Kate Middleton Kicked Off Coronation Weekend in a Custom Jenny Packham Dress

Kate Middleton was at her polished best in a custom Jenny Packham dress as she joined Prince William for a Buckingham Palace event on the eve of King Charles III’s coronation. The Prince and Princess of Wales joined the king to host a lunch for “realm Governors General and Prime Ministers” who have arrived in London ahead of the service on Saturday.

Following the lunch, Kate and William joined the king for a walkabout on the Mall (where rehearsals for the procession were held earlier this week). The couple were at their sparkling best as they spoke to well-wishers, cooed over babies, and chatted to dedicated royalists who are already camping out ahead of the coronation.

The Princess of Wales today.

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Opting for one of her go-to designers, Kate Middleton cut a sleek figure in the white knee-length Jenny Packham dress. The elegant piece features black piping along the collar and a contrasting black band at the waist. Proving that monochrome can be magic, the Princess of Wales accessorized with suede slingback pumps by Aquazzura, complete with charming bow detailing, and a pair of Queen Elizabeth II’s pearl drop earrings. The outfit offers the first taste of what Kate might wear as King Charles’s coronation weekend unfolds.

It marks the start of a whirlwind three days of engagements for the Prince and Princess of Wales and other senior royals. Tonight, William and Kate are expecting to support King Charles and Queen Camilla in hosting a reception for foreign royals at Buckingham Palace. It echoes a similar engagement held on the eve of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral; although, of course, this is a far more celebratory occasion.

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Kate Middleton’s Coronation Outfit Will Reportedly ‘Set Her Apart From the Crowd’

King Charles has reportedly felt overshadowed by his daughter-in-law in the past.

King Charles’s relatively modest guest list of 2,200 people (his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, had 8,200) means that each royal house—or country—received a limited number of invitations. While there may be some exceptions (the former Greek royal family, potentially), the majority have had to be judicious in who to send to the coronation service itself. The Buckingham Palace reception allows for some of those not attending to still share in the historic moment of the coronation. International presidents and prime ministers will also attend.

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