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Remembrance Sunday 2014: Kate Pays Tribute to the Fallen in Alexander McQueen & Jane Corbett

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This year, Remembrance Sunday is particularly poignant as 2014 is the centennial of the start of World War I. As the royals gathered at Whitehall's Cenotaph, there was an air of particular gravity. Life being what it is, this milestone is probably the last significant anniversary that most vets will see.

As always, the spouses of the royals who are taking part in the ceremonies, stand on the balcony of the Foreign Office, always dressed in black coats, black hats, and wearing scarlet poppies.

Kate was wearing an Alexander McQueen flare coat, which may be either short or long. Due to the limited view we get on remembrance Day, it is hard to say which she chose. Certainly many of her favorite design elements are present: double-breasted, military style, and an almost peplum like flare. I really like bold collars on Kate, too, and this coat certainly has that base covered. 

Kate recycled the Jane Corebtt hat she wore to her first Remembrance Sunday in 2011. 2011 has steadily maintained its position as my absolute favorite Remembrance Sunday appearance, but this year is a photo finish. This hat it certainly plays a leading role in the overall success of the ensemble, but the new coat was a brilliant choice.

Today's McQueen coat fit like a meticulously lasered puzzle piece with the Corbett hat. The lapels perfectly echoed the pointed embellishments of the hat, and as you know, I think of all necklines on Kate, a V is her most flattering. I think when I first saw this hat it made me think of 18th fashion. Something Marie-Antoinette would wear...or Georgiana Cavendish, as we have just been chatting about her. The delicate ruffle peeking out from under the coat subtly added to this vibe. I loved today! In 2011, Kate's appearance was certainly a fashion statement. We were just really seeing the transition from Kate Middleton to the Duchess of Cambridge. Today was another great moment. 

Kate accessorized with her sapphire drops, her Mappin & Webb Empress pendant, and the poppy of remembrance. 


William and Kate have marked special anniversaries for both WWI and WWII throughout this year. In April, the couple laid multiple wreaths at war memorials dotted across New Zealand and Australia, culminating in the moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service:

And later on the same the day, a solemn event at the Australian War Memorial:

In France, marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the couple toured the Normandy beaches where allied forces landed under heavy fire to free the continent.

In August, the couple represented Britain at the WWI Centenary in Belgium.

In her last appearance before falling victim to hyperemesis gravidarum, Kate, William, and Harry visited the stunning poppy installation at the Tower of London and placed their own tributes to the fallen:

Over the intervening weeks, I have tweeted some photos of the steadily expanding poppy installation, but it has now finished and is a remarkable display honoring the dead. The very talented Susan wrote on her blog What Kate Wore, a very interesting piece on this display and its future. I encourage you to read it, here.


There has been a certain amount of distress over the announcement that Elizabeth II may have been a target in a terror plot that was to have been perpetrated this morning at the Cenotaph. While this is obviously upsetting, it should not be surprising. World stability is at an uncomfortable low and evil is certainly having its say in many parts of the globe. High-profile figures are absolutely the targets of terrorists and those who want to cause pain and destruction to others. You will probably recall that when Harry served in Afghanistan there was a reward on his head once the news broke he was there.  If these terrible people could find a way to harm other senior members of the BRF, they would certainly try. This is one reason I was so pleased to see that the Palace added the costly Bentley to their fleet. We noticed it first when William and Kate drove to the Palace for the Diplomats' Reception:

That Bentley is more than just a fancy car, it is a tank under the guise of luxury. To shamelessly quote myself at the time:
In addition to the perks, the car has triple glazed bullet-proof windows that are about 1.5 inches thick, as well as hardened armored steel, and tires that won't deflate if punctured...Vulnerable areas such as the fuel tank, radiator, and engine also have special protection. So, it seems that although this car has lots of fun aspects, it is primarily meant to keep this increasingly high-profile couple safe as they arrive and depart from engagements where their presence has been announced long in advance. Given the state of our world today, this is a very comforting development.
Thankfully, due to the vigilance of security personnel, no horrific tragedy marred this centennial Remembrance Day. I am particularly moved by this photo of a lone veteran, in full uniform, contemplating the sea of crimson petals--the strange dichotomy of loss and beauty, the horrors of war and the transcendence of courage and self-sacrifice. Greater love hath no man than this...  


To those who gave those who gave all...our profound thanks:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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