Kate Middleton is regal as she joins Prince William at the Commonwealth Day Service
The Princess of Wales and Queen Consort were battling the wind as they arrived at the Commonwealth 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 mother-of-three chose a glittering pair of two-tiered flower-shaped earrings, which were previously owned by Princess Diana.
The royal 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.
Meanwhile Camilla faced a similar struggle, gripping onto her vibrant blue fascinator as she stepped out of her car at the Abbey.
During the service, the King issued a rallying call to the family of nations urging them to ‘strive together’ to achieve a ‘global common good’ in his first Commonwealth Day address.
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.
The Princess of Wales avoided a wardrobe malfunction as she arrived at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey today
And it wasn’t just Kate! Camilla was also battling the wind today as she arrived at service earlier this afternoon
Both Camilla and Kate Middleton were clinging onto their fascinators as they arrived at the Commonwealth Day service this afternoon
The Princess reached a hand up to her fascinator as she arrived for the service this afternoon alongside Prince William
King Charles appeared in good spirits at the event and offered a close greeting to one of those attending the event
Royal mother-of-three Kate opted for an elegant ensemble for today’s appearance, donning one of her favourite designers – Erdem Moralioglu.
It’s a brand over which she is believed to have had tensions with Meghan Markle, according to reports, which stated that she was prioritised over the Duchess of Sussex by Erdem.
Both women are fans of the British designer, with the Duchess of Sussex falling in love with his clothes during her career as an actress, as reported by The Telegraph.
Despite sporting his designs to several engagements before entering royal life from 2016, once Meghan joined the Firm, the Princess of Wales is said to have been given priority over Meghan as she, too, was an existing customer.
The fact that frocks crafted by the British designer, who was born in Canada, were being handed to Kate first is said to have gone down badly with the Sussexes.
Today, the Princess wore her long brunette locks swept up into an elegant updo, revealing her late mother-in-law’s earrings, and opted for a touch of makeup for the outing.
Diana was spotted wearing the earrings on several occasions before her death in 1997 – including when she attended the Met Gala in New York City in 1996 and during a visit to Canada in 1991.
Now, they’ve been passed down to Kate, who previously wore them back in June when she attended Trooping the Colour as part of the Queen’s birthday celebrations.
She also donned Queen Alexandra’s Three Feathers Brooch on the lapel of her jacket, which features the Prince of Wales feathers emblem.
She previously wore the brooch at the first state visit of King Charles’s reign in November 2022.
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.
The wind caught at the hemline of the Princess’ skirt, revealing the inverted pattern on the inside, while she clung onto her fascinator to prevent it flying away
Perhaps conscious of the windy weather, the Princess held onto the brim of her fascinator as she left the service this afternoon
The Princess, who paid a subtle tribute to her late mother-in-law by wearing her earrings and brooch, was beaming as she left the service
The Princess’ matching jacket and skirt featured peplum detailing across the hemlines and a white floral pattern
Today, the Princess wore her long brunette locks swept up into an elegant updo, revealing her late mother-in-law’s earrings, and opted for a touch of makeup for the outing
The Princess opted for a navy peplum jacket from Erdem, which featured delicate white floral detailing across the body
The Princess accept a posey of flowers from a schoolgirl as she left the Commonwealth Day service this afternoon
After leaving Westminster Abbey, Sophie and Edward stopped outside the service to speak to choir boys
The Countess was relaxed as she left Westminster Abbey this afternoon following the event, which is a particularly poignant engagement in the royal calendar
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh chatted with a member of staff after the annual service in Westminster Abbey
Meanwhile the new Duchess of Edinburgh, who was given the new title last week, was beaming with joy as she left the event
The Princess Royal opted for an emerald green outfit as she attended the service alongside her siblings King Charles and Prince Edward
The Queen Consort offered royal fans a wave as she and the King departed the service this afternoon
After the service, Charles reached out a hand to greet schoolchildren who had performed at the event
After the service, King Charles and the Queen Consort stepped outside to meet a number of choirboys
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.
Once inside, the family sat alongside one another for the service, before King Charles gave a poignant speech in which he spoke movingly about his mother’s work.
Charles highlighted the institution’s ‘indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time’ in his speech delivered during the annual Westminster Abbey service celebrating the Commonwealth.
He also paid tribute to his ‘beloved mother’, describing how Commonwealth Day was a moment of pride for the late Queen Elizabeth who ‘dedicated her long and remarkable life’ in service to the ‘Commonwealth family’.
