Happy Easter! The Duchess of Cambridge gifted us a surprise appearance this morning by joining the Royal Family for an Easter service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. She and the Duke joined the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Peter and Autumn Phillips, the Wessexes, the Princess Royal and Timothy Laurence for what became quite the family affair.
The Queen arrived at the chapel by car, while the rest of the party came by foot, allowing for several photos to be snapped of them walking in together, akin to what we see each year for Christmas at Sandringham. The Queen traditionally celebrates the Easter holiday at Windsor, but I believe this is the first year William and Kate have joined her for it. I had assumed they would be spending the weekend at Anmer Hall, or even in Berkshire with Kate’s parents, but it was nice to see them spend it with the Windsor clan, particularly since they spent Christmas Day with the Middletons.
Logistically, it also makes sense given that Kensington Palace has announced a host of engagements this coming week that will keep the Cambridges in London through at least next weekend when the marathon is planned.
The only senior members of the RF not on show today were the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who were photographed attending a service near Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and Prince Harry, who has been in Toronto visiting Meghan Markle since Wednesday.
As you’ll see, Kate curtsied upon seeing the Queen, which is something she always does when first greeting her as a sign of respect. Next to her, you can see William bowing his head.
Today Kate recycled a cream Catherine Walker coat that she first debuted last fall during the Canada tour. It was her last look from the trip, which she wore as the family was saying goodbye and boarding a plane back to the UK. As she did last time, she paired the coat with neutral accessories and wore a pair of pearl and diamond earrings on loan from the Queen. She also appears to be wearing the same pleated white skirt, which many believe is a Whistles item she’s had in her closet since at least 2011.
The only new item appears to be her hat – a matching cream pillbox – which I will admit is the only thing about this look not working for me. I think the coat is gorgeous and I’m a fan of the nude shoes. (I know some people find them dull, but I have a similar pair of LK Bennett heels in the same color and they are comfortable, practical, durable and I get it.) But I much preferred this ensemble with the hair down. It’s a formal, conservative coat and with Kate’s long hair worn loose, it kept it on the right side of youthful. Something about the combination of the chignon with the pillbox and it felt just a tad too much like playing dress up.
Now, as I mentioned, this is the first year William and Kate have joined the Queen for Easter, but I thought I’d provide a quick rundown of previous years.
Their first Easter as a married couple occurred in 2012 and they spent it with Charles and Camilla at Balmoral where they attended a church service and then had a family lunch. The following year, Kate was about six months pregnant with Prince George and they stayed at their then-home base in Anglesey, Wales, quite possibly because William was on call for work. They were spotted attending a service at the local church.
In 2014, they were in Sydney, Australia for a tour. William and Kate attended a church service and signed the Fleet bible, which had previously been signed by Charles and Diana, the late Princess of Wales during their 1983 visit, as well as the Duke and Duchess of York. After the morning’s engagement, William and Kate were seen out on the lawn of their residence playing with their son and trying to teach him the finer points of an Easter egg hunt.
Later on, all three visited a zoo where George gifted the world several more of his now-famous facial expressions.
In 2015, Kate was about eight and a half months pregnant and the family spent the day privately. It’s unclear whether they were based in Norfolk or London, but royal baby watch for Princess Charlotte was officially underway.
Last year, for what was Charlotte’s first Easter, the family split up. William flew to Kenya to attend the wedding of a long-time friend (and rumored one-time girlfriend), while Kate is believed to have taken the children to Berkshire to spend the day with her family. This caused some raised eyebrows, particularly since William’s absence was on behalf of a woman who many believed may have been a once-serious love interest, but I chalk the entire scenario up to really no one else’s business. The woman in question attended William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, has been pictured socializing with Kate numerous times and is, I think, just a good family friend at this point. It makes sense to me that in weighing the holiday with a wedding, William decided to represent the Cambridges at the ceremony.
Anyway, the point is there’s never been a real set pattern for how the couple celebrates Easter, except that they usually attend church and spend it with family. I was glad to see them with the Queen, and hope it happens again in the coming years, though it will be a few years yet before George and Charlotte are considered old enough to join the family at church.
We’ll next see Kate on Wednesday when she hosts the runners for the Heads Together team participating in next weekend’s marathon.