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Duchess Sophie is resplendent in flattering waist-cinching dress for important outing

The Duchess of Edinburgh commemorated the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale alongside her husband Prince Edward


The Duchess of Edinburgh watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
Updated: 8 April 2024
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The Duchess of Edinburgh looked elegant in a waist-cinching dress as she joined her husband Prince Edward to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale with France on Monday.

Stepping in on behalf of her brother-in-law King Charles amid his ongoing cancer treatment, Duchess Sophie was resplendent in a chic white dress with a fabric belt cinching in the design at the waist while watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

WATCH: The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh replace King Charles at Changing of the Guards event

The elegant garment fell to mid-calf in soft pleats and was perfectly paired with a chic cream trench coat and nude heels.

Duchess Sophie, 59, clasped a baby blue and white bag in one hand and added a touch of sparkle to her attire thanks to her favourite flower-shaped earrings.

The mother-of-two wore her blonde hair pinned back in a low bun at the nape of her neck with a sweeping side part.

 The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh standing at Buckingham Palace for Changing of the Guard © Alamy
Duchess Sophie looked lovely at the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale with France

Her formal attire was in line with the pomp and ceremony of the occasion. France's Gendarmerie's Garde Republicaine joined the Changing of the Guard to mark the historic diplomatic agreement between Britain and France which laid the groundwork for their collaboration in both world wars, highlighting the ties between the two nations that remain to this very day.

It was the first time a non-Commonwealth country had taken part in the Changing Of The Guard ceremony, although the French troops didn't guard the royal residence.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, on behalf of King Charles III, arrive for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, London, with France's Gendarmerie's Garde Republicaine taking part to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale© Alamy
She flashed a smile as she greeted the troops alongside Prince Edward

Major Jamie Drummond-Moray, Officer Commanding F Company Scots Guards, commented: "It is an enormous privilege for us to host the French here in London and to play such a significant part in a ceremony that has never happened before with a non-Commonwealth country.

"It really is a monumental occasion and more so given that it is marking 120 years of the strong relationship between the UK with France. I think it’s a great honour for all our soldiers, and a fantastic day for everyone in France and the UK."

Duchess Sophie of Edinburgh and Prince Edward in suit for Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, London, with France's Gendarmerie's Garde Republicaine © Alamy
Her formal attire was in line with the pomp and ceremony of the occasion

We last saw Duchess Sophie at Easter, accompanied by Prince Edward and their 16-year-old son James, Earl of Wessex as they joined their family at the Easter Matins service held at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

Breaking with her typically more muted style, the Duchess of Edinburgh pushed the boundaries in an eye-catching purple coat.

She topped off the bright look with a jaunty white beret that eagle-eyed fans might recognise from her daughter Lady Louise Windsor's personal wardrobe.

 The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh standing at Buckingham Palace for Changing of the Guard © Alamy
The Duchess of Edinburgh looked regal in her pleated dress and cream trench

Lady Louise, 20, was absent from the celebrations, no doubt busy with her studies at St Andrews' University in Edinburgh, so it appears Sophie's decision to don the accessory was a sentimental nod to her missing child.

The young royal had worn the hat to the same Easter event in 2022, teaming it with a magenta and black floaty floral midi dress boasting an elasticated waistline and an open neckline.

DISCOVER: Duchess Sophie's chic £4.5m London flat where Princess Diana lived 

The mother-and-daughter duo are known to share clothes, often borrowing pieces from each other's wardrobes, from summery dresses to fabulous fascinators.

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