Prince Harry, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony on 15 June, 2013. Kate's pink dress worn for the event has secured her a place in Vanity Fair's best-dressed list for 2013. (Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hackett)
Prince Harry, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony on 15 June, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hackett)

Kate Middleton's pink Alexander McQueen coat and Jane Corbett hat - the Duchess of Cambridge wore that lovely ensemble to the Trooping the Colour ceremony in June - could have won her Vanity Fair's Best Dressed Celebrity tag for 2013.

However, the new mum has been knocked off Vanity Fair's top spot in an upset. The duchess - who ruled the list in 2011 and 2012 - is now the third best dressed celebrity in the world, after American actress Kerry Washington and singer/actor Justin Timberlake.

The 31-year-old duchess was No 1 heading into this year's title rounds but 36-year-old Washington stole her thunder with the Miu Miu gown at the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar party. The Django Unchained star has had a fabulous season on the red carpet, with an equally successful season on big and small screen.

Be that as it may, the fact remains the duchess' status as one of the most fashionable women in recent years is now almost firmly established. The question, then, is what led Kate Middleton to such heights?

Well, for one thing her ability to carry both fashionable couture and off-the-rack dresses is certainly to be admired. And then there is her uncanny ability to recycle dresses and still look as wonderful as ever. The duchess' thrifty habits have reportedly earned praise from the Queen herself.

Meanwhile, IBTimes UK looks back at the ensembles that Kate Middleton wore to acclaim in Vanity Fair's Best Dressed Celebrity Lists of 2008, 2011 and 2012...

Tailored jackets, boots, and Philip Treacy hats gave Kate Middleton inaugural entry to Vanity Fair's best-dressed list in 2008. Kate, then the girlfriend of Prince William, is pictured here at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival horse racing meeting in Gloucestershire.
Tailored jackets, boots, and Philip Treacy hats gave Kate Middleton inaugural entry to Vanity Fair's best-dressed list in 2008. Kate, then the girlfriend of Prince William, is pictured here at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival horse racing meeting in Gloucestershire. (Photo: Reuters)
Wearing this Alexander McQueen floor-length gown to the BAFTA Brits event in Los Angeles in July 2011, Kate floored the fashion world in style. The same year, Catherine topped Vanity Fair's best-dressed list for the first time. (Photo: Reuters)
Wearing this Alexander McQueen floor-length gown to the BAFTA Brits event in Los Angeles in July 2011, Kate floored the fashion world in style. The same year, Catherine topped Vanity Fair's best-dressed list for the first time. (Photo: Reuters)
Wearing a Jenny Packham gown to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011, Kate Middleton topped Vanity Fair's best dressed list for 2012. The Duchess was as usual a head-turner as she stepped out of her car in an aqua fresh, teal dress. The floor-length dress featured netted back and shoulders and a beaded belt across the waist that gave a regal look to Kate.
Wearing a Jenny Packham gown to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011, Kate Middleton topped Vanity Fair's best dressed list for 2012. The Duchess was as usual a head-turner as she stepped out of her car in an aqua fresh, teal dress. The floor-length dress featured netted back and shoulders and a beaded belt across the waist that gave a regal look to Kate. (Photo: Reuters)

READ: Princesses in 2013 Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List: Kate, Letizia and Madeleine [SLIDESHOW]