Commonwealth Day is always commemorated on the second Monday of March. Here you see HM, Prince Philip, William, Kate, Harry and the Duke of York entering the Abbey.
The Commonwealth consists of 53 member nations representing more than 2 billion people. Floral arrangements contained blooms from all many of those countries.
The theme for this year’s observances is An Inclusive Commonwealth, emphasising the Commonwealth’s strength in working together to achieve progress.
The annual function is the UK’s largest multi-faith service.
Kofi Annan delivered the keynote address for the service, “A Reflection”. The Ghanaian diplomat was the United Nations Secretary-General from January of 1997 through December 2006. Below you see the Nobel Peace Prize winner just before today’s service.
More on Mr. Annan’s remarks from Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph:
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, paid tribute to Her Majesty in his address, saying “no individual has made a greater contribution” to the Commonwealth’s success than the Queen, adding: “You have shown an unwavering and steadfast dedication to this great project.”
The Queen listening to Mr. Annan.
Also taking part in the service, entertainer Ellie Goulding, performing Sting’s Fields of Gold.
Many will recall Ms. Goulding performed at Kate and William’s Buckingham Palace wedding reception, singing her version of Elton John’s “Your Song”. Here you see the Queen greeting the singer after the service.
As she was leaving following the service the Queen greeted the young choristers of Westminster Abbey.
They had an early birthday surprise for HM: a framed photograph of “Choir Boy,” her first winning racehorse, he won the Royal Hunt Cup in 1953. Young Jeremy Suppey (l) and Daniel Livermore (r) presented HM with the gift.
The young royals departing Westminster Abbey.
The three spent time greeting school children who attended today’s service; more than 1000 children from schools and youth groups were invited to the service.
Now to what Kate wore, beginning with her new coat by Erdem. The piece is similar to a style from the designer’s pre-fall 2015 collection.
A view of the back.
Here is a closer look at the fabric used in the coat similar to Kate’s style; initially I thought it was a laser cut suede or similar fabric.
With apologies for the blurriness, here is closer look at the lace detail. This almost looks more like a needle punched material than the laser cut fabric I mention above.
In this photo you can just see the seams on the back, and the pocket on the left.
The coat is said to have a retail price of £2500. I presume that reflects the price for the 2014 off-the-rack version of the coat as shown above, it retailed at French boutique Colette for $3580.
UPDATE MONDAY P.M.: After receiving several emails and direct messages, it’s clear Kate is *not* wearing the Orla Kiely dress initially shown in the post.
UPDATE TUESDAY A.M.: In looking more closely at the skirt one can see the pleat pattern is different from the Orla Kiely dress.
It’s a subtle difference, but as pointed out by Jane in another stellar From Berkshire to Buckingham post, the pleat pattern is different. I’m sure this will be another instance where we will see the dress worn at a point in the future and recognize as the frock worn for today’s service.
UPDATE TUESDAY PM: Anna of My Small Obsessions thinks Kate may have been wearing this dress yesterday, first seen at a 2007 book launch.
The pleat pattern appears identical and the color also looks the same. I think Anna may have done it again, she also deserves a Tip of the Tiara!
Kate’s hat is by John Boyd.
A view of the hat from the back.
Mr. Boyd was a great favorite of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. More from this story by The Telegraph’s Emma Spedding:
He first worked with Diana on the pink tricorn that she wore with her ‘going away outfit’ after her wedding in 1981. “My new range was just being completed when Diana arrived, and sitting on a chair surrounded by ribbons suddenly took a tricorn shape in sparterie that was hanging on the door and said, ‘I like that style, I will have it for my wedding,'” Boyd has said of working with the late Princess.
Below, Princess Diana leaving for her honeymoon with Prince Charles, wearing that tri-corner hat by Mr. Boyd.
And the twinkling eyes of of Mr. Boyd, at age 90 the Scotsman is the oldest working milliner in London.
Back to Ms. Spedding’s story and details on Kate’s hat:
“John has been making this shape since the 1940’s – it’s a classic, flattering brim,” the people at Boyd’s Knightsbridge shop told The Telegraph of the Duchess’s hat.
The custom wide-brimmed grey peach bloom felt hat with a silk dark grey trim would have taken up to a week to make, with everything hand-stitched by Boyd’s three-person team. Similar styles retail for £500.
I very much liked the Duchess’s hat, it was nice to see a change from the smaller styles she favors. She clearly has the capacity to carry off a larger, wide-brimmed piece. The coat struck me as having a lot going on: the gray fabric topped by the black lace and the needle-punched effect combined for a busy look, and the high, tight collar seemed constrictive. Having said that, it’s good to see Kate continuing to try new looks with different design elements – garments a step removed from the Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham styles we often see. (Styles I happen to be very fond of in most respects.) It’s interesting that this is the second piece from Erdem that might be considered to be in a “riskier zone” for the Duchess. (The first being the tiered evening gown worn for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner in October.)
The Duchess was in a new pair of shoes by Rupert Sanderson, the Winona style. You can just make out the signature on the soles.
The designer’s reaction to the Duchess wearing his heels comes via Footwear News:
“I am honored. The shoes looked wonderful with [the Duchess’] beautiful gray coat,” Sanderson told FN on Monday. “It is a nice and privileged thing to quietly be able to do, to make a pair of shoes for the future queen of England.
Below you see the shoe in black patent leather at the Rupert Sanderson website (originally $675, now $405). Today’s Tip of the Tiara goes to Sharon Baum, online style and beauty editor for US Weekly, she made the speedy ID on Kate’s shoes.
Kate was carrying a clutch by Emmy London.
And she wore her diamond/aquamarine drop earrings.
A final note from Ms. Spedding’s story on something I had nary a clue about – groutfits.
The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t usually one for following trends, but by stepping out in a new Erdem grey coat, matching John Boyd hat and Rupert Sanderson heels she’s the latest person to buy into fashion’s current vogue for Groutfits – a head-to-toe grey look that’s proved so popular it now has it’s own tumblr, FiftyShadesOfGroutfits.
One of my favorite photos of the day on Twitter, this one from Saint Felix School.
Accompanied by this tweet:
In fun news, Victoria Murphy shares in her story that Prince George is keeping Kate busy:
She told pupils from St Matthew’s Primary School, Westminster: “He’s got a scooter. He’s going super fast on it.”
Rolling her eyes she added: “It’s hard to keep up with him. Charlotte is keeping him in check. She’s getting bigger by the day.”
While this is a site focused on the style and fashion of the Duchess of Cambridge, today we leave you with a photo of HM as she exited Westminster Abbey. The Queen has served as Head of the Commonwealth for more than 60 years, a remarkable accomplishment.
- Read the full Order of Service by clicking here
- Visit The Commonwealth website here, the organizatikon’s Facebook page is here and its Twitter feed is here
- Learn more about the Royal Commonwealth Society on the group’s website here, or its Facebook page here, you may also follow its Twitter feed here
- For the BBC’s “What is the Point of the Commonwealth Today” guide click here
- The Daily Mail’s photo laden coverage is here, The Mirror’s story is here, Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph is here
- Emma Spedding’s fashion story in The Telegraph is here, The Mirror’s fashion story is here, John Boyd’s biography is here
- PopSugar’s oversize photos may be seen here and a few more here, Just Jared’s photo piece is here
- Victoria Murphy’s story in The Mirror detailing Prince George’s exploits on his scooter is here