The Commonwealth has 53 member nations representing more than 2 billion people. Commemorated on the second Monday of March, the day is celebrated by a variety of groups and institutions, from schools to social organizations. Below, the flags of Commonwealth countries flying at Parliament today.
The annual church service at Westminster Abbey is the UK’s largest interfaith service and an invitation-only event. Below you see HM and Prince Philip arriving at the Abbey, along with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell.
The Queen wore a ‘summer tweed’ coat and dress by Karl Ludwig with a matching hat by Angela Kelly.
This year’s theme for the day is A Young Commonwealth, chosen because more than 60% of the citizens of Commonwealth nations are under the age of 30. The service featured a variety of young people as speakers and performers. Below, Dance Digital performing; there were also hymns, speakers and other elements in today’s service.
In her annual Commonwealth Day address the Queen spoke of the importance of the Commonwealth now, and in the future:
“We are guardians of a precious flame, and it is our duty not only to keep it burning brightly but to keep it replenished for the decades ahead.”
This was the first time William and Kate have attended the service. As noted, the Duchess repeated an Alexander McQueen ensemble we have seen previously, a soft pink coat and matching dress.
Kate wore these pieces for Trooping the Colour 2013 when she was expecting George.
The coat features an oversize collar, large pearl buttons, three-quarter sleeves, flap pockets and side darts.
The Duchess wore a lovely pair of Kiki McDonough earrings we’ve not seen previously.
They are Pink Morganite Cushion Drops on a white gold hoop with diamonds (£3400, about $5000 at today’s exchange rates).
We also saw a new hat by Jane Taylor.
People magazine’s Simon Perry reports the piece is “straw with a silk straw twist.”
From the People story:
On the way out of the service, the royals stopped to talk to Abbey workers and celebrants. One was Jane Rowton-Lee, who had worked in the Abbey at William and Kate’s wedding.
Rowton-Lee told an animated Kate that she had arranged one of the candle and flower arrangements on the high altar on that memorable day. The princess thanked her for her help and asked if the flower arranger was having a busy year.
“I said I think you may be as well,” said Rowton-Lee of Kate’s impending second-time motherhood.
“She laughed. She was utterly charming.”
Kate carried the pink Prada clutch we have seen previously, the brand’s ‘Raso’ style.
She brought back her pink Prada pumps as well.
A tight shot of the heels, worn on multiple occasions.
It was a brisk day in London, you can see the wind catching Kate’s hair when she arrived at the Abbey.
We have a quick couple of copyKates to share with you today, beginning with this frock as a stand-in for Kate’s teal Jenny Packham (worn in 2012), this is the the Catherine Deane Draped Silk Embroidered Gown.
Our next repliKate is the Elvie Dress at Monsoon, ideal for those fond of the Roamer Day Dress by Zimmermann. Kate wore the Roamer in Australia during last spring’s tour, and again at Wimbledon. We thank Sophie M.S. on the WKW Facebook page for the tip on this, and Mary S for the link. The dress is $300 at Monsoon.
Our final tidbit is about our StyleRocks giveaway.
A reminder that Kate’s next two engagements are Wednesday, when she visits Margate. (More here.)
*For a children’s guide to the Commonwealth click hereThe Daily Express coverage is here and its photo gallery is here, The Daily Mail’s story is here, PopSugar’s photo gallery is here, Victoria Murphy’s story in The Mirror is here & a photo gallery is here
*ITN’s videos are here