Kate Middleton's appearance at the ceremony was a signal that she was being accepted into the royal family fold
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Kate Middleton attended one of the oldest royal traditions on Monday: Order of the Garter.

The order of chivalry was founded by King Edward III in 1348, and the royal mom of three made her debut at the prestigious event back in 2008 when she and Prince William were dating. William also received his Order of the Garter knighthood that year, so it was a momentous occasion.

Kate’s appearance at the ceremony was a significant signal that she was being welcomed into the royal family fold. Kate and William, who began dating in 2003, met while studying at the University of St. Andrews. She and William tied the knot at Westminster Abbey three years later on April 29, 2011.

It was clear during her 2008 appearance that Kate, who wore a polka-dot black skirt suit and matching hat for the event, was already very comfortable with William’s family as she chatted happily with Prince Harry and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Order of the Garter
Credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty; Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
Prince Harry, Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Order of the Garter in 2008
| Credit: Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty

The Order of the Garter ceremony has been a constant thread in their relationship. Less than two months after her royal wedding, Kate appeared at the event — this time riding in the carriage alongside her new husband. For the 2011 ceremony, Kate wore a silver Katherine Hooker dress and matching coat with grey suede pumps and a matching hat.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Charles, Kate Middleton and Prince William at Order of the Garter in 2011
| Credit: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool /Getty

And in 2014, Kate, in a pastel blue Christopher Kane coat dress, beamed at William who was caught giving her a sweet smile as he looked over at her during his parade to Windsor Castle.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex watch as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Kate Middleton and Prince William at Order of the Garter in 2014
| Credit: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool /Getty

On Monday, Kate arrived in a black-and-white Catherine Walker “Liza” coat with a Lock & Co. hat (a color scheme that was reminiscent of her 2008 look). Kate stood at the Galilee porch of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle chatting with guests Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands as the parade of Knights passed by.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and the Duchess of Cambridge, they watch the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Kate Middleton
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Order of the Garter
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Kate missed last year’s ceremony while on maternity leave, but she was all smiles while William wore the velvet robes and high ostrich plume in his hat for the annual celebration of the Order of the Garter, one of the oldest and most senior order of knighthood in the U.K.