BAFTAS: Kate Middleton returned to the BAFTA red carpet in the same gown she wore in 2019

Catherine, Princess of Wales and Prince William attend the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 at The Royal Festival Hall on February 19, 2023
Catherine, Princess of Wales and Prince William attend the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 at The Royal Festival Hall on February 19, 2023 in London, England. The Prince of Wales, President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and The Princess attended the Awards ceremony before meeting category winners and EE Rising Star Award nominees. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Princess of Wales has made quite the statement on the BAFTAS red carpet, rocking the same gown she wore in 2019 and earrings that if reports are to be believed, cost just NZ$35 from the popular fashion chain Zara. 

Kate Middleton last made an appearance at the British Academy Film Awards pre-pandemic in 2020, and her return to the BAFTAS red carpet - her first as the Princess of Wales - has sparked a bit of a brouhaha on social media. 

With husband and BAFTA president Prince William in tow, a smiling Kate served Old Hollywood glamour in a bridal white, one-shoulder gown by Alexander McQueen - the very same dress she donned for the awards in 2019. The regal gown had been reworked however, with the point of difference being a flowing cape sleeve on her left shoulder as opposed to the original floral appliqué. 

To accessorise her revamped gown, Kate opted for black opera gloves - a trend that has continued to be spotted on red carpets over the last year - a black clutch, and a pair of botanical, metal and rhinestone earrings that can be picked up from Zara for a mere £17.99 (roughly NZ$35). To tie in the metallic gold, she teamed the outfit with gold pumps by Aquazzura. 

Kate Middleton's BAFTAS Zara earrings
Despite regularly sporting emeralds, diamonds and Princess Diana's jewellery, Kate Middleton opted for a pair of earrings by the Spanish fashion chain Zara. Photo credit: Getty Images / Zara

For her makeup, the Princess went for dewy skin with a flush of colour and added a touch of drama with a subtle smokey eye. Instead of her famous bouncy, blown-out curls, Kate sported sleek, straight locks that showed off her statement jewellery. 

However, reactions to the reworked and reused look have been mixed, with several comparing Kate's ensemble to Amal Clooney's Golden Globes garb in 2015, which teamed a black one-shoulder, cape-sleeved Dior gown with a pair of contrasting white opera gloves. 

Others criticised the styling of the gown, with several opining that the gloves were too tall and heavy against the flowing, ethereal gown. 

Over the last few years, Kate has made a point of promoting sustainability through her fashion at high-profile events. At the 2020 BAFTAS, she wore a regal white Alexander McQueen gown with gilded gold appliqué on a sheer overlay. The dress was a repeat wear - the dress code that year encouraged guests to dress sustainably - that she first donned for a state dinner in Malaysia eight years prior. In December 2022, Kate attended the Earthshot Prize ceremony in a green gown she had rented from an online retailer and Princess Diana's emerald choker

Prince William has served as the president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) since 2010, and he and Kate have attended the awards most years since their nuptials in 2011. Kate's red carpet appearance on Sunday evening (local time) marks her first BAFTAS since 2020, with the ceremony held virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic and scheduling conflicts preventing an in-person appearance in 2022. 

While the exact pair of earrings aren't currently on Zara's New Zealand website, there are a handful of other floral, gold designs available if you want some royal-approved baubles for your next event. The earrings in question are understandably out of stock on Zara's UK platform.