Kate, who has a busy week ahead, looked in high spirits as she arrived with Prince William. Fresh from his successful tour in Japan and China the second-in-line to throne is said to be very much looking forward to beginning his new position with the East Anglian Air Ambulance shortly, after passing fourteen exams.
The Commonwealth Day Act of Observance is the UK’s largest multi-faith service and the premier event to celebrate the Commonwealth. This unique event is traditionally attended by Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, and other members of the Royal family. It takes place in the presence of some 2,000 participants including High Commissioners and dignitaries from around the Commonwealth, in addition to 1,000 young people from schools across the UK.
It's always nice to see several members of the royal family attend the same event.
Kate enjoyed a chat with her father-in-law.
The Duchess greets The Duchess of Cornwall.
As always, a particular theme was focused on - this year ‘A Young Commonwealth’ - underlining the fact that people aged twenty-five or under account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population and play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy. The theme recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, particularly in 2015 when the world will define a new global development framework.
|Westminster Abbey Facebook Page|
More from The Royal Commonwealth Society:
'People aged twenty-nine or under account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population, and play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy. ‘A Young Commonwealth’ recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, particularly in 2015 when the world will define a new global development framework.
The Commonwealth is also a family of dynamic countries at the forefront of innovation, growth and contributing global value. As a diverse and increasingly connected global network, we bring fresh perspectives and new ideas. We will always remain a contemporary and young Commonwealth.'
Below we look at an Order of Service.
|Peter Kallaghe Twitter Feed|
It featured, hymns, readings, performances and testimonies from different corners of the Commonwealth. Last year's keynote address was delivered by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. This year, reflections were given by Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, the Speaker of Bangladeshi Parliament, Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, and PJ Cole.
|Westminster Abbey Facebook Page|
The Observance also included the world premiere of a new work specially composed for the occasion by Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir. The anthem 'Truly I tell You' takes its text from St Mark's Gospel and the Psalms, and will be performed by The Choir of Westminster Abbey under the direction of Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist. An enormous amount of planning, preparation and thought goes into the event.
Westminster Abbey holds particularly special memories for William and Kate. On April 29, 2011 the couple were married there. As they approach their fourth anniversary and the arrival of their second child, I'm sure they took a moment or two to reflect on their special day.
On departure from the abbey after the Observance, The Queen, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge were presented with posies of flowers, before the royals walked by the Commonwealth flags held by invited children.
Westminster Abbey shared a photo of the posies.
|Westminster Abbey Twitter Feed|
On the way out of the service, the royals stopped to talk to Abbey workers and celebrants. One was Jane Rowton-Lee, who had worked in the Abbey at William and Kate's wedding.
Rowton-Lee told an animated Kate that she had arranged one of the candle and flower arrangements on the high altar on that memorable day. The princess thanked her for her help and asked if the flower arranger was having a busy year.
"I said I think you may be as well," said Rowton-Lee of Kate's impending second-time motherhood.
She laughed. She was utterly charming."
The Queen's Commonwealth Day message can be read in full here.
In it Her Majesty hails Commonwealth member states as "guardians of a precious flame".
'One simple lesson from history is that when people come together to talk, to exchange ideas and to develop common goals, wonderful things can happen. So many of the world's greatest technological and industrial achievements have begun as partnerships between families, countries, and even continents. But, as we are often reminded, the opposite can also be true. When common goals fall apart, so does the exchange of ideas. And if people no longer trust or understand each other, the talking will soon stop too. '
Kate wore the pretty pink Alexander McQueen coat she debuted for Trooping The Colour in 2013. The bespoke garment was created for her final public appearance before the birth of Prince George. It features a heavy collar, three-quarter length sleeve and pearl buttons. It's a lovely choice for the nature of the day and a beautiful piece, deserving of another outing.
Kate wore a matching pink dress underneath - most likely a bespoke piece made to be worn with the coat.
Kate's striking new hat is by Jane Taylor Millinery.
More from the milliners Twitter Feed:
|Jane Taylor Millinery Twitter Feed|
A look at Kate's hair today. Her hair looks fantastic, very long, full and glossy.
Continuing with the pink theme, the Duchess wore her satin Prada pumps.
And carried her pink Prada bag.
The Duchess completed the look with pink morganite cushion drops on a white gold hoop by Kiki McDonough. The £3,400 earrings are expected back in stock soon.
You can watch a video at ITN Source.
It was lovely to see the royals together today. I thought Kate looked radiant and the entire ensemble worked beautifully. What do you think?
Also today, we're delighted to announce the winner of the Mirabelle Jewellery Lolita earrings, as worn by Kate, is 'Beth W7372'.
Beth left the following comment:
'My favorite item is the Nanda Necklace short with Tourmaline and Amethyst. I entered 4 times, the twitter and facebook and shared on twitter.'
Congratulations Beth! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll coordinate your delivery immediately. We'd like t thank everyone who participated in the contest and Mirabelle Jewellery for their kindness. It was such fun! :)
We'll see Kate on Wednesday for two very artistic engagements in Margate!