The Princess of Wales was regal in navy as she attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today.
Kate Middleton, 41, looked elegant in a £2,000 floral Erdem jacket with a matching £1,000 skirt as she joined Prince William at the high-profile event on Monday afternoon.
The royal mother-of-three avoided a wardrobe malfunction as she arrived at the venue in London, holding onto her navy fascinator as a gust of wind tried to sweep it from her head.
Today’s service is particularly poignant to the royals, as it marks the first time that the event has taken place since the Queen’s death in September.
Last year, the late Queen did not attend – instead, asking her son Charles to represent her at the service after discussing arrangements with members of the Royal Household.
The Princess of Wales, 41, was regal in navy as she attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today
The royal mother-of-three held onto her elegant fascinator as she arrived at the service today alongside Prince William
Royal mother-of-three Kate opted for an elegant ensemble for today’s appearance.
She wore her long brunette locks swept up into an elegant updo and opted for a touch of makeup for the outing.
The Princess appeared in high spirits as she arrived at the abbey alongside her husband Prince William.
The Prince and Princess of Wales today joined King Charles and the Queen Consort, Princess Anne, and hundreds of dignitaries and schoolchildren for the annual event, which is an important date in the royal calendar.
Meanwhile the new Duchess of Edinburgh was radiant in white as she arrived alongside her husband Prince Edward.
Sophie looked stunning in a cream coat with matching accessories as she walked up the steps of the abbey today.
Today is also the first time the family have come together to celebrate the Commonwealth since Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Netflix series branded the Commonwealth as ‘Empire 2.0’.
The Commonwealth was founded in December 1931 and currently contains 54 countries. According to the Royal Family’s website, the purpose of the organisation is to ‘foster international co-operation and trade links between people all over the world’.
In the third episode of the series, writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsh – author of the 2018 memoir Brit(ish) – described the Queen’s beloved Commonwealth as being ‘Empire 2.0’ before then going on to describe Prince Harry as ‘anti-racist’.
Discussing institutional racism in the UK, Afua said in the documentary: ‘Britain calculated that it needed to grant these countries independence in a way that protected its commercial and capitalist interest. So it created this privileged club called the Commonwealth.
‘The Commonwealth is still described as a club of friends who share common values. I find that language really problematic.
‘I sometimes call the Commonwealth ‘Empire 2.0′ because that is what it is.’
Appearing on an episode of Palace Confidential in December, the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor said the couple were ‘lucky’ that the late monarch wasn’t able to watch their TV special, which landed on the streaming platform yesterday morning.
Meanwhile the new Duchess of Edinburgh was radiant in white as she arrived alongside her husband Prince Edward
Sophie looked stunning in a cream coat with matching accessories as she walked up the steps of the abbey today
Discussing the first episodes of the series, Richard said: ‘It’s almost lucky that Queen Elizabeth isn’t alive to see this because the Commonwealth was so central to her and bringing people together.
‘It’s a voluntary organisation whereas [in the documentary], it’s dismissed as this colonial body used for Britain to extract money and resources from the rest of the world. She would have been horrified.’
Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday’s Editor at Large Charlotte Griffiths pointed out how all the filming for the series finished in August 2022 – just weeks before the Queen passed away at the age of 96.
She said: ‘They were planning to do all of this thinking that The Queen would be alive to see it […] Thank God she didn’t.’
What’s more, Charlotte said Meghan’s ‘stance on the Commonwealth seems to have changed dramatically’ since her May 2018 wedding, where she wore a veil boasting different symbols to represent each nation.
In response to host Jo Elvin recalling how Meghan said she was ‘excited’ to visit the Commonwealth countries in her engagement interview, Charlotte said: ‘So she hadn’t done any research before getting married?
‘Is that what’s she saying? And now she’s done her research? That’s inconsistent with who Meghan is as a person, she’s obviously a very well-researched person.
‘I just think her whole stance on the Commonwealth has changed dramatically, maybe she fully believes what Afua is saying. I don’t know but it’s a pretty hard line [to take].’
It comes amidst a busy period for Kate and William, who last week praised ‘amazing’ communities fundraising for families left homeless after the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Kate, 41, opted to recycle an Alexander McQueen black pleated dress, which she first wore to meet with well-wishers in Sandringham after the Queen’s death, for the outing at Hayes Muslim Centre in London.
As a mark of respect the couple removed their shoes and Kate covered her head with a scarf, a black and white veil by Pakistani brand Élan, which is part of a set worn by the mother-of-three when she visited the country in 2019.
During today’s engagement, the couple met with representatives from the centre who, through bucket collections and other donations after prayers, have raised over £25,000 for the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal.
The Prince and Princess also joined two pupils from Waldegrave School; Dila Kaya, 14, Lina Alkutubi, 15, and their teacher Natasha Rustam to help make an origami crane, a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.
And Kate also visited the snowy Salisbury Plain Training Area to take part in a training exercise with the Irish Guards.
Dressed in military fatigues, boots, gloves and a woolly hat the Princess was almost unrecognisable as she dressed in camouflage kit for the engagement.
With her hair pulled back in a sensible plait, Kate managed to look stylish in camouflage as she got stuck into a battlefield casualty drill during her first official duty as the new Colonel of the Irish Guards.
Crouching in the snow, she held the soldier’s leg as she was shown how to wrap the wound and check the casualty’s vital signs during basic battlefield first aid training.
As she placed a tourniquet – used to stop heavy bleeding – on his calf, the Princess apologised and said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve done this’.