Monday, 11 March 2019

The Cambridges Mark 70th Modern Commonwealth Anniversary at Annual Service

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon.


The couple joined the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York.


The annual event is considered the highlight of the Commonwealth year, offering an opportunity to reflect on the ties that bind member nations together and to look to future hopes and plans.


The Commonwealth represents a global network of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population, of whom 60 per cent are under 30 years old. The Commonwealth Day Act of Observance is the UK’s largest multi-faith service. Buckingham Palace said "The Commonwealth’s governments, institutions and people connect at many levels, including through parliaments and universities. They work together to protect the natural environment and the ocean which connects many Commonwealth nations, shore to shore. Cooperation on trade encourages inclusive economic empowerment for all people - particularly women, youth and marginalised communities. The Commonwealth’s friendly sporting rivalry encourages people to participate in sport for development and peace."


Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth, with old ties and new links enabling cooperation towards social, political and economic development which is both inclusive and sustainable.


Each year a new theme is proposed to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and presented to the Queen for approval. The chosen theme very much leads the agenda throughout the year in terms of activities, plans and areas of focus. This year the chosen theme is 'A Connected Commonwealth' celebrating friendship and goodwill and encouraging collaboration to protect the environment and natural resources.


Last year a landmark decision was taken when leaders came together to adopt the Commonwealth Blue Charter, which will positively affect one third of the world’s national coastal waters, helping to sustain livelihoods and ecosystems globally. Under the Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment there is increased cooperation towards inclusive economic empowerment so that all people, particularly women, youth and marginalised communities, are able to share the fruit of progress and prosperity. Speaking at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London in 2018, the Secretary-General said: "Member countries have told us they need to work together to sustain the health of our ocean. Blue ecosystems are being degraded at an unprecedented rate and this is not an issue any country can solve alone." It's incredibly encouraging to see a plan of action coming to fruition collectively to combat a global issue of major concern.


Her Majesty's Commonwealth Day message for this year focused on the "enduring commitment" of all 53 countries and spoke of "confidence and optimism" thanks to stable links, as the UK readies for Brexit:

"We all have reason to give thanks for the numerous ways in which our lives are enriched when we learn from others. Through exchanging ideas, and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future.
There is a very special value in the insights we gain through the Commonwealth connection; shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division. We shall see this in action at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which takes place in the United Kingdom next month, bringing together young people, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth.
These gatherings are themselves fine examples of how consensus and commitment can help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable. Having enjoyed the warm hospitality of so many Commonwealth countries over the years, I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming the leaders of our family of 53 nations to my homes in London and Windsor.
Sport also contributes to building peace and development. The excitement and positive potential of friendly rivalry will be on display next month as we enjoy the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia. Contributing to the success of the Games, alongside athletes and officials, will be thousands of volunteers. Voluntary effort, by people working as individuals, in groups or through larger associations, is so often what shapes the Commonwealth and all our communities.
By pledging to serve the common good in new ways, we can ensure that the Commonwealth continues to grow in scope and stature, to have an even greater impact on people's lives, today, and for future generations.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving.


Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.


Her Majesty arrived with the Duke of York.


As the royals awaited the arrival of Her Majesty, Kate greeted Harry and Meghan with a kiss.


The young royals talking before the procession.


Kate and Camilla enjoyed a long chat.


Guests of honour among the 2,000 strong congregation inlcuded the Prime Minister Theresa May, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, alongside High Commissioners, Ambassadors and dignitaries, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and over 800 school children and young people. The service commenced with a procession of Commonwealth Flags.


An overview.


Highlights of the service included special musical performances by Grammy-winning group Clean Bandit and the UK’s biggest-selling tenor, Alfie Boe.


Clean Bandit performed their hit Symphony.


The reflection was given by endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh. He has worked to raise awareness of the vulnerability of the earth’s ecosystems and campaigned for their protection. Mr Pugh said: “There is nothing more powerful than a made up mind”.


Prime Minister Theresa May read 1 Corinthians 12: 14-26. ‘The body does not consist of one member but of many... If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.’


Internationally-acclaimed didgeridoo player, William Barton, plays ‘Kalkadungu’s Journey’.


