Who'll cover Kate's maternity leave?

JENNA CLARKE
Last updated 05:00 20/05/2013

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I mean really, if Prince Charles was forking out for my wardrobe I'd be investing in something a little more ethical and embellished than Topshop tops and bottoms.

A number of glamourous blue bloods could fill the Duchess' shoes in the glossies, on the blogs and on the time sheets of every paparazzo in the Northern Hemisphere. However, ever since Beatrice sullied Phillip Treacy's name and Mary became as sartorially exciting as the half price rack at Sussan, this maternity leave contract is going offshore.
No need for a 457 Visa, Europe is done, the Middle East is where the style inspiration is at.  

Since 2011, along with private buyers from China and Russia, the royal families of the Middle Eastern nations (here's looking at you Jordan and the UAE) are the world's biggest consumers of haute couture.

The three candidates to warm Kate's seat at the style counsel are a fierce as Joan Collins but have the heart of Joan of Arc. They also come with the dramatic flair of Grace Kelly and have pockets as deep as Ms Rinehart's.

CANDIDATE ONE: SHEIKHA MOZA BINT NASSER

She's rumoured to the be the biggest couture collector in the world, which may be true, as at every public appearance she makes alongside her husband - Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (she's the second of his three wives) - she's rocking hot of the runway Valentino or vintage Chanel.

She accessorises her trademark silk turbans, which feature creative knots and textured finishes, with statement earrings and designer sunglasses.

It takes a strong woman to make Carla Bruni look like a wallflower but on a trip to Paris she once wore a violet jumpsuit next to a Dior clad Carla. In the fashion rulebook, a bold onesie trumps a structured Dior peacoat anyday.
When she's not working it, she's busy at home working on promoting education, community development and health initiatives within Qatar and the other Arab Emirates.

It is also believed Sheikha Moza is behind the Qatar Luxury Group, the Middle Eastern equivalent of LVMH, that is headed up by the luxury conglomerate's former executive Gregory Couillard.

CANDIDATE TWO: PRINCESS AMEERAH OF SAUDI ARABIA

When she's not globe trotting spreading messages of hope and solutions for humanitarian aid, disaster relief, women's rights and encouraging an interfaith dialogue, Princess Ameerah is touring her native Saudi Arabia with her husband, billionare Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The 28-year-old activist, who's style is quite conservative yet colourful, doesn't need a bejewelled tiara - her hair is shiny enough without carats on her natural crown.

Her love of bold coloured blazers and metallic stilettos comes second to her fascination with Seinfeld, designer sunglasses and hanging out with the Clinton's. 

"We watch Seinfeld, Friends, the presidential debates - a lot of Saudis love America. I swear to God, if you come, you'll see Saudis watching America TV," she told The Daily Beast in 2012.

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She was also one of the first Saudi women to ever drive unaccompanied.

Whispers suggest that she learned how to parallel park and perform a three-point turn by going undercover as a chauffeur for her husband.

CANDIDATE THREE: PRINCESS LALLA SALMA

While the First Lady of Morocco doesn't fit into the Middle Eastern jurisdiction, Princess Lalla gets a notable mention for her enviable jewels and a caftan collection bigger than Camilla's entire back catalogue.

With her flaming red locks and boho chic style, she's the Florence Welch of the royal posse, except she smiles more and does more charity work.

The mother-of-two has only just started making headlines outside of her native Morocco after she swept the best-dressed prize pools at the recent abdication and coronation in the Netherlands.

Her velvet, emerald green caftan, styled with python platform peep-toes, saw her win two of Hello! magazine's highly popular best dressed polls.

Who would you like to see more of once Kate changes her focus from her hairdresser to the next heir to the throne?

- FFX Aus

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