Mallory Bowling is part of a worldwide community of so-called RepliKates – women so devoted to the duchess that they spend all their time (and money) tries to imitate her. Eimear O & # 39; Hagan meets them
Old-school royal enthusiasts – all headscarves, flags and thermos – have been sidelined in recent years by a new breed of Windsor watcher, who wanted to catch a glimpse of Kate or capture her on their smartphone, and passionately dedicated to channeling her look.
From & # 39; style stalking & # 39; – copy what she wears – to diligently follow social media for bits of news, and stand in line for hours to glance at her, not to mention the often nasty sneaking between rival Kate fans and Meghan on Twitter, we are in the grip of an obsession that even surpasses the hysteria that surrounded Diana.
@ lady.m.replikates & # 39; I am an & # 39; RepliKate & # 39; – one of a global community of thousands of women who are passionate about imitating Kate & # 39; s style in our daily lives & # 39 ;, says Mallory Bowling
So what exactly is it about the Duchess of Cambridge who evokes such fiery worship? Her super fans reveal everything …
"I share Kate – inspired by suits my 17,000 followers"
Mallory Bowling, 31, is a lawyer and lives near Washington DC in the US with her husband James, 33, also a lawyer
I am a "RepliKate" – one of a global community of thousands of women who are passionate about imitating Kate & # 39; s style in our daily lives. We share photos of ourselves in Kate-inspired outfits on social media forums – I have more than 17,000 Instagram followers for my @ lady.m.replikates account. It is a sensation when someone compliments my appearance.
Once Kate is depicted in an outfit, I am in a race against the clock to track it down, because it is guaranteed to be a sale. The RepliKates will join forces to help each other – we will buy as much of the outfit as possible and resell it to those who couldn't get one, post them around the world. Because we are in different time zones while I am sleeping, one of my UK RepliKate friends is shopping online for Kate & # 39; s newest dress for both of us.
I buy online outfits from the websites of stores, Ebay and the American fashion website Poshmark, and rely on fellow fans to help me. There is nothing like the thrill of getting hold of something that Kate has worn. I prefer to buy the same designers and labels that she carries, including LK Bennett, Hobbs and Jaeger, because the quality and cut are good, so it's a better investment. I love the fact that Kate often recycles & # 39; her outfits & # 39; because it means I can wear mine over and over again and mimic her frugal ways.
I have been doing this since 2011. I fell in love with the blue Issa dress that Kate wore for her and William's engagement announcement and managed to buy a copy of it for myself. I have not looked back since then, keeping track of my wardrobe choices by following many Twitter and Instagram accounts for her and searching online sites for new photos.
I don't exactly keep track of how much I've spent over the years – there are thousands – but I wear the clothes I buy, I collect & # 39; she didn't and put them away in the cupboard. I wear them to work and socially. Fortunately much of what Kate wears is off the main street, so it is reasonably priced.
& # 39; I grew up with the Royal Family, but when Kate and William became engaged, I started to focus on her & # 39;
& # 39; My husband tends to roll his eyes when he shows me bidding on a dress on Ebay. In his wedding vows he even joked that he promised to bear my love for Kate – love me, love Kate, is what I tell him! & # 39;
If I know I have a tough day ahead, I will put on a Kate outfit and my self-confidence will be strengthened immediately. I feel a connection with her and I have seen her grow confidently over the years. I feel that she is now in such a great place – a mother of three, certainly in performing her royal role and, in terms of her personal style, she has never looked better.
I grew up with the Royal Family, but when Kate and William became engaged, I started focusing on her. Her is the perfect Disney fairy tale, and I, like many American women, bought the romance around her ascent. For us, the idea of becoming a princess or queen and living in palaces is absolutely fascinating.
& # 39; I have been to the UK several times and went to Kensington Palace hoping to see Kate, but unfortunately I have not yet. That is the dream & # 39;
My husband tends to roll his eyes when he shows me bidding on a dress on Ebay. In his wedding vows he even joked that he promised to bear my love for Kate – love me, love Kate, is what I tell him! On our wedding day in 2017, I wore a tiara like Kate and our cake was modeled on hers and William's.
I have visited the UK several times and have been to Kensington Palace hoping to catch a glimpse of Kate, but unfortunately I have not yet. That is the dream.
Karen Anvil, 41, is an aid nurse and Rachel's mother, 18
& # 39; My photo of Kate has earned me £ 40,000 & # 39;
Karen Anvil, 41, is a care nurse and mother of Rachel, 18. She lives in Watlington, Norfolk
My love for Kate has changed my life. On Christmas Day 2017, I was among the crowd at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham when she arrived with the rest of the royal family for traditional service. After I noticed a hole in the crowd, I managed to squeeze myself forward. While Kate, William, Harry and Meghan (who were engaged to get married at the time) walked by, I shouted "Merry Christmas" and took a quick photo of my phone.