Click here to view the Order of Service.

Embed from Getty Images

Afterwards, the royals met performers. Below, the Duchess with members of Clean Bandit.


Kate was given flowers by a young member of the Rainbows (Britain's youngest Girl Guides section). Kate looked at her badges and asked about the Rainbows. The little girl will have quite the story to tell at the next meeting :)


William and Kate met the choir.


You can view the service in its entirety below.


A quick recap of Kate's looks at the Commonwealth Day service; in 2015, the Duchess chose a soft pink Alexander McQueen coat with pearl buttons.


In 2016, it was bespoke grey Erdem with lace lining and a wide-brim John Boyd hat.


And last year, it was the Beulah navy Chiara trapeze coat.


This year, the Duchess chose her red Catherine Walker coat. The sharply tailored military style piece features a high collar, full skirt and gleaming buttons. I always say red is a fabulous colour on Kate, the look was a lovely choice for the service.


The coat has a Commonwealth connection for the Duchess; she first wore it in 2014 when she, William and George touched down in Wellington for the New Zealand leg of their tour down under.


Kate teamed the coat with a new red hat.


And striking new earrings.


Kate teamed the look with the soft grey Emmy London Rebecca Cinder Pointed Court shoes and matching clutch (with thanks to Middleton Maven).


A closer look at Kate's updo.


Whilst looking on Westminster Abbey's Facebook page over the weekend, I noticed they shared the perfect spring photo of daffodils in the Abbey's college garden.


It very much reminded me of one of my favourite Wordsworth poems: 'I wandered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze..' The inspiration for the poem came during a long walk Wordsworth took with his sister Dorothy around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater in the Lake District where he spotted a "belt of daffodils". Below a beautiful watercolour of Ullswater by J.M.W. Turner.


************

In other news, the Duchess has two engagements tomorrow (including a gown event) and next Monday we can look forward to seeing Kate team up with her Majesty to open Bush House at King's College London.

12 March - The Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre to see how Lambeth Early Action Partnership are using the Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS) to support parents, carers and their children.
12 March - The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, will attend the 2019 NPG London Portrait Gala.
19 March - The Duchess of Cambridge will join the Queen to open Bush House, King's College London.

The Court Circular notes William and Kate had a meeting with the Royal Foundation's Chief Executive Lorraine Heggessey on Friday.


See you all tomorrow!

77 comments:

  1. Super quick as always Charlotte Fiirst look I love it x

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  2. Love this repeat 😍

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  3. Robbie from Hampton VA USA11 March 2019 at 15:13

    Pure perfection! Love the shoes and purse with the outfit.

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  4. I love how William's tie coordinates with Kate's dress! They are always in sync fashion wise it seems.

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  5. She looks great! She could probably wear repeats for at least a year and look stunning.

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  6. Kate looks lovely as usual. Love the fit & color of the coat. The hat, shoes & bag are great but personally I just don't get the amt & size of those buttons. For me it just takes away from total look.

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    1. I find the buttons too much also.

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    2. I like the buttons. Otherwise, it's just a plain red coat.

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    3. Other than the color, this is a huge meh for me. The hat is too far forward. The buttons, ugh, the buttons. Too big, too brassy, too many, too cheap looking.

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  7. Caroline in Montana11 March 2019 at 15:39

    Love the coat, love the buttons, love the hat, love the earing's:) - I wish maybe her purse and shoes matched Williams suit, I think a darker color on accessories would have really made this outfit. not sure about the nude tone.. I love how great they look together. looking forward to full post. Thanks Charlotte!!

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    1. I believe the accessories are light grey.

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    2. I think the shoes are a dove gray in color and I don't mind them with the red, but a darker gray would have been fine too. Loved William's suit and that his tie matched Kate's dress, they look smashing together. Beautiful repeat with a nod to New Zealand and the Commonwealth. cc

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    3. Caroline in Montana11 March 2019 at 21:32

      Now that there's a full post and as has been pointed out to me, the shoes and clutch are grey, not nude. However I still don't feel they go with the rest, I agree with CeCe a darker shade grey would have been better or even red or black. really love those earing's!

