Pity the poor mothers at Thomas’s Battersea, where Prince George starts school on Thursday — all those months spent building a paparazzi-worthy wardrobe ready for the Big Day.
But the Thomas’s mothers need not worry. Their carefully chosen and hugely expensive ‘posh mummy’ designer loot will not go to waste.
Short, sweet and budget-friendly first time round
No bump and a neat Diane von Furstenberg coat, left, a flowing Whistles dress hides any tell-tale signs in January 2013, centre and the Duchess opts for a Max Mara wrap dress
March: An Emilia Wickstead coat for St Patrick’s Day, left, while she looked peachy in a short Tara Jarmon outfit in April
Emilia Wickstead again for an elegant April reception, left, a short Topshop dress proves a wedding bloomer and another Emilia Wickstead coat for a spring royal garden party
June: In the pink and elegant for Trooping the Colour while new mum Kate leaves hospital in Jenny Packham
In fact, judging by the Duchess’s new love of top-end fashion, they’ll need every swanky label they can get their hands on.
Take her most recent public appearance before her happy news was announced. While she was happy to wear an ‘austerity’ mix of High Street and affordable designer labels for her first two pregnancies, this time Kate stepped out in £1,420 worth of silk poppy-print Prada.
One can only imagine the panic that outfit caused at the school gate.
Since her first pregnancy in 2012/13, the Duchess has worn an increasingly sophisticated maternity wardrobe.
As a first-time mother, she made the classic mistake of assuming that standard clothes, which looked fine in the first trimester, could cope with a burgeoning bump. Take that unfortunate £38 polka dot Topshop dress and a £17.50 ASOS wrap dress: both rode up too high, revealing more leg than was decorous.
By her second pregnancy in 2014/15, the Duchess had learned her lesson — binning the cheap, off-the-peg frocks and upgrading to purpose-made maternity dresses from the affordable UK label Seraphine.
Coats and sophisticated cover-ups for number two
Striking in mint Jenny Packham gown while later in Autmn she opted for a tailored Katherine Hooker dress
Jan 2015: A softly styled coat by Seraphine, left while Kate was well wrapped for winter in Max Mara, centre. She went for her Pink Alexander McQueen coat again in March
A stand-out Hobbs coat for a spring art exhibition while her bump looks elegant in a dark Beulah London coat
A Catherine Walker coat for St Patrick’s Day, left,a statement fuchsia coat by Mulberry at eight months, centre and going home in Jenny Packham after Charlotte is born
It also helped that in much of the later stages of her second pregnancy, Kate was dressing for winter and could turn to cashmere and wool frock coats from Hobbs, Mulberry and another fashionable label, Goat — tailored enough to give her shape yet voluminous enough to cover her bump. For evening, she discovered the joys of an empire-line dress — in particular an ink-blue silk gown from Jenny Packham, which skimmed over her bump.
So what will the Duchess be wearing third time around? Her favourite designer, Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, has no doubt been beavering away on bespoke maternity pieces.
Ever since she designed the Duchess’s wedding dress, the pair have been as thick as thieves, creating an elegant wardrobe for many of Kate’s biggest events. It helps that last year Sarah gave birth to twins, so she intimately understands the sartorial issues that come with pregnancy.
We can also expect to see the Duchess recycling some of her more successful pregnancy pieces, from the fuchsia Mulberry coat to her pale pink Alexander McQueen. Expect also to see a flash of Emilia Wickstead, the Tatler crowd’s designer of choice, and British designer Erdem.
But judging from the Duchess’s recent appearance in Prada — one of the most expensive, high-fashion labels in Milan — we could also expect to see a smattering of international bombshell frocks.
And that will certainly be enough to make the ground shake in Battersea.