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The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a coral coat dress as she teamed up Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex to host a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The trio stood in for the Queen, 96, who traditionally hosts four garden parties each summer but has bowed out of this year’s engagements amid ongoing mobility issues.
The annual garden parties, which are held between Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, are a way for the monarch to celebrate and reward those who have distinguished themselves in public service. They require the royal hosts to spend more than an hour on their feet as they make their way through the crowd.
The Queen, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next month, is increasingly relying on senior royals including Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William to stand in her stead at high profile engagements.
Last week she was represented by Prince Charles at the State Opening of Parliament and the first of three Buckingham Palace garden parties. Yesterday the Queen made a surprise appearance at Paddington Station for the official opening of the Elizabeth Line.
Today it was the turn of the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Edward, and the Countess of Wessex, one of Her Majesty’s most trusted confidantes.
Kate, 40, who wore a monochrome Emilia Wickstead ensemble, appeared perfectly poised as she joined the Wessexes on the steps of the palace before making their way down to the lawn to greet guests.
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Coral queen! The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a coral version of an Emilia Wickstead coat dress she has worn on a number of previous occasions
The Duchess of Cambridge looked resplendent as she joined Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex at the second Buckingham Palace garden party of the summer
Prince Edward, left, and the Countess of Wessex were on hand to meet hundreds of guests in the Buckingham Palace garden
Meet the Duchess! Kate spent time speaking to guests at the garden party, which recocognises those who have distinguished themselves in public service
Pink perfection! Displaying her love of colour blocking, Kate wore her coral coat dress with a hat in the same shade
The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to a group of women and a young girl who brought a sign along to the party
A royally good time! Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. Pictured, guests at today’s event
The Duchess opted for a coral version of an Emilia Wickstead coat dress she has worn on a number of previous occasions. The flattering knee-length frock features long sleeves, a sharp collar and band at the waist to accentuate Kate’s slender frame.
Demonstrating her love of colour blocking, Kate paired the piece with pink suede point toe pumps and added a hat in a matching shade. She finished the look with a metallic clutch bag that brought a touch of sparkle.
Meanwhile Sophie was typically elegant in a white dress with a pink and purple floral pattern. The Countess of Wessex teamed the midi with a white hat and simple neutral shoes.
It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the Queen’s absence, which was announced last week, royal expert Angela Levin said: ‘It’s a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties as there would be too much standing. What a shame though.’
The Duchess of Cambridge opted a simple pair of drop earrings and wore her hair bulled back in a chignon
Light-hearted moment: Kate Middleton and Prince Edward shared a joke as they made their way down the steps to the garden
Plenty to smile about! The Duchess of Cambridge looked animated as she spent time speaking to guests in the garden
Centre of the action: Guests waited patiently for the opportunity to speak to the Duchess of Cambridge at the garden party
The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, are a way of recognising and rewarding public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy high tea on the lawn to the sounds of a military band.
Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties and in 2018, 8,000 guests attended the first soiree of the season. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed.
For the occasion men are asked to wear morning dress or lounge suits while women are invited to wear a ‘day dress, usually with hats or fascinators’.
It comes a day after Her Majesty’s surprise appearance at the opening of the Elizabeth Line at Paddington Station, in London, pictured, following her absence from the State Opening of Parliament last week
This year there was also a ‘Not Forgotten Association Annual Garden Party’ which took place on May 12 and was hosted by Princess Anne, who is patron of the charity.
The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities.
The Garden Party for the organisation, which will also be held at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.