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  8. Rebecca - Sweden11 March 2019 at 15:51

    I always like these reoccurring events with many different royals!

    What a nice repeat of coat for Kate. She always looks great in red and the tie in with the New Zealand tour is very nice! I like the hat as well, and I think it works ok with the hair, but wonder if a half up-do or something might work even better. Same with the shoes and bag. I'm not sure I would pair this colour. Although... I can't really think what colour could be better. Black would be too harsh, navy a bit too nautical, white too 80s. Maybe brown? But I'm not super fond of brown and red together. A dark/medium gray with blue tones instead of brown maybe? Hahah, either way, just nitpicks and she looks wonderful and very engaged as usual. And very pretty earrings, I hope we find out where they're from!

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    1. A darker grey shoe/clutch would’ve gone perfect with this coat!

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden11 March 2019 at 22:33

      Exactly. If I was gonna play stylist I would maybe choose something like these: http://www.katesclothes.com/shoe/malone-grey-suede-heels/

      Or maybe even these: http://www.katesclothes.com/shoe/anthracite-hugo-boss-heels/

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    3. I was wondering if she was coordinating with the color of the buttons and that’s why she went with the lighter grey?

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    4. Beautiful choices of a darker gray shoe Rebecca cc

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  9. Great look on Kate. I love the accessories too, perfect color, anything darker would have taken away from her coat and hat. She really seems to be coming into her own in the past few months!

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  10. The multi button Catherine Walker coats will never be my favorites, but they do fit Kate well. I much prefer this hat to the pillbox one from the NZ tour. She does look nice today though. I look forward to an id on the earrings.

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  11. Sharon—Virginia11 March 2019 at 16:15

    I don’t love the style of coat but I love Duchess Catherine in the color red. So, for the color alone, it’s a win.

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  12. Me in Vancouver11 March 2019 at 16:17

    Beautiful look for Kate. A wonderful event for the whole family. So nice to see them together.

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  13. I've never liked tan/nude and red together (since I made a negative comment about Meghan's hat on the Mad About Meghan blog I thought I'd keep it balanced lol - I'm sincere though).

    Love any chance I get to see the royals though. Her Majesty is as lovely as ever- one of my role models. ❤

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  14. Rita in Florida11 March 2019 at 16:47

    The thing I like the most about Kate's fashion choices is that she never looks like she is trying to hard. She has her lane and she tends to stay in it. She always looks put together and polished and comfortable. Love this look!!!

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  15. I loved the coat the first time with the hairdo and the pillbox. She looked spectacular. If only she had reworn the hat too!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden11 March 2019 at 19:48

      I would love to see that pillbox on her again! It was very pretty on her and I have a soft spot for a good pillbox!

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  16. I know it's not the spot, but I love Camilla in purple!

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  17. I loved this coat in New Zealand and am always glad to see anything from Catherine Walker. Love the hair with the hat! Her tailoring is simply perfect. I don't think anyone else nails tailoring quite as well as Kate!

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  18. Love this red coat and hat. Kate looks super.

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  19. Emmaline in the U.S.11 March 2019 at 18:20

    It was so fun to watch the livestream of the event via YouTube. Such a treat to see the royal family out together. Red is beautiful color on the DoC. It looks like she updated the dress underneath the coat to a pencil skirt or something a little more form fitting. I remember how well she handled the wind, holding George, and going down stairs during that initial arrival on tour... in heels no less!

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  20. I can't imagine how Kate navigates those cobblestones in those spiky heels! Oh my gosh, she might not be mortal! lol.

    Detour question...looks like handing out shamrocks to the Irish Guard on St Patrick's Day is not on her calendar, would it already have been announced if she planned on being there?

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    1. I do expect we'll see it confirmed over the next day or two. KP are announcing engagements at much shorter notice lately. It would be great if they added the engagements for the KP royals to The Royal Diary on the royal family website. There tends to be a lot more notice.

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    2. Thanks for replying Charlotte. You do an amazing job!

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    3. I too have been waiting to see that pop-up on her calendar. I sure hope so!

