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Kate Middleton’s chic rugby look relied on favorite fashion find

The Princess of Wales cut a stylish figure in the stands of the Orange Vélodrome in Marseille, France, on Sunday as she attended a quarter-final match of the Rugby World Cup between England and Fiji.

Kate attended in her capacity as patron of England’s Rugby Football Union. A day earlier, her husband, Prince William, and son Prince George had watched the Welsh national team as they were knocked out of the tournament by Argentina.

For the game, Kate made a style statement in a chic white tweed blazer with gold buttons, paired with flared black pants and a matching black leather handbag with gold-chain shoulder strap. The look followed Kate’s new “business princess” style. This has seen the royal adopt a number of structured suit elements into her wardrobes from severe tailored pantsuits, to 1980s-inspired padded blazers and jackets.

Kate’s rugby blazer was purchased from Spanish mid-range brand Zara. It was first worn by the princess in February to celebrate the return of Captain Preet Chandi from her record-breaking solo expedition to Antarctica.

The flattering long line of the blazer accentuates the princess’ natural height. The widened lapels, when worn open or closed, create an inverted V shape, evening the proportion between the wearer’s shoulders and hips.

Kate has often looked to Zara for blazers, many of which are in the same cut and style to achieve a flattering overall look.

The princess owns a similar tweed style of Zara blazer in both red and green. Most recently, she wore the red version for a visit to an educational center in Kent, England, in September, where she met with parents and staff working with children who have special educational needs.

The blazer was first worn for a soccer game in 2021 and then again in 2022 for a visit to Denmark, the vivid red color being a characteristic nod by Kate to the nation’s flag.

Over the years, Kate has been praised for mixing high-end designer looks with pieces from low- and mid-range brands, with many of the more-affordable pieces selling out in a matter of hours.

This phenomenon is known as the “Kate effect,” and the princess’ overall value to the U.K. fashion economy has been estimated at over $1 billion.

Royal fashion expert and celebrity stylist Miranda Holder previously told Newsweek that Kate’s increasing choices of pantsuits and blazers for official engagements highlighted her more business-minded approach to royal duties since being made Princess of Wales by King Charles III in September 2022.

“This very apparent tailored approach to styling indicates that the princess’s new fashion ‘uniform’ is far more corporate in feel,” Holder said, “allowing her to fully immerse herself in the causes she supports.

“Princess Kate means business, and her looks most definitely reflect this mindset,” Holder added.

The princess celebrated on Sunday evening as England beat Fiji by 30 to 24 points. It means that the English team will progress to the semi-finals in Paris against South Africa on Saturday.

Kate has proved a hit with rugby fans during the tournament. At a group-stages game between England and Argentina, the princess received a wave of screaming cheers when her image was shown on the stadium’s big screens. In Marseille on Sunday, fans were spotted holding signs directed at the royal, with one reading: “Kate, divorce and marry me.”

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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