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The Duchess in Eponine London for Festival of Remembrance

The Duchess of Cambridge brought back a dress by Eponine London for tonight’s Festival of Remembrance

The Royal British Legion’s annual event is held at Royal Albert Hall, lit up in red for the night. 

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arriving.  On the right, Lt. General James Bashall CB, CBE, president of the Legion.  

The Earl and Countess of Wessex as they arrived.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

The full roster of royals attending included: the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; the Earl and Countess of Wessex; Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent; Princess Alexandra; Prince and Princess Michael.

Last year there wasn’t an audience at the Festival, which was pre-taped for broadcast.  The Queen did not attend tonight’s event. Below, HM at the 2019 Festival of Remembrance.

More from this People article

Missing from the event was Queen Elizabeth. The monarch, 95, has canceled several engagements after being hospitalized on Oct. 20 and subsequently told to rest by doctors. However, she plans to attend Sunday’s service at the Cenotaph war memorial.

Below, the Duke and Duchess before tonight’s program started.

This year’s event marks the centenary of the Royal British Legion and also commemorates 100 years of the poppy as the symbol of remembrance.  Tony-award-winning singer Alfie Boe opened the program singing a Take That song, “Greatest Day,” with the Tri-Service Display Bands. (I’m hoping to find a photo of this; there is a video link at the end of the post.) 

The Royal Marines’ Drummers followed Mr. Boe.

Grammy-award-winning jazz singer Gregory Porter sang “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”

The Chelsea Pensioners entered the hall to the sounds of “The Boys of the Old Brigade.”

The program featured military personnel who served in Afghanistan and the Gulf War and reflected on the different ways the charity has supported the Armed Forces community.

It also paid tribute to currently serving members of the Armed Forces who were deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Pitting.

Tony, Grammy, and Emmy-award winner Cynthia Erivo sang, “You’re Not Here.”

Musical theater star Ramin Karimloo performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” 

100 Legion staff members and volunteers took part in tonight’s program.

Actor/singer/Songwriter Alexandra Burke performed “Abide with Me.” 

Silence fell in Royal Albert Hall as the Last Post was played. 

And poppies fell as a two-minute silence was observed.

The program wrapped up with three cheers for The Queen, seen in this video shared by Royal Central

Now we make the hard turn to our look at what Kate wore this evening.

Her dress by Eponine London was first worn in February 2020 for the premiere of the musical, Dear Evan Hansen. 

These images from 2020 offer a good view of the dress.

From Eponine’s AW ’18 collection, the design is crafted of black bouclé material. It features a fitted bodice with rhinestone or crystal buttons, an oversized collar, elbow-length sleeves, and a pleated, full skirt.  Here you have a closer view of the dress and material. In the upper right photo, you can see the original garment had smaller buttons.

With thanks to Lauren for the ID, it looks like the Duchess was wearing the Three Poppies Crystal Gold-Plated Brooch (£44.99, about $60 at today’s exchange rate).  The Duchess also wore the Collingwood diamond and pearl drop earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales, and Diana’s three-strand pearl bracelet.

Thank you also to Natasha and Caroline for emailing and messaging about the poppy ID. 

She carried her Black Velvet Crystal Embellished Box Clutch by Alexander McQueen.

As far as the designs worn by some of the other royal women in attendance, the Countess of Wessex wore the Max Mara Elegante Laringe Dress ($1890) and carried Elie Saab’s Sequin Box Clutch, per UFO No More.

I will add more photos and performance videos as I find them online. 


This is a one-minute piece from the Legion. 

This video shows the May wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph, marking the anniversary of the Legion’s formation. 

Here is Ramin Karimloo singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” 

 Alfie Boe performing “Greatest Day.” 

NOTE: I’m not sure how long these videos will be up. I had a link to Gregory Porter’s performance, and that video is now gone from YouTube.  


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Friday 19th of November 2021

I love this look; entirely appropriate for this somber occasion - understated and elegant, but not "showy". I love her hair and jewelry. I always love the interactions between the Duchess and Prince Charles, their affection for one another is very evident.


Wednesday 17th of November 2021

I have been cogitating on the outfit for this engagement hence my belated contribution. Marguerite (14 Nov) mentioned a ‘New Look’ feel to this outfit. I sort of see what she means but having just had a look at a whole lot of those 1940s/50s images online I feel this dress would benefit by being shorter to embrace/bringing that allusion to the fore. The tweed with its subtle suggestion of glitter or sparkle is lovely (as are the crystal buttons to bring it to life) but I think it looks awfully heavy for that awkward length, not helped by the slightly fuller pleating in the skirt, especially with the delicate stiletto heel. I think that is what slightly jars at the first wearing: the silver shoes look much too ‘lightweight’ with the solid length of the skirt. A good 6 or 7 inches off would be better to balance out.

Is this length not called ballerina? It needs a slightly fuller skirt - I think we have seen Catherine in one or two red dresses in this length with fuller skirts and she looked so much better.


Tuesday 16th of November 2021

Perfect choice for the serious and somber event.


Tuesday 16th of November 2021

In a few of the pictures it looked like her hair was shoulder length. I got excited as it looked great and would be a nice change.


Monday 15th of November 2021

Kate knows how to dial it down when she needs to, which is one thing I love about her. I like, not love, this dress.

But I love catching glimpses of her interacting with Prince Charles. It is apparent that he has adores his daughter-in-law; really has gained a daughter, and she seems to return the affection. So touching!

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