Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William and affectionately known as Kate, has several times been photographed wearing the same outfit that she has worn previously.
The public may want a royal fashion 'clothes horse', but Kate told a friend: "Times are tough - I cannot be expected to wear a new outfit for every royal engagement. I am not a fashion model." Moreover she is acutely aware of the current economic climate. The London Daily Telegraph said that she not only refuses to accept freebies from fashion outlets, she has kept her word - in part by rejecting the "only-one-wear" policy, (www.news.com.au)
Fashion is big business. The Fashion Houses of Britain rely on public figures such as the Royals to keep their industry afloat, and certainly it is one way that they ensure the fashion trickles down to the retailers. This was evidenced when Kate's wedding dress was revealed, and immediately the websites were advertising copies of it for young brides-to-be.
The fashion industry employs huge numbers of people. Like other consumer industries, this in turn relies on a constant turnaround of money when people 'update' their wardrobes. Its ongoing success relies on 'showing' the latest trends â€“ and one way of doing that is to have recognisable, famous people wear their garments. However, the Duchess of Cambridge is all too aware of the pitfalls associated with such public displays.
Perhaps she is learning from the well-known distress of Diana, the late Princess of Wales, who was popular with the public, but succumbed to the pressures of constant publicity. Kate does not want to be personally pushed under in a similar way. Moreover times are tough economically, and Kate is sending an important signal across the world, that she is more than what she wears and she understands the common person's financial constraints.
Indeed, although they are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they are a very normal newly-wed couple, making their own way. This is helped by the change in social attitudes. It is well known that the couple had already set up house together; a fact which would have been well-hidden in previous generations.
Kate has been seen buying their household groceries, which is another big change from the Royal traditions since the present Queen and her family were growing up, when Royals were forbidden to carry any money whatsoever.
Seemingly, Kate is integrating these modern society 'norms' into the public perception within traditional Royal household with determination and grace. The couple have apparently asked for a couple of years of (relative) freedom to learn about themselves.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to the British Throne. If and when he becomes King, he will also be head of the Anglican Church.
According to Luke chapter 14 verses 28-30: "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it; lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all those seeing begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish."
I see evidence from Kate's frugality that this couple is already taking the gospels seriously, and are using their 'couple of years' to plan their household well. Hopefully History will be able to note that they were able to finish whatever it is they have started to build together.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html