The palace released photos on Monday of the Duchess of Cambridge happily posing with the second and third heirs to the British throne — her husband Prince William, and their infant son, Prince George, who turns a month old next week. And since her son is blocking most of her figure in the photos, the new mom could have picked just about any outfit she wanted and made it work. Her choice? A $79 maternity dress.If there was any message to be gleaned from her style choice, it's that it's OK to take an unmiraculous amount of time when it comes to getting back into shape after delivering a human being.
As for how long women usually wear maternity clothes after giving birth, Cecile Reinaud, founder and creative director of U.K.-based maternity label Seraphine, which created the empire-waisted fuchsia dress that Middleton wore in the pics, told Yahoo! Shine, "Usually two months is the average."
Who we don't usually see wearing maternity pieces after delivery, however, are celebs. Svelte celebs like Victoria Beckham, Jessica Alba, Claire Danes, and Jenna Dewan-Tatum have all made headlines for squeezing into form-fitting ensembles weeks after giving birth and bopping around in bikinis a couple of months later.
Middleton, however, is a different story. "She's really showing she's not trying to be like a celebrity. She isn't trying to give an image meant to impress or pretend she's already got a flat stomach," Reinaud added. "She's sending a very nice message to new moms. A big thumbs-up to her."
She's been getting a big thumbs-up in the press too, with outlets from celebrity news sites to fashion blogs all applauding her look in the relaxed pics, which were a marked change from the usual official family portraits released after a royal baby's birth. Rather than posing stiffly in the palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sit casually on the grass with two family dogs. The couple even skipped the professional photographer and instead enlisted Kate's dad, Michael, to snap the pics seen 'round the world.
"Yet again, it was William and Kate saying they're doing things their way," CNN royal contributor Victoria Arbiter told Yahoo! Shine. "It's very clear where their priorities are: on each other and on their baby and their family."
Middleton also created some buzz for just being herself last month, the day after Prince George's birth, when she happily stepped out of the hospital with styled hair, perfect makeup, and her post-baby belly on full display, prompting both Internet debate and cheers from women everywhere.
Another way Kate has made it clear that she's got a lot in common with regular gals? She often forgoes gazillion-dollar labels for more wallet-friendly looks. This is the third version of the $79 Seraphine dress that she's donned. (The fuchsia version sold out in two hours, though, and now has a four-week waiting list.) The 31-year-old wore a patterned style of the frock when leaving the hospital last month, and also wore one in navy during her pregnancy.
"If she likes something, she likes something. It's a refreshing approach, rather than having to have the most expensive things," said Reinaud. "There's a lot of self-confidence in that."