Duchess of Cambridge Nails First RAF Engagement as Honorary Air Commandant

kate middleton blue mcqueen coat RAF Air cadets st clement danes

James Whatling/Splash News

Today marked a significant milestone for the Duchess of Cambridge, who attended her first official engagement as Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets.

Catherine arrived at RAF church St Clement Danes for a service, before attending a reception at the Royal Courts of Justice to mark the 75th anniversary year of the RAF Air Cadets.

The Duke of Edinburgh passed on his patronage to Catherine just before Christmas, after 63 years as Air Commodore-In-Chief.

For the occasion, Her Royal Highness wore a bespoke Alexander McQueen coat, a piece first spotted at a 2014 aviation event in New Zealand, and a few months later for D-Day commemoration in France in 2014. 

Neil Warner / Splash News

Neil Warner / Splash News

The Evening Standard called the coat’s color “Air Force Blue,” quite fitting given the events for which Catherine selected it.

UPDATE: Fellow royal enthusiast @clairehurrell clarified that the McQueen coat was too light to be air force blue.  The actual shade looks like this.

If I’m correct, Prince William wore it on Remembrance Sunday, having served with the Royal Air Force.


HRH paired the coat with a Lock & Co hat, teardrop diamond earrings and the Air Cadets Dacre brooch, the highest award any female Air Cadet can achieve.

catherine duchess cambridge 75th anniversary RAF air cadets

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

duchess of cambridge air cadet brooch london

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

British TV personality and Honorary Group Captain Carol Vordemon also attended the service, having been interested in the RAF since an undergrad at Cambridge University.

“Her husband is a pilot. Her brother-in-law is a pilot. Her father-in-law is a pilot. Her mum used to work in an airline,” Vordemon, a qualified pilot, told the Standard.

“She obviously has a great appreciation of the military and enthusiasm for youth.”

During the reception, Catherine met with volunteers, cadets and veterans.  The mom-of-two even spoke of the future king’s involvement with the family interest:

On February 17th, Catherine will turn Kensington Palace into a newsroom, acting as guest editor for Huffington Post UK in order to highlight the importance of children’s mental health.

In her temporary position, Catherine will help launch #YoungMindsMatter, a cause close to her heart, as HRH is patron of a few charities that focus on childhood well-being.

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