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Kate makes first public speech

Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William made her first public speech at a children's hospice facility outside of London.

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Madonna has said she suspects her daughter Lourdes of borrowing her clothes and actor Sadie Frost has confessed to wearing her son's hoodies.

Now the Duchess of Cambridge and her mother Carole, it appears, are joining in the new trend of celebrity mother-daughter clothes swapping.

Catherine, 30, chose to make her maiden speech in a deep blue £139 ($210) Reiss dress from its autumn 2008 collection, giving another boost to the high street label that she has worn on other occasions.

Looks familiar ...The Duchess of Cambridge.

Looks familiar ...The Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: AFP

The dress was instantly seized upon by fashion commentators as identical to one worn by her 57-year-old mother Carole to Royal Ascot in 2010.

A St James's Palace spokesman said the dress belonged to the duchess, fuelling speculation that she has lent her mother the garment in the past.

The revelation comes after Madonna told the BBC Graham Norton Show earlier this year that she suspected her daughter Lourdes, 15, of taking her outfits.

 Carole Middleton at Ascot in 2008.

Carole Middleton at Ascot in 2010. Photo: Getty Images

"I think she sneaks into my room and borrows my clothes. I'm pretty sure she lends them to her friends at school, too," she said.

Sadie Frost, formerly married to the actor Jude Law, has also said she has often worn her 21-year old son's hoodies and her 15-year-old's tracksuit bottoms.

Graeme Moran, fashion writer at Drapers, the industry magazine, praised what he called the Duchess of Cambridge's tendency to "recycle" clothes.

"She is known for recycling coats, shoes and dresses. I think it is a good message, personally.

"She sends the message that fashion should not be throw-away and wear once and never wear again."

PA