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This Week in Royal Fashion: Kate at Bletchley Park, Camilla and Anne at garden party and Máxima in Ethiopia

It was another busy fashion week for the British royals as we saw the hats come out for the first garden party of the season, along with a vintage-inspired look for the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Bletchley Park. Meanwhile, Queen Máxima travelled to Ethiopia for a two-day visit and sported a dress with artistic flair.

Let’s have a look at some of this week’s fashion highlights.

The Duchess of Cambridge at Bletchley Park

On the 14th we saw Kate head to Bletchley Park, famous for Britain’s code-breaking work during World War II, to visit their new D-Day exhibition. The Duchess stepped out in a familiar dress, although we’d only seen it from the waist up in the official 70th birthday family portraits for Prince Charles.

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The navy polka-dot frock, from Alessandra Rich, features contrasting white cuffs and collar and white buttons marching down the front to a drop waist. The retro-style dress certainly fit the World War II theme of her visit and is also quite on trend; actress Abigail Spencer wore it to Harry and Meghan’s wedding last year, and celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker own the piece.

Although the dress appears extremely modest at first glance, when Kate walked you could see the front has a fairly significant slit since the buttons don’t go all the way down the piece. Pulling off a drop waist on a long dress like this is extremely difficult, but with her height and slim build, the Duchess of Cambridge somehow managed to make what could be an extremely matronly dress look fresh and fun (the show of leg helps, too!).

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Kate pinned a golden brooch in the shape of a rotor to her dress, and it turns out that the piece belonged to her grandmother, Valerie Glassborow Middleton, who worked at Bletchley Park along with her twin sister during World War II. The brooch is actually modeled after the rotors in the Enigma code-breaking machine her grandmother used at Bletchley Park, which made it the perfect accessory for her visit.

Camilla and Anne at a Buckingham Palace garden party

Wednesday was the first garden party of 2019, and the kickoff event was attended by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne.

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Princess Anne looked lovely in an icy pale blue suit jacket and dress, complemented by a matching hat with a wide ribbon detail. But the highlight of her look was the stunning turquoise and diamond pendant hanging from a strand of pearls. This became one of my favourite pieces of Anne’s jewellery after she wore it at a prior garden party, and I’d love to see it more often.

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Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall sported a summery white dress with some fabulous sleeves. The piece, which is by Bruce Oldfield, per Hello! magazine, buttons down the front with the bodice and sleeves featuring a ribbon-like pattern. The three-quarter length bubble sleeves have a touch of sheerness to them and give the outfit a definite wow factor.

She topped the look with one of her signature oversized hats. It’s a piece we’ve seen before, including at one of last year’s garden parties, and features a wide brim and spray of white feathers.

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Queen Máxima in Ethiopia

This week, the Dutch queen made a visit to Ethiopia in her role as UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. On Wednesday, she repeated one of my favourite day dresses she’s worn, an A-line style from designer Mattijs Van Bergen.

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The dress, with a boat neck, elbow-length sleeves and a full skirt, features an artistic twist: a very modern splash of green paint splatter detail at the waist. She paired the dress with a coordinating green clutch and peep-toe shoes in a similar shade of green.

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Máxima, who celebrated her 48th birthday Friday, loves to choose outfits with interesting and unexpected details, and the splash of colour brightens up the otherwise dull beige shade of this dress. It made a statement without being too over-the-top, and also provided some lovely photos amongst the colourful fruits and signs at the coffee shop and buildings she visited.

We’ll be back next week with more fashion from your favourite royals.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.