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Kate in Navy for Somber Grenfell Tower Memorial Service

Kate chose a Carolina Herrera coat for today’s Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service.

The service was at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

A BBC video of Kate, William, and Harry.

Firefighters arriving at the Cathedral.

As we shared in Tuesday’s post, 71 people were killed in the June 14 fire as flames rapidly engulfed the 24-story building.

Messages and prayers on a memorial wall created hours after the fire.

The idea for today’s memorial service was initiated by those who survived the blaze, and the families of those who were killed.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the service. 

Today’s multi-denominational service was designed to “focus on remembering those who lost their lives, on providing messages of support for the bereaved, and on offering strength and hope for the future, for those of all faiths and none.”

The St. Paul’s website noted that “…more than 1500 people affected in various ways by the Grenfell Fire have come together exactly six months on, to remember the tragic events of that day and the 71 lives lost.”

More from the St. Paul’s news release:

Designed with input from the Grenfell community, the service was a mix of sights and sounds, with the Al-Sadiq and Al-Zahra Schools Girls Choir, oud player Rihab Azar and the Ebony Steel Band, joining the Cathedral Choir and Organ.

Harry and Kate talking with those attending the service.

Prince William speaking with one of the attendees.

I’m not sure the photo above shows the woman referenced in this next paragraph, but I *think* it is. From The Daily Mail:

Ms Mendy was one of those who met the Duke of Cambridge as the service drew to a close.

She said William had asked to be invited to the service, and that she had asked him if he would consider becoming a patron of her new group, Humanity 4 Grenfell.

She said: ‘He’s shown a lot of concern – I can see the compassion and the empathy he has. It’s his borough and he feels it.’

You will recall that Kate’s engagement Tuesday at the Rugby Portobello Trust included mothers and children who survived the fire; they benefit from the assistance offered by the Trust.

From The Guardian’s coverage:

A hour-long national memorial service on Thursday, before probably the most diverse congregation ever seen at St Paul’s, saw emotions spill over, with many wiping away tears during music, prayers and a minute’s silence to remember the 71 people who died and hundreds made homeless.

From The Daily Mail:

As the service ended, the Grenfell banner was held aloft and carried out of the cathedral, followed by survivors and bereaved holding white roses…

Many carried photos of their loved ones.

From Bishop Graham Tomlin’s address at the memorial:

“As we come to the end of this difficult year, as we celebrate Christmas, as we move into a new year, nothing can remove the memory of that night – nor do we want to forget those dearly loved people who were lost.

Kate, William, and Harry as they leave the somber service.

Two days after the fire engulfed the high-rise, the Queen and Prince William met with rescue workers, firefighters, and survivors.

They were at a temporary shelter. More from The Telegraph:

The Queen appeared close to tears as she visited a rest centre helping those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Duke told another volunteer: “That’s one of the most terrible things I have ever seen.”

The Royal Foundation of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry set up Support 4 Grenfell, a dedicated space for charities helping the community. Many of the charities providing help are familiar names; they include The Art Room, Child Bereavement UK, Winston’s Wish, and Place2Be.  As part of Support4Grenfell William and Harry visited the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in September.

Below, Prince William speaking with Omar Ali, whose brother Mohammad al-Haj Ali (a Syrian refugee) died in the fire.

Once again we effort a difficult turn to the topic of what Kate wore.

The Duchess returned to designer Carolina Herrera for today’s style.

A look at the back.

The double-breasted coat looks like a wool or wool blend, with a fitted bodice and flared skirt, stand collar, decorative flaps at the side from which pleats fall, and metal buttons.

Here is a view of the coat alongside a product shot I digitally lightened to better show the details. The style is shown in a 2017 lookbook.  A Tip of the Tiara today to Michelle of Perth Fashion for her skill identifying the coat.

This is the second Carolina Herrera coat we have seen the Duchess wear. You can see the similarities between today’s style and the garment worn during the Canada tour in 2016.

There is a dress worn beneath the coat, but I’m not sure it’s one we’ll be able to identify. There are a few photos showing the fabric and I will take a look at them later today.

UPDATE: Tiffany C. messaged me to share her belief Kate is wearing the Roland Mouret Manon dress beneath the coat. Tomorrow when I am back at the desktop (where the photos on my hard drive are) I will see what I can put together in terms of pictures.

Kate accessorized with her ‘Frome’ clutch by LK Bennett.

And the ‘Georgia’ suede heels from Jimmy Choo.

Her hat hasn’t been identified yet, but the same Michelle who IDed the coat suggests it may be a bespoke John Lock piece.

Kate also wore navy gloves that I haven’t had time to look into; I don’t believe they are one of the Cornelia James styles worn by the Duchess previously. They may be the bespoke pair by Dents we have seen worn to other engagements.

The sapphire and diamond earrings were also worn.  

We’ll leave you with this piece from the BBC with people reading letters they wrote to those killed in the fire.





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Katie W

Monday 18th of December 2017

Thank you for the thoughtful coverage of this sad event - I agree with other comments that Kate overall looked lovely, but this was not my favorite of her looks.

I think wearing black tights and shoes would have elevated the look (this is TOO monochrome, in my humble opinion this head-to-toe matching only works with black). Or nude hose with the blue shoes.

Also, this shape of hat makes me think of Carmen Sandiego whenever I see it! Perhaps an American hangup, but I can't shake the association.

Janine Winkler

Monday 18th of December 2017

I think Kate looks great in both the coat and hat. But black tights with navy shoes or even if they are navy tights with navy shoes, either is really a fashion no no. Black accessories with navy would be much more elegant. This must be a British thing but it’s very out of date.


Saturday 16th of December 2017

This is yet another instance when actual maternity wear would have been more flattering. The coat is awkwardly cut and makes her appear heavy, and we all know she isn't. I am confused why she would add another coat to her collection at this stage of pregnancy, as it is unlikely to fit her later. The hat does appear rather informal, but I would like it for a different occasion. The gloves are horribly childish with the bows. I think the all-navy look was beautiful, but the individual elements make for a "just ok" ensemble.


Saturday 16th of December 2017

I'm afraid I just do not like Catherine's choice of hat. It appears too casual with no structure.

I absolutely love the coat for lots of reasons; I am wondering though if that dress could have been a teensy-wincey bit longer. Coming down the steps of St. Paul's after the service, it shoots up alarming. I still like it though, and navy is a colour I don't think you can go wrong with, so much more forgiving than black.

I'm wondering if she still has them, if Catherine couldn't have worn her L.K. Bennett navy blue 'Art' courts. I know they are from before her marriage, but she does like to recycle and I personally think navy leather would have chimed together so much better than suede.

It will never be revealed and so it shouldn't, but I am of the belief that Catherine probably wears Wolford hosiery. You just cannot go wrong with them. I am wondering if she is wearing Ind. 100 Leg Support Tights, they are very similar to the picture = >>


Saturday 16th of December 2017

When i first saw this, followed by the word "navy," I had to stop and think, "Are you sure that is navy? It looks quite black to me. Those are the black Cornelia James gloves she is so fond of. I think you've lost your mind." But then, navy and black look so similar under certain lighting, but it's natural daylight that brings out navy's beauty. Yet, I am still not sold it's navy. (It could be my monitor, but it is adjusted correctly, but the joys of navy. It looks black in photos 99% of the time, right?)

I love the slight 1950s swagger (not quite swing) coat vibe of this coat. It has a serious color and material, but has a more boxy look typical of swagger coats.

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