Kate & William’s First Official Engagement Ten Years Ago Today

Hello and welcome to a Wednesday! Today we have a look back at what Kate wore ten years ago for her first official engagement, but first, an update on Prince Philip via a Buckingham Palace statement released yesterday. 

The Duke of Edinburgh remains at King Edward VII’s hospital where he is receiving medical attention for an infection. He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days. 

The Duke is seen below with HM in November as they looked at a 73rd-anniversary card made by Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

The 99-year-old Prince was admitted to King Edward VII hospital in London last Tuesday as a “precautionary measure.”  More from The Guardian’s story: 

Philip travelled to the hospital by car, and walked in unaided. Prince William, asked about his grandfather on Monday, said: “He’s OK. They’re keeping an eye on him,” and he gave a wink.

Here you see Prince William on Monday when he visited a vaccination center. 

Prince Edward also spoke about the Duke’s condition in an interview with Sky News.  We return to The Guardian’s coverage: 

On Tuesday, the Earl of Wessex said of his father in an interview with Sky News: “He’s a lot better, thank you very much indeed, and he’s looking forward to getting out, which is the most positive thing so we keep our fingers crossed.”

Asked whether Philip was frustrated to be in hospital, Edward laughed and replied: “Just a bit. I think that gets to all of us, and then, you can only watch the clock so many times and the walls are only so interesting.”

Prince Charles visited his father on Saturday. Hopefully, the Duke will be out of the hospital and back at Windsor Castle before too long. 


Now to the topic of the first engagement Prince William and then-Kate Middleton undertook following the announcement of their engagement in November 2010.   

The couple was at the Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station in Anglesey, Wales.

The occasion: a naming ceremony and dedication of an RNLI lifeboat.  More from this Hello piece: 

The royal couple have made their home there since 2010, and are said to have fallen in love with the area.

So it was on this small island, off the northwest coast of Wales, that they chose to make their first official engagement as a couple – a palace spokesman confirmed that this is the first time Kate has been invited as a guest of honour in her own right.

The couple was warmly welcomed by the crowds gathered for the event. 

Town and Country has a piece by Victoria Murphy this week, looking back at the occasion. 

The location had been deliberately chosen because William and Kate had made a seaside cottage in Anglesey their home while the Prince worked as an RAF Search and Rescue Pilot. There were people in the crowd who had traveled from further afield, but most were from the nearby area that had embraced the royal couple as one of their own. “She’s a local now. We’ve heard she was in Argos the other day,” one 10-year-old in the crowd told the Guardian, while a 13-year-old said of William: “He’s often in the burger bar at Valley.”

Kate appeared comfortable on the walkabout, laughing and chatting with people eager to meet her.

It had to feel daunting for the Duchess-to-be. 

After the national anthem and a speech by Prince William, it was time for the naming ceremony.  

Another view. 

The “Hereford Endeavour” is officially named.

More from Victoria Murphy’s Town & Country story: 

In addition to her obligatory pouring of champagne over the side of the lifeboat, which was named the Hereford Endeavour, Kate earned praise for singing the Welsh national anthem and was also given rave reviews on her first ever royal “walkabout.” “They’re such friendly, down-to-earth people, lovely. I was quite surprised how down-to-earth they were to be honest, I think everyone will tell you that,” Dafydd remembers. His then-4-year-old daughter Katie presented Kate with a framed photograph of the lifeboat. “She remembers it like it was yesterday as well, it was a big thing for all of us,” he recalls. Unsurprisingly, royal superfans had also made the journey to north Wales in hope of meeting the newest member of the family. Colin Edwards gave Kate a framed photograph of William as a child, to which she exclaimed: “Look at his knees!”

Kate receiving flowers. 

Then it was time for a wave goodbye. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore. 

She was in the ‘contrast coat’ by Katherine Hooker, a piece she wore five years earlier to the Cheltenham Gold Cup (below left).  The garment was re-engineered for the Anglesey engagement. Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

The coat is made of a light brown herringbone fabric and features a tab collar, full skirt, covered front placket, contrasting brown cotton velvet on the collar, cuffs, pocket flaps, and back belt (below left).

A look at the back belt, cuff, and pocket flap. 

The style is still available at Katherine Hooker ($876 – $1255).  Below you see it in black, bottle green, and red herringbone.

Here is a closer look at it in cornflower blue. 

Kate’s hair was partially up, and she wore a fascinator by Vivien Sheriff. 

The silk velvet fascinator featured pheasant feathers and a tunic button from the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

More from this Daily Mail story: 

Appropriately for the Welsh visit, it was decorated with an insignia of the Royal Welch Fusiliers – given to Kate ‘some time ago’, aides said – and two military tunic buttons.

It was designed for the 29-year-old by Vivien Sheriff Millinery, a small company based in rural Wiltshire which makes all of its hats by hand.

And the design team was just as delighted to see the piece atop the bride-to-be’s head as anyone.

‘We saw it on the internet and we were extremely happy,’ said Maddie O’Mahony, of the design team.

Another view of the piece. 

The button with the Royal Welch Fusiliers’ insignia is on the right.  You can also see a cameo below the buttons.

It was the first time we saw the ‘Rouge’ ankle boots by Aquatalia.

The boots are made of water-resistant suede and featured a 3.5″ heel with a .5″ platform, zipper, and buckle detail.  In the US, the style was called the ‘Royal’ at retailers like Nordstrom. 

The scarf worn with the ensemble remains unidentified as best I recall. In the lower right corner of this image, I included a closeup of the tag on the scarf, but I can’t make out the brand name.

I also don’t recall the designer of Kate’s clutch. A Stuart Weitzman design for Russell and Bromley is a possibility.

Or her gloves.  (You can tell the engagement took place before I started the blog by all the UFO items!)   

Kate wore her Citrine Drop Earrings (£458, roughly $645 at today’s exchange rates) by Kiki McDonough. 

The RNLI (Royal Naval Lifeboat Institution) posted about the event on Twitter today.

Here is one more image from the day. 


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