Kate Middleton and Queen Camilla Hang On to Their Hats at Windy Commonwealth Day Service
Kate Middleton and Queen Camilla avoided a fashion mishap despite some blustering wind.
The Princess of Wales, 41, and Queen Consort, 75, attended the annual Commonwealth Day Service on Monday, their first in their new royal roles. While walking into Westminster Abbey for the afternoon event, both Kate and Camilla had to hang on to their hats — literally! The Princess of Wales and Queen Consort both seemed to laugh as they held their hats to prevent them from potentially blowing away in the windy conditions.
It was reminiscent of Princess Eugenie's royal wedding in 2018 when wedding guests fought the wind from taking their headpieces or blowing around their skirts. The bride and groom's open-top carriage ride was even canceled due to the weather, with Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank hopping in the closed Scottish State Coach instead.
Princess Kate and Queen Camilla both wore blue ensembles paired with meaningful jewelry for the annual event. Kate stepped out in a navy peplum jacket and skirt by Erdem with a pair of Princess Diana's sapphire and diamond earrings and a Prince of Wales feathers brooch, which was a gift from King Charles tied to her and Prince William's new titles.
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Camilla chose a blue wool crepe dress and coat by Fiona Clare with a feathered Philip Treacy beret, plus a sapphire and diamond brooch that belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth. And there's a reason the ensemble looked familiar — it's the same outfit she wore back in November to welcome South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the U.K. for the first state visit of King Charles' reign.
Inside the ancient church, the royals joined their husbands Prince William and King Charles, as well as Prince Edward and Sophie (the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh) and Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.
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The Commonwealth Day Service honors the 56 countries and nations around the world that comprise the Commonwealth. "Working in collaboration towards shared economic, environmental, social and democratic goals, the Service seeks to highlight a vast community which spans every geographical region, religion and culture, embracing the diversity of it its population of 2.5 billion people, of which over 60 percent are under 30 years old," the palace said in a statement. This year's theme is "Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future."
Sustainability is a key cause for the King, 74, as he led the service for the first time as monarch, including with a speech. In 2022, the then-Prince of Wales gave an address on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, who missed the service.
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After the King and Queen Consort arrived at Westminster Abbey this year, they were met by the Dean of Westminster and greeted members of the Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club
The service began with a procession of Commonwealth member states' flags. As 2023 is the Commonwealth Year of Peace, a specially-designed Commonwealth Flag for Peace was also processed.
The event included musical performances from saxophonist Yolanda Brown, West End stars Roshani Abbey and Nuwan Hugh Perera and the all-female Amalgamation Choir from Cyprus. Marking Rwanda's role as the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the Rwandan National Ballet, Urukerereza, also performed.
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Last year marked a return to the Commonwealth Day Service, which was canceled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and replaced with a smaller event.
In 2020, the Commonwealth Service was one of the last events the royal family attended before the pandemic prompted lockdown measures, but they were already being cautious by not shaking hands at the service.
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The 2020 service was also Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's last joint appearance with the family before they stepped back from their positions as working royals and relocated to California. They have since returned to the U.K. for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022 and the late monarch's funeral events in September. Prince Harry also attended his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021.