21st of April 2021—The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) visited the 282 (East Ham) Squadron Air Cadets at their headquarters in London.
It was the royal couple’s first engagement since Prince Philip’s funeral, which had taken place four days earlier. The engagement was clearly organised to honour Prince Philip who served as Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Cadets for over 60 years. Prince Philip retired from the military patronage in 2015 and handed the position over to Kate, who became Honorary Air Commandant. The Duchess has attended several engagements with air cadets since taking on the patronage. Pictured below: Kate at the Air Cadets’ 75th Anniversary service in 2016. Kate at a ‘first skills development camp‘ with cadets at RAF Wittering in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in 2017.
The engagement had a second link to Prince Philip. A large number of the squadron’s cadets complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Of course, the DoE Award is the youth awards programme founded by Prince Philip in 1956. Over the last 65 years, the programme has expanded from the United Kingdom into 144 nations. During their time with the air cadets, the couple spoke with a number of people taking their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
The couple also learned about the wide range of activities on offer to air cadets and tried the flight simulator.
At the end of the visit, William and Kate watched as the squadron gave a three cheer salute to honour Prince Philip.
Kate dressed in black for the visit. She wore a collarless mid-length coat with two rows of metallic buttons arranged in a double-breasted pattern on the front. It’s from Dolce & Gabanna’s AW16 collection. The piece is crafted from black wool and silk and features front flap pockets, long sleeves and a pleated waist.
This isn’t a new piece, Kate has worn it before. You may remember it from the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in November 2017. I am unsure of the piece’s RRP. Unfortunately, it is now sold out.
The Duchess brought back her black suede Mulberry Bayswater clutch bag. (Pictured below in leather. Kate carries the suede version). We’ve not seen Kate carry this piece since 2019.
The clutch bag features an embossed gold-tone turn-key closure on the front. There’s a patch pocket for carrying cards or ID on the back. The removable shoulder strap is made from woven leather and chain. Kate’s owned the Bayswater clutch since 2013. The company no longer make the bag, sadly.
Kate donned her black suede blocked heeled pumps by Tods. She’s worn them on a regular basis since 2017. Skilfully crafted by a team of artisans in Italy, the pumps have a solid block heel and streamlined pointed toe. They are made with the brand’s signature traction grip on the sole.
Kate’s earrings belong to the Queen. Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault refers to them as the Silver Jubilee Diamond and Pearl Earrings. This is because The Queen notably wore them to the Silver Jubilee in 1977. You can read more about the earrings on this page. (Photograph on the right is a closer look at the earrings, taken on another occasion).
Finally, Kate’s black mask the black plain “Duke/Duchess” style from Amaia Kids. (Unsurprisingly, as most if not all of Kate’s face masks have come from this brand to date).