This is a halcyon time in royal fashion. The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex — Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle — set trends and sell products as never before.
Tabloids and Vogues alike hang on their every clothing choice, parsing the messages sent: about sustainability or diplomacy, affordability and British industry. Devoted websites list how to get their looks.
Just last weekend there they were, in black Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney coats, modeling a modern approach to the monarchy at Remembrance Sunday.
Yet while we tend to label our fascination with every item they wear as part of the Insta-condition, a symptom of influencer culture and an increasingly visual world, really, it was ever thus.
Long before the two duchesses came on the scene, the Windsor family was well aware of the impact their clothes could have, and how effectively they could be used to communicate a value system in the absence of any actual communication.
When it comes to image making, they are not our id, but rather our ego: dressing themselves in the myths and messages they want to make, with the queen herself — a woman often portrayed as the stiff-upper-lipped preserver of tradition — leading the way.