The Princess, who has a penchant for colour and experimental dressing, kept her look demure in order not to detract from the poignance of the event. Part of her solemn ensemble was a Welsh Guards brooch with significant meaning: the same style brooch was worn by the late Queen Elizabeth II and the former Princess of Wales, Diana.
To mark the occasion, the royal wore a sensible dress from the high-street. The checked, monochrome dress from Zara possessed long sleeves, a delicate pussy-bow necktie and a matching waist belt. She fittingly layered with a sombre black longline coat from Princess Diana-approved designer Catherine Walker and Gianvito Rossi suede boots in matching black for an extra layer of warmth. Her hair was also subtly styled, left down loose, wavy and tucked behind her ears to greet survivors and onlookers who handed the Princess bouquets of pink roses.
Her dainty silver Welsh Guards brooch is a British royal heirloom. Alongside Princess Kate, the late Princess Diana and Queen Consort Camilla have worn smaller versions of the accessory originally gifted to Queen Elizabeth II. It features a 'Welsh Leek,' the national symbol of Wales.
Why do the Welsh wear leeks?
The leek is widely recognised as the national symbol of Wales. Legends claim that the 7th century king of Gwynedd, Cadwaladr, ordered his men to strap a leek to their armour to help easily distinguish them from the enemy in battle. This myth inspired the Tudor royal household (who were of Welsh origin) to instruct their guards to wear leeks on St David’s Day, which cemented the practice.
“In the 1960s, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards presented a Regimental Gift to the Queen, with each guardsman paying 12c and a half pence. The Diamond Leek Brooch is identical to the cap badge of the Welsh Guards and was debuted at a presentation of the colours to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in May 1965,” explains Royal Watcher. The Arbesan 1966 disaster, killed 144 people, including 116 children when a colliery spoil tip collapsed and sent tonnes of ash slurry onto the village below.
Royal fashion fans were in agreement that her pared-back look was fitting for the occasion. “Perfect for the weather and the engagement,” said one under a post by Royal Fashion Police. Another said, “Lovely look for a solemn visit.”
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