he Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen to celebrate the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on June 17. The royal engagement, which saw the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex welcome Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, marked a special day on the royal calendar.
The Duchess looked to one of her one of her favourite designers, Catherine Walker, for a custom monochrome dress coat befitting the occasion à la Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, which saw King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands officially invested by the Queen as Supernumerary “Stranger Knights” of the Garter.
Founded by Edward III in 1348, the Order of the Garter is a 700-year old tradition that recognises great public service contributions. At any one time, the Order has a limit of 24 members, but foreign royals have been granted honorary “Stranger Knight” status since 1813.
The Duchess, who is a Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, also published a passionate letter in support of Children’s Hospice Week today. “Children’s hospices provide vital sanctuaries for those experiencing the very toughest of times. They help families and carers build life long memories that are poignant, happy and often filled with laughter,” she wrote.
Kate, who has been a patron since 2012, highlighted this year’s theme of “moments that matter”. As always, the theme is set by the charity Together For Short Lives which organises the event from June 17 until June 23.