Armed Forces Day mandates a solemn tone and that was very much the case today as Prince William and Kate spent time meeting privately with families of Irish Guardsmen killed in the line of duty.
This was also the first time the Duchess was making any kind of official military appearance, clearly a function heavy with symbolism.
Additionally this was William and Kate’s first visit to the regiment since he was made Colonel of the Guards, it was the deep red uniform of the Guards he wore on his wedding day. Below we see William presenting medals to members of the Guard.
Kate accented with a navy fascinator.
The fitted navy coat was accented by shining gold buttons and epaulets on the shoulders. Alexander McQueen confirmed via Twitter Kate was wearing the line: HRH the Duchess of Cambridge wore a navy Alexander McQueen PreAW11 dress in Windsor, England today.
We continue to wonder however if both garments (the coat and whatever is underneath) are by McQueen…? NOTE: 6.26.11 McQueen has apparently confirmed this is their garment, good to know.
There is strong sentiment the piece was custom-made, blending many of the elements seen in the Pre-Fall (Autumn/Winter) collection referenced in the tweet.
Here is a snippet from the review Women’s Wear Daily did (subscription required)on the collection:
“Sarah Burton showed a military-inspired pre-fall lineup, packing it with a feminine take on traditionally masculine fabrics and details. Like the men’s collection, it’s about uniformity and has a regimental feel with the richness of ceremonial dress, Burton said.”
Kate’s coat is not identical to any of the pieces shown in the collection. It is almost a combination of the coat shown lower left and the dress lower right.
The always-on-top-of-things Leisa pointed out on Facebook that Kate carried another Anya Hindmarch bag, the Marano Clutch, she also wore her Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings. We also saw the return of Kate’s navy Prada pumps.
The gold three-leaf shamrock brooch Kate wore has a storied history: it actually belongs to the regiment, they determine to whom it will be loaned. Previously it has been worn by the late Queen Mother, as well as the Princess Royal, Princess Anne. (NOTE 6.26.11: With thanks to Jen for her helpful comment, this is corrected copy, amended to reflect the Guard’s ownership of the brooch.)
The Duchess definitely stood out in the sea of camouflage, her ensemble was effective, conveying honor and respect. Altogether another splendid outing for Kate.