For today’s National Service of Commemoration honoring those who served in Afghanistan, the Duchess opted for Beulah London.
The solemn service was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Below, military families queuing to enter the Cathedral in a photo shared by Ian Davidson. Below, some of the royals arriving. Below, more royals heading to their seats in Saint Paul’s.
Today’s function was attended by senior political and governmental officials, as well as “members of the Armed Forces, veterans, the next of kin of deceased personnel, representatives of military and aid charities and organizations, and the UK’s NATO allies in Afghanistan from 2001 – 2014.”
Music included pieces by the Band of Grenadier Guards, the oldest band in the British Army with a history going back more than 300 years. The renowned St. Paul’s Choir sang several hymns. All senior royals attended, including Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and the Duchess of Cornwall. HM, Prince Philip and Prince Charles.
Standing for the National Anthem.
From the Daily Mail’s story::
The end of the 13-year conflict was marked by a ceremony of commemoration at St Paul’s Cathedral where the Most Rev Justin Welby paid tribute to all those who served, leaving behind family, facing danger and suffering injury.
The Very Reverend Dr. David Ison:
“We commemorate with sorrow and regret those who have died in these operations and pray for their families and friends and for all who mourn their loss.
“We remember those who have been injured in body, mind and spirit and we pray for their continued wellbeing and for those who especially support them.”
A portion of the comments offered by Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor of London:
Today, the Nation unites in thanking those who gave their best….in order to secure better days ahead.
To us is given the honour of remembering those who paid the ultimate price.
HM and Prince Philip leaving the Cathedral.
The Duke and Duchess departing Saint Paul’s.
A closer look at the Duchess.
After the service there was a military parade through the streets of London. There was also a splendid collection of aircraft in the flyover during the parade. Some of the aircraft included: Chinook, Apache, and Sea King Helicopters, along with Hercules transport planes and Tornado fighter jets. All of the aircraft taking part today were used in the Afghanistan campaign.
Prince William with veterans at the reception hosted by the Royal British Legion after the service and parade. The Prince clearly enjoyed spending time with the military families being honored for their contributions.
Prince Charles shaking the hand of Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, who recently received the Victoria Cross; they are seen at the Guildhall reception.
Now to what Kate wore for today’s service.
The Duchess was in Beulah London’s Chiara coat.
The navy coat is 100% wool, in a trapeze cut, fitted at the bodice and then flaring out from the waist.
More from Beulah’s description of the coat:
It’s nipped-in waist is elegantly contrasted with the soft folds at the hem. The fabric is thick enough to keep you warm without being too bulky or weighty.
This version of the coat is special order, with delivery taking roughly 6 to 8 weeks. The Chiara sells for £650, roughly $950 at today’s exchange rates.
There are multiple versions of the coat. The white Chiara is a cotton/acetate/poly blend, it is £595. The Rose Smoke version of the coat is an acetate/rayon blend, it sells at £395. All four styles are made in Britain.
A look at the back of Kate’s coat.
Kate wore a navy dress beneath the coat that we have not yet identified. We can tell you the dress is not a Beulah London piece. Another Tip of the Tiara to Annabelle Gonzalez, she quickly identified Kate’s coat.
She carried her trusty Stuart Weitzman navy suede ‘Muse’ clutch.
A look at Kate’s elegant chignon.
The Duchess accessorized with her Alexander McQueen navy heels.
The Duchess also wore new jewelry today, a glittering pendant and earrings.
This gives a slightly better look at the gems, pear-shaped faceted stones surrounded by diamonds shimmering in the sunlight.
UPDATE: There have been a number of comments and a few messages/emails suggesting these stones might be tanzanite. I think that makes sense, not only for their color, but because they come from a place William and Kate are fond of, Africa. The stones come from only one place: the Mererani Hills of Tanzania in eastern Africa. We’ll keep hunting for info on these, as well as the other unidentified pieces Kate wore today: the hat, dress and gloves.
It is described as being a pear-shaped 6.3 carat tanzanite, surrounded by .87 carat of diamonds, set in platinum. The price shown on the G Collins site is £8400, approximately $12,300 at today’s exchange rates. Kate’s specific earrings are not currently shown on the G. Collins site. However, the jeweler featured an almost identical pair on its Instagram account. The only distinction seems to be removal of the v-shaped three-stone upper portion of the earrings.
Anna (of My Small Obsessions) shared with us that this is a jeweler patronized by Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Kate’s gloves appear to be the same pair worn to a Place2Be event in November of 2013. Initially we thought they were the navy Cornelia James ‘Iomogen’ gloves, but it turns out that was not the case. We’re fiendishly searching for a better photo of them, as well as information on the actual designer/manufacturer.
This was a very good look for the Duchess; the coat, hat, and accessories all worked together beautifully. Even having all navy accessories was a solid choice; the focus of the day was not the Duchess, and she knew that when selecting her look for the day. The ensemble was appropriate for the occasion; understated and elegant.
- The Royal British Legion website is here, the organization’s Facebook page is here and the Twitter feed may be seen here
- Click here to visit the Saint Paul’s Cathedral website, here to see the Facebook page, and here for the church’s Twitter feed
- You may see the entire Order of Service by clicking here & learn more about background & other elements of the service here, The Army’s online article about the Service is here
- The Band of the Grenadier Guards website is here, and the group’s Facebook page is here
- The Band of the Prince of Wales’s Division website is here and its Facebook page is here
- The Daily Mail’s coverage is here, Robert Jobson’s story in The Standard is here, the Daily Express slide show is here, PopSugar’s photo gallery is here
- The Daily Telegraph‘s video is here, and its photo gallery is here, The BBC‘s coverage is here (including several videos) and its photo gallery here, The Daily Mirror’s live log & photo gallery may be seen here