The King appeared particularly amused by a group of dancers who performed at the service this afternoon
The performance was just one amongst a selection which took place during the Commonwealth Day Service today
During a speech in the service, the King spoke about how significant the Commonwealth was to his late mother’s work
Once inside, the family sat alongside one another for the service, before King Charles gave a poignant speech in which he spoke movingly about his mother’s work
The Prince and Princess of Wales watched on as the King gave the moving speech to guests at the service
King Charles donned a smart blue pinstriped suit with a polkadot tie as he attended the service today
The King appeared to gesture towards his service sheet as he attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey
Camilla and Charles appeared thoughtful during the service, which was the first since the late Queen’s death
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
The royal family were side-by-side in the front row at Westminster Abbey during the service this afternoon
The Prince and Princess of Wales were perfectly coordinated in their navy blue outfits during the service
King Charles and Queen Camilla both opted for blue outfits for the occasion, and appeared reflective during the service
While Kate and Prince William were seated alongside King Charles and the Queen Consort in the front royal, the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and Princess Anne were seated behind
The Princess of Wales was seated alongside King Charles, the Queen Consort and Prince William inside the church
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
The King appeared reflective during the Commonwealth Day service in London this afternoon (pictured)
Despite the windy weather outside, King Charles was in high spirits and chatted to attendees at the service
Kate was beaming with joy as she was introduced to guests at the Commonwealth Service alongside Prince William
Prince William and Kate appeared in high spirits at the service, shaking hands and speaking with other attendees and guests
The new Duchess of Edinburgh, who was radiant in a white ensemble at the event, was beaming as she spoke with people lining up to meet her
The couple, who arrived side-by-side at Westminster, appeared relaxed as they stepped out of the wind and into the church
The King’s poignant speech at the Commonwealth Day Service
Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved Mother, The late Queen – a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life.
In succeeding Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth, I draw great strength from her example, together with all that I have learnt from the extraordinary people I have met, throughout the Commonwealth, over so many years.
The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me. Its near-boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer scale challenges us to unite and be bold.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the Charter of the Commonwealth, which gives expression to our defining values – peace and justice; tolerance, respect and solidarity; care for our environment, and for the most vulnerable among us.
These are not simply ideals. In each lies an imperative to act, and to make a practical difference in the lives of the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home.
Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. Ours is an association not just of shared values, but of common purpose and joint action.
In this we are blessed with the ingenuity and imagination of a third of the world’s population, including one and a half billion people under the age of thirty. Our shared humanity contains an immensely precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. By listening to each other, we will find so many of the solutions that we seek.
This extraordinary potential, which we hold in common, is more than equal to the challenges we face. It offers us unparalleled strength not merely to face the future, but to build it. Here, the Commonwealth has an incredible opportunity, and responsibility, to create a genuinely durable future – one that offers the kind of prosperity that is in harmony with Nature and that will also secure our unique and only planet for generations to come.
The myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more.
Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together, but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.
Charles’s first Commonwealth Day service as monarch attracted a large number of spectators and a handful of protesters, carrying placards with the words ‘Not my King’. Protesters have staged events at a number of his royal engagements.
For his speech the King drew on the Commonwealth Day theme for 2023 – Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future – and emphasised the values of the family of nations from ‘peace and justice’ to ‘care for our environment’ embodied in the Commonwealth Charter, signed 10 years ago.
He told the congregation: ‘Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time.
‘Ours is an association not just of shared values, but of common purpose and joint action.
‘In this we are blessed with the ingenuity and imagination of a third of the world’s population, including one and a half billion people under the age of 30.
‘Our shared humanity contains an immensely precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. By listening to each other, we will find so many of the solutions that we seek.’
The King, who is head of the Commonwealth, delivered his address in person from the Abbey’s great pulpit in a move that was a departure from previous messages from the Queen, who sometimes pre-recorded her speech.
He concluded his message by saying: ‘The myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more.
‘Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together, but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.’
Today is 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.
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.’
The windy spring weather saw the King’s hair blown across his face as he stopped briefly outside the church before walking inside
The King stopped to watch members of the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club perform outside the Abbey today
Performers outside the venue wowed the royals as they arrived for the Commonwealth Day Service this afternoon
King Charles also faced the wind as he arrived for the service at Westminster Abbey earlier this afternoon
The Queen Consort tucked a lock of her beneath her fascinator after the wind wrecked havoc her headwear during the outing today
The Queen rested a hand on her blue velvet fascinator as she arrived for the service this afternoon in London
Camilla ensured her vibrant blue fascinator didn’t leave her head as she attended the service in London today
The Queen Consort opted for a royal blue ensemble for the poignant Commonwealth Day Service earlier this afternoon
The Queen Consort battled the wind as she arrived at the event today, which blew up her coat dress and wrecked havoc with her fascinator
Meanwhile Queen Consort Camilla also struggled with the wind, which whipped up her coat dress as she stepped out of her vehicle
The Princess’ brunette locks were swept up into an ornate bun for the occasion in London this afternoon
The Princess was dressed in Erdem, which has become one of her favourite designers for royal engagements
The royal mother-of-three held onto her elegant fascinator as she arrived at the service today alongside Prince William
The royal mother-of-three coordinated with her husband in navy blue as they arrived for the service this afternoon
The Princess of Wales was regal in navy as she attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today
The mother-of-three chose a glittering pair of two-tiered flower-shaped earrings, which were previously owned by Princess Diana
Meanwhile the royal mother-of-three’s skirt blew in the wind, revealing the white floral detailing on the other side
The Princess of Wales held onto her hat as she arrived at the event for the Commonwealth Service this afternoon
The Princess opted for a navy ensemble for the occasion, perfectly pairing her floral outfit with her fascinator, gloves and heels
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.
The couple appeared in good spirits as they arrived at Westminster Abbey this afternoon ahead of the service
Sophie’s white outfit featured black detailing, with a pretty black bow on the back of her fascinator
Sophie looked stunning in a cream coat with matching accessories as she walked up the steps of the abbey today
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
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’.