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Kate beats Meghan to become top royal style influencer

The Duchess of Cambridge’s maternity outfits were the most searched for outfits, according to eBay.

The Duchess of Cambridge has taken the crown as this year’s top royal style influencer.

Kate, rather than royal newcomer the Duchess of Sussex,  had the biggest impact on shopping habits, according to eBay’s annual UK Retail Report.

Her maternity style while pregnant with Prince Louis ensured she generated more online searches on eBay than any other royal over the past year.

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Kate in a tailored pink coat while pregnant with Prince Louis (Heathcliff O’Malley/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Searches for tailored maternity coats more than tripled in November 2017, while Kate was expecting her third child.

In April, searches for designer Jenny Packham more than doubled when Kate appeared outside the Lindo Wing in a red Packham smock dress for Prince Louis’s debut.

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Kate in her red Jenny Packham dress holding newborn Prince Louis (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Throughout the year, Kate’s go-to choices Jenny Packham, Alexander McQueen and Seraphine saw a 20% upsurge in searches year-on-year, with as many as 43 searches every hour.

Meghan, who is known for her signature boatneck necklines, came a close second.

Her fashion influencing power peaked at her wedding in May, when the Givenchy dress she wore to marry the Duke of Sussex led to a more than 60% increase in searches for the designer on eBay, hitting 55 an hour.

The former Suits star’s Stella McCartney halter-neck evening wedding dress doubled searches for the brand.

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Meghan, in her Stella McCartney evening gown, heading to her wedding party with Harry (Steve Parsons/PA)

The duchess’s ice-pink off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress at Trooping the Colour in June was also popular, with searches for the designer almost doubling.

Rob Hattrell, UK vice president of eBay, said: “While Meghan was clearly the focus of the fashion pages this year, Kate’s distinctive style has long been a hit with shoppers on eBay since her wedding in 2011.

“We always see an uptick in searches around landmark royal events and 2018 was a bumper year for small businesses on eBay, with both the birth of Prince Louis and Meghan and Harry’s wedding driving purchases across the nation.”

  1. Duchess of Cambridge
  2. Duchess of Sussex
  3. Princess Charlotte
  4. Prince George
  5. The Queen

Princess Charlotte, who was top in 2017, came third, with the flower crown she wore as a bridesmaid at Meghan and Harry’s wedding prompting a 60% increase in searches for similar products on eBay.co.uk.

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Princess Charlotte, with her floral head-dress, with Kate at the royal wedding (Jane Barlow/PA)

There was almost a 40% spike in searches for floral print dresses after she wore one to the polo in June.

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Princess Charlotte’s floral dress at the polo in Tetbury in June proved popular with shoppers (Steve Parsons/PA)

Charlotte’s five-year-old older brother Prince George was fourth, with his trademark Peter Pan collar shirts inspiring searches throughout the year.

There was a 30% spike in searches for similar outfits on eBay after he appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony in June.

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Prince George, in one of his Peter Pan collar shirts, with the royals on the Palace balcony (Yui Mok/PA)

But George trumped his sister in the memorabilia stakes.

The release of a special coin for his fifth birthday in July prompted a surge in listings on eBay, with more than 4,300 Prince George-related products on site, compared with around 1,700 for Princess Charlotte.

The Queen also made it into the top five royal style influencers.

Media attention on the meaning behind her brooch selections contributed to a renaissance for this traditional piece of jewellery in 2018, according to eBay.

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The Queen is a fan of brooches (Joe Giddens/PA)

As many as 16 brooches are sold every minute on the site, with an almost 20% increase in searches in February.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who wore demure headwear to the royal wedding, were not placed in this year’s rankings.

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Princess Eugenie, the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice arrive at St George’s Chapel for Harry and Meghan’s wedding (Chris Jackson/PA)

Eugenie’s pale blue Fiona Graham pillbox hat and Beatrice’s teal Stephen Jones headband did not spark a discernible rise in searches or sales, eBay said.

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