Kate wore Alexander McQueen for today’s historic events marking the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary. She attended the RAF 100 service at Westminster Abbey, arriving with Prince William and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Seeing the Duchess at the service was a surprise, she had not been included in the original list of participants released by the Palace.
Flag bearers making final preparations before the service.
Some of the active-duty RAF personnel on hand this morning before the service got underway.
There was a very strong royal presence at all of the events marking the occasion. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, looking very elegant as she arrived at Westminster Abbey.
Sir Timothy Laurence and Princess Anne.
Other dignitaries attended, including Prime Minister Theresa May.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince William and Kate being greeted as they enter the Abbey. The Duke wore the No. 1 uniform of the Royal Air Force and his RAF wings, showing he is a qualified RAF pilot.
As always, the final person to enter an event is HM.
The Dean of Westminster, the very Reverend Dr. John Hall, the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and the Queen ready to head up the aisle.
More than 2200 people attended the service. At the podium in this photo, Wing Commander Nikki Thomas, the first ever female RAF Tornado bomber squadron commander. She read the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee Jr., “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.”
More on the service from an ITV story:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressed the congregation and said the RAF has in its first 100 years been a decisive factor in serving the country, as well as being key in protecting democracy and freedom.
With an RAF ensign draped over the high altar behind him in the abbey, Mr Welby also highlighted how members of his own family have served and been killed in the RAF – drawing attention to his own father who flew low level sorties in Burma.
Following the service, the Queen presented a new flag to the regiment, a ceremony known as the Presentation of Colours.
You see many of the other royals in attendance.
HM delivered remarks, saying, “I remember the Battle of Britain being fought in the skies above us, and we shall never forget the courage and sacrifice of that time.”
The RAF was a new branch of the British military when it was formed in 1918. The Royal Naval Air Service was merged with the Royal Flying Corps to create the new entity. The Queen spoke about her father, George VI; he was the first member of the Royal Family to qualify as a Royal Air Force pilot.
The Royal Air Force Pipes and Drums taking part in the parade after the service and ceremony.
Crowds lined the streets to watch the parade and flyby.
Another view from above.
You can see a number of London landmarks in this picture.
The Red Arrows leave their mark on the sky.
And a video of the jets as they flew over the Palace.
What a sight! The #RAF100 flypast received a rapturous welcome on Horse Guards Parade. It’s been a privilege to witness today’s centenary celebrations for our sister service. @BritishArmy @RoyalAirForce pic.twitter.com/HE3mFckv8H
— The Army in London (@ArmyInLondon) July 10, 2018
In the afternoon there was a reception at Buckingham Palace for RAF veterans, active duty staff, and their families. Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence meeting personnel from the RAF’s Emergency Response Team.
The Duke is clearly in his element at events like this one.
Sophie and Edward spent time at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths STEM tent at the reception.
The Duke of Kent as he arrived at the reception.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Charles speaking with a vet who looks like he *might* have served in WWII.
Now for what Kate wore.
Many will recognize the piece, as it is almost identical to two other Alexander McQueen designs the Duchess has worn. Most recently the Duchess wore the style in a very (very) pale yellow to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Originally we saw Kate wearing the style to Charlotte’s christening.
She brought the dress back for Trooping the Colour in 2016, and again for a Battle of Passchendaele centenary service in Belgium in July 2017.
Today the Duchess debuted a new hat by Sean Barrett.
Mr. Barrett is a milliner specializing in chapeaux for the dramatic arts, designing primarily for television and film. His IMDB listing shows credits for TV programs like The Crown and Downton Abbey, and films ranging from Mary Poppins Returns to Evita.
Kate wore the diamond drops on loan from HM we have seen previously.
And the RAF Air Cadets Dacre brooch.
Set with diamonds, rubies and other gemstones, the Duchess first wore the brooch in February 2016 at a church service honoring the 75th anniversary of the Royal Air Force Cadets, of which she is the patron.
Kate carried a new clutch that I haven’t yet identified.
She wore her Gianvito Rossi suede heels in the praline colorway.
There are some terrific videos related to the anniversary. This one offers a 1:50 overview of the day’s events.
An INSPIRATIONAL day! This roundup video makes you feel proud to Serve or even be a part of the RAF family. We are excited to see your photos and videos (use #RAF100). We’re looking forward to Air Power Conference 2018 tomorrow and @airtattoo & @FIAFarnborough. #APC18 #RAF100 pic.twitter.com/GbC0TvxzW9
— Royal Air Force (@RoyalAirForce) July 10, 2018
- Learn more about the RAF Centenary at the RAF 100 official website here; the RAF website is here; its Facebook page is here, the organization’s Instagram page is here and Twitter feed here
- Read about the RAF 100 Appeal, a fundraising effort that will benefit four major RAF charities:
- The Guardian and The Observer news stories about the new service as published in 1918 may be read here
- The entire text of the Queen’s speech may be seen here