Kate wore familiar pieces to this morning’s church service honoring the 75th anniversary of the Royal Air Force Cadets.
The scene outside St. Clement Danes church in Westminster, where the service was held. St. Clement Danes is the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.
This was the Duchess’s first engagement as the Cadets Honorary Air Commandant. Patronage of the group was passed to Kate in December by Prince Philip, who was patron for 63 years. From the RAF website:
The Duchess is only the third member of the Royal family to represent the RAF Air Cadets; she follows HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and, before him, HM King George VI.
Below, taking the salute from Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty.
The Duchess now represents 42,000 air cadets aged from 12 to 19, and 15,000 adult volunteers at more than 1,200 units across the UK and overseas.
This was Kate’s first formal engagement of 2016. As ever, the media presence was strong, as seen in this photo from WKW Facebook friend Amy Ward and her husband Joe.
There were more than 500 Cadets at the church service.
It was the official launch of events celebrating the group’s 75th anniversary.
Kate is the organization’s first female Honorary Air Commandant. From ITV’s coverage of the day’s events:
Carol Vorderman, a qualified pilot and an Ambassador for the RAF Air Cadets said the Duchess was ideal for the role.
Following the service there was a brief walk to a reception at the Royal Courts of Justice.
You can just see a hint of what looks like a navy blue dress or skirt beneath the coat.
Commodore McCafferty at the podium as the reception gets underway.
Kate looked very relaxed.
She seemed to revel in her time with both cadets and veterans.
Moving to what Kate wore for today’s events, we look at the bespoke version of Alexander McQueen’s utility coat, a 2014 style. This is the first time we have taken a good look at the piece from the side and back.
It is the third time we have seen the Duchess in the garment. Previously the piece was worn in May of 2014 at the Blenheim War Memorial in New Zealand, and then in June of that year for D-Day 70th anniversary events at Normandy.
Below, a graphic created the first time the Duchess wore the piece. Of note: both garments shown in our graphic are labeled coat dresses by Alexander McQueen; Kate’s must have been cut a tiny bit roomier, allowing for a dress beneath the coat.
Kate was in a new pair of suede pumps today. We initially thought she was wearing another pair of Gianvito Rossi heels, but with thanks to a WKWer who does not wish to be credited for the tip, it looks like the Rupert Sanderson Malory in navy suede.
It is the sole of the shoes that seems to prove the point.
The shoe is described this way:
A perennial classic, Malory returns for the new season in opulent navy suede. Loved for a sultry 100mm heel and forever-chic pointed toe, this signature court will complement on-duty tailoring and occasion dresses alike.
A better look.
We saw Kate’s Muse clutch again from Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley.
Kate might be carrying the Imogen in navy suede by Cornelia James. It’s not possible to say definitively one way or another if it is the Imogen, although we do know the Duchess does own them in navy.
For jewelry the Duchess opted for diamond and aquamarine drop earrings that some may recognize from previous occasions, and a new jewelry piece, the Air Cadets Dacre brooch.
More about the brooch from The Evening Standard:
The brooch was given to the best female cadet from when they were first admitted in 1982 until last year, when it was agreed that they should receive a sword like the boys.
In this photo from the PA’s Helen William you see Kate with Lucinda Conder, the Top Cadet for 2015 and the final winner of the brooch. If speculating on what was happening when the photo was taken, I would guess perhaps the box is for the brooch and it is officially being passed on to the Duchess.
Ms. Conder shared a bit of what she and the Duchess spoke about during the reception, here is more from The Telegraph:
Lucinda Conder, 19, said that the Duchess told her she had shown Prince George images of Spitfires following a Royal engagement which had fired his imagination.
“He is now obsessed with the air cadets and wants to join,” said Ms Conder
Below, the cake from today’s reception, the picture is via Cakes by Heather J’s Twitter account.
Here is a quick look at Kate in after today’s engagements, the picture was posted on Instagram by RainbowCeline.
NOTE: Because this post has become so lengthy, I have created a new post that deals only with the Children’s Mental Health Week video and the new photo of Kate seen above, it contains info on the Mulberry coat she is seen wearing. If you refer to avoid lots of scrolling, all the info below is contained in the new post you can read here.
Here is the Children’s Mental Health Week video in its entirety, it runs about 3:30.
We also have brief news about the spring tour.
- Multiple reports say the tour will take place from April 10 April 17, but this has *not* yet been confirmed by officials
- The Times of India reports the Duke and Duchess *will* visit the Taj Mahal.
An advance (team) from the British High Commission held a meeting with Agra officials on Thursday.
It will be the first time after Lady Diana who visited 24 years ago that someone from the British royal family will be visiting the monument of love.
A senior official said the team was here to review the security system in place at the monument. “The advance team did not disclose much information about the itinerary of the royal couple. Even the date of visit was not shared with us owing to the sensitivity of the matter,” added the official. A senior official said the team was here to review the security system in place at the monument.
Kate’s next scheduled engagement is the guest editing function for the Huffington Post UK on February 17th.
- Visit the Place2Be website here, follow the organization on Facebook and/or Twitter, the Place2Be You Tube channel is here
- Visit the Air Cadets website here, you can read the official news story about today’s events by clicking here
- Learn more about St. Clement Danes, the church of the Royal Air Force, by clicking here, the Facebook page is here
- Richard Palmer’s story in The Express is here, The Daily Mail story is here, The Telegraph’s coverage is here, Simon Perry’s People story is here
- This link takes you to a very quick GIF of Kate’s reaction as she sees her photo in the order of service at church, PopSugar’s photo gallery is here, The Daily Mirror‘s coverage is here, it includes a 1:30 video
- ITN’s video story is here (scroll down)
- The 2016 Children’s Mental Health Week video is here