The Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise appearance at the centenary celebrations for the Royal Air Force yesterday.
Attending the RAF 100 ceremonies was especially poignant for Kate, as she is the Honorary Air Commandant of the Royal Air Force Cadets. This, her first military post as a member of the Royal Family, was given to her in December 2015 upon Prince Philip relinquishing the position and passing it over to her.
Kate joined her husband and other members of the Royal Family for a service at Westminster Abbey followed by a presentation of new Queen’s Colour to the Royal Air Force and a flypast viewed from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.
Kate wore an icy blue Alexander McQueen coat dress and a matching hat from Sean Barrett. She also wore the diamond and ruby RAF Dacre brooch, which was given to her in 2015.
Previously, it had been awarded to the top female cadet each year, but in 2015 the tradition was altered to give female cadets the same prize as male cadets, and the brooch was given to Kate.
Kate has attended a handful of events tied in with the RAF Cadets. She visited the RAF base in Cambridgeshire on 14 February 2017 to visit the cadets there. She also attended the Air Cadets’ 75th-anniversary celebrations in 2016.
More closely, Kate is a former RAF wife herself, with William having earned his wings – along with Prince Charles, Prince Philip and King George VI – in 2008.
Kate is currently in the middle of maternity leave for Prince Louis and hasn’t yet returned to full-time royal duties. When she first went on maternity leave in March, it was with the expectation that she would still attend family and other significant events despite her leave.
She attended her brother-in-law’s wedding in May, Trooping the Colour in June, and now the RAF centenary commemorations. On Monday, Prince Louis was christened at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace surrounded by his family.
Kate is expected to return to full-time royal duties in the autumn.