It was a sombre and solemn afternoon for Kate. Dressed, as one would expect, head-to-toe in black, the Princess of Wales attended a brief service for the late Queen in Westminster Hall (Wednesday, 14th September 2022).
The service, hosted by the Church of England, took place after the Procession of Her Majesty’s Coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
The Queen’s four children, King Charles, the Duke of York (Andrew), the Princess Royal (Anne) and the Earl of Wessex (Edward), formed part of the procession behind the Queen’s coffin.
Behind, walked Peter Phillips (Queen’s grandson), the Duke of Sussex (Harry) and the Prince of Wales (William), Sir Tim Laurence (Anne’s husband), the Duke of Gloucester (the Queen’s cousin) and the Earl of Snowdon (nephew and godson of the Queen).
The Princess of Wales (Kate) arrived for the service with the Queen Consort (Camilla). Both travelled via car. The Duchess of Sussex (Meghan) and the Countess of Wessex (Sophie) followed behind in a separate car.
Royal family members not involved with the Procession awaited its arrival at Westminster Hall.
This included the Queen’s other five grandchildren: Princess Eugenie with her husband Jack Brooksbank, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, their cousin Zara, with her husband Mike Tindall, plus Lady Louise with her brother Viscount Severn.
The royal ladies curtseying to the Queen.
On top of the coffin, you will spot The Imperial State Crown, one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The priceless piece symbolises the sovereignty of the monarch.
The Queen will now lie in state for four days to allow members of the public to pay their final respects before her funeral on Monday (19th September 2022).
You can watch the final part of the procession and some of the service below (the singing is beautiful):
The Royals leaving Westminster Hall:
As I’m sure you’ll understand, due to the nature of the occasion, I will not spend a lot of time analysing Kate’s outfit. I will confirm her coat is by Catherine Walker. She owns the same design in cream.
I’d like to talk a little about Kate’s jewellery. She chose a very striking pearl brooch that belonged to the Queen.
The brooch features a trio of pearls placed in the center of a pave-set leaf. [One] close-up [image] shows that the piece appears to be made at least partly of yellow gold … We don’t have any provenance information on the brooch, but to my eye, it looks like a fairly recent creation.The Court Jeweller
The Court Jeweller, one of my favourite bloggers, calls this The Queen’s Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch.
Lauren says it’s a “mystery item” and describes how it was “unseen” for two decades. It has recently returned to prominence thanks to Kate.
The Princess has worn the brooch to several royal events in recent years. She debuted it during a visit to Belgium to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele in 2017.
I suspect Kate chose the brooch for two reasons. First, as a tribute to honour the Queen. Seeing as the brooch belonged to the monarch, it’s likely Kate wanted to wear an item with a connection to her late grandmother-in-law.
Second, royals often wear pearl jewellery when in mourning. It’s a tradition that can be traced back to Queen Victoria.
Kate chose pearl earrings for the Procession too. They’re the Collingwood Pearl Drops.
Most readers will recognise the famous earrings. They once belonged to Princess Diana, she wore them frequently.
These diamond and pearl drop earrings are ultimate classics: absolutely timeless, perfectly versatile, and endlessly useful. The earrings feature a round diamond stud, from which is suspended an additional round diamond and a bell cap set with three more rows of small diamonds. The bell caps each contain a lovely pearl drop.The Court Jeweller
The earrings were a gift from the Collingwood jewellery company (hence the name).
Kate’s worn the pearl drops on numerous occasions, including in two of her three 40th birthday portraits.
The Princess also wore a black hat with a small veil.
If you’ve seen photographs of the Queen at her father’s funeral in 1952, you’ll know she wore a full black veil. Mourning veils date back centuries, though today’s modern iterations are often shorter and crafted from netting.
Royals aren’t required to wear mourning veils. (You probably noticed that most family members did not wear one today). The Queen did not wear one to Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021. If you’d like to read more on the topic of mourning veils, there’s an interesting article at PageSix.com here.