The Duchess wore a new Catherine Walker coat dress for this year’s Order of the Garter events.
It was a sunny day in Windsor for the annual ceremonies.
This year we had a special treat, as Spain’s King Felipe VI and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands were formally installed and joined by their wives, Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands. From L to R: Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Queen Letizia of Spain; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Queen Máxima of The Netherlands; the Duchess of Cambridge.
As explained by the Palace on Twitter, “700 years ago…King Edward III was inspired by tales of King Arthur and the chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table that he set up his own group of honourable knights, called the Order of the Garter.” Below, Prince William and Prince Charles in their velvet robes and plumed hats as they walk to St. George’s Chapel.
Queen Letizia and the Countess of Wessex.
More from the Royal Family Twitter: “St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle is the spiritual home of the Order. Knights have their own stall, with the bearer’s banner, crest, helmet & sword displayed above, reminiscent of the Order’s chivalric origins. These items are removed upon death, but the stall plate remains.” Below, the interior of the Chapel and Winston Churchill’s plate.
HM is Sovereign of the Garter, and appointments are made solely by her; she does not need to consult with anyone before appointing a new member(s). However, membership is limited to 24, not counting HM and Prince Charles. Here you see the Queen in 1948, then Princess Elizabeth, as she walked in the procession to mark the 600th anniversary of the Order’s founding.
1948 was the year when she and the Duke of Edinburgh were formally installed. Below, HM arriving at the chapel today. (She no longer walks in the procession to the chapel.)
Queen Letizia, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duchess of Cambridge.
In his People story Simon Perry reports “The parade to St. George’s Chapel…followed a lunch in the Waterloo Chamber of the castle.” Below, from left to right: Princess Anne, the Duke of York, King Felipe VI of Spain, the Earl of Wessex, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and on the very far right, you can just see Prince Charles.
The Duchess and Queen Máxima.
Queen Letizia and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Both visiting kings were previously appointed to the Order; the Queen appointed King Felipe during the Spanish State Visit in July 2017.
King Willem-Alexander was appointed during the Netherlands State Visit in October 2018.
Both kings are Supernumerary, or ‘Stranger’ Knights, as overseas monarchs appointed to the Order are called, honorary positions not counted toward the total of 24 members. Below, King Felipe, HM, and Queen Letizia, earlier today after the formal installation. Juan Carlos of Spain, the former King, was appointed to the Order in 1988.
And King Willem-Alexander, HM, and Queen Máxima. Princess Beatrix (formerly the Queen) of The Netherlands was made a member in 1989.
This year there were also two new appointments invested in the Garter Throne Room. One is a Lady Companion, athlete Lady Mary Peters, seen below with Kate and William during the couple’s February visit to Belfast.
The Dame is known for starting the Mary Peters Trust, created “…to help aspiring young athletes, to realise their maximum potential by assisting them in both a financial and advisory capacity.”
The other is a Knight Companion, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, and a former Leader of the House of Lords and Chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation.
The Queen and the Duchess share a laugh as they watch the procession.
Below, HM and Prince Charles as they leave St. George’s Chapel. A wider shot.
After the service in the chapel, there is a carriage ride back up the hill to the state apartments at Windsor Castle.
A curtsy from the Duchess as the Queen’s carriage passes.
The King and Queen of Spain rode with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The King and Duke of Cambridge.Another view.
One more look.
A wave from Queen Máxima. The King and Queen of the Netherlands were accompanied in the carriage by The Duke of York.
Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, rode with the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Now for our look at what many of the royal women wore for today’s events.
We will start with HM, who wore a Stewart Parvin gown beneath her ceremonial robe.
UPDATE: Thank you to Nancy for a heads-up the info had changed on the Queen’s look. It turns out Buckingham Palace issued a correction to its initial release saying the piece was by Angela Kelly, updating reporters with information the gown was a Stewart Parvin design.
Now to the Duchess, who was in a Catherine Walker coat dress.
It is the Liza style, described by the brand as “A contemporary take on a ’50’s look, this coatdress in ivory wool crepe has copped jacket ‘panels’ edged in fine black lace.” It features one of Kate’s favorite silhouettes, a fit and flare cut, with an oversized collar, button front, the distinctive black trim, and self-covered buttons.
Our thanks to Laura for her ID of the piece.
The Duchess brought back her Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Co. hat, the Lion Tamer ‘perching’ style.
The product description reads, “…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.” It is one of my favorite hats that Kate has worn. We first saw the piece at Trooping the Colour in 2011 (l), as well as a wedding in June of 2011 (c), and at Battle of the Somme commemorative events in July 2016 (r).
The Duchess carried her ‘Muse’ clutch by Stuart Weitzman, a piece we’ve not seen for some time.
The Muse was carried at Russell and Bromley, called the ‘Raz’ in the USA. The updated version of the bag is the ‘Volley’ style at Russell and Bromley.
We also saw the return of the Prada wavy cut-out pumps.
Kate’s hair was worn up today.
And the Collingwood diamond and pearl drop earrings.
The Duchess of Cornwall wore a pale pink Anna Valentine dress coat and Philip Treacy hat.
Queen Letizia was in a dress and hat by Cherubina, a Spanish brand. She wore the label’s Didi dress (€280, about $315 at today’s exchange rates), a midi style in twill fabric with puffed sleeves and button detailing at the shoulder.
She accessorized with the Cherubina Black Peony headband (€240, roughly $270).
The Queen wore stunning diamond earrings. They are from the Joyas de Pasar group of jewels that once belonged to Queen Victoria Eugenia, and designated per her will to be passed on from queen to queen.
Queen Máxima was in a dress by Amsterdam-based Claes Iversen.
The piece is from the designer’s SS2018 couture collection.
Many thanks to Josine Droogendijk of the Mode Koningin Maxima (Queen Máxima Fashion) blog.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore a Suzannah dress and Jane Taylor hat.
A closer look at her earrings and handbag.
Today also marks the start of Children’s Hospice Week in the UK.
The theme of this year’s activities is “Moments that Matter.” The Duchess has done a letter in support of the special week.
From the letter:
Children’s hospices provide vital sanctuaries for those experiencing the very toughest of times. They help families and carers build life long memories that are poignant, happy and often filled with laughter. Throughout the week we will hear amazing stories from families facing the toughest of futures. I hope that they will inspire each and every one of us to similarly make the most of the time we have with our own families, by ensuring every moment matters and that we create memories that last forever.
We’ll leave you with this lovely shot of the Duchess from Mark Stewart.
This 1:05 video is terrific; it is from the 1948 Order of the Garter.
This Royal Family Channel piece runs about 5:30.
- Learn more about UK Children’s Hospice Week here; visit the Together for Short Lives Facebook page here; the group’s Twitter feed is here
- Kate’s original patronage in this area was with EACH, East Anglia Children’s Hospices; visit the EACH website here, follow EACH on Facebook here, or here on Twitter
- The Daily Mail’s coverage is here; Simon Perry’s People magazine story is here; The Daily Mirror’s article is here; The Express has a piece here;
- Hello! has a gallery here; a PopSugar gallery is here; a British Vogue piece is here