Duchess of Cambridge takes No1 spot as this year’s royal style influencer

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The Duchess of Cambridge has taken the No1 spot as this year’s royal style influencer.

Kate, rather than royal ­newcomer the Duchess of ­Sussex, had the biggest impact on shopping habits, according to eBay’s annual UK retail report.

Her maternity style while pregnant with Prince Louis generated more online searches on eBay than any other royal over the past year.

Searches for tailored maternity coats more than tripled in November 2017, while Kate was expecting her third child.

In April, searches for designer Jenny Packham more than doubled when Kate appeared in a red Packham smock dress after the birth of Prince Louis.

Kate’s go-to choices of Jenny Packham, Alexander McQueen and Seraphine also sparked a 20 per cent upsurge in searches year-on-year.

The Duchess of Sussex, who is known for her signature boatneck necklines, came a close second.

Her fashion influencing ­power peaked at her wedding in May, when the Givenchy dress she wore to marry the Prince Harry led to a more than 60 per cent increase in searches for the designer on eBay, hitting 55 an hour.

The former Suits star’s Stella McCartney halter-neck evening wedding dress doubled searches for the brand.

The duchess’s ice-pink off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress at Trooping the ­Colour in June was also popular, with searches for the designer almost doubling.

Rob Hattrell, UK vice president of eBay, said: “While Meghan was clearly the focus of the fashion pages this year, Kate’s distinctive style has long been a hit with shoppers.

“We always see an uptick in searches around landmark royal events and 2018 was a bumper year for small businesses on eBay, with both the birth of Prince Louis and ­Meghan and Harry’s wedding driving purchases.”

Princess Charlotte, who was top in 2017, came third, with the flower crown she wore as a bridesmaid at Meghan and Harry’s wedding prompting a 60 per cent increase in searches for similar products.

There was almost a 40 per cent leap in searches for ­floral print dresses after she wore one to the polo in June.Charlotte’s five-year-old older brother Prince George was fourth, with his trademark Peter Pan collar shirts inspiring searches throughout the year. There was a 30 per cent leap in searches for similar outfits on eBay after he appeared on the Buckingham Palace ­balcony in June.

But George trumped his sister in the memorabilia stakes.

The release of a special coin for his fifth birthday in July prompted a surge in listings on eBay, with more than 4,300 Prince George-related products on the site, compared with around 1,700 for Princess Charlotte.

The Queen also made it into the top five royal style influencers. Media attention on the meaning behind her brooch selections contributed to a renaissance for the traditional piece of jewellery in 2018, said eBay.