portrait than the relaxed and candid images of previous years.
So formal, in fact, that if rendered in black and white with a two-up, two-down house Photoshopped into the background, it would look like an advert for suburban postwar, prefab housing (just Google Levittown in the 1950s).
But back to the future. Savvy style-spotters will note the duchess’s bespoke Catherine Walker dress is practically the same shade that Melania Trump chose to wear to the American inauguration (another conservative, high-necked dress) at the start of the year, as well as referencing another famous first lady, Jackie Kennedy, and her buttoned-up pale blue one-pieces.
They will also note that this is not the first outing for the frock. Yes, Thrifty Kate, as she is becoming known, is in the same outfit that she wore during her first solo royal trip to the Netherlands in October 2016.
Nipped in, clean cut and silhouette-skimming, her outfit harks to her pre-pregnancy wardrobe (Kensington Palace revealed the image had been taken earlier this year), with all the familiar accents – the peplum detail, the belted waist, the pencil skirt – usually favoured by the duchess.
Particularly beady eyes will be reminded that the whole family are wearing near-identical ensembles to when they arrived in Warsaw during their royal tour in July.
It takes matchy matchy dressing to a whole new level (take note, Harry and Meghan). Prince William’s tie picks out hues in Princess Charlotte’s cornflower florals; the duchess’s dress matches the stripe in Prince George’s shirt; and navy grounds the feet of all but one (you can’t have expected Kate to give up the nude courts at Christmas, surely). Clearly, the family that dresses together, impresses together.