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Kate Wears Patchwork Alexander McQueen for Remembrance Sunday, UPDATED With Hat ID

NOTE: I took some poetic license in the length of today’s piece, with significant focus on the veterans. If you want to bypass that portion of the post, just scroll madly and you will find our usual level of coverage of what Kate wore. More than 10,000 veterans marched in central London today as part of Remembrance Sunday.Ministry of Defence/©2015 Crown Copyright

Watching the ceremony from the balcony of the Foreign Office: Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence (Princess Anne’s husband), the Duchess, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is second from the right; King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was invited to lay a wreath this year to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands after the end of World War II.©Stephen Lock/i-Images

Skies were overcast as the veterans gathered at Horse Guards Parade. These are veterans from the Royal Military Police.Ministry of Defence ©2015 Crown Copyright

I believe these gentlemen are veterans of the King’s African Rifles.The Royal British Legion Facebook

Blind veterans and their guide dogs.Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC/©2015 Crown Copyright

On the way to the Cenotaph.Sgt Rupert Frere/©Crown Copyright 2015

These are vets from the Reconnaissance Corp, clearly WWII era. They are speaking with a Grenadier Guard. Ministry of Defence/©2015 Crown Copyright

HM, Prince Philip, King Willem-Alexander and Princess Anne arriving.Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

HM at the Cenotaph.Ministry of Defence/©2015 Crown Copyright

Singing the national anthem.©Stephen Lock/i-Images/POLARIS

From The Mirror’s coverage:

Following the two minutes silence Buglers of the Royal Marines played the haunting sound of the Last Post before the Queen laid the first wreath followed by husband Philip. This year marks a number of other significant anniversaries in the UK’s military history, including the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

©Stephen Lock/i-Images/POLARIS

Princes William, Harry and Andrew laid wreaths at the memorial.©Stephen Lock/i-Images/POLARIS

Prime Minister David Cameron. Ministry of Defence/©2015 Crown Copyright

King Willem-Alexander. The Netherlands had the highest per-capita rate of death for Nazi-occupied countries in western Europe.Her Majesty's Armed Forces/©2015 Crown Copyright

The wreath laid by the King, and its card. The card reads: ‘In remembrance of the British men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. The Kingdom of the Netherlands will be forever grateful for the British role in its liberation’.

Ministry of Defence/©2015 Crown Copyright

Ministry of Defence/©2015 Crown Copyright

Chelsea Pensioners laying their wreath.Sgt. Ross Tily, RAF/©Crown Copyright 2015

How the event looked to someone on the ground taking part in the ceremony.Her Majesty;s Armed Forces/©2015 Crown Copyright

And the view from a higher perspective.Her Majesty's Armed Forces / ©Crown Copyright 2015

This year’s ceremony was shorter than in previous years, in recognition of the age of many veterans and HM; the idea was to minimize the length of time when standing is required.Her Majesty's Armed Forces/©2015 Crown Copyright

A veteran taking part in the parade and the view from above.The Army in London Facebook

Prince William ‘took the salute” as part of today’s program.The Royal British Legion

That essentially means watching and recognizing troops as they pass by.The Royal British Legion

There were services throughout the UK, including at the National Memorial Arboretum, where more than 5000 gathered for that service. (Some may recall Prince William has been Patron of the Arboretum’s fundraising appeal.)

In the Middle East the Royal Air Force led a service that included coalition forces.Royal Air Force/©2015 Crown Copyright

The Duchess, Queen and Countess seemed to enjoy chatting with each other before the morning’s commemoration.The Duchess, the Queen and the Countess at the morning's commemoration.

Moving now to what Kate wore for today’s ceremony, we’ve a new Fun With Math graphic, showing the origins of most of the elements in Kate’s coat.Lane Crawford/Lane Crawford/

Above left we show the Alexander McQueen Double-Breasted Patchwork Compact Felt Coat at Lane Crawford, then the McQueen Velvet Trim Double Breasted Compact Wool Felt Coat. “Compact wool felt” refers to the type of wool used for the pieces; a denser, compacted wool that would be warmer than most standard woolens. Here is a better shot of Kate’s bodice side-by-side with the Patchwork Jacket.

i-Images/Lane Crawford

i-Images/Lane Crawford

Kate’s coat features patchwork velvet pieces, double-breasted styling, a fitted bodice, notched lapels, padded shoulders, and a buttoned tab at the back waist. I’m guessing it also has a single back vent and slanted front pockets, not the flap pockets seen on the coats below. (I might be wrong here, but that’s my best guess.) 

The majority of Kate’s design details are from the jacket seen above right. Below, color treated images better showing the velvet on the black coat. Kate’s coat has almost none of the design elements in this piece, it is shown primarily to offer a look at the velvet.  On the right we show the Patchwork Military Coat from the pre-autumn 2015 collection to offer a better vision of how that velvet band Kate’s coat has near the waist might look in a full-length view. That’s not to say Kate’s has the precise same amount of detail as the coat, but my guess is that it is very similar, if not identical.

Lane Crawford/Alexander McQueen

And a look at Kate’s ‘patches’ of velvet. Kate McQueen Coat Remembrance Sunday Nov 8 2015 Graphic Showing Velvet on Coat i-Images The Duchess also wore a new hat for today’s commemoration. I haven’t yet hunted for the designer. 

UPDATED NOV 10: As suggested on Sunday by Anna of My Small Obsessions, the hat turns out to be a Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. piece.  Monique Jessen of People magazine received confirmation that the hat was a bespoke creation by Ms. Fletcher for the Duchess.James Whatling-Splash/

It looked like Kate’s hat did feature a butterfly, though there’s not yet been any info as to whether there is special significance to that motif. Kate Hat Remembrance Butterfly

Here we can see the hat almost straight-on.Stephen Lock/i-Images/POLARIS

We had a comment from Lili noting that the netting on the hat is of two sizes, this photo better demonstrates that.Stephen Lock/i-Images/POLARIS

Kate wore three poppies, I am presuming they are for Prince William, her grandfather who served in the military, and her grandmother, who was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park.



She also wore her Kiki McDonough Diamond Hoops with Annoushka Pearl Drops. Kate Earrings Remembrance Sunday Nov 8 2015 It looked like Kate carried her Mulberry clutch.©i-Images/POLARIS

We wrap up with a moment of levity from this

And one more look at Kate and Queen Maxima.©Stephen LoCk/i-Images/POLARIS

One cautionary note: while we have not had any issues recently, a gentle reminder that we want to remain polite/civil in commenting about what Kate wore, and responding to what others think of what Kate wore. There’s been no problem here, but things became a little snarky on the Facebook page.   LINKAGE:

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Rose Spring

Sunday 15th of November 2015

Did you know that Queen Maxima and other female members of the Dutch Royal family are quite often wearing insect brooches?

Among them are the Diamond & Emerald Butterfly Brooch, the Diamond, Emerald & Ruby Butterfly and the Diamond & Opal Butterfly Brooch: (even worn in the hair and - Princess Margriet:

See for more information and photos: “Queen Emma [1858 – 1934] had an exquisite collection of insect motif brooches set with diamonds and precious stones. … The insect motif came in fashion at the end of the 19th century. Brooches such as these were

> > > mostly worn on hats :-) < < <

and were sometimes mounted on small springs to create a lively effect.”


Wednesday 11th of November 2015

There are many comments regarding yet "another" black coat - the assumption being that she still has them all. Not necessarily.

In the UK we have dress agencies which are shops which sell designer/upmarket 2nd hand clothes. I've read that HMQ disposed of some of her clothes (this is some time ago) through a v discreet agency.

It is possible that Catherine is doing this as well.

Elizabeth in CO

Wednesday 11th of November 2015

Thank you for the inspirational post, Susan As it is Veteran's Day today, I've gone back to read the update and the comments. HM and Catherine both look amazing. I love the tailoring of both coats and the visual effectiveness of both their hats. I was quite interested in the discussion of the butterflies on Catherine's hat, and I do realize this is a bit of a stretch, but in the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands is a painting called Butterflies and Poppies, so perhaps it's to honor Queen Maxima. Catherine would certainly know about the painting as an art history major. Just a thought.

Rose Spring

Sunday 15th of November 2015

Susan, thank you for another marvellous post.

Elizabeth, I so agree about Queen Elizabeth’s look and the painting you mentioned! There is a photo of it on the WKW facebook page:

Given Catherine’s current focus on mental health, I find it poignant, that Van Gogh painted it while at the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy near Arles. During his stay, he painted another painting with butterflies that can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London of which Catherine is patron.


Saturday 14th of November 2015

Elizabeth, I think your theory about the significance of the butterfly is the best one yet. I don't think its far fetched at all.


Wednesday 11th of November 2015

Just wanted to say how lovely this post was, and thank you for not only your always-thorough coverage of Kate's wardrobe, but the pictures of the veterans, HM, and all. It was a great reminder of the poignant purpose of the day, and made me look that much more forward to taking my little boy to a Veteran's Day celebration here in America (today, November 11). Those pictures really touched my heart. Thank you!


Tuesday 10th of November 2015

I love the coat on the Duchess and I noticed she is wearing her Annoushka pearl drop earrings. I had a chance recently to meet with a rep from this company at a trade show at Saks Fifth Avenue. They are very pleased that the Duchess loves their earrings. They have so many beautiful pieces. They are lovely to deal with, extremely professional and they ship overseas in a very timely fashion.


Tuesday 10th of November 2015

That's great info Valerie, thank you for sharing it with us! :)

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