The eight-months-pregnant Kate was joined by Prince William
Princess Kate began a week of royal outings Monday when she stepped out for a special church service.
She and husband Prince William were back at Westminster Abbey, the scene of their 2011 wedding, for a special observance in celebration of the Commonwealth, which Queen Elizabeth II heads.
The Commonwealth, a union of 53 nations, some of which have the queen, 88, as head of state, is dear to the heart of the monarch.
So it was especially poignant that she invited William and Kate to the service, which was also attended by William’s father Prince Charles, 66, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The eight-months-pregnant princess recycled a pink Alexander McQueen coat that she last wore publicly for the Trooping the Colour parade back in June 2013. The occasion marked her last official appearance while pregnant with Prince George. Kate topped off the look on Monday with a brand-new Jane Taylor Millinery bespoke straw hat with silk straw twist.
The queen, meanwhile, wore a pale beige summer tweed dress and coat by Karl Ludwig and a matching hat by Angela Kelly.
Once inside the Abbey, Kate greeted Charles with a kiss. The royals were joined by the president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, and other Commonwealth dignitaries.
On the way out of the service, the royals stopped to talk to Abbey workers and celebrants. One was Jane Rowton-Lee, who had worked in the Abbey at William and Kate’s wedding.
Rowton-Lee told an animated Kate that she had arranged one of the candle and flower arrangements on the high altar on that memorable day. The princess thanked her for her help and asked if the flower arranger was having a busy year.
“I said I think you may be as well,” said Rowton-Lee of Kate’s impending second-time motherhood.
“She laughed. She was utterly charming.”
The service was just the first in a series of engagements for Kate. On Thursday she will take a tour of the Downton Abbey set at Ealing Studios in London to watch a scene being filmed in the servants’ quarters.
• Additional reporting by MONIQUE JESSEN