The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are in Belgium Yesterday and today for 100th Anniversary World War I commemorations. They are meeting up with Belgium's King Philippe & Queen Mathilde for the events.
31 July 2017 marks a century since the beginning of one of the First World War's bloodiest battles, the Third Battle of Ypres — widely known as Passchendaele.
This battle came infamous not only for its scale of casualties, but also for the mud. The battlefields were turned to liquid mud after what was the worst rain in 30 years.
The terrible events were summed up by one of the leading poets and soldiers of WWI, Siegfried Sassoon: "I died in hell, they called it Passchendaele".
The Duke & Duchess attended a traditional Last Post ceremony at dusk at the Menin Gate, Ypres, along with Belgium's King Philippe & Queen Mathilde.
The Prince of Wales, Sir Timothy Laurence, Prime Minister Theresa May and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon are also attending events in and around Ypres to mark the centenary of one of the bloodiest and muddiest battles of the First World War — the battle of Passchendaele.
Sir Michael said: "These services provide us with the time to reflect on the sacrifice not just of the thousands of British and Commonwealth troops who gave their lives, but of the men on all sides who did not return home."
More than half a million troops — 325,000 Allied troops and 260,000 Germans — died in the battle, officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, in the West Flanders region of northern Belgium in 1917.
The battle took place a year after the horror on the Somme, some 70 miles to the south in northern France. (The Royal Trio attended the Somme commemorations last year.)
Every evening since 1928, the Last Post has been played under the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper at 8 o'clock sharp. This evening the ceremony will take place for the 30,752nd time. It is a traditional final salute to the fallen, and is played by the buglers in honour of the memory of the soldiers of the former British Empire and its allies, who died in the Ypres Salient during the First World War.
In a speech, The Duke of Cambridge spoke on behalf of a nation. “Thank you for the honour that you do us,” he said.
Then, representing every name on the Menin Gate, over fifty-four thousand poppies fell from the Gate.
Their Royal Highnesses joined by over 200 descendants whose ancestors are named on the Gate and representatives from nations who fought on the Salient.
The Duchess opted for her beautiful Alexander McQueen coat-dress for this evening's events.
You may remember she first wore this fit-and-flare piece to Princess Charlotte's christening in 2015, and then again to the Trooping the Colour in 2016.
She paired it with a bespoke ivory-coloured headpiece we have also previously seen. This is the Lock & Co 'Marisabel' piece that we saw her wear to the 2015 Trooping the Colour parade. According to Lock & Co, the hat "has been sculpted using sinamay and then finished with a curled feather in a matching coffee tone.”
Kate carried her Anne Grand-Clément clutch that she recently debuted in Germany. Her specific design is not available, but similar ones are listed for prices around €115.
As for jewellery, The Duchess wore her Balenciaga 'Eugenia silver-tone, faux pearl and crystal ear cuffs' (originally $745 before selling out) and her pearl brooch — worn to the 2014 Trooping.
Kate's pumps are new from Gianvito Rossi.
Kate is also wearing the Remembrance Poppy — a symbol to remember those who lost their lives during war. Poppies are used as they were the flowers that grew on the battlefields once the First World War ended.
I love this look — very elegant and flattering. A classic 'Kate' look. I also love that she chose a colour other than the typical black and other dark colours; wearing lighter colours to these events often symbolizes hope and peace, not a sign of disregard for the somber occasion.
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