What became of Kate’s mates who walked the catwalk at the fashion show that wowed William and set a royal love story in motion? Meet the models who DIDN’T become princesses

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina

Short in length, long on symbolism, it was the £30 see-through dress that may have changed history.

Netflix drama The Crown has recreated the moment Kate Middleton sashayed down the catwalk at a St Andrews University charity fashion show on March 27, 2002 – causing Prince William watching from a £200 front-row seat to remark: ‘Wow! Kate’s hot!’ 

At the after-show party, William, then 19, complimented Kate lavishly, and made a clumsy pass – either a kiss on the hand or ‘leaning in’ for an amorous ‘smacker’, by conflicting accounts.

Either way, the dress, designed by fashion student Charlotte Todd, is credited with kindling a Royal romance. Charlotte said: ‘I made it as a skirt, but others pulled it up on Kate and she wore it as a dress. Maybe if it hadn’t been see-through, William might not have noticed her.’

Short in length, long on symbolism, it was the £30 see-through dress that may have changed history. Pictured: Kate Middleton in her sheer dress at the charity catwalk 

One of the other models that night, Rachel Hollon James, now 44 and living in Texas, told the MoS: ‘It was a very special moment in time’ and acknowledged ‘this legend that surrounds the night’.

For years the dress remained in a wardrobe at Charlotte’s mother’s home but was auctioned for £78,000 in 2011. Its buyer, Nicky Roberts, a property developer, calls it ‘a symbol of hope and inspiration’.

But what became of the rest of the other models that night? Those clever, cosmopolitan young women out to have fun while gaining their degrees? We found out…

The yoga and Pilates guru 

Friends have been known to remark that half-English, half-Dutch Nadine Graves, below, bears some resemblance to Kate

Friends have been known to remark that half-English, half-Dutch Nadine Graves, below, bears some resemblance to Kate

Four years ago, Nadine Graves quit the corporate world to become a yoga instructor and Pilates teacher in Geneva, Switzerland

Four years ago, Nadine Graves quit the corporate world to become a yoga instructor and Pilates teacher in Geneva, Switzerland

Friends have been known to remark that half-English, half-Dutch Nadine Graves bears some resemblance to Kate.

She studied art history – as the future Princess did – and Spanish and taught English in Argentina.

Years later she worked as a personal assistant to a chief executive. Four years ago, she quit the corporate world to become a yoga instructor and Pilates teacher in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Now she hosts classes online via Zoom and tells pupils: ‘I believe yoga has the power to transform lives… Life is beautiful and we just need to stop once in a while to be present, be grateful for the simple things in life and feel reconnected to ourselves.’

Colleagues describe her as sensitive and kind.

Back in 2002, her parents Terry and Else travelled from Geneva to Scotland for her catwalk debut. At the time, Nadine spoke of a desire to go into acting. saying: ‘I love anything to do with singing and dancing.’

The employment expert

Born to a wealthy Brazilian banking family, Ana Martiningui, below, read international relations at St Andrews and appeared on the catwalk in little more than a silk slip and high heels

Born to a wealthy Brazilian banking family, Ana Martiningui, below, read international relations at St Andrews and appeared on the catwalk in little more than a silk slip and high heels

Ana Martiningui is now chief executive of Education for Employment-Europe, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation that helps young people find training and work in the Middle East and North Africa

Ana Martiningui is now chief executive of Education for Employment-Europe, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation that helps young people find training and work in the Middle East and North Africa

Born to a wealthy Brazilian banking family, Ana Martiningui read international relations at St Andrews and appeared on the catwalk in little more than a silk slip and high heels.

Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, friends describe her as ‘whip smart’ and ‘someone who was always destined for great things’.

She has held a number of high-powered jobs – including a spell as a PR adviser to the former president of Costa Rica and communications chief at a pan-European think-tank.

Growing up in a swanky Sao Paulo suburb, her neighbours included Gisele Bundchen, the supermodel ex-girlfriend of actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

She is now chief executive of Education for Employment-Europe, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation that helps young people find training and work in the Middle East and North Africa.

The fashion show, she says, ‘was just a bit of fun… a break from my final year’s studies’.

The conflict defuser

The daughter of a head teacher, Rebecca Emerson-Keeler organised the fashion show and also took part

The daughter of a head teacher, Rebecca Emerson-Keeler organised the fashion show and also took part

After completing her degree in philosophy and literature, Rebecca Emerson-Keeler expressed a desire to travel and work in the aid sector – and all her early ambitions were realised

After completing her degree in philosophy and literature, Rebecca Emerson-Keeler expressed a desire to travel and work in the aid sector – and all her early ambitions were realised

The daughter of a head teacher, Rebecca Emerson-Keeler organised the fashion show and also took part, showing off underwear beneath a sheer skirt during her catwalk appearance.

At the time she remarked: ‘Image is vital here, everyone takes care of their looks.’

After completing her degree in philosophy and literature, she expressed a desire to travel and work in the aid sector – and all her early ambitions were realised.

Now an expert in conflict resolution and strategic communications, she has worked all over the world for, among others, the UN, the BBC and the Foreign Office.

Reflecting on her career two years ago, she said: ‘I have advised on governance issues in Libya, trained police in Palestine, [fought] extremist online content… and now run projects on gender and cybersecurity.’

The high-flying triathlete 

An accomplished triathlete, Julia Kadioglu has represented Great Britain and now runs a sports nutrition company

An accomplished triathlete, Julia Kadioglu has represented Great Britain and now runs a sports nutrition company

After St Andrews, where she read economics, Julia Kadioglu joined HSBC as an analyst, later moving to New York where she became a vice president at the bank

After St Andrews, where she read economics, Julia Kadioglu joined HSBC as an analyst, later moving to New York where she became a vice president at the bank

An accomplished triathlete, Julia Kadioglu has represented Great Britain and now runs a sports nutrition company.

After St Andrews, where she read economics, she joined HSBC as an analyst, later moving to New York where she became a vice president at the bank and married investment banker and racing driver Till Bechtolsheimer, from one of Britain’s wealthiest families.

In 2016, she founded Rising Start, a non-profit organisation supporting ‘schools in high poverty communities’ while also showcasing the rising stars of the New York art scene.

She was pictured with William and Kate in Switzerland at the 2013 wedding of her sister-in-law Laura Tomlinson, who won a dressage gold medal for Britain at the London Olympics.

The arty designer 

Now an art director, designer and photographer, Jenny Lederer is originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and divides her time between Miami and Brooklyn

Now an art director, designer and photographer, Jenny Lederer is originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and divides her time between Miami and Brooklyn

Jenny Lederer studied a master's in fine arts at the University of Memphis and set up her own design company in 2016

Jenny Lederer studied a master’s in fine arts at the University of Memphis and set up her own design company in 2016

Now an art director, designer and photographer, Jenny Lederer is originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and divides her time between Miami and Brooklyn.

On the night of the fashion show she was quoted saying, presciently: ‘A lot of girls here are like, ‘I’m here to meet the prince and marry the future king of England’ and that’s kind of their whole purpose for being here.’

She added that she was ‘lucky enough’ to share her social anthropology lectures with William.

She studied a master’s in fine arts at the University of Memphis and set up her own design company in 2016, which has worked with clients including Converse trainers, Guardian Life Insurance and activist group Occupy.

  • Additional reporting by Sam Merriman

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

Leave a Comment

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +