Kate Middleton paid a touching tribute to the Queen by wearing a pair of the late monarch’s earrings on the first anniversary of her death.
The Princess of Wales, 41, wore the jewellery along with a burgundy coat from London-based designer Eponine as she visited St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with husband Prince William for a memorial service commemorating the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Kate and the Queen have both chosen to sport the diamond and pearl drop earrings before on special occasions. The Princess wore them as she left the Lindo Wing following the birth of Prince Louis in 2018.
She also chose them for a day of engagements in The Netherlands in 2016 – her first official solo overseas visit without William. The Queen, meanwhile, wore the earrings for a service of thanksgiving during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
Kate has worn the burgundy coat before too – for a Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey in London in 2022 – while she also recycled a favoured Mulberry bag and Gianvito Rossi heels.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, whose visit was delayed due to foggy weather, were cheered by around 300 well-wishers as they arrived at St Davids Cathedral on Friday. During their visit, William, 41, and Kate were set to join a short private service at the cathedral, which will include a commemoration of the late Queen’s life.
It will be led by the Dean, the Very Rev Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, who is expected to reflect on the Queen’s “lifelong example of faithful and devoted service”. Thou Knowest, Lord, The Secrets Of Our Hearts – played during the funeral of the Queen at Westminster Abbey – will be sung by the cathedral choir. Following the service, Kate will lay a bouquet of flowers including ivy, eucalyptus, white roses and waxflowers, by a portrait of the late Queen.
William and Kate will then attend a reception with 20 people associated with Elizabeth II’s previous visits to St Davids, as well as those active in areas the couple have an interest in, such as mental health and early years.
St Davids has been a site of pilgrimage and worship for more than 1,400 years, since St David – the patron saint of Wales – settled there with his monastic community in the sixth century.
Since the Protestant Reformation in Wales in the 16th century, one of the quire stalls at St Davids has been in the possession of the Crown and is known as the Sovereign’s Stall. This makes St Davids the only UK cathedral where the sovereign has a special stall in the quire among members of the chapter, the governing body of the cathedral.
Elizabeth II was the first monarch to visit St Davids Cathedral since the Reformation when she arrived at the site with her husband Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, during a royal tour to Wales in August 1955 following her coronation. She sat in the special stall then, and on three subsequent occasions during her visits to the cathedral – which dates from 1181 and welcomes around 300,000 visitors annually.
St Davids has officially been a city since 1995, when Elizabeth II presented the-then town council with letters patent elevating it to the status of a full city council during a ceremony at the cathedral. In 1982, the late Queen performed the Maundy money ceremony – in which the monarch distributes money to pensioners to commemorate Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper – at St Davids Cathedral.
Queen Elizabeth passed away at her beloved Balmoral estate on 8 September, 2022. It came as a devastating blow to the nation as she had proved to be a pillar of stability during her record-breaking 70 years on the throne – providing a steadying hand during troubling times and acting as a figurehead for celebration in moments of triumph.
On Friday, King Charles recorded a poignant message and released a favourite photograph of his late mother to mark the first anniversary of her death and his accession to the throne. The formal colour photograph he released was taken by Cecil Beaton and shows a young Queen, then 42, at an official portrait sitting in 1968.
In the picture, she stands sideways and smiles in her Garter robes and wears the Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Tiara, made of 15 interlaced diamond circles. The King, in words written and audio spoken at Balmoral Castle, thanked the nation for the love and support shown to him and Queen Camilla during his first year as monarch.
“In marking the first anniversary of Her Late Majesty’s death and my accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us,” the King said. “I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.”
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