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Kate in Missoni at Somber Service for Battle of the Somme Anniversary

Kate, William and Harry were in northern France this evening for the first event marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.©Stephen Lock / i-Images

From Centenary News:

The 141-day Battle of the Somme resulted in more than a million Allied and German casualties (dead, wounded and missing). July 1st 1916 is remembered as the worst day in British military history – 19,240 soldiers were killed, 35,493 wounded and 2,737 were missing or taken prisoner.

Tomorrow is the actual anniversary. Tonight the trio visited the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal

It is the largest Commonwealth war memorial in the world.© 2016 Crown Copyright/ Ministry of Defence

Before this evening’s service the Duke, Duchess, and Prince Harry went to the top of the Memorial. The three looking out over ‘no man’s land.’Emily Andrews, The Sun @ByEmilyAndrews

More from The Daily Mail’s coverage:

 On July 1, 1916, following a seven-day British bombardment, some 120,000 men clambered from their trenches and went ‘over the top’ — to be met by a hail of German machine-gun fire that mowed down half of them. 

In this photo from Emily Andrews you can see the expanse of land the soldiers needed to cross.Emily Andrews, The Sun @ByEmilyAndrews

From George Will’s column in the Washington Post:

In the first hours, eight British soldiers fell per second. By November a million men on both sides were dead — 72,000 British and Commonwealth bodies were never recovered — or wounded. 

Tonight the two Princes and Duchess were given a tour and briefing about the Memorial.Emily Andrews, The Sun @ByEmilyAndrews

The Memorial honors more than 72000 military personnel who died in the Somme and have no known grave.Emily Nash, Hello! @EmyNash

Representatives from countries on both sides of the Battle took part in the event.©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Prince William delivered brief comments: “It was in many ways the saddest day in the long story of our nation.”

William quoted “Birdsong” author Sebastian Faulks:

“We lost the flower of a generation; and in the years to come it sometimes seemed that with them a sense of vital optimism had disappeared forever from British life.”

Prince Harry read the poem “Before Action,” written by Lieutenant W.N. Hodgson, who was killed on July 1st, 1916 in the battle. The Lieutenant wrote the poem the day before he was killed. Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal

There were observances throughout the UK and France this evening. The Queen and Prince Philip were at Westminster Abbey for a service conducted at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.The Royal Family

More from Westminster Abbey:

The Abbey remained open through the night for a Vigil to mark the centenary of the Battle of Somme and a Watch at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior changed every 15 minutes.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Kate wore a new piece from Missoni.©Stephen Lock/i-Images

It is the Long Snake Stitch Coat, a piece that is no longer available; below, as it was shown on the Nordstrom website.



The front and back.Both Photos: ©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

This garment is all about the fabric, a textured zig-zag, or snake stitch, design in black, greys and white. Metallic threads used in the textile create a soft shimmer effect.

©Stephen Lock/i-Images

©Stephen Lock/i-Images

The fabric is a blend of 50% rayon, 32% rayon cupro, and 18% polyester.  The coat has an A-line silhouette; it is single-breasted with oversized patch pockets, and a back vent. As you can see in the product photos a black belt came with the piece, although Kate elected not to wear the belt this evening.Emily Andrews, The Sun @ByEmilyAndrews

On The Outnet site (Net a Porter’s discount arm) the original price of the garment is shown as having been £1568, which is roughly $2000. The sale price was £457, or about $610 at today’s exchange rates. Below, a look at one of the pockets being referenced in the comments.

Kate Missoni Coat Pocket Closeup Tight Shot Somme June 30 2016 R Nunn

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Our thanks to Giulia Giusto and Morwenna T on the WKW Facebook page for their coat identification skills, along with Carly of Kate Middleton Style.

Beneath the coat the Duchess was in a black dress; we don’t know which frock it could be. Another view, this one during a lighthearted moment.©Yui Mok/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Duchess accessorized with a new hat believed to be a Lock and Co. design, a pillbox style with a vintage feel, and netting that covered her updo. (I’m still hunting for a good photo.)©Stephen Lock/i-Images

A closer view of the hat and Kate’s updo, but still not the photo I am hoping to find.

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

We saw the return of Kate’s faux pearl Balenciaga earrings, they were first noted at Trooping the Colour. The pair is one of the Eugenia styles, crafted of silvertone brass, faux pearls and crystals.

i-Images/Net a Porter/i-Images

i-Images/Net a Porter/i-Images

The Duchess brought back her black suede Gianvito Rossi heels.

Gianvito Rossi/i-Images

Gianvito Rossi/i-Images

And carried her Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ clutch.


Tiffany C./i-Images

Another view.

Members of the Armed Forces standing watch at the Memorial tonight.

©2016 Crown Copyright MOD/Sgt. Rupert Freres,

©2016 Crown Copyright MOD/Sgt. Rupert Frere, RLC

Tomorrow’s events begin with a 2-minute silence throughout the United Kingdom starting at 7:28am. We leave you with this video from the Imperial War Museum. NOTE: Post updated to reflect Kate wearing Gianvito Rossi heels, not the Stuart Weitzman as I initially wrote. LINKAGE:


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Wednesday 6th of July 2016

I'm a fan of Missoni and own several pieces, including a coat in a very similar pattern. Missoni knits are as light as air - you can wear them in summer - even in Italy! Its a perfect piece for the occasion - all black would have been too much and actually inappropriate. The cut is perfect for her - although the sleeves should have been shortened, and I would have preferred the coat a couple of inches shorter. However, I do think there is a neck up problem. The tightly buttoned up coat, the flat severe hair and the pillbox are simply too much. One of those elements needed to be softened. A lighter small scarf tucked in at the neck, a lighter hat - both in colour and design -than the pillbox or softer hair (but not down which would have not worked with the Missoni pattern) would have helped. The big pearl earrings were a step in the right direction (but not enough. Also she needed lighter/brighter makeup with these severe colours. As it stands the look is very aging for her. Too bad.


Sunday 3rd of July 2016

I think Kate's Missoni coat was perfect for this occasion. She needed to look somber yet fashionable (I hate that term but that is what is expected of her). She also needed to make sure the focus was on the event--and not her. The Missoni coat is highly fashionable and modern. However, the colors were completely in keeping with the nature of the occasion--the beginning of remembrance of a horrific battle that ultimately resulted in 1,000,000 (yes, that is 1 million) casualties. Her hair and hat are also perfect--understated while being chic. Well done, Kate!


Sunday 3rd of July 2016

It's the right color choice for such a somber event, but something about the whole ensemble seems like it is aging her. I think it's in the neck-up. Something about the make-up, hat, and updo together combines to make her look aged. :-/ Or maybe such a somber event called for a more serious demeanor so we didn't get to see her youthful spirit shining through.


Sunday 3rd of July 2016

I think you are right in terms of her demeanor for this event. Solemn is what should have been seen and solemn is what Kate, William, and Harry gave. I think commenters are used to seeing Kate be more animated, hence the comments about looking aged by this look. However, I don't see her looking aged but see her as completely in keeping with the sad, tragic, and horrible Battle of the Somme.


Saturday 2nd of July 2016

There is a good shot of the Duchess' hat, hair and net at the blog:'Royal Hats' in the related post. I thought this look was very appropriate for the event.


Saturday 2nd of July 2016

I really hate this coat, ugh, zig-zag, really horrible; why roll out another coat at this occasion also!!! Having said that, overall look OK; the occasion, a wonderful tribute to the generation I knew (my Grandfather's) & the sacrifices they made. I only really appreciated, on the Queen's Jubilee, what the young lives of my Grandfathers's & Father's generation had been like; no nights out at discotheques & restaurants, they were away fighting a war!!! The Americans were also there in both wars, may I take this opportunity to thank you all so much, my freedoms, and those of my children, are enjoyed because of the sacrifices of these gallant & dutiful men!!!!

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