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Kate attends Iraq & Afghanistan memorial unveiling in London

This morning, William, Kate and Harry watched as the Queen unveiled a new memorial at the Victoria Embankment Gardens in Westminster, London.

The new memorial honours the UK Armed Forces and civilians who served their country in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who supported them back home, from 1990-2015.

“The memorial will stand as a permanent reminder of the contribution and sacrifice that so many members of our Armed Forces, aid workers and civilian personnel made towards the security of the United Kingdom and the interests of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their efforts underline our on-going commitment to support the people of this region in building a more stable future which will help keep Britain safer and more secure”.  — Sir Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary

Paul Day, the British sculpturist, designed the monument.  He also created the Battle of Britain monument on the Embankment, the Queen Mother’s memorial statue on the Mall and the Meeting Place, the sculpture of an embracing couple in St Pancras station.

HM The Queen Unveils The Iraq And Afghanistan Memorial - Thursday 9th March 2017 Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, attended a Service of Dedication and unveiled the new memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens, which honours the service and duty of both the UK Armed Forces and civilians in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who supported them back home, from 1990-2015. The service of dedication, from a specially conducted Drumhead, with 2,500 invited guests was held on Horse Guards Parade and afterwards a short ceremony was held at Victoria Embankment Gardens, next to the Ministry of Defence, where The Queen officially unveiled the memorial and met a small number of guests. A reception for all those who attended the day's events was held on Horse Guards Parade afterwards. The Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial recognises the contributions by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and all UK citizens who were deployed in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan from 1990-2015. The combined events that the memorial covers represent the longest post-war continuous overseas deployment of UK forces (excepting garrison duties), and the most intensive extended period of operations undertaken since the Second World War. The concept of creating a national memorial commemorating the UK’s contribution to both military operations and civilian reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the liberation of Kuwait in 1990 through to the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, originated in spring 2014. It had political backing from then Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond and then Prime Minister David Cameron. A board of trustees was formed to deliver the project. The current Government strongly backs the initiative, has committed financial support from LIBOR funding and is facilitating the unveiling event. The memorial gives equal prominence to the military and civilian contributions, including the delivery of healthcare and nation-building. The memorial is intentionally not focused on the fallen and bears no names. The memorial honours the several hundred thousand1UK citizens deployed in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan in the quarter century. Although the military forms the largest group, the diversity of the civilian roles is remarkable and includes education, humanitarian work, healthcare and infrastructure. The Iraq And Afghanistan Memorial was designed by sculptor Paul Day.The Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial is innovative and unique in both the breadth of those it is designed to represent and the 25 year time scale. This is an opportunity not only to recognise the momentous contribution of our Armed Forces but, on a national scale, also emphasise the vital work of civilians from the many Government departments, charitable organisations and contractors. 

The Iraq/Afghanistan monument is formed from two stone monoliths that support a bronze medallion.  It’s crafted from Portland stone and finely carved on three sides.  The fourth side is left jagged and rough to suggest the rocky terrains of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shortly before the unveiling, William, Kate and other members of the Royal Family joined 2,000 invited guests at a Service of Dedication at Horse Guards Parade in London.

Guests included current Service personnel, veterans, representatives of departments and bodies including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the National Health Service, and representatives of various charities and aid organisations.  Current Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchechquor Philip Hammond also attended.

At the start of the ceremony, Prince Harry said a few words.

After the service and unveiling, the royals attended a reception on Horse Guard Parade.  

Kate’s outfit:

For the occasion, Kate chose to re-wear the coat she first debuted in Australia 2014.  It’s a blue twill piece from Michael Kors‘ spring/summer 2014 collection.

Kate Middleton's outfit at the war memorial service

Kate wore the piece more recently, in May 2014, to officially open the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace.  Here’s a look at Kate on that day:

The Duchess of Cambridge officially opens the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace, London, UK, on the 14th April 2016. Pictured: Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, Kate Middleton

The coat features flap buttons on the front, buttons on the front and a full skirt.   Hello! Magazine reported the coat retailed for £1,870 back in 2014.

Kate brought back a familiar earring and necklace set for today’s engagements:

They’re the tanzanite set from G. Collins & Sons.  Kate first debuted them exactly two years ago, for the Afghanistan service of commemoration at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the Afghanistan Commemoration Service

She also wore them last year on the first day of the Canada Tour.

The striking set feature tanzanite stones and diamonds that are set in platinum.  Below, we picture similar pieces the company have designed:

Kate Middleton's blue tanzanite and diamond earrings by G Collins and Sons

Kate accessorised with her blue suede heels by Rupert Sanderson.  They’re the ‘Malory‘ style.

Described by the designer as a “perennial classic”,  the Malory shoes cost $675 USD / £425 GBP.

Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps in storm blue

Kate wore a pair of coordinating blue gloves for the service today.   The blue gloves feature bow detailing on the cuff. 

We do not have a confirmed ID for the gloves at the moment.  However, Susan from reached out to Cornelia James this afternoon.  A spokesperson believes Kate might be wearing their Beatrice Merino Wool Gloves in navy.


REPLIKATE:  Matalan stock a pair of blue gloves with a bow for just £3.

Kate wore a new hat to today’s service.  It’s the Tiffany drop-brim hat from Lock & Co.

It’s crafted from 100% rabbit fur felt and features a wide Petersham band and a bow on the back.

The hat is available in both black and blue and it costs £325 (around $395).  Thanks to Michelle for finding the hat.

Kate Middleton Tiffy Hat from Lock & Co

Finally, Kate carried her Stuart Weitzman Muse clutch (updated: earlier I said she carried the L.K. Bennett Frome clutch, which is incorrect.)

The Duchess owns this clutch bag in four different colours (navy suede, brown suede, black suede and nude). The bag is sold as the “muse” here in the UK. It’s known as the “Raz” in America.

Stuart Weitzman Muse Clutch. Kate also owns this in black.

Steal Kate Middleton's style:



  1. The Lock & Co. Tiffany. Hat is exactly like the one Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She looks classically beautiful in everything she wears.

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