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The very emotional detail behind Duchess Kate's latest outfit

This is SO special

kate brooch
Fiona Ward
Acting Fashion and Beauty Editor
May 16, 2019
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When the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for her latest engagement on Tuesday, many royal fashion fans were thrilled to see her recycle her much-loved Alessandra Rich midi dress from Prince Charles' official 70th birthday photographs. But did you notice the special detail she added to the cult dress? The visit to Bletchley Park was particularly poignant for Kate, since she met with veteran codebreakers who worked at the mansion alongside her grandmother Valerie Glassborow, and her twin sister Mary, during the Second World War.

kate code breakers

Kate met with female codebreakers who worked at Bletchley, like her grandmother

In tribute to her family, the Duchess wore a gold brooch that had once belonged to her grandmother. The four former codebreakers that she met with during the event also wore similar pins. Some royal fans noticed that the pretty brooch resembles the rotors that were used in the enigma machine that Valerie would have worked with during her time at Bletchley – though it's not known whether the accessories are replicas, or when the ladies received them. 

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Kate's Alessandra Rich dress, though a popular piece in 2018, also has a distinct 1940s look about it, which could have been a further tribute to her paternal grandmother. She sweetly spoke about Valerie, who passed away in 2006, during her conversations at the event. "My granny and her sister worked here. It's very cool," she told a group of schoolchildren. "When she was alive sadly she could never talk about it. She was so sworn to secrecy that she never felt able to tell us."

kate brooch

A close look at the special brooch

This isn't the first time Duchess Kate has made a poignant tribute with her outfit choice – recently, she chose a green Emilia Wickstead dress for a visit to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, where she opened the new Centre of Excellence at Rodney Street. It's thought that Kate chose the leafy colour to promote mental health awareness, since it’s the official shade of the cause – and the royal has chosen to wear green for other similar events, too.

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