I was so excited to see the beautiful Kate up close, I tweeted my photo quickly without thinking about what would happen. I did not expect it to go viral at all, and even less that I would have to get myself a photographic agent to handle the demand of media all over the world!
To date, that photo of the "Fab Four" has earned me over £ 40,000 and I still receive royalties every month for it.
I am a single mother and at the time worked two jobs to support my daughter Rachel. That year had been particularly difficult for me; I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing a violent incident and I felt burned out. Thanks to that photo, I was able to take a year off to rest and recover.
I have always loved the royal family and I feel that I grew up with William. The moment Kate was identified in the press as his girlfriend, I was extremely interested in her – this ordinary, beautiful girl who had fallen for a prince. One day I will tell her personally what a huge difference she has made in my life.
& # 39; My name may be Megan, but my heart belongs to Kate & # 39;
& # 39; I couldn't stop crying when I met her & # 39;
Megan Winzer, 22, works in PR and lives in London
My name may be Megan, but my heart belongs to Kate. My friends even call me the Duchess of Winzer!
Every minute of the day I met Kate is engraved in my memory. It was January 17, 2018 at Coventry Cathedral, I still get goosebumps.
The day before, I had traveled three hours by train from my university town of Lincoln. I stayed overnight with my sister and then got up at 5 am to wait for her in the icy darkness with hundreds of other fans. As she approached me in front of the crowd, I said: & # 39; Welcome to Coventry & # 39 ;, a rule I had practiced time and time again in my head – and then she smiled, said thank you and went on to the next person.
I cried the rest of the day, overwhelmed by emotion. I'm normally very calm and was surprised by the impact she had on me. It was such a special experience. She was so beautiful, in a beautiful fuchsia pink jacket.
As a teenager I was pretty shy and although I was only 13 when Kate and William became engaged, I recognized that trait in her too. It was clear that she was nervous with the eyes of the world on her, but she kept her cool and I found that really inspiring. When I became the head girl of my school a few years later, I tried to channel her confidence and calmness.
In addition to having met her personally, I also visited the Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, posing for photos on those iconic steps, just like she did after her children.
On the day she gave birth to George in July 2013, I was even late for my very first date because I refused to leave the house until I saw her come out with the baby on TV! Fortunately my date was very understanding.
Kate has it all. She is glamorous, kind, articulated, intelligent and a dedicated mother. You just know that she is never dragged into a scandal or sets a foot in the wrong way.
The Kate effect explained
The attraction of the duchess is rooted in fairy-tale fantasy, says psychotherapist Ali Moore
According to Ali, the fact that Kate is a & # 39; common man & # 39; is who fell in love with a prince and now leads a luxurious life in a palace, & # 39; directly from a storybook, a story to which many women were exposed from a young age. The duchess lives the dream of many women, and because they are from a & # 39; normal & # 39; background, makes her very recognizable, which further nourishes her appeal. & # 39;
She is also well-educated, beautiful, stylish, and intellectually and aesthetically ambitious, which, says Ali, & # 39; all ticks in terms of incitement to worship. The difference between duchess devotees and fans in the past of women such as Diana is that modern technology has enabled them to take their passion to a new level. & # 39; Thanks to internet and social media, they can follow her 24/7 and communicate with other supporters worldwide. That not only arouses their interest in Kate, but also the feeling that they are connected to her in one way or another. "We have so much more insight into her life compared to royals in the past," says Ali, "that many fans feel they know her."
Ali believes that with the right measures, a super fan can have some advantages. "It can cause escapism and that is healthy. We all need to leave everyday life for our spiritual well-being, and if that means we have to browse Instagram for photos of your favorite duchess, or see her on a formal engagement, that's fine. & # 39;
Ali, however, warns that there may be a destructive, dark side to being a devotee who is too devoted. "Problems arise when it violates your time, relationships, and normal life too much; when it stops being just for fun and becomes obsessional. & # 39;
Ali believes that & # 39; comparison-itis & # 39; is a common modern condition. "If you constantly compare your own life, body and appearance to Kate, this can have a serious impact on your self-confidence." Even when so much time and energy is spent on being a fan, it creates a sense of ownership. "Part of the reason we see a backlash against Meghan is because she doesn't always meet the expectations of how we think she should behave. That feeling of disappointment is also unhealthy. & # 39;
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