one-shoulder-wonders:-the-asymmetrical-royal-style-moments-that-came-before-kate

Paolo Roversi / PA Images

To mark the Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th birthday, Kensington Palace released three stunning portraits of the future Queen. The photographs, shot by Paolo Roversi at Kew Gardens, perfectly embodied the beauty and grace of the elegant royal. For the occasion, Kate donned three bespoke creations from the British style powerhouse of Alexander McQueen, with a breathtaking red one-shoulder dress featuring a balloon sleeve and pleated skirt sparking praise from all over the world. 

This asymmetrical style, though, has long been approved by the royal family. Denoting the ethereal elan of Greek goddesses in flowing togas, designers have often rejoiced in the refined femininity of the style with iterations appearing on countless runways throughout the decades. 

Championed by Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York in the Eighties and Nineties, late 20th century versions often came with an outré sleeve not too dissimilar to Kate’s recent reprisal, while Princess Beatrice led the pack of one-sleeved women in the 2000s and 2010s embellished with sequins and gems. 

Our fabulous friends across the channel have also been known to don asymmetrical designs throughout the years. From Princess Charlene of Monaco to Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, one-shouldered silhouettes have often graced high society events like the Rose Ball. 

If you’re feeling the need to bare a shoulder in the vein of Kate Middleton, allow these other royal style icons to inspire you further. From Princess Eugenie to Queen Letizia of Spain, these fashion leaders know how to wear it well.