Duchess of Cambridge resplendent in red Alexander McQueen as she boards Royal barge for Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageantWore a bright red Alexander McQueen dress, topped off with a flamboyant red hat by Sylvia Fletcher from royal milliner James Lock & Co
Kate was carrying a scarf made of Strathearn tartan – a nod to her Scottish title the Countess of Strathearn
18:52 GMT, 3 June 2012
The Duchess of Cambridge cut a swathe through the gloomy weather this afternoon as she stepped on to the Spirit of Chartwell wearing a vibrant scarlet Alexander McQueen dress.
Topping off the bright outfit with a flamboyant red hat by Sylvia Fletcher from royal milliner James Lock & Co, Kate made sure the public lining the banks of the Thames would be able to spot her easily aboard the barge.
Fletcher designed the Duchess's distinctive red maple leaf hat worn on her tour of Canada last summer.
Lady in red: The Duchess of Cambridge cut a swathe through the gloomy weather this afternoon as she stepped on to the Spirit of Chartwell wearing a vibrant scarlet Alexander McQueen dress – on her lapel, Kate wore a maritime-themed brooch featuring two silver dolphins. It's a gift from the Royal Navy Submarine Service of which William is Commodore in Chief
Royal arrival: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walked past a row of magnificently dressed Chelsea Pensioners before boarding the boat and waved to the assembled crowds lining the river
Arriving at the river: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, prepare to board the Spirit of Chartwell
On her lapel, Kate wore a maritime-themed brooch featuring two silver dolphins.
It's a gift from the Royal Navy Submarine Service of which William is Commodore in Chief.
Duke of Cambridge wore his Flight Lieutenant No 1 Dress Uniform
complete with blue garter sash, while his brother Prince Harry, a
Captain in the British Army, was wearing the No 1 Ceremonial dress of
the Blues and Royals and Army Air Corps light blue beret.
Kate was carrying a scarf made of Strathearn tartan – a nod to her Scottish title the Countess of Strathearn.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walked past a row of magnificently
dressed Chelsea Pensioners before boarding the boat and waved to the assembled crowds lining the river.
Royal trio: Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Williamwave as they pass the Houses of Parliament aboard the Royal barge
Time to talk: The Duchess of Cambridge meets well wishers before boarding th Spirit of Chartwell
Private joke: The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine shares a laugh with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall
Keeping cover: The Duchess opted for a large red umbrella as rain continued to fall
main characters: Members of the Royal Family (from left to right) the
Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Philip, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince
Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Prince Harry on the
The 1,000-strong flotilla started its journey at Battersea bridge and
will draw to a close at Tower Bridge, where the Royals will
disembark to watch the grand finale
The barge is set to take the senior
royals, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince
Harry, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen, on their voyage
along the Thames today.
The Spirit of Chartwell's journey
will come to an end at Tower Bridge where the Royals will disembark to
watch a stunning finale as the remainder of the 1,000 crafts pass by.
Once the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had taken their positions on the royal barge, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh
boarded the Britannia launch to reach the barge, which was moored a
quarter of a mile from Chelsea Pier.
VERDICT: DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE'S RED DRESS
The Duchess of Cambridge's red Alexander McQueen outfit was a vibrant but safe choice which allowed the Queen to shine on her big day, one fashion expert said today.
The 2011 Alexander McQueen fitted dress with pleats in the skirt was a similar shade to the scarlet Marianne coat by Catherine Walker Kate wore on the final day of her tour of Canada.
Carly Wood, who set up the katemiddletonstyle.org blog, said: 'It immediately reminded me of Kate's all-red patriotic ensemble from Calgary, on her final day in Canada last year.
'I was assuming she'd go for red, white or blue today. I love that it's bright and vibrant and a nice contrast to the weather.
'It's a little safe in my opinion, but then I expected that – it is after all the Queen's big day and the Queen should take centre stage – not Kate and her outfit.'
The dress is 2011 Alexander McQueen and was also worn, without sleeves, by reality TV star Kim Kardashian and Tulisa Contostavlos at the X factor auditions last year.
Kate's version today had full length sleeves and a longer hemline than the original.
would likely have been an emotional moment for the Queen, who wept when
the Britannia was decommissioned in 1997, as the launch had accompanied
her on dozens of voyages across the globe.
The Royal Standard was raised as the
Queen's launch arrived alongside the Spirit of Chartwell, where Kate,
William and Harry were waiting for her.
The Queen had chosen a stunning
silver and white dress and matching coat for the occasion.
has been a year in the
planning and was designed by Angela Kelly and made by her small in-house
Buckingham Palace team.
The coat, its matching dress and the hat were
made by Angela Kelly's small in-house Buckingham Palace team.
Its colour scheme was chosen to stand
out against the red, gold and purple hues of the royal barge, The
Spirit of Chartwell, on which the Queen will enjoy an hour and a half
long voyage today.
The outfit, created from
white boucl and threaded throughout with silk ribbon, was embroidered
with gold, silver and ivory paillettes and embellished with
Swarovski crystals to reflect the sparkling water of the River Thames.
The neckline was finished with a finished with a silk organza frill,
which ran the length of the coat.
Her wardrobe choices met with resounding approval from royal fans gathered by the Thames.
Julia James, 18, and her sisters Vicky, 17, and Tania, 12, from Malvern in Worcestershire, were full of praise.
'That dress is amazing,' said Julia.
'It's stunning and it suits her so well. She was so nice too.
'We shook her hand and she was asking how long we'd been here and talking about the pageant. She was so lovely.'
Tania added: 'I was asking her if she was scared and she said she would be scared when all the boats arrived.'
Huge cheers erupted as Kate stepped on to the pier followed by William, dressed in RAF uniform, and Harry, wearing the No 1 ceremonial dress of the Blues and Royals.
Queen's hat featured a sculptural brim with a sweeping upward curve,
echoing the waves of the water.
The crown of the hat is made of the same
material as the coat.
Details on the hat included feathers hand dyed in
Buckingham Palace by one of Miss Kelly's team, a sprinkling of more
crystals and swathes of ivory organza.
From left: Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry
Royal barge: The Duchess of Cambridge was in high spirits as she joined the Queen on the gilded barge
Stunning: The Queen looked wonderful in a white coat and hat made by Angela Kelly and her team at Buckingham Palace. The outfit, studded with Swarovski crystals, was a year in the making
Fit for a Queen: The Queen's pageant outfit, designed by Angela Kelly, was an ivory dress and coat in white boucle threaded throughout with silk ribbon and decorated with crystals
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VIDEO: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant