Kate Middleton joined her husband Prince William and other high-profile figures including the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Theresa May for the Queen's unveiling of a national memorial for Armed Forces and civilians of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts today (9 March).
The 35-year-old Duchess of Cambridge – who is known for her love of recycling pieces from her wardrobe – was hard to miss in a Michael Kors blue-grey twill coat she has worn twice before.
Middleton looked elegant in the wintry one piece as she styled it with a statement navy wide-brimmed hat, gloves and a pair of navy stilettos for the memorial unveiling by Her Majesty the Queen in Victoria Embankment Gardens.
The sculpture aims to honour the service and duty of both the UK Armed Forces and civilians in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan, along with those who supported them back home from 1990-2015.
Despite Tony Blair's attendance at the major event causing a stir among bereaved families – with the former Labour prime minister being invited over many families who suffered losses during the conflicts – Middleton appeared in high spirits as she spoke to British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.
The mother-of-two sat in between Prince William and Hammond as the trio chatted and laughed among themselves at the morning ceremony.
At one point, the duchess and Hammond were stood alone and shared a joke, just one day after the chancellor announced the 2017 Budget, which involved big changes to national insurance and social care.
As Hammond took to the despatch box in the Commons, he said that there was "no room for complacency" despite improved economic forecasts.
He promised to give the UK a "strong and stable platform" for its Brexit negotiations and unveiled forecasts for higher growth and lower borrowing, but said the UK's deficit was still high, and productivity "stubbornly low".
Among the 2,500 invited guests at the memorial unveiling today are also representatives of veterans, serving military, bereaved families, charity workers, civil servants and politicians who will attend a military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.
The event has been tainted by a row over the failure to include the families of the 682 service personnel who lost their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and Blair's presence, however. One father of a murdered Red Cap, Reg Keys, said: "I would not have thought Tony Blair would have been a welcome face at such a service given we were misled over the Iraq war. I'm sure his ego will not allow him to stay away from it," The Mail reports.
Sculptor Paul Day's memorial was unveiled in nearby Victoria Embankment Gardens in the shadow of the Ministry of Defence building. The artist also designed the nearby Battle of Britain Monument as well as The Meeting Place – a large bronze statue of a couple embracing at St Pancras railway station in Kings Cross, London.