Princess dressing has been the bane of parents for decades. And we are in for another avalanche of Princess Elsa dresses, crowns, slippers, pyjamas and whatever else they can think of. Frozen II was released last month and with it another snowstorm of merchandise. Chilling. We had almost let it go (sorry) after the first Frozen , in 2013, but Disney couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Frozen merchandise and licensing raked in billions of dollars more than its box-office sales. Brides who take their wedding as a last chance to really go for it excepted, grown women rarely adopt the Disney princess look. In real life, women and designers are more influenced by the style of real royals. And what an influential year it’s been for those women. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has openly praised the style of duchesses Kate and Meghan. In fact, of all the women in the world, she recommended Kate for holiday style inspiration in the November 27 episode of Vogue ’s YouTube feature, Go Ask Anna . “I don’t think that you can go wrong with the Duchess of Cambridge, who always looks impeccable,” she said. Specifically, Wintour mentioned the Catherine Walker coats Kate wears, and the glamour that Alexander McQueen has brought to her evening looks. Closely scrutinised since it was first announced that she was dating Prince William, Kate’s fashion choices have sold out dresses faster than you can say “Your Highness”. Royal styles are strangely more attainable than those of celebrities these days. And you’re more likely to see Kate repeating her outfits than you would Rihanna and her princessy mint green Fenty ensemble or Cate Blanchett and the Armani gown she wore at the 2019 Fashion Awards. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has continued to influence and inspire women around the world, even after reducing her social-media presence and retiring her popular website, The Tig. Meghan’s modern, minimalist and often monochromatic style has made her stand out, whether in a red Valentino dress or a burgundy Hugo Boss leather skirt. Like Kate, Meghan has worn accessible brands, too, such as her signature Banana Republic trench dress. Both have used their visibility to highlight lesser-known designers, especially on royal visits abroad, and both have made respectful nods to their mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana. Kate has revived bold prints favoured by Diana, such as polka dots and oversized houndstooth. Meghan most famously chose a high halter-neck by Stella McCartney for her second wedding dress, which was not unlike a white gown worn by Diana, who may have been 2019’s most influential princess of all. Designers as diverse as Virgil Abloh and Tory Burch have named the Princess of Wales as their muse over the past few years. In an age of Instagram influencers, these British royals are influencing without using social media. There is also a long list of aristocrats who are very much online, including Charlotte Casiraghi and her mother, Princess Caroline of Hanover; Queen Rania of Jordan; Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark; Queen Máxima of the Netherlands; Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark and her cousin Talita von Fürstenberg. Attractive, wealthy and stylish, you almost never see them in crowns or puffy gowns. Princess dressing has entered a new era.