Princess Kate Debuts Special Gift From King Charles For Commonwealth Service
Kate Middleton and Prince William have returned to a staple on the royal calendar — this time, with new titles. For the first time since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales following the death of Queen Elizabeth and King Charles’ accession to the throne in September, William and Kate attended the annual Commonwealth Day Service on Monday. The event took place at a special place for Prince William, 40, and Princess Kate, 41: Westminster Abbey, where they exchanged vows on their royal wedding day in April 2011.
Princess Kate arrived in a navy Erdem peplum jacket and skirt with a white embroidered print. She completed the look with a navy hat and pumps, adding a little sparkle with a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings that previously belonged to Princess Diana.
She also accessorized with a Prince of Wales feathers brooch, which was a gift from King Charles.
Carrying navy gloves and a clutch as she walked into Westminster Abbey, Kate had to hang on to her hat to save it from flying away in a gust of wind.
Prince William complemented his wife in a navy suit with a blue tie, and the couple was welcomed in by members of the Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club, who performed at the Great West Door ahead of the Commonwealth Service.
Others members of the royal family in attendance included King Charles and Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie (the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh) and Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.
The service honors the 56 countries and nations around the world that make up 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.
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The Commonwealth Day theme for 2023 is “Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future.”
Sustainability is a key cause for King Charles as he leads 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.
Upon King Charles and Queen Camilla’s arrival at Westminster Abbey, they were met by the Dean of Westminster before they 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.