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It’s Red Alexander McQueen for St. David’s Day with the Welsh Guards

It’s Red Alexander McQueen for St. David’s Day with the Welsh Guards

The Princess of Wales chose a red and black ensemble as she and Prince William marked St. David’s Day at the Welsh Guards.

This was the Prince’s first visit with the Guards since he was named Colonel of the Regiment, a role previously filled by his father.

Today’s ceremony was at Combermere Barracks in Windsor. As is tradition, leeks were handed out. Below, the Prince with a member of the 5th Royal Australian Regiment. That Regiment is in the UK helping to train Ukrainian troops.

More from the BBC’s coverage

Major Gregory Sergeant, from the Royal Australian regiment, was presented with a leek by the Prince of Wales.

He said William “asked me how the trip is going for me” and added: “It was humbling, I have never met a royal before.”

The Princess as she received her leek.

Forces News reports, “Welsh Guards Captain Michael Parry presented the Princess of Wales with her very own leek before miniature handmade leeks were given to the watching families on the parade ground.”

More about the leek as a Welsh symbol from the Welsh government.

Before there was the daffodil, there was the humble leek. This root vegetable is so well established as part of Welsh culture that wearing a leek to signify you come from Wales is noted as an ‘ancient tradition’ in William Shakespeare’s Henry V, first performed in the 16th century.

Legends claim that the 7th century king of Gwynedd, Cadwaladr, ordered his men to strap a leek to their armour to help easily distinguish them from the enemy in the heat of battle, a tale that perhaps inspired the Tudor royal household (who were of Welsh origin) to instruct their guards to wear leeks on St David’s Day, cementing the practice.

The Princess then distributed leeks to others at the ceremony. 

Thoughts on the day’s significance via the Guards’ Facebook page.

As we celebrated this special day, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on why St David’s Day is so important to the people of Wales. St David, or Dewi Sant in Welsh, is the patron Saint of Wales and his day is celebrated annually on March 1st. The tradition of celebrating St David’s Day goes back many centuries, and it’s an important day for the people of Wales to celebrate their Welsh heritage and culture.

The Princess was presented with flowers by Elis-Haf Cunningham, whose father serves in the Guards. 

The 7-year-old was in traditional Welsh dress. More from Rebecca English’s MailPlus piece.

Her mother Krystal Cunningham, 59, said her daughter would remember the moment for the rest of her life.

‘It was a very proud moment,’ she added. ‘She absolutely loves the Royal Family but has only ever seen Kate on TV. It was a big moment for her.’

One of today’s funny faces from the Princess. 

The Prince of Wales delivered remarks at today’s event. 

From his remarks.

I am both honoured and delighted to be standing here in front of you today as your new Colonel. At the same time, I’m sorry that my father couldn’t be here with us here today to say farewell, but I know he would talk of his fierce pride and admiration for you all, and of his own sadness to be moving on from an appointment he held so dear since 1975

Then it was time to get set for an official photo.

One of the group images.

This was followed by a reception. 

On its Facebook page, the Regiment wrote: “Both The Prince and Princess of Wales took the time to speak with Guardsmen and their families, making it a truly memorable day for all involved.”

One of the day’s highlights: the Princess watching 9-year-old Thomas Lucas as he does a backflip. 

More from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail piece.  

She asked his parents ‘who he gets his back-flipping talents from’ and Thomas responded that he had taught himself.

Kate – who had referred to it as dancing – said ‘not dancing sorry – I need to learn all this lingo I’m not very good at it’.

Speaking after the parade, Thomas’ father, Sergeant Gareth Lucas, joked that it was typical behaviour for his son, calling him ‘non-stop’.

Ms. English shared a video of the youngster 

The Princess gave Thomas a hand.

We return to the Daily Mail article.

The nine-year-old said it was ‘actually quite nerve-wracking because I didn’t really land it,’ but added that the Princess was ‘impressed’.

He then demonstrated it again, as the princess stood behind him, for the benefit of the cameras.

There was also music today. 

From Simon Perry’s People story

Before the soldiers were dismissed, the band led a rendition of the Welsh national anthem — which Princess Kate sung in Welsh — followed by “God Save The King” followed by a hearty three cheers for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Now we look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement.

The Princess chose a vibrant red coat by Alexander McQueen. The Slim Fit Wool Coat features a double-breasted design with padded shoulders, peak lapels, flap pockets at the hip and a chest welt pocket. The off-the-rack version of the coat has an asymmetrical hem, a feature eliminated in the Princess’s coat.

You get a sense of the fullness in the skirt in this photo as the Princess is seated. The off-the-rack design is available in limited sizes at Cettire ($2513), as well as My Theresa ($4590), and Farfetch ($4590).

In looking at glimpses of the dress worn beneath the coat, Middleton Maven suggests the Ghost Rose Midi Dress (£149) as a possibility.

