Kate Middleton made a bold fashion statement on Monday as she attended the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, her first since becoming Princess of Wales last September.
The princess arrived at the abbey alongside Prince William wearing a vintage-inspired tailored skirt suit with a structured jacket and a fluted, calf-length skirt by one of her favorite designers, Erdem.
The ensemble was paired with a large picture hat in navy suede and matching shoes, handbag and gloves.
To accessorize, Kate wore Princess Diana’s sapphire and diamond earrings, which complement her engagement ring, along with a diamond Prince of Wales feather brooch, also formerly owned by Diana.
The princess has often referenced vintage fashion silhouettes in her work wardrobe, particularly her collection of 1980s-inspired Alessandra Rich dresses worn in 2022, including a cream and chocolate brown outfit that was shown at Royal Ascot was carried.
The heavily structured skirt suit is somewhat reminiscent of Christian Dior’s 1947 bar suit, the look that revolutionized post-war fashion and earned it the nickname ‘the new look’.
The “new look” was replicated by major fashion houses around the world and inspired many designers in the 1940s and 1950s. At the time, Queen Elizabeth II regularly wore similar fit-and-flare jackets with skirts, as did her fashion-forward sister, Princess Margaret.
The Commonwealth Day 2023 service is the first to have taken place since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her commitment to the organization was recognized at Monday’s celebrations.
In recent years, Kate’s style choices for Commonwealth Day services have been eagerly awaited by both royal observers and the fashion press.
Kate’s first attendance at the annual ceremony was in 2015 when she was pregnant with her second child, Princess Charlotte. The royal wore a pale pink Alexander McQueen ensemble, consisting of a mother-of-pearl button coat, matching slip, pink molded hat and accessories from the fashion house Prada.
Most recently, in 2022, the princess wore an all-blue outfit in a shade similar to the base color of the Commonwealth flag.
The tailored coat dress worn for the occasion was designed by Catherine Walker & Co. and the royal paired it with a matching pillbox hat and accessories.
The theme of this year’s Commonwealth Day service is “Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future” and appeals to a cause dear to King Charles, climate change.
In his first Commonwealth message as head of the organisation, released on Monday, the monarch said: “Whether it is on climate change and biodiversity loss, opportunities and education for youth, global health or economic cooperation, the Commonwealth can provide an indispensable The most important press topics of our time play a role. We are an association that not only combines common values, but also common goals and common action.”
Also present at this year’s event were Queen Camilla and the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh – Prince Edward and his wife Sophie – as well as Princess Anne and her husband Sir Tim Laurence.
James Crawford-Smith is latestpagenews’s royal reporter in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and keep reading his stories news week‘s Facebook page of the royals.
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