According to the royal family’s website, the Order of the Garter is Britain’s longest standing order of knighthood. King Edward III initiated the order nearly 700 years ago during the medieval era. Every year, the knights of the order celebrate a traditional Garter Day ceremony at Windsor Castle that includes a procession and chapel service. 

In 2016, Catherine, Princess of Wales, attended the Order of the Garter ceremony with her husband, William, Prince of Wales, wearing a bright, monochromatic red outfit. Catherine Walker was the designer of Kate Middleton’s red coat dress. The princess accessorized with a matching red clutch purse, red hat, and deep-red high-heeled pumps. 

In 2008, we observed Middleton carrying a shoulder bag at the roller disco charity event. Since then, she has abandoned the shoulder bag style and has instead opted to carry clutches. As pictured above, Middleton has often held a clutch in front of her, gripping it with both hands. Her proclivity for clutch bags wasn’t a haphazard fluke; it was an intentional stepping stone in her style evolution. When Middleton was growing into her role as a member of the royal family, she may have used the clutch handbag as a means for avoiding awkwardness in her social interactions with others. However, nowadays, she has apparently matured beyond needing to rely on clutches and has been frequently observed without handbags.