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Kate is off to a flying start as new patron of the Air Cadets

February 7, 2016
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The Duchess of Cambridge was as radiant as ever on Sunday as she stepped out to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Air Cadets. It was a particularly memorable event for Kate, as it marked her first event with the organisation since she took over the patronage from Prince Philip in December, assuming the role of Honorary Air Commandant.

kate middleton© Photo: Rex

This marked Kate's first event as a patron of the Air Cadets

To mark the special occasion, the 33-year-old an elegant pale blue Alexander McQueen coat, accessorising with a chic black Lock & Co hat, navy Rupert Sanderson heels, and wearing her glossy brunette locks down. In a sartorial nod to her new role, Kate completed her look with an Air Cadets Dacre brooch.

It's not the first time that Kate has been spotted in the coat, custom-made for her by the British fashion house; she chose the chic ensemble for a visit during her royal tour of New Zealand with Prince William in 2014.

The mother-of-two headed to the RAF church of St Clement Danes in central London where she joined the congregation for a special service to mark the milestone anniversary. As she arrived the Duchess was not only greeted by crowds of royal enthusiasts, but also some of the cadets who lined up with flags to welcome the stylish royal.

duchess of cambridge© Photo: Rex

The Duchess was warmly greeted by some of the cadets ahead of the service

The Duchess revealed she was delighted with her new appointment. "The Air Cadets bring genuine benefit to our young people and indeed wider society," she said in a message in the order of service.

After the service, Kate headed to meet more of the cadets and volunteers at a reception at the Royal Courts of Justice, where she was the guest of honour.

Prince Philip relinquished his role as Air Commodore-in-Chief before Christmas, after 63 years of working with the RAF Air Cadets. The Queen's husband passed on the patronage to the Duchess, who will now work with the group which represents a group of 42,000 air cadets aged 12 to 19, as well as 15,000 adult volunteers at more than 1,200 units across the UK and abroad.

It is the Duchess' first role with an official link to the military; Kate has a close affiliation to the RAF following Prince William's service with the Search and Rescue Force.

The private ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace, during an audience with Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. Prince Philip received a special gift upon his retirement, while Kate was also welcomed to her new role with a book.

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