We won’t know until we see the dress worn without the coat, but the Ghost design is a good call. It has the same banding at the wrist with a keyhole opening, a full skirt, and the color looks like a good match. UPDATE JUNE 24 2023: It looks like this could have been an Alexander McQueen dress worn by the Princess of Wales for Royal Ascot in June. (Photo below.)

The Princess wore her hair in an elaborate updo.

She accessorized with a hat by milliner Juliette Botterill (£570, about $685 at today’s exchange rates) crafted in peachbloom felt; a high-end material milliners use that has a soft, velvet-like feel. The style is trimmed with a bow and two arrow feathers.

If you are in the UK, the hat can be rented via the Cotswold Hat Club, with thanks to Caroline for that tip. Thank you to UFO No More for this ID. 

We saw the return of the Mulberry Amberley Crossbody Bag carried yesterday in Wales. 

And the Gianvito Rossi boots. 

The Princess wore gloves by Serbian designer Evica Milovanov Penezić.

Some recognized them right away, although their most notable outing was more than seventeen years ago when they were worn for Prince William’s 2006 passing out parade at Sandhurst Military Academy.

We learn more about the glovemaker from a 2012 Woman with Drive piece

Evica’s big breakthrough came in December 2006 when a pair of her gloves were worn by Kate Middleton at Prince William’s passing-out parade at Sandhurst.

Evica practically reinvented the ancient craft of glove-making using traditional techniques. Skilled craftswomen work individually, cutting each pair of Evica gloves from a single piece of leather and stitching them by hand. The process is so meticulous and Evica has such attention to detail, she uses a magnifying glass to ensure quality control.

Here are a few examples of other work by the glove designer and artist via the Evica Gloves Facebook page

The Princess wore a leek brooch today. It is similar to a brooch worn by the late Queen and another won by the Queen Consort.

In this montage, you can see the way the brooch reflects the Regiment’s cap badge.

The Princess brought back her Daisy Heritage Earrings by Asprey that were first seen during the 2020 Ireland visit.

There are reports the Prince and Princess will meet with Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit tomorrow. The couple is in London for a three-day visit.  


This Evening Standard video runs about one-minute. 

 The Royal Family Channel has almost four minutes of coverage in this video. 


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Saturday 11th of March 2023

Stunning!!!! Actually beyond stunning!!!!! Beautiful updo, coat is sophisticated and very flattering.


Friday 10th of March 2023



Thursday 9th of March 2023

I feel so dumb for asking but: are we saying that the black peeking from under the red McQueen coat is the Ghost dress? Or is that a scarf? I can't figure out what the black cloth around her neck is.


Thursday 9th of March 2023

I think she is wearing a red dress with a long wrap or scarf. 😊


Saturday 4th of March 2023

.. love that shot of Catherine sitting amongst the regiment-- (those charcoal grey coats with the shiny brass buttons are easy on the eyes!) and how she & Sarah Burton McQueen (-: have exactly-matched the dashingly shocking (!) RED-surprise of the military coat linings..

(not important! but why is William the only one in that photograph with no leek?!)

hmm.. I wonder if 2023 will be The Year Of The Flirty, quietlydramatic Black Gloves! yay for these.. made me smile--

the photos of the up-do from the back look luscious- !

and slightly off topic.. the white lace framing the little girl's face, from inside her bonnet! irresistible..

Caroline A.

Monday 6th of March 2023

@Deliane, See my later comments about the leeks :-)

Caroline A.


Monday 6th of March 2023

@Caroline A., Fascinating!


Sunday 5th of March 2023

@Deliane, wow, now I so want to watch the BBC Daniel Deronda! Downton Abbey was Heavenly to watch. And I looked up that red suit you mentioned, that Catherine previously wore - that red is GORGEOUS. SO BRIGHT!!!


Sunday 5th of March 2023

@Deliane, I also love the white lace framing the little girl's precious face as age proudly wears her bonnet and clothes of Wales!

Caroline A.

Sunday 5th of March 2023

@Deliane, I did a bit of research and this caused me to look closer at the group photo. Prince William is in fact wearing a leek; it is pinned to his cap. I found the following article about Prince Philip’s time as Colonel of the Welsh Guards. In it there’s a photo of Prince Philip having a leek pinned to his cap when he was in uniform during the St David’s Day celebrations. In the second link below there’s a photo of Prince Charles wearing a leek pinned to his cap on St David’s Day too. So I surmised that the Colonel of the Welsh Guards wears his leek on his cap. This ties in with the origins of the leek-wearing by the Welsh Guards when leeks were worn on helmets - see third link below. I don’t know why the Colonel of the Welsh Guards is the only person wearing the leek on his cap though, but there will be a reason for it - there’s a reason for every minute detail of protocol in the military.

Caroline A.

Lisa Marchefka Moran

Saturday 4th of March 2023

Are you going to cover the clothing that POW wore when they had an engagement with CP Hakkon and CP Mette-Marrit? Just curious?


Saturday 4th of March 2023

Yes, I hope to have a post up on Monday.

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