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The Duchess Wears Alexander McQueen for Historic Remembrance Sunday

The Duchess of Cambridge wore Alexander McQueen for today’s historic Remembrance Sunday ceremonies.

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen, and the Duchess of Cambridge watched the ceremony in Whitehall.

This year’s service marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending hostilities in the First World War. Below, the scene in London 100 years ago.

Topical Press Agency/Getty-Images

I am often asked where the balconies are that you see people standing on to watch the service. It is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall. The blue arrows on the image below show you where Sophie Wessex is (left arrow); HM, Camilla and Kate are beneath the center arrow; on the right, the Duchess of Sussex is with Elke Büdenbender, wife of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the President of Germany.

After heavy rain earlier in the morning the skies cleared. The Evening Standard reports: “Big Ben sounded 11 times when the clock struck 11am as the nation honoured the Armistice centenary and also remembered all those who have lost their lives in conflict.”

The Armistice decreed that hostilities would cease at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

More from The Evening Standard.

Charles laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of his mother the Queen for the second year in a row while an equerry placed a wreath at the foot of the Cenotaph on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh.

For the first time ever he was joined the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, marking a historic act of reconciliation between the two nations.

Another view of HM with Camilla and Kate.

From the left, you see Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and Prince William as they step forward with their wreaths. Unseen, Prince Edward; the four presented their wreaths together.

A police officer bows his head.

A wreath is laid on behalf of blind veterans.

On the Thames a flotilla carried wreaths.

This year there was an additional element of the ceremony today. Sky TV’s story has more:

Thousands of people marched past the Cenotaph in central London to pay their own respects to the soldiers who fought in the First World War.

For the first time, after the Royal Family and Commonwealth representatives laid their wreaths, 10,000 people were able to walk past the memorial and lay their own tributes, remembering loved ones lost in the war.

The “People’s Procession” was intended as a national “thank you” to the fallen military personnel.

The day was marked around the world.  In Fort William, Scotland.

At the St. Symphorien Military Cemetery in Belgium, where homage was paid to the last Canadian soldier to fall before the Armistice was signed. 

In Canberra, Australia, at the War Memorial.

Where the Wall of Remembrance is covered in poppies.

Including a handmade tribute.

At the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in Klagenfurt, Austria.

In Auckland, where a Field of Remembrance honors New Zealand’s war dead.

At the Tower of London, where every night for the past week, Beyond the Deepening Shadows: The Tower Remembers has showcased 10,000 individual flames lit by a team of Beefeaters and volunteers.

At Hamid Karzai Airport in Afghanistan.

In Scotland, current and former members took part in the Commando Memorial Service in Spean Bridge, Scotland.

Today’s service looked remarkable on tv and online, I can only imagine what it must have been like in person.

After the wreath laying, active and former service personnel proceed past the Cenotaph.

Roughly 88,000 ex-Service and Civilian Associations marched down Whitehall.

These are some of their faces.

Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s ceremony.

The Duchess was in a bespoke piece from Alexander McQueen, a design with multiple military uniform references. The jacket combines elements from many McQueen styles, including the two shown below. You see the body of the jacket and waistband’s similarity to those on the Military Jacket, while the collar and epaulets are like those seen on the Military Jacket with Lace Inserts shown on the right.

Many thanks to the ever-fashionable Jane of From Berkshire to Buckingham and the always-savvy Heaven for their ID work on this piece!

Kate was ina new chapeau this morning. It looks like a custom version of the Abney style (£795) by Lock and Company.

Our thanks to Michelle of Perths Fashions for her info on the McQueen military jackets, as well as her speedy ID of Kate’s hat!

The Duchess wore the Women of the First World War poppy we have seen previously.

The poppy has been sold out, but the piece is available for pre-ordering from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.

Kate brought back the Cassandra Goad earrings first seen at the christening of Prince Louis, the Cavolfiore Pearl Studs style (from £4360).

The Duchess wore her hair up.

Kate has on black gloves today, but I’ve not yet seen a photo that is lit well enough to show distinguishing design elements that would help identify them.

A reminder that we’ll see you tonight as the Day of Remembrance ends with a special service at Westminster Abbey, “to give thanks for peace and those who returned.”

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Wednesday 12th of December 2018

I'm coming back to this post to comment because I finally put my finger on why I think this hat works. (I noticed that some commenters really liked it while others thought it discordant.) With the strong military-uniform inspiration on the McQueen coat, I kept asking myself - why that hat? And I've got it: the hat visually echoes the iconic felt "slouch hat" of the Australian infantry from the uniforms of WW1. (The hat is still a component of the modern uniform, but more sturdy now, as you can see from the picture in the post of the service in Canberra, Australia.) I can't say it was Kate's intention to pair this hat specifically for its soldier-adjacent style with the McQueen coat, but I think I have decided I love the idea and will maintain it as my "head-cannon". As others have noted, a more military millinery creation (like a beret) would have strayed into distinct "costume" territory. But this design strikes just the right balance, combining a basic military silhouette with fashionable and feminine styling.

For visual reference and more details on the Australia infantry uniform:


Friday 16th of November 2018

I think it’s one of my top coats Kate it a Coat? I know the comparisons are short, but I am curious how the rest of it fell? Why didn’t She wear that to the service afterwards instead of her Saint Patrick’s coat?(not a fan) it would have been nice for her to change it up a little. Any chance we can get more details on what went in with the bottom half? Thank you WKW for all you do!


Friday 16th of November 2018

We don't have any way of being certain it was a coat, but I can't imagine her wearing a jacket for this event, even if it was part of a suit. :)


Wednesday 14th of November 2018

I like the coat and think that the military styling is perfect for this event, but I think this is one of those items that might only look good at this event, as it might look too costumey for most other engagements. I like the hat but not with this coat. I think a beret or the black version of her "betty boop" hat would be better.

I despise those earrings. They look like cheap costume jewelry I could buy at Claires. I cannot beleive the pricetag on them. This is one of those times that nice-sized diamond studs would be perfect IMO.


Tuesday 13th of November 2018

Channeling Diana again--a very bandboxy, 80s look. Not my favorite vibe, but I maintain that the DoC does Diana better than Diana herself every did. Sorry if that's sacrilege. The updo is wonderful; delighted to see some variety in the updos again.

Ava Pittman

Monday 12th of November 2018

Whether you like this look or not, it is terrific to see the Duchess wearing something so completely different for her and not in the safe mode. Good on her. She looks well groomed and she has nailed it!

sue d

Tuesday 13th of November 2018

200 percent perfection. A different look and she carries it off with seriousness and aplomb!


Monday 12th of November 2018

Agree 100%. My jaw dropped in awe when I saw the top photograph. This is an appropriate outfit for the occasion and very unexpected. Bravo!

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