What a day to be British! The long weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations is underway, the River Pageant was splendid with not ONE royal person overboard, and in true British style, the dodgy weather turned everything – and everyone – soggy. (For Grazia's minute-by-minute report of the day's event, click here).
But there was one lady who truly brightened up the proceedings: the Duchess of Cambridge. The artist formerly known as Kate Middleton looked splendid wearing a vibrant Alexander McQueen frock with a ladylike pleated skirt, which rather reminds us of the Emilia Wickstead number she repeated last week.
The 30-year-old topped off the dress with her favourite nude LK Bennett heels (what else?), a red clutch and matching hat by Sylvia Fletcher at James Lock & Co. Tilted at a jaunty angle and with those delightful floral details, it rather reminds us of the maple leaf headgear she chose for Canada Day, also designed by Fletcher. And note that maritime-themed brooch featuring two silver dolphins, which is a gift from the Royal Navy Submarine Service, of which Prince Wills is Commodore in Chief.
The all-red ensemble ensured Kate stood out from the crowd and was perfectly co-ordinated with the royal barge, which featured velvet thrones seats, 10,000 freshly-cut flowers, tremendous gold busts and a LOT of flags. Prince William looked mighty dapper by his wife's side wearing his RAF uniform decorated with medals. As the weather turned gloomy, the Duchess cracked out a Strathearn tartan scarf to wrap around her pretty little neck and her gloriously bouncy hair, in a half-up and half-down style, stayed miraculously frizz-free. Phewf.
Tulisa and Kim Kardashian have also worn the dress
Today's Little Red Dress comes courtesy of McQueen's Pre-Fall 2011 collection and has previously been seen on Tulisa Contostavlos and Kim Kardashian (would you Jubilee-ve it?!). The X Factor sweetheart first wore the frock, costing £1,195, at the Liverpool auditions in July last year with black Nicholas Kirkwood heels and a fishtail plait-do. Then Kim followed suit one month later while out and about in NYC, accessorising the look with snake print Christian Louboutins, a black purse and statement necklace.
But Sarah Burton has customised the design for the DoC, adding demure long sleeves and a suitably modest knee-skimming hemline. As Grazia's style director Paula Reed noted during her appearance on the BBC, 'Kate has taken a leaf out of the Queen's style book by realising that a bit of slim-line tailoring keeps you looking sharp and cool in a situation like this'.
Kate Middleton *hearts* Alexander McQueen
Ever the fashion faithful, Kate continues to champion her love for McQueen after the legendary design house created that princess-perfect wedding dress for her royal nuptials last April. We've seen her sporting the Brit brand on many high-profile occasions, from her first red carpet appearance in LA when she wore a floaty lilac gown to that sumptuous black velvet dress she wore to the Military Awards back in December.
The Queen in Angela Kelly
In fact, we wonder whether it was a prerequisite for the ladies to sport their favourite designers for the celebrations because, as well as Kate in McQueen, HRH returned to her tried-and-tested formula of an Angela Kelly coat + dress plus signature black Launer handbag. The monarch’s official dresser spent a whooping 12 months planning the outfit and it was reminiscent of the Queen's Coronation day, when she pledged herself to life-long service of her kingdom. In the words of King Karl Lagerfeld, 'It is hard to imagine a different outfit that the Queen could have sported better'.
The ivory boucle was understated alongside K-Middy's bright vermillion but the Queen's flotilla finery was made extra special thanks to the lashings of twinkling Swarovski crystals, threaded silk ribbon, organza frill and a smattering of gold, silver and ivory spots, which admittedly didn't shimmer under the sunlight as intended. As for her matching hat? Those feathers were hand dyed in the sinks at Buckingham Palace by Angela Kelly's loyal team. And her David Hyatt shoes had the customary 2 ¼ inch heel for just the right amount of height and comfort.
Camilla's back to Anna Valentine
Camilla also stuck to what she knows, wearing a creamy ensemble by Anna Valentine polished off with a Phillip Treacy hat – a combo that she chose for both her own wedding as well as William and Kate's nuptials. Meanwhile, Princess Beatrice wore a silver and navy dress with a complementary coat from Marni and sister Eugenie opted for a coral Roland Mouret dress, accessorised with LK Bennett shoes, an Anya Hindmarch bag and a black and coral Stephen Jones hat.
So there you have it, folks, a fabulously fashionable royal feast. We'll be back for more Jubilee shenanigans when the honorary concert kicks off tomorrow. Will Kate wear white or blue now that she's nailed the red? Will we see Prince Harry pulling on his dancing shoes again? And will Jessie J wear a Union Jack jumpsuit? We'll be bringing you the answers to all these questions - and more - tomorrow evening. See you then.
See all of the Duchess of Cambridge's outfits in Grazia's Kate Middleton look book here!