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Kate in Sophie Hallette Lace for Battle of the Somme 100th Anniversary Service

It was a somber scene in France for today’s ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal


The skies were heavy at the Thiepval Memorial as dignitaries arrived to commemorate what is considered by most as the worst day in British military history.©2016 Crown Copyright Ministry of Defence

Troops kept vigil overnight at the Memorial.

 Below you see the Duke and Duchess with Prince Harry and President Hollande as they arrive to honor the 72000 Commonwealth soldiers killed and without known graves.Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal

The group with other dignitaries.Kate William Somme 100 Dignitaries President Francois Hollande French Dept of the Somme

Before today’s service, the royals toured the newly renovated visitors center at the Memorial.Emily

Behind the Duke and Duchess you can see one of two 30-foot murals depicting battle scenes.Kensington Palace

A quick video inside the Museum.

The pair enjoyed speaking with some of the children at the center. ©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

A 2-minute silence starting at 7:28am was observed throughout the UK. In London it was followed by the Royal Horse Artillery firing a 100-second salute. Somme 100 Artillery Gun Salute Big Ben July 1 2016 MOD

This file photo offers an aerial view of the Thiepval Memorial.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Both cornflowers, the French flower of remembrance, and poppies were visible during the day’s program.Kensington Palace

The young royals arriving for the service.©Stephen Lock / i-Images

Royal Family members and dignitaries stand as national anthems are played. The group includes Prince Charles, Camilla – Duchess of Cornwall, Kate, William, Harry, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence – Vice Chair of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Prime Minister David Cameron and Ireland’s President, Michael Higgins. Kensington Palace

Today’s events were broadcast live throughout France, the United Kingdom, and many Commonwealth countries. Prince Charles and President Hollande laying wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice.Clarence House

The Garde Républicaine.Clarence House

The younger royals. 

Andrew Fetherston, Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archivist @AndyFev

Andrew Fetherston, Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archivist @AndyFev

For part of the service it was rainy…©Andrew Matthews/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

…and for other portions it was dry.©MOD 2016 Crown Copyright/POA Owen Cooban

10000 dignitaries, guests, and members of the public watched film footage of the Battle.

Mark Austin, ITV @MarkAustinITV

Mark Austin, ITV @MarkAustinITV

From Simon Perry’s story in People.

After the sounding of the “Last Post” by buglers, the royals walked among a group of 300 French and 300 British and Irish schoolkids, who stood quietly at the gravestones. 

©MOD 2016 Crown Copyright/Sgt. Rupert Frere

Kate and Harry speaking with some of the children.Emily Andrews, The Sun @ByEmilyAndrews

From Victoria Murphy’s story in The Mirror

A group of 600 schoolchildren – 300 French and 300 British and Irish – laid wreaths on many some of the war graves. The Duchess of Cambridge told schoolchildren she was finding her visit to the Somme “emotional,” as she toured the new museum prior to the event

Emily Nash, Hello! @EmyNash

Emily Nash, Hello! @EmyNash

From a story in The Express

Poppy Hodgson, from Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street, and Neave Heaton, from Greenfield School in Durham, presented William and Kate with a binder of art, photography and history work produced by pupils taking part. Poppy said: “She said it was quite emotional being here and that they were really enjoying their visit. She said it was very moving.”

The trio just after the service concluded.©MOD 2016 Crown Copyright Sgt. Rupert Frere

Another view.©MOD 2016 Crown Copyright/Sgt. Rupert Frere

Today we saw Kate in her go-to textile, lace. All Photos ©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The dress features a Peter Pan collar and princess seaming.Both Images © Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Other design elements include a peplum waist, three-quarter sleeves, and eyelash lace. ©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The lace is by Sophie Hallette, a renowned French textile house. The firm made the lace used for Kate’s wedding gown and shoes. (More here in a Telegraph profile of the company.)  From the Sophie Hallette Facebook page

Sophie Hallette Facebook

Sophie Hallette Facebook

Several people messaged/emailed & noted on the Facebook page that there is a similarity between the lace on today’s dress and that used in the Alexander McQueen seen at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee church service and a garden party at Buckingham Palace. This is most striking when looking at the fronds; I turned the photo from the Jubilee upside down for this comparison.



