‘Kate Middleton Effect’ Still Strong As New Study Shows She Is Still The Most Influential Royal

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Kate Middleton has become a household name and style inspiration around the world since her engagement to Prince William in 2010, and eight years later she remains a fashion icon, providing glamorous and affordable looks that, according to Harper’s Bazaar “can sell out instantly.”

According to a new study by British consulting firm Brand Finance, Kate Middleton is still seen as the biggest royal fashion influences to Americans, though her sister-in-law Meghan Markle is a “close second” behind her.

The firm surveyed 1,515 Americans across the United States to gauge their feelings toward the British royals and the royal family in general, and found that the Cambridge and Sussex royals are highly influential in the country.

“The Monarchy is one of the most defining features of Brand Britain and the royal impact on the desirability of British luxury brands cannot be overstated,” director of Brand Finance Alex Haigh said.

“Interaction between a brand and any royal, but particularly the Duchesses, is like the mythical golden touch and can transform a brand’s performance overnight.”

Kate Middleton remains the most powerful royal influencer, increasing the desirability of British product she wears in 37.6 percent of Americans. According to Harper’s Bazaar, her effect is “strongest when it comes to fashion and jewellery,” Meghan Markle was not far behind, increasing a product’s desirability by 35 percent. The Duchesses’ husbands put up high numbers as well, with Prince Harry producing a 31.9 percent to a product’s desirability and his brother Prince William doing the same by 27 percent.

The royal effect goes beyond fashion, influencing home and even automotive purchases. According to the study, 39 percent of American women said they would be more likely to buy a car if either the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Sussex used or suggested it.

Harper’s Bazaar was quick to point out, however, that according to Brand Finance, the poll was conducted in September before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry took their first royal tour, a 16-day, 11-city trip through Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand. Meghan’s influence over her home country is remarkable–within minutes of wearing a white Line the Label coat, for example, it was sold out, and the huge demand for the clothing “caused the website to crash,” Haigh noted. It is possible that if the survey were conducted now, it would yield higher percentages for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, potentially putting Meghan ahead of Kate, though some are sure Kate’s reign will stay put.

“Although Meghan has now joined the Firm–and temporarily taken the spotlight away from Kate–I don’t think she will ever eclipse her,” How to Dress Like a Princess author Claudia Joseph told Vanity Fair.

“There is a lot of affection for Kate both as a mother to three gorgeous children and a future Queen.”

Regardless of who yields the highest percentages, the popularity of the British royals among Americans is definite, with two-thirds of survey respondents reporting “they either like or love” the four young royals.