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Kate Wears Alexander McQueen & Jane Taylor for Solemn World War One Services

NOTE: I originally planned to make this two separate posts, but it has become evident one will suffice. There are loads of photos, so it will take a bit to scroll through it.

Today was filled with ceremonies commemorating the Centenary of the First World War. Kate and William joined heads of state and other dignitaries in Liège, Belgium for events recognizing the occasion. Below from left to right, the Duke, Duchess and French President Francois

The Duke and Duchess were welcomed to Belgium by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde at L’Abbaye Saint-Laurent.

Robert Jobson Twitter (@TheRoyalEditor)

Robert Jobson Twitter (@TheRoyalEditor)

The couple joined other dignitaries for a ceremony at the Cointe Inter-allied Memorial. Liège was chosen as the location for today’s commemoration for a variety of reasons, more from Centenary News:

The fortified city of Liège was the scene of the first big German assault in the west after the invasion of Belgium on August 4th 1914.

The province of Liège also witnessed one of the key events at the end of the war: the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II at the German army’s headquarters in Spa on November 9th 1918, two days before the Armistice.

The service honored all those losing their lives on Belgian soil during the War. Speeches were given by Belgian Prime Minister Elio du Rupom, King Philippe, German President Joachim Gauck, French President Francois Hollande, and Prince William.

The British Embassy in Belgium

The British Embassy in Belgium

From The Daily Mail:

Speaking at a ceremony attended by world leaders in Liege, Prince William paid tribute to the Belgians who had died resisting the Germans’ advance across the continent, saying: ‘Among the very first victims were the people of Belgium, whose resistance was as gallant as their suffering was great.’

Prince William, who wore the gold and silver Jubilee medals given to him by the Queen, said Britain owed a great debt of gratitude to Belgium for its fortitude and resistance during the 1914-1918 war which left around 17 million soldiers and civilians dead.

He went on: ‘We were enemies more than once in the last century, and today we are friends and allies.  We salute those who died to give us our freedom.

‘We will remember them.’

Balloons in colors of the flags represented were released, vibrant against the blue skies and clouds. Following that release a young lady sent a single white balloon skyward,

Victoria Murphy, The Daily MIrror/Belgian Royal Palace

Victoria Murphy, The Daily Mirror/Belgian Royal Palace

Following the ceremony, a luncheon was held at Belgium’s renowned Prince-Bishops’ Palace. 

There are ceremonies throughout the UK as well today, with more scheduled for this evening and the rest of the week. HM attended a service of commemoration at Crathie Kirk, while the Duke of Edinburgh took part in a commemorative service at Sandringham Church.  Prince Harry was in Folkstone, Kent to dedicate the new Step Short Memorial Arch.

Alicia Kearns, Crown copyright/Her Majesty's Armed Forces Facebook

Alicia Kearns, Crown copyright/Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Facebook

More from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Facebook page:

The command to ‘Step Short’ was given – the command given to the troops as they marched down a steep hill to the quayside on the way to the battlefields 100 years ago. A normal march would not be possible.

Her Majesty's Armed Forces

Her Majesty’s Armed Forces

Today, service personnel paraded down this route to the harbour.

The Prince of Wales was joined by Prime Minister David Cameron and other dignitaries at Glasgow Cathedral for a service honoring the occasion.

Back to what Kate wore.PA Wire

A better look at the front of the dress with Kate’s arms at her sides.

And the back.Splash News

The piece is an Alexander McQueen design.James Whatling/Splash News

There were a number of reasons I thought this was a McQueen garment:

  1. Kate’s history: she is predictable in the designers she wears for different types of functions, and her “go-to” for major occasions is Alexander McQueen.
  2. The color: the brand’s creamy white is a hue we have seen frequently.
  3. The tightly fitted bodice flowing into a full skirt is a look we have seen previously, especially on pieces the Duchess has worn.
  4. Common themes within the fall pre-fall and fall 2014 lines, as well as the resort collection, that sync with Kate’s frock.
  5. One tiny design detail that looked almost identical, that detail is shown immediately below.
Splash News/Alexander McQueen

Splash News/Alexander McQueen

That is the slot or slit at the hip seen on a dress from the prefall collection, with the full skirt falling from that point. As it turns out the tiny detail shown on Kate’s garment is actually part of a pocket flap. At any rate, below is the full garment.Alexander McQueen

The top and bottom halves of the garment.Splash News

When asked early this morning on Twitter about the likelihood of a Peter Pan collar on a McQueen piece, here is how we responded. Many will recognize the pink Trooping the Colour 2013 dress, with its exaggerated collar.What Kate Wore Twitter

The neckline photo above right comes from McQueen’s Empire Line Mini Dress, an a/w 2014 item. We show it below, as well as the brand’s Pleated Mini Dress from the same collection, it echoes the tightly fitted bodice, and dual/dropped waistline of Kate’s piece.

