The Duchess wore a military-inspired Catherine Walker design for Remembrance Sunday.
The Queen and senior members of the Royal Family were at The Cenotaph in London for a particularly somber service. For the first time, the public was not allowed to attend the service.
Below, HM with her Lady in Waiting, Suzy (Mrs. Simon Rhodes). Alastair Bruce reports, “She is daughter-in-law of the late Hon Mrs (Margaret) Rhodes, Her Majesty’s first cousin & wartime friend because she lived at Buckingham Palace while serving in Intelligence.”
About 150 personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force took part in the ceremony.
More from Sky News:
Last year, more than 1,000 military personnel took part in commemorations in Whitehall in central London – this year, it was fewer than 150. Where ordinarily 10,000 veterans would usually gather, just 26 former service men and women marked the occasion.
The war memorial was dedicated 100 years ago.
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Sir Timothy Laurence (a former Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy and Princess Anne’s husband) and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
A wide shot of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development building this morning.
And a reminder of last year’s event, long before any of us thought about the phrase ‘social distancing.’
At 11am a gun was fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and a two-minute silence began.
After the silence was observed, wreaths were laid.
Prince Charles laid a wreath on behalf of his mother.
The Telegraph reports, “The Queen’s simple message on her wreath said, “In memory of the glorious dead,” echoing the words on the Cenotaph, while Charles’ handwritten note said, “In everlasting remembrance.” An equerry laid a wreath for Prince Philip, who has not attended the service since 2017.
Princess Anne laid a wreath in honor of the Women’s Royal Navy Service.
The Earl of Wessex.
The Duke of Kent.
Elected officials and former officeholders included (from left to right): Labour Party head Sir Keir Starmer, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister Theresa May.
This image from photographer Arthur Edwards shows the limited number of people involved in today’s ceremony.
The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, and Countess of Wessex.
Remembrance events were held throughout the UK. Below, a wreath is laid at the Commando Memorial in Lochaber, Scotland.
Ray Smith, age 96, was in the Royal Navy and served aboard HMS Middleton. He took part in the D-Day invasion. Today he marked the two-minute silence outside his home in Northampton, central England.
There was a virtual service at the National Memorial Arboretum.
The Prince of Wales also laid a wreath at The Welsh Guards’ Memorial this afternoon. He is Colonel of the Welsh Guards.
Now for our look at what the Duchess wore for today’s ceremony.
She was in a military-inspired look that was originally reported to be by Alexander McQueen. Several of us thought it looked more like a Catherine Walker piece. The garment is a fitted piece with a high mandarin collar, angled braided embellishment at the waist, epaulets, flared sleeves at the wrist, and silver buttons. A closer look at the trim, fringe, and cuff.
One of the primary reasons it looked like a Catherine Walker design: the bodice design and construction. More specifically, the vertical seams. Those on today’s garment are much like those on a few other Catherine Walker designs, including some Kate has worn. Below left, you see the Duchess in the green Catherine Walker coatdress first seen at engagements in Canberra during the 2014 tour and worn again to the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016. In the center and on the right, the Bea and Double Bea dresses.
The Double Bea is described as “Military precise shoulders meet a soft volcano neck and double-layered skater skirt in peony pink.” Here is how the seams look in a digitally enhanced photo.
I don’t want to show a zoomed-in photo of the Duchess’s bodice, but the seams of today’s garment are identical to those on the Double Bea and Bea dresses, as well as her green coatdress.
I have not yet heard back from the company’s PR firm with confirmation it is one of their designs. Middleton Maven reports she was told by the company it was their piece. I very much think it is by Catherine Walker but will wait for definitive confirmation before stating unequivocally it is from the label. UPDATE NOV 11: Catherine Walker tells me the piece is one of their designs.
Kate’s hat is by Philip Treacy. Here you have a closer look at it as well as her updo.
And alongside a photo of the piece at Philip Treacy.
HM wore her usual five poppies, and the Duchess wore the three we usually see her wear.
To the best of my knowledge, there has never been official confirmation from Buckingham Palace or Kensington Palace about the reasons why certain royals wear a specific number of poppies. More from this Hello! story:
While Buckingham Palace has never confirmed the reason for the monarch’s preference, it is thought that the Queen’s five poppies represent each service in the war: the Army, the Navy, the RAF, the Civil Defence and women.
Kate’s great-grandmother had three brothers who were killed in action during the First World War and the Duchess viewed letters from her ancestors during a poignant visit to the Imperial War Museum in 2018. However, the reason for Kate wearing multiple poppies has never been confirmed by the palace.
For those curious about the Queen’s brooch, it is the Dorset Bow Brooch, originally a wedding gift to Queen Mary from the county of Dorset.
As she was leaving the service, the Duchess wore a black face mask.
Embed from Getty Images
It is the black Plumetti style (£15) by Amaia’s Kids, a departure from the bright Liberty of London prints she usually wears. (I digitally lightened the photo on the right so you can see the texture of the fabric.)
The Duchess had a handbag, but I haven’t seen photos offering a good enough look at it to make any determination about the designer. Nor do I have a photo that shows the gloves well enough to determine the maker.
The style is made by the firm in Sussex of Australian merino wool.
Kate also wore the Queen’s diamond/pearl Jubilee earrings.
Last night’s Festival of Remembrance was also a much different event this year. More from The Telegraph:
In a normal year the Festival of Remembrance gains much of its emotional power from the sheer numbers involved. One feels overwhelmed by the crowds of soldiers of every age and regiment, all gathered with their families.
All of that has been banished by the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first and one fervently hopes last time, the Royal British Legion has had to mount a socially-distanced Festival of Remembrance.
Here is a clip from last night’s broadcast of Ramin Karimloo singing I Vow to Thee, My Country.
— BBC Studios Events (@BBCStudiosLive) November 7, 2020
And the conclusion of the program.
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) November 7, 2020
In Thursday’s post, I wrote about the Queen’s engagement at Westminster Abbey the day before (Wednesday, November 4), her first London engagement since the lockdown. I thought her visit was related to a special service at the Abbey this Wednesday. The Armistice Day service marks the centenary of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It looks like that was the case; this morning, the Royal Family released a photo of HM at the Tomb.
I believe we may see the Cambridges at Wednesday’s 11am service.
This Daily Telegraph video runs more than an hour.
The Royal Family Channel has roughly 10 minute of coverage here.
- A Sunday Telegraph piece is here; the BBC’s coverage is here; a Daily Mail story is here; a Daily Mirror piece is here; The Guardian’s coverage is here; a Sky News article is here
- Simon Perry’s People article is here; Danielle Stacey’s Hello story is here; Victoria Murphy’s Town and Country piece is here