Kate in Soft Blue dress for Prince of Wales Buckingham Palace Reception
August 26, 2021
The Duchess wore a pale blue dress for today’s reception at Buckingham Palace.
The reception marks the fiftieth anniversary of Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales. here you see HM The Queen, the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they enter the reception.
The Prince was created Prince of Wales in 1958 when he was just nine years old (I learned this is the proper wording when researching the post); the investiture did not take place for another eleven years. It was held on July 1, 1969, in a ceremony described as “colorful” on the official POW website.
The BBC reported that the 1969 ceremony was designed by Lord Snowdon, a photographer and the husband of Princess Margaret. more below.
He rejected many of the older ways of staging royal events. “… was an update of what had happened in 1911. many of the details were changed to make it look more modern. It was the ‘swinging sixties’, a period of youth rebellion. Some thought that the monarchy looked out of date and wanted to change its image.”
Below, Lord Snowden at the investiture with his children, David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley and lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones.
Embed from Getty Images
The Prince’s oath from the ceremony: “I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship and faith and truth I will bear unto thee to live and die against all manner of folks.”
At today’s event, most of the regalia worn by the Prince was on display, including the coronet, rod, gold ring, and sword.
Below left, the coronet. (As well as the dress worn by HM at the investiture; it was not part of today’s event, just included in this photo because both items were part of the 2016 exhibit, “Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of style from The Queen’s Wardrobe.”)
There is an interesting story about the coronet. More from The daily Mail, quoting David Mason, who did the electroforming of the coronet:
However when Mr Mason drove it to the Worshipful company of Goldsmiths to be assayed and hallmarked, disaster struck. The gold was so soft that as the coronet was struck with a stamp, it completely disintegrated in their hands.
‘With just days to go… it suddenly came to me – a ping pong ball. We’ll electroform a ping pong ball.
Incredibly the process worked, but as there was no way of removing the ball we just had to leave it inside. No-one, of course, wanted to be the one to tell Prince Charles that he was being invested with a ping pong ball on his head.’
A closer look at the gold, diamond and platinum coronet.
In 2017 HRH became the longest serving Prince of Wales in British history. A human link between the 1969 ceremony and today’s function is explained by Hannah Furness’s story in The Telegraph:
…there were two other guests who had also been present at Charles’s investiture 50 years ago: lady Susan Hussey, a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and Sir Nicholas Soames, the conservative MP and an old friend of Charles.
Recalling the investiture, Sir Nicholas said: “It was an incredibly moving and beautiful day, especially the moment when the Queen presented her son to all four corners [of the land]. The service was absolutely wonderful.”
Today’s reception was focused on the Welsh charities the Prince supports and organizations for which he is patron.
Below, the Prince speaking with members of the Stereophonics, a Welsh rock band that was helped by funding from the Prince’s trust when they were getting started.
The Duchess of Cornwall with Kelly Jones, the group’s lead singer.
Below, Princess Anne and a guest. She was at the 1969 ceremony; Princes Andrew and Edward (ages 9 and 4, respectively) did not attend. In the background of this picture, you can see Catherine Quinn, Kate’s personal private secretary.
Music by students from the Royal Welsh college of music and Drama.
The Duke and Duchess with guests.
Prince Charles with Welsh actor Owen Teale (C) and Welsh singer Wynne Evans (R).
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby attended the reception.
He also delivered remarks.
From his text:
“Ich Dien”, I serve, is in the present tense. It is a present continuous, a duty that goes on. As His Royal Highness says there is always more to do.
Service was in the oath, and service has marked the 50 years, service often publicly unnoticed, unseen.
This Prince of Wales has guarded the sacred duty of service and kept the fire, not only alight but burning more brightly with the passing years.
Now for our look at what Katewore for today’s function.
For many, the dress was reminiscent of the ‘Sabitri’ by Beulah London, but The daily Mail’s Caroline Parr confirmed this was not by Beulah.
Kate’s dress does have many of the same design elements: a row of self-covered buttons with loop fasteners, a full sleeve coming to a fitted cuff, and a full skirt. Today’s frock does have a higher collar and it is accented by a ruffle. It also features slightly puffed sleeves and all-around pleating.
Reporters say the Palace tells them the dress is by a private dressmaker. UPDATE #1, 11 am: To some readers, this looks more minty green than light blue. I can see it appearing that way, as it’s a very pale color. To me, it looks a skosh (sp?) more blue than green, but that’s just my eyes and my monitors. It’s possible it is a mintier shade than a pale blue.
UPDATE #2 2 pm: Rosie commented about the similarities between Kate’s dress and a style by Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko. The two designs are *very* much alike.
But they also have multiple differences: the length of the cuffs, the number of buttons on the front, and I *think* the ruffle at the collar and possibly the height of the collar itself. The fabric used for the Sergeenko is quite a bit heavier than the material seen in Kate’s dress. I am looking for a larger photo to better see the details.
The Duchess appeared to be in a new pair of Emmy London heels, the Rebecca Blush style ($550).
The shoe is a classic point toe style in a “nude blush shade,” with a 4.5″ heel. thank you to data Duchess two for the shoe ID.
Kate carried one of her clutches by Alexander McQueen.
Ella Kay/The Court Jeweller believes the Duchess wore her aquamarine and diamond drops. (Pictured as worn at other events, not today’s function.)
This one is about 3:30 and covers much of the event.