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winner 2014

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winner 2014

Kate was in a Jane Taylor hat, that label’s designs have increasingly become a go-to brand for major events.Splash News/Jane Taylor Millinery

The hat is described as “Classic straw beret with intricate tonal hand-dyed ruffle detail. Perfect for Summer Wedding, Christening or the Races.” It sells for £615, about $1000 at today’s exchange rates.

The Duchess wore her Sledge pumps by LK Bennett.LK Bennett

And carried her gray clutch by Alexander McQueen. (Shown as Kate carried it on a previous engagement.)Alexander McQueen/i-Images

For jewelry the Duchess kept it simple, with her Kiki McDonough hoops holding Annoushka pearl drops.

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka


Tonight millions across the UK will turn out their lights to mark the war’s start.Lights Out

The effort comes from a classic quote attributed to the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey:

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

From a story in The Telegraph:

At an official service in Westminster Abbey on Monday night the candles will be snuffed one by one, until only a burning oil lamp remains at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. At 11pm, that lamp will be extinguished, marking the exact time the British Empire entered the war. And from 10pm, for an hour, the lights will go out at landmark sites, including the Houses of Parliament, Durham Cathedral, Blackpool Illuminations and Liverpool’s Liver Building.

(There is some debate as to whether or not the famous line was actually uttered, Sir Edward said in his memoirs he didn’t recall making the statement, but others claim he did.)

We will have a separate post on tonight’s ceremony in Mons, Belgium, when Harry joins William and Kate for two more events.


After the Liège events morning William and Kate were joined by Prince Harry, and the threesome traveled to Mons, Belgium. They then attended a reception with dignitaries and families whose relatives fought in World War I.

On the Town Hall balcony, waving to thousands of cheering residents and visitors.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

The royals then headed to Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery. Below you see the Duke, Duchess and Prime Minister David Cameron walking in the cemetery.

Clarence House Twitter

Clarence House Twitter

Saint Symphorien is where 229 Commonwealth and 284 German troops are buried.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

The ceremony included heads of state, servicemen and servicewomen,  women Prime Minister Cameron

Royal Belgian Palace (@MonarchieBe)

Royal Belgian Palace (@MonarchieBe)

More on the ceremony from The Mirror’s live blog:

As darkness fell over the cemetery, William, King Philippe of Belgium, Mr Cameron, and the German and Irish presidents laid flowers at the obelisk on the site.

The Last Post was sounded, followed by a minute’s silence and the reveille, then a lone piper played.

We will see you tomorrow for the Tower of London engagement.



  • the United States WWI Centennial Commission site is located here
  • those in the US may be interested in a CBS News story about the lack of any World War I monument in our nation’s capital
  • the National World War 1 Museum is located in Kansas City, MO; its website is here, its Facebook page may be seen here


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linda hoad

Tuesday 1st of August 2017

the coat dress is badly fitted and made - it does nothing for kate and she should be looking at other designers now.


Wednesday 20th of August 2014

1. i absolutely adore this outfit. everything. the coat dress is just lovely. 2. i think y'all (texan alert) are entirely too nit picky about kate. she's got a "mum" for that! the woman is a mother now! she's got much bigger fish to fry than out of date pumps. and not in the sense of raising an heir to the throne. she obviously from what has been revealed about her parenting wishes being a good "mum" to george is top priority.

while y'all women nitpicking her hemlines and whatnot-notice the bags under her eyes? i hope she's doing okay and george is not giving her too much of a headache. when i have bags like that under my eyes my last priority is dated pumps. which there's nothing ever dated about nude pumps with a modest platform.


Monday 11th of August 2014

I'm a big fan of this outfit (aside from the Sledges), including the peter pan collar. I see Kate's personality in this piece, unlike some of her recent choices.

Penny Garnett

Thursday 7th of August 2014

Really do not like this coat - too "girly" and the colour seems somewhat inappropriate. Catherine can do so much better.


Wednesday 6th of August 2014

As a fellow Kate-Blogger can I just say I love your site! Anyway, I think Kate's coat is a bespoke version of the McQueen Flared Coat : it has the collar, front detail and pleating at the back of the skirt, but minus the fussy back storm flap. I've posted a picture on my Blog. What do you think?

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