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Kate joins river pageant as Queen leads flotilla down the River Thames

On June 3rd 2012, Queen Elizabeth II led a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats along the River Thames to mark her Diamond Jubilee. This is only the second time in history that a monarch has celebrated a 60-year rein on the throne (The Queen’s great grandmother Queen Victoria celebrated the same achievement back in 1896.)

queen at the river pageant

The River Pageant:

Onboard The Spirit of Chartwell, at the centrepiece of the flotilla, the Queen was accompanied by immediate members of the Royal Family, including the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge.

kate wears a red McQueen dress

Catherine talks to Camilla as the queen looks out onto the water with Prince Philip.
You can see William is in the background.

Meanwhile, The Duke of York, his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex were close behind, onboard the paddle Steamer “Havengore”, while the Middleton family travelled onboard the paddle steamer “Elizabethan”.  (If you’d like to read about Pippa’s outfit, click here.)

The Spirit of Chartwell:

A bit of information about The Spirit of Chartwell from the Press Association:

“The 64 metre-long cruiser has a top speed of 11 knots … rich red drapes decorating its sides and its bow [displays] the Queen’s cipher, EIIR, below a crown with golden floral displays around it. It has a luxury interior designed to evoke the grandeur of the 1929 Cote d’Azur Pullman railway carriages, complete with artefacts from the original train and great ocean liners.”

“Flowers from the Queen’s gardens … adorn the barge and take as their theme the Commonwealth, the Queen’s 1953 Coronation and the Gold State Coach. Gardeners’ World horticulturist Rachel de Thame created the floral displays which have a red, gold and purple colour scheme.”

A look at the boats on the River Thames:

river pageant

Boats out on the River Thames, all part of the Diamond Jubilee pageant.

Kate’s Outfit:

We’re here to discuss Kate’s outfit after all – so let’s get down to business!

kate in red McQueen dress for the Jubilee river pageant

For this grand occasion, Kate chose a red dress by one of her favourte designers, Alexander McQueen.  It looks like Kate took a design from McQueen’s 2011 collection and had it tailored specifically for her.  Below we show you the McQueen dress on the catwalk model and X-Factor judge Tulisa in 2011:

tulisa red mcqueen kate

As you can see, the original dress was sleeveless.  Kate’s bespoke dress is longer than the original too.

Shop Alexander McQueen:

Kate’s Accessories:

Kate wore her trusty L.K. Bennett Sledge heels with the red ensemble – we’re thinking these must be long lasting and comfy, as she’s never seen out of them (that or she owns hundreds of pairs!)

L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps

Kate also wore her Kiki McDonough citrine drop earrings and a maritime-themed brooch, which features two dolphins positioned next to a crown.  The brooch was possibly a gift from the Royal Navy Submarine Service, though the brooches are available to buy online.

kiki mcdonough citrine drop earrings

Kate wore a matching red hat was by Sylvia Fletcher.    Did you think Kate’s had resembed the Maple leaf piece she wore on Canada Day last year?  So did we, and it turns out Fletcher designed both pieces.

Eagle-eyed fans might have noticed that Kate carried a scarf or pashmina early on in the parade…  I’m informed it’s made of Strathearn tartan – a nod to her Scottish title the Countess of Strathearn!

Finally, Kate carried a red clutch bag with bow, very similar to the Alexander McQueen bag below, minus the skull detailing:

Kate's red bow clutch is by Alexander McQueen

If you’d like to relive the pageant, there’s a handy video of the “best bits” below:

Kate's outfit for River Pageant 2012

L.K. Bennett Sledge Patent Leather Platform Court Shoe

L.K Bennett Sledge Pumps

Nude patent court shoes

Click to buy

Steal Kate Middleton's style:



  1. dress like a lady says:

    Wonderful post 🙂 But oops, you forgat to mention Princess Anne, she was there to, and I think her husband also

  2. Melissa says:

    she looks stunning but she upstaged the queen a bit in that outfit. my eyes went to her.

  3. Kate’s whole outfit is lovely and the colour red suits her so much, but she should go easy on the eye make-up. She should reduce it to show her natural beauty – it only ages her and makes her look tired. Otherwise she would have looked stunningly beautiful.

  4. J.Lynch says:

    Kate looked absolutely flawless and elegant . Queen Elizabeth also looked regal and flawless. It was truly a family affair! There should be no room for any criticism of anyone especially of princess Kate !

  5. She looked stunning! The red was bright but she was just going with the colors. She always looks great anyway. 🙂

  6. I don’t find Kate to be anything interesting or marvelous. I think William married down.

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