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  21. Andrea in London11 March 2019 at 18:27

    I love the pale grey accessories, they make that red colour sing! I've never been a fan of the military style coat (unless it's on a soldier haha) but she looks wonderful. As an aside, I think Camilla looks fab. A bit of a dated style but that rich colour is gorgeous. Not everyone could carry off wearing that colour.

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  22. Beautiful. Kate looks amazing. Love the rewear of this gorgeous coat. Her updo is fantastic.

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    1. I love Kate's hair today. I wonder if someone new has been doing her hair. It looks more polished than it has in past years (i.e. sometimes with loose pins ect.). The side view is so pretty.

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  23. I enjoyed the watching the service so much. Everyone looked splendid and happy. Loved the colors on the ladies, red, purple, white etc. They were radiant.

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  24. Beautiful! Love the coat paired with this hat/updo much more than the original pillbox/hair down styling. I found the buttons too much when she wore it in New Zealand, but somehow they’ve grown on me.

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    1. I found them too much then, too! But I love them now :)

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  25. Jean from Lancs11 March 2019 at 18:40

    Love this coat, including the buttons and i think this hat goes better with it, than the pillbox from NZ.
    I watches the service on BBC1 and Camillas's outfit looked dark navy--certainly not the same colour as HM.
    Her new earrings are great
    Reminds me that last year it was Catherine who was eight months pregnant,

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  26. She looks very pretty and elegant. I commented above that I do not like the buttons.

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  27. What a lovely close up of Kate, she really is very pretty. The hat, her make-up, her hair and those earrings....very elegant. Have loved all of her Commonwealth looks, but this red Catherine Walker tops my favorites, followed by the gray Erdem and wide brimmed hat, the navy Beulah (loved the hat), and then the pink Alexander McQueen. cc

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    1. Zora from Prague11 March 2019 at 22:27

      I loved the grey Erdem with the wide brimmed hat too, CeCe! I remember thinking: now, this IS something! :)

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  28. I like the red. I like that her hat is very simple with clean lines. I like her new earrings too. But that coat--that's a lot of buttons! I wonder what dress she wore underneath?

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    1. I believe that Kate often has some simple dresses made to wear underneath some of her coats...the dresses are not meant to be worn by themselves, but just underneath a coat/coat-dress of the same color. She has done this a lot. They provide her with an extra layer of modesty underneath, should the coat blow up in the wind. And, they add comfort underneath a coat that could feel rather scratchy/itchy sitting against the skin.

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  29. SierrafromMontana11 March 2019 at 19:42

    I did the love the grey Erdem coat dress - I just thought it was a classy look. I know it's not that colorful, but that hat was so impressive. Do we think we'll see Kate at the St. Patrick's Day celebrations?

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  30. Oh no. I find this outfit so dowdy and unhip.
    Beth in SF

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  31. Silvia from Tuscany11 March 2019 at 20:38

    I like all the ladies. They all look beautiful and happy. Very nice to see them together! Kate is beautiful, I love her repeat, even the buttons! Her hair and make up are elegant and sophisticated and those earrings....

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  32. The Duchess looks amazing as always. Elegant and serene as befitting a future POW and Queen Consort. I would love if like Her Majesty Catherine would wear a broach from time to time.

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  33. I love the color of the coat. Not so crazy about the buttons Kate loves buttons so ... I don't think gray shoes go with red. Kate has plenty of red pumps. I love the hat. Most of all I like the relaxed body language between Kate, Harry and Meghan. Sad to see that Will and Harry still seem distant from each other. Their body language is still stiff.

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  34. One of my favorite looks for the Duchess of Cambridge. Charlotte, I enjoyed the Service of Celebration video. Thanks for posting the entire service. In addition to the service highlights you mentioned in your narrative, I also enjoyed B Positive Voice choir singing RISE. Thanks again.

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  35. Becca H in Colorado11 March 2019 at 20:46

    Sigh, and we're back to the stiff, matronly updo. She looks great otherwise, though. A nice repeat.

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  36. I love everything about this look 👌🏻 Reminds me of when she first touched down in NZ with little George in tow ❤️

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  37. Kate looked lovely but I found the colour a bit too bright for a church event. Meghan looked gorgeous,, I loved her spring dress, Thank You Charlotte!XOXO

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    1. Interesting. I’ve never thought of certain colors being too bright for church. I know QEII loves a bright color, even in church, and certainly the ladies in my family do. Maybe it’s where I grew up.

