On Wednesday, Prince William and Kate carried out their first joint public engagement following Prince Philip’s funeral.
The couple said their final goodbyes to the late Duke of Edinburgh in an intimate funeral service over the weekend. And today, they paid a special tribute to Philip during a visit to the Air Cadets 282 East Ham Squadron.
Duchess Kate took over the royal patronage for the Air Cadets from Philip in 2015. She became an Honorary Air Commandant.
Both William and Kate wore dark navy as the family remains in mourning following Philip’s passing. The Duchess looked elegant in a Dolce & Gabbana military coat, matching Tod’s block heels and a clutch.
During the visit the royal couple took part in field craft exercised and leadership tasks with cadets. They also met with young people who are preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a youth development program headed by Prince Philip.
Duchess Kate showed of her aerial skills as she hopped in a flight simulator.
Group Captain Al Lewis said of the visit: “It was a really unique experience and the cadets only found out an hour before they arrived.
“Given that we haven’t had much activity over the last years it was a real morale boost.
“It was wonderful for them, too, to see the real legacy that the Duke of Edinburgh left.
“I spoke to the Duke [of Cambridge] about whether he was still flying and he said he was very keen to try to keep his flying hours up. He clearly misses flying professionally.
“It was interesting to see the Duchess get in the simulator instead of him. She did very well. He was goading her to say, ‘well it’s not as easy as it seems’.”
At the end of the visit, the Squadron took part in a Three Cheers Salute in honor of Prince Philip, who frequently met and kept in touch with cadets throughout his time as head of the patronage.