It certainly looks similar; wearing McQueen for this observance would very much be in keeping with Kate’s pattern of choosing designs from the brand for important, high-profile events. Here is a comparison at the hem. The scallop size looks about right, the photo on the right is closer in, which is why it might appear off. Kate Somme 100 Lace Comparison McQueen Jubilee Church Dress July 1 2016

While my personal preference is for lace at evening functions like cocktail parties, I recognize that for many the material has become acceptable, if not preferred, for daywear among younger generations. 

DRESS UPDATE: It seems the dress is not by Alexander McQueen. HeavenLM got in touch with McQueen & was advised the piece was not one of their designs; she shared the company’s response on Twitter. She also reached out to Dolce & Gabbana; the company told her Kate was not wearing one of their garments. (That info was shared here.)    

Kate brought back a Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Company hat.©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Lion Tamer Perching style.

the Lion Tamer is a signature style in our Couture collection. Hand-sculpted from layers of dyed ebony sinamay and finished with a simple ostrich feather, it elegantly frames the face. 

We first saw the piece at Trooping the Colour in 2011, as well as a wedding in June of 2011. The design retails at £795, that is about $1050 at today’s exchange rates.©Polaris/Polaris/Lock & Co.

This offers a better look at Kate’s hair. ©Robin Nunn, Nunn Syndication, Polaris/MOD Crown Copyright 2016 Sgt. Rupert Frere

Kate carried her Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ clutch.


©Polaris/Tiffany C./Polaris

She also wore her Gianvito Rossi heels in black suede.



And the flowers of remembrance.©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Duchess wore her Annoushka pearl drops suspended from Kiki McDonough hoops.©Polaris/Annoushka/Kiki McDonough

We will continue to update the post throughout the day as more photos become available.©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Splash News

We leave you with a few videos. The first shows an extraordinary event, young men dressed as World War I soldiers singing “We’re here because we’re here.” Scenes like this one played out across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland today, part of a National Theatre project.

This offers a 2-minute overview of the Battle. 


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Zadiere Askelon

Monday 18th of July 2016

I agree also , this is one of her most amazing moments . . . She as always will make the most outstanding and stylish queen and we will all do so very well in her queenship and glory . . . Z7


Wednesday 13th of July 2016

You've written kateh on the url x


Wednesday 6th of July 2016

The dress has been identified on DM as a bespoke Jenny Packham. Please investigate and let us know your findings. If it is JP, it is a very new silhouette for JP.


Wednesday 6th of July 2016

Might Kate have designed the outfit herself? :-)


Tuesday 12th of July 2016

The dress is an almost exact copy of the dress that Grace Kelly wore during her civil wedding ceremony to Prince Rainier.

Kate has also been wearing an exact duplicate of the mabe pearl earrings that Grace Kelly wore in Rear Window.

She also likes to wear the same seventies style sleeves that Grace Kelly favored.

She also copied Grace Kelly's wedding dress.

I hope this post won't get angry comments from Kate's fans. She could do a lot worse than copy Grace Kelly.


Wednesday 6th of July 2016

It works! This is a sophisticated, stylish look. The black underlay gives the lace some edge. The fit is perfect. I'll even live with the Peter Pan collar as it barely noticeable and works with the hair back. The hat is one of her best - the open brim is a subtle echo of the lace but at the same time the clean, modern lines balance out the lace. The black accessories do the same. A million times better than that boho lace at Ascot. On the other controversy. Why is it inappropriate to remark on someone's posture? Good posture used to be considered an asset, not sure why its not now.

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