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    2. Considering the purple outfits worn by both the Queen and Camilla, I don’t think this red is too bright for church. I adore this hat and I hope she bought it in multiple colors. The earrings don’t look new, so I’m hoping that they are on loan from the Queen or from Diana’s jewelry box.

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  38. Kate looks wonderful today. Red really is one of her colours and I love the new hat, complete with undo and fabulous earrings. A very regal look and perfect for the occasion.

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  39. Zora from Prague11 March 2019 at 22:25

    Lovely look for Kate! Glad to see the royals together, as always. Thank you so much, Charlotte, and thanks for the beautiful photo, the poem and the watercolour! I really appreciate the ways in which you make your posts special, and your readers feel special!

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    1. That is very kind of you Zora, thank you :)

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  40. Won’t we see Kate on St. Patty’s day too?

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    1. Yes, KP just announced it. One of my favorite events of the year ☺️🍀

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  41. Beautiful. Chignon is gorgeous not a stiff updo, but elegant and timeless. Thank you, Charlotte, lovely post.

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  42. Oh my goodness she looks incredible! I didn’t like the first wear of this coat with the pillbox hat, hair down, and dark shoes - it felt fussy and heavy and dated. But with her hair up in that elegant do, and that sassy hat perched so perfectly to show off her beautiful eyes, nude accessories lightening it all up and elongating those amazing legs...she is so perfectly lovely! Bravo Duchess!

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    1. Diane - my post was going to be so close to yours that I figured I just add +1.

      Other than I did like it when she stepped off that plane in New Zealand but this is even better. I thought the soft gray/taupe color played off of the buttons very nicely.

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  43. Thank you, Charlotte, for the excellent coverage. I always enjoy seeing that photo of William & Kate with baby George — George’s expression is priceless!

    Everyone is well-dressed and well-behaved. The focus was where it should be — on the event.
    Wonder if all the analyzing over supposed tiffs/rudeness/disrespect will now stop? It is a terrible distraction with no evidence to support it.
    Jane

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    1. George--I call it his Elvis look. It amazes me how such a tiny baby can show so much personality. One can almost read his thoughts.

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  44. The Duchess nailed this outfit she looks beautiful. Love the grey combination of shoes and bag. I love her hair up this way the new hat I prefer this style on her. The earrings to die for!. I have to add how beautiful the Queen looked, the colour was gorgeous and complemented brooch.

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  45. I love her outfit...so pretty. It amazes me how she can walk in her high heels across uneven ground. Thank you so much Charlotte for posting the service in its entirety. I love the church traditions. The hymns and choir are just lovely.

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  46. Rita in Florida12 March 2019 at 02:54

    Did anybody else notice in the video that it appears Kate missed a curtsy but HM didn’t? I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks....

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  47. Thank you for the reminder of daffodils, Charlotte, and of the lovely poem I last read in my youth! After a few feet of snow melt, I may get to see some spring flowers this year, or it may be summer by then.

    Kate looks very nice, very appropriate. I love the way her red coat matches the red lamp shades, the choir vestments, and several other ladies in red. She also is part of the red, white, and blue royal color scheme, with Camilla in intense blue and Meghan in white. The Queen does royal purple beautifully, and the Kent amethyst brooch is a favorite of mine.

    I hope someone is able to identify Kate's pretty earrings.

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  48. Nice standard look for the Duchess. What intrigued me way more is Camilla though. I noticed that this isn’t the first occasion she is wearing the same or similar colour as the Queen at joined events. I wonder if they make an effort to ease the public into the new role she will have at one point. It’s a shame that she still receives so much hate.
    C.

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  49. even before i always love these look she looks good a love the overall outfit from head to toe

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  50. Royal 👑 Watcher12 March 2019 at 08:50

    Oh the elegance of the royal ladies as well as the event - it is truly overwhelming. So beautiful and timeless. I am awestruck.

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  51. Rienks in Africa12 March 2019 at 09:47

    Wow!!! Smashing!! Absolute perfection from head to toe! Well done, Team Kate!

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