Princess Royal spotted in dress she wore 45 years ago – aged 27

Anne, the Princess Royal, has proven it’s okay to repeat an outfit – even one you wore 45 years ago.

While attending day two of Royal Ascot, she was spotted in a dress first worn in 1978, when she was 27 years old.

The former equestrian took a trip down memory lane in a collared turquoise A-line pleated midi dress with button detailing down the middle. She layered it with a cream boxy jacket, and accessorised with a large blue bowler hat, pearl drop earrings and a pearl necklace.

Royal Ascot 2023 – Day Two – Ascot Racecourse
Zara Tindall (left) and the Princess Royal during day two of Royal Ascot. (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She also wore a sparkling brooch of aquamarine and diamonds, repurposed from a tiara given to her as a wedding present by the Queen Mother. She completed the outfit with white gloves, a beige clutch bag and ballerina court kitten heels.

The 72-year-old is a true champion for sustainable fashion. She first wore the dress while attending an engagement at Buckingham Palace with her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, to welcome the President and First Lady of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama and Lady Khama, in 1978.

Sir Seretse Khama, President of Botswwana and Lady Khama (second right), pose with the Queen and Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace in 1978
Anne (right) first wore the dress in 1978. (PA)

For Ladies Day at Royal Ascot she repeated another outfit. Anne wore a Sue Palmer dark green jacquard dress she was last seen wearing in 2017 (also at Ascot), and again in 2020 for a portrait released to mark her 70th birthday.

The princess has been known to wear the same clothes since the 1970s, when she was in her 20s, not shying away from bright colours or bold patterns.

Royal Ascot 2023 – Day Three – Ascot Racecourse
The Princess Royal during day three of Royal Ascot. (David Davies/PA)

Rarely updating her wardrobe unless there is a real need, she has some reliable staples – such as her powder blue fur-lined coat, which has seen her through many winters.

Anne was seen in the coat back in 1979 at a wedding, and has worn it multiple times since – including during the Christmas Day service in 2003.

Princess Anne after Christmas Day service
Anne wearing her blue fur-lined coat after the Christmas Day service in Sandringham in 2003. (Alamy/PA)

Would you fit into a dress you wore in your 20s? Would you want to wear it? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: Stunning royal wedding dresses

– With PA


  1. And why not, if it looks good and you know you look good in it,why should you throw it away because its “old” I have clothes just as old and I am older than Princess Ann. I don’t care if I feel good then all is right in MY world. If anyone does not like it, then DO NO LOOK .

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