Could these be Kate Middleton’s most daring shoes to date? We’re used to seeing the British royal in her trusted nude and plain heels but the Duchess of Cambridge completely slayed this week when she stepped out in a pair of black patent pumps with flashy gold details, so much more edgy than the styles she usually favors. The bling pumps, which she wore on an outing to the Royal Opera House in London, are by Rupert Saunders – a brand which the mom-of-three has worn in the past, and it seems they aren’t brand new.

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An updated version – the Mallory Pebble - is available for $765 on the fashion house’s website, but it seems the pair the Duchess was rocking on Wednesday may be a few years old. She’s never been seen at a public event in the shiny stilettoes before, so it seems she was stowing them away for a special occasion.

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It could be that since her dress is a repeat choice, Kate felt she wanted to give the outfit a fresh twist. She last put on the stylish peplum two-piece by Oscar de la Renta in 2017 at the Guild of Health Writers Conference in London. This time around, completing the look was a cute Aspinal moch croc handbag.

Kate was at the Royal Opera House to learn about the elaborate costumes which are used in productions. She visited the pattern room and the dye shop where staff showed off their expert techniques, including hand-painting and digital printing. She also met costumiers who can produce an impressive 600 costumes per production. In total 10,000 costumes are used each year by artists from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera House, and the department has built up a historic costume collection of more than 5,000 items, including some dating back to 1861.

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Could it be that Kate has been inspired by Meghan Markle to up her shoe game? The Duchess of Sussex has long been a fan of statement shoes and the ones she picked out for one of her first public events of the year were a firm style success. The pregnant royal chose a daring pair of animal print heels with perspex sides for her visit to the headquarters of Smart Works last week.

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