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Kate Brings Back LK Bennett Favorite for Return to Anglesey and RAF Valley

William and Kate returned to Anglesey in North Wales today.

Victoria Murphy/The Daily MIrror (@QueenVicMirror)

Victoria Murphy/The Daily MIrror (@QueenVicMirror)

A broader view of those assembled inside the hangar at Anglesey.©MOD UK Crown Copyright 2016/ Cpl Peter Devine RAF

The trip must have been bittersweet, as the duo returned to attend official ceremonies marking the end of Royal Air Force Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. William was based at RAF Valley for several years when he was assigned to the RAF SAR unit at Anglesey.Peter Byrne/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

All Royal Navy and RAF SAR operations have been privatized; RAF Valley operations were moved to Caernarfon Airport last July. More from the North Wales Daily Post:

Bristow Helicopters Ltd took over operations from the much-lauded C Flight 22 Squadron based at RAF Valley.

A special civic ceremony was held in June to say farewell to the search and rescue services.

This picture is included for those fond of Rebecca Deacon, Kate’s Private Secretary.©Splash News

Kate and William waiting for the formal ceremony to begin.

Peter Byrne/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The colors as they are paraded past one of the iconic Sea King helicopters used for SAR work.©2016 Crown Copyright/Royal Air Force

A look as the flags leave the hangar for the last time.©2016 Crown Copyright/Royal Air Force

The service operated for more than 75 years, but its termination does not otherwise impact RAF Valley operations. More from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:

Kate, 34, and William, 33, lived in a cottage in Anglesey for three years and enjoyed the seclusion that the Welsh countryside offered as they settled down.

William may well have signed on for another tour of duty with the RAF if the service had not been earmarked for privatisation, according to some sources, as he and Kate enjoyed living as a service couple hidden away from the glare of publicity for much of the year.

Over the years many royals have visited RAF Valley. Below, William showing his father one of the Sea Kings during a July 2012 visit; on the right you see HM at the base in April of 2011.  ©i-Images, Polaris/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

The Duke’s CO had praise for Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he was called. Back to Richard Palmer’s story:

Today his former squadron commander, Wing Commander Sparky Dunlop, praised William for his time in the service.

He said: “He was not only up to doing it but he did more than that.

“When he was serving with us he was a very good pilot.

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

A bit more from The Express and William’s former commanding officer:

“I did his operational captaincy check, when you jump from co-pilot to captain, and he was given a very tough check and he more than rose to the occasion.

“He would live and work with his crew, go on rescues with his crew, eat with his crew.

“He was just another one of the guys.

“He is one of the family and we wanted as many of the family to come back today and say goodbye.”

Peter Byrne/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Sun’s Emily Andrews heard a few tales about how the crew teased Prince William.

Emily Andrews, The Sun (@ByEmilyAndrews)

Emily Andrews, The Sun (@ByEmilyAndrews)

Following the ceremony, there was a reception for current and former squadron members.Peter Byrne/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The royals at today’s reception.©2016 Crown Copyright/Royal Air Force

Emy Nash of Hello! reported on Twitter that Kate shared how happy she and William were when living on the island in North Wales, saying “It was such a special time for us. It was the start of our life together really.”Peter Byrne/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Now we look at what Kate wore for today’s journey to Anglesey. Many will recognize the Duchess’s Ami coat by LK Bennett.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The coat is from LK Bennett’s a/w 2011 collection and was originally priced at £345.  It is made of a wool/nylon blend, with a high collar, epaulets, self belt, deep vent in back for ease when walking and front slit pockets.

Previously the Duchess wore the garment on three other occasions, all of them in November: from left to right, at a 2011 UNICEF event in Denmark with Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik; for a 2012 rugby match in Wales; and to London Poppy Day activities in 2013./PA Wire/PA Wire/

Kate accessorized with her Betty Boop hat by Lock & Company.Peter Byrne/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

By my count this is the sixth time we have seen the Duchess wearing the chapeau. Previously we have seen Kate sporting the style on St. Patrick’s Day of 2012; for a 2013 wedding in Switzerland; at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2013; on Christmas Day of 2014; and again for St. Patrick’s Day 2015.As Shown

The Duchess wore brown suede gloves and it appears she was carrying her Natasha Clutch in chocolate brown by Emmy Shoes. I say ‘appears’ because none of the photos show the bag well at all, just glimpses of it.Polaris/Splash/Polaris

UPDATE: WKW friend Bella reminded me that Kate wore brown gloves and carried a brown suede clutch when attending Cheltenham in 2013.  In that post we identified the clutch as Kate’s Natasha by Emmy London, and the gloves as the Cornelia James Imogen. Logic dictates the accessories would be the same, but there is always a chance the Duchess switched things up; without closer photos, it isn’t possible to say with 100% certainty the gloves are the same.Splash News/Polaris Images

The Natasha makes sense in part because Kate’s shoes and hat are brown, so it is likely she would be carrying a brown clutch as well, and this is one that we know she frequently carries. The shape of the bag is also similar to the Natasha.

Emmy Shoes 'Natasha' Clutch

Emmy Shoes ‘Natasha’ Clutch

We really haven’t been able to sort out precisely which pair of shoes the Duchess is wearing.BOTH: ©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

We will update this as new info becomes available.

She also wore her Empress earrings from Mappin and Webb. It looked like Kate was wearing her Cartier Ballon Bleu wristwatch again.

Kate Mappin Webb Empress Earrings Anglesey RAF Valley Feb 18 2016 Red LK Bennett Ami Coat All Polaris

We will leave you with this tweet from the RAF Benevolent Fund.

RAF Benevolent Fund Twitter

RAF Benevolent Fund Twitter


  • You can visit the RAF Valley website here, its Facebook page is here
  • This link takes you to a 2011 Telegraph article with background on the privatization of the Navy and RAF SAR operations; clicking this link will take you to a more recent story (March, 2015) in The Guardian about the transition; this link takes you to a Daily Mail story about the SAR choppers making their final flight in Scotland; as one expects with The Mail, the piece is filled with outstanding photos
  • Victoria Murphy’s Daily Mirror story may be seen here, Richard Palmer’s story in The Express is here, Rebecca English’s story in The Daily Mail is here, and Simon Perry’s story in People is here
  • ITN has a 4-minute+ video you can see on Twitter by clicking here
  • Jez Hemmings coverage in The Daily Post (N. Wales) is here
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Wednesday 27th of July 2016

I love the hat, but the ponytail? Really?


Sunday 6th of March 2016

I'm pretty sure these are the pumps that she is wearing. If you look at the heel and the curve before going into the stiletto portion they are identical. As well as having the beige sole and not the black sole that her other pairs have. She has worn this brand before, so I would not be surprised.


Sunday 6th of March 2016


Monday 22nd of February 2016

Disappointed with the ponytail/hat combo. I would've gone with a different hat entirely.


Monday 22nd of February 2016

I'm not fussy about the brown accessories with the red coat, but I'm not sure black would be any better. I personally love the way HM matches her hats with her coats. HM's red ensemble pictured above is perfect (and I have to say it's a nicer shade of red as well).


Monday 22nd of February 2016

Ugh. I'm actually a bit depressed looking at these photos. The coat, hat and hairdo all look terrible together. As others have mentioned, a low bun or similar would have matched the prim nature of the hat and coat. The coat's red color I think looks great when worn at outdoor events but inside, I don't know, the color just overwhelms. The brown hat--- first, the color is not working with the coat. If she had a brown patent leather belt on, maybe it would be better. Second, the shape of the hat is so uptight that when paired with this very buttoned up, structured coat, the whole look is suffocating. Everything is fine on its own, and the way she has worn these pieces in the past has worked. Just not all together.

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