December saw the final part of season 6 air from The Crown on Netflix. The show, which has serialised the key years of the Royal family from the start of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, reached an end point this month and followed the firm to the mid-2000s.
The series has long drawn conversation around its fashion, as well as discussion around how true to reality the fashion is. As The Crown revisits historical moments of royal life, it is only natural this has led to a reignited interest in the fashions shown from each decade.
Insights from luxury clothing brand Fairfax & Favor has shown he final season of The Crown has triggered a 60% increase in Google searches for ‘1990s boots’ in the past month alone. The Netflix show showcases iconic styles from each member of the family, focussing on the 1990s to 2000s looks. These are the top footwear styles seeing increased interest as the series concludes in December 2023.
1. Wellington boots – 848,260 searches
A longstanding staple for the royals, Wellington boots are the embodiment of countryside attire. Worn by the royals more for practicality than to make a fashion statement, Wellington boots have stayed consistent throughout decades of changing fashion trends, remaining a reliable favourite amongst countryside residents throughout history. All members of the family have been spotted in various styles of wellingtons, at a range of events through the years from charity polo matches to their yearly trips to Balmoral. From King Charles to Queen Elizabeth, Wellingtons were spotted at more casual and rural photocalls in the 1990s to 2000s.
2. Suede knee-high boots – 809,110 searches
Knee-high boots proved to be a firm favourite of Kate Middletons in her early years of royal life. The princess-to-be was frequently pictured at social events sporting suede boots with a slight heel in black or brown, usually matched with a series of knitwear, midi skirts and floral dresses. The Princess also switched styles to flat knee-high boots paired with jeans and a casual top when aiming for effortless off-duty looks. This was the beginning of Kate’s style evolution, leading to what would come to be known as ‘The Kate Effect’, where followers of the Princess would be inspired by her looks and race to replicate them for themselves.
3. Tassel boots – 15,430 searches
The early 2000s saw Princess Kate frequently dressed in casual looks with tassel boots. Kate was known to match her jackets with her footwear and was usually spotted wearing brown or forest green tassel boots with a matching hued jacket. In fact, Kate still enjoys a tassel boot today. A longstanding country staple, tassel boots have seen a steady rise in popularity and are still frequently spotted on many women of the royal family at social events. The style was originally inspired by spanish riding boots and adds a flair to the classic knee-high boot silhouette. Princess Anne is also a fan of this style and has been seen dressed in tassel boots at public engagements over the years.
4. Espadrille wedges – 242,230 searches
Princess Kate has long had a love for a wedge heel. In the early 2000s Kate was frequently seen attending summer socials with an espadrille wedge in a variety of prints and fabrics. What started as a 2000s trend would see the Princess come to rely on wedge heels, including espadrille wedges, as a staple for her summer and overseas royal engagement looks over the years as she embraced royal life and took on responsibilities after her marriage to Prince William. The classic espadrille silhouette has origins in Spain dating back as far as 1322, specifically the Catalonia and the Basque region, as well as the historical Occitania region of France. An ideal combination of comfort and style, this footwear choice is effortlessly easy to style with light summer dresses for more casual events.
5. Court shoes – 451,120 searches
Throughout the years for engagements and public outings, Queen Camilla has been a consistent fan of the classic court shoe. The origins of court shoes date back to the 17th century, popularised as a dress shoe in the era. In the 2000s it was commonplace to see the future Queen Consort styling low-heeled court shoes in suede or leather, in a range of colourways, paired with long skirts and dresses. The Queen also wore nude court shoes to her civil ceremony wedding to the future King and a similar style in pale grey silk to the following church service. Court shoes have long been a staple for royals and style-lovers alike to achieve understated formal looks and it appears nothing has changed in 2023.
6. Ladies’ loafers – 439,380 searches
A favourite silhouette for Princess Diana throughout the 1990s, loafers are a classic footwear choice when seeking comfort whilst not compromising on style. It was known Princess Diana was taller than average, making her decision to consistently wear flat loafers a potentially deliberate choice to not add to her height at some public outings. Princess Diana was typically seen pairing her suede loafers with chinos and shirts or less-formal polo jumpers.The loafer itself has a longstanding royal history, as the shoe was first created for King George VI in 1847 as a casual house shoe, proving the staying power of this style for royal family members throughout history.