Kate plays it safe! Duchess dazzles in Alexander McQueen in Poland as she proves the label has become her go-to for royal tours
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embarked on a five-day tour of Poland and Germany on Monday
- Couple are accompanied by their children, Prince George aged three and two-year-old Princess Charlotte
- Kate, 35, turned once again to British label Alexander McQueen who designed her 2011 wedding dress
- She has worn pieces by the label on royal tours including India, Australia and, most recently, Canada
- Visit is seen as a Brexit diplomacy tour by royals and comes after Spanish royals visited Britain last week
Looking smart yet stylish poses a sartorial challenge for any royal living under the glare of a thousand flashbulbs.
So it's little wonder that when it came to choosing an outfit for her arrival in Poland today, the Duchess of Cambridge turned once again to an old favourite, in the form of Alexander McQueen.
The British label, headed up by designer Sarah Burton, were the brains behind Kate's 2011 wedding dress and are fast becoming her label of choice for gruelling royal tours.
Stepping off the plane in Warsaw on Monday, the Duchess, who is thought to have forged a close bond with Burton, looked smart enough for the formality of the occasion while simultaneously flying the flag for British fashion.
For Kate, who has previously admitted to grappling with shyness in her public role, the label ticks all the boxes of a busy mother-of-two who wants to channel a classic, timeless look with a trendy edge.
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Kate touches down in Warsaw today with her family - kicking off her tour of Poland in her go-to designer Alexander Mc Queen. Royal watchers can expect the children to be seen on at least a couple of occasions over the course of the week
Creative director Sarah Burton has previously spoken about the 'happy experience' of designing Kate Middleton's show-stopping 'fairy tale' gown for the 2011 royal wedding.
She told the Telegraph: 'I loved making the dress, I loved adapting my ideas to suit the person and the occasion, and we put our hearts into it. I respect the intimate nature of that lovely project and I respect the friendships that were forged during it.'
But Kate's love affair with the luxury brand goes way back beyond her wedding day; she has appeared in various designs by the brand, which is now led by Burton after eponymous designer McQueen passed away in 2010, on countless significant occasions, from the Jubilee Royal Tour in 2012 to a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last year.
Indeed, some of her most memorable evening looks are the work of the British label including a gold-flecked gown she wore to a gala dinner in Malaysia during the 2012 Jubilee Tour.
The fashion-loving royal has turned to the British designer on several royal tours, most recently in Canada in September 2016 (left) and in Mumbai as she kicked off a tour of India and Bhutan with the Duke of Cambridge last spring (right)
Kate famously plumped for Alexander McQueen for her big day. Creative director Sarah Burton has previously spoken about the 'happy experience' of designing Kate Middleton's show-stopping 'fairytale' gown for the 2011 royal wedding
Kate's love for the label stretches back several years. The Duchess wore the designer twice during her Australian/ New Zealand tour in 2014, once at a New Zealand war remembrance ceremony (left) and again on Easter Sunday in Sydney (right)
A floor-length lilac number was the choice for a red carpet event in Los Angeles when the Duke and Duchess visited the US (left); This sailor inspired dress, worn by Kate during her 2011 Canada tour, is another Alexander McQueen design (right)
William and Kate's trip this week, taken at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is likely to be seen as another Brexit diplomacy tour, helping to maintain and strengthen the UK's relations with Europe as it leaves the EU.
But all eyes will be on three-year-old Prince George and two-year-old Princess Charlotte, who are getting used to travelling overseas having joined their parents in Canada last year for an official trip.
With George starting school in south London this September, attending the mixed-sex Thomas's Battersea school, and his sