Skip to Content

The Duchess Wears Catherine Walker for Engagement with The Queen

The Duchess wore Catherine Walker as she joined HM at King’s College London today.

They were at KCL for the opening of Bush House, the newest education and learning facility on the campus. 

Her Majesty is Patron of King’s College London. Below, the Duchess is greeted by former Prime Minister Sir John Major.

The pair toured the new facilities and met people who supported the development.

They spent time on one of two Roof Terraces. 

As you can see, the location offers a terrific view of London.

A lighthearted moment. 

The pair watched a robotics demonstration.

They also saw a demonstration showing how sensors made from textiles can measure useful information about the body. Below, Kate speaking with students.

HM and the Duchess as they started to wrap up the visit. 

The Queen unveiled a plaque marking today’s visit.

The Queen and Duchess as they left King’s College.

Technically, this is Kate’s first official public engagement with HM where it is just the two of them. Previously she joined The Queen at Buckingham Palace for a preview of the way her wedding ensemble would be shown to the public.Kate Middleton Queen Wedding Gown exhibit

The Duchess accompanied HM and the Duchess of Cornwall to Fortnum and Mason in March 2012.

She attended a Buckingham Palace reception with the Queen featuring the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

That was in February 2014.

The Duchess joined the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when launching the Jubilee Tour in March 2012 in Leicester.  

And she joined HM and Prince Philip for a March 2013 visit to Baker Street Station, part of London’s Underground.

So this was technically the Duchess’s first public engagement outside of the Palace with The Queen.

We have other news today: the Duchess has been named Patron of the Foundling Museum, where her second engagement was this afternoon. More on this news in a bit, but first, more about the Museum from a news release:

The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and public art gallery. The museum works with contemporary artists, writers and musicians to develop learning programmes that are meaningful for young people…

Kate during her 2017 visit to the museum.

Today the Duchess viewed the “Bedrooms of London” exhibit, described as documenting the “…living conditions of London’s most disadvantaged children.

More from The Daily Mail:

One of her guides, 20-year-old Callum, has lived in 14 different homes and told her he had selected a favourite photograph which featured a black bin liner because it represented his own experience of never feeling able to unpack his belongings.

You see Callum on the far left, below.

She met young adults who have been through the museum’s “Tracing Our Tales” program, an initiative that trains them to run creative workshops for visitors to the museum. 

On the left above, Rohima Poosch, who was part of the original group of young people who started training in 2017. More from The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness.

In discussion with Rohima Poosch, 20, who is one of the major success stories of the programme and now works at the museum, the Duchess asked how she had heard about the traineeship and how it had helped her.

“Sometimes at museums there is a feeling, particularly for young people, going into museum spaces is quite intimidating,” the Duchess said. “They don’t know it’s for them.

“But when you step inside and see the different programmes going on, they realise [it’s for them].”

Her words echo those of Britain’s arts leaders, with major institutions working for years to overcome reputations of elitism or inaccessibility to encourage young people through their doors.

In today’s class, the focus was on block-printing techniques. Below, a closeup of Kate working on a piece.

The Duchess also delivered a brief speech at the Museum.

In her remarks, she spoke about art and what it can do for individuals.

Your work connects and celebrates two subjects that are deeply important to me: children, and art.

I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives.

A video.

As we mentioned, today it was announced the Duchess is the patron for the Foundling Museum. More from a news release.

Larissa Joy, Chair of Trustees – Foundling Museum, said: ‘We are delighted and honoured that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has become Patron of the Foundling Museum. We could not imagine a more perfect Patron. We look forward to working with her as we fulfil our mission to inspire people to make positive impact on society through the arts.’

Caro Howell, Director of the Foundling Museum, said: ‘The Foundling Museum is thrilled and honoured to receive The Duchess’s patronage. Her support is a huge boost to our work transforming the lives of vulnerable young people through the arts.’

One more photo of the Duchess at the Museum.

Now for what was worn to the day’s engagements. HM was wearing a Stewart Parvin ‘Old Rose’ cashmere coat and a silk dress of ‘autumnal woodland in shades of grey fuchsia & olive,’ per Emily Andrews of The Sun.

Her hat is by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, and if speculating on HM’s gloves, I would bet on Cornelia James.

The firm is glovemaker to the Queen, holding the Royal Warrant since 1978.

The Duchess was in a new Catherine Walker dress.

NOTE: The original information from the media was that this was a “coat dress,” but now that I have had time to look at the garment, especially hi-res photos, I think it is really a dress. You can see an invisible zipper on the back in some images. (I will keep looking for one that shows it better than the images I have.)

Initially, I thought it was the same design worn to church with HM and in Leicester last year. You can see the difference between the two garments below.

It has some resemblance to the Zeline dress, at least from the belt down; the box pleats are very similar. UPDATE MAR 20: The dress is also much like the Josie design, shown lower left.  

Most specifically, the bodice, neckline and collar.

Another view of the dress as worn this afternoon. 

The buttons appear to be covered in the same velvet material as the collar, and the sleeve has a marked flare. UPDATE MAR 20: I missed it yesterday, but there is more than a simple flare at the cuff, there is a pleat providing additional material. Another new tidbit: the velvet buttons on Kate’s dress pair perfectly with the velvet buttons on HM’s coat.  

It looked like Kate carried her Bayswater clutch by Mulberry.

She wore her fairly new Gianvito Rossi ‘Piper 85’ suede pumps ($695). 

The shoe is available in a pretty good mix of sizes at My Theresa and in very limited sizes at Gianvito Rossi.

If the Duchess’s hat looks familiar, you may recall its first appearance: the 2012 Jubilee Tour visit to Leicester shown above. It is the John Lock ‘Fairy Tale’ style.  

Arguably it is Kate’s favorite chapeau, worn at least seven times when including today.

The Duchess also wore Kiki McDonough earrings. In some photos, they look like the Pink Morganite Cushion Drops (no longer available), and in others, they look like the White Topaz Cushion Drop Earrings (£1166, about $1545 at today’s exchange rates.)


This Royal Family Channel piece is focused on the Foundling Museum visit and runs about 4 minutes.

And this video covers the engagement with HM at King’s College London.


Pin It

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Wednesday 27th of March 2019

I really liked this outfit. It's very polished and still cute. Kate looked professional and let the queen shine in her brighter colors. (The Queen looked adorable, btw, and I loved her gloves.). I'm not sure why everyone has such an issue with the hat. I don't think Kate needs to have her hair perfectly coifed every time she wears a hat, especially for an engagement where she will be taking the hat off at some point. Many of her up-do's are done in such a way that they tie into a hat or tiara that she will be wearing all day. Having had my hair done in such ways there are likely many pins that you do not see because the hat covers them. Or the hair is placed in such a way that it looks correct with that hat but when you remove the hat it looks bizarre. Wearing her hair down was much easier to removed the hat in the afternoon...just toss off the hat, take out a few bobby pins and you're ready to go. Kudos to Kate and her team for thinking of logistics on this one!


Wednesday 27th of March 2019

I love the hat, but I've finally figured out what is wrong with the whole picture - it's her hair hanging loose. That makes the hat look like it doesn't work with, as if it were an afterthought. She looks best in hats when she has her hair contained in some way.


Sunday 24th of March 2019

As most people have already said, presumably a neat, understated, professional 'look' was chosen so as not to outshine HM The Queen. Overall a bit dull/samey with similar 'coat dress' styles that the Duchess has worn. As the DoC is known to re-wear, even re-work outfits, I'd like to see this one brightened with a bit of red, the belt, perhaps? Grey and red are great together and would liven the dress up no end.

sue d

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Yes it would be really outstanding if she had a bit of color with the outfit!


Friday 22nd of March 2019

Forgive me if this has been asked already. I noticed that she wore a hat for this engagement with the queen, just as she did in 2012 when she and the Queen had a joint engagement. Other than attending solemn events like memorials or church services, what determines if/when the Duchess should wear a hat? Does she wear one because the Queen wears one? Kate has worn some stunning hats, but I agree with others who feel that - in this case - the hat (or its placement) are not flattering.


Friday 22nd of March 2019

Yes, I believe if the Queen is wearing a hat and Kate is doing an engagement with her she will wear a hat. Any time Kate is at an event where HM is wearing a hat Kate has also worn a hat. One thing to keep in mind though, Kate has worn hats for years, going back to well before her marriage. The functions were primarily celebratory events, like weddings, but there were occasions when she rented a hat for an event. I think she genuinely enjoys finding just the right piece, having it made (or purchasing it as made) and then wearing it. It would make me crazy, but Kate's background is such that I think it's almost second nature for her. :)


Thursday 21st of March 2019

Her look today reminded me of Catherine's early Royal years. Such a blast from the past seeing this little beret again. I'm pleased she wore this to both events rather than change. I like Catherine's simple outfit today but I loved the Queen's colour and hat.

It was good to see Catherine with The Queen today. It's always fascinating to see the interactions and deference between The Queen and other members of The Royal Family like ensuring they walk behind her, entering rooms and their car first. But then you get cute little grandmotherly tidbits like sharing a blanket in the car!

It seems like it was a great visit from the pictures and videos. The children's bedroom exhibition and accompanying stories is very moving. I am thrilled by The Foundling Museum patronage Great fit for Catherine with its art work and I love that she is supporting a smaller, boutique museum. It's a fab little museum and it does a lot of great outreach work with young people. It's great to see the focus on children who have been in the foster care system. They are some of the most vulnerable young people in our society and are often overlooked.


Friday 22nd of March 2019

After Kate's first visit to the museum, I added it to my "must do" list the next time I am in London; seeing your comments on it just underscore that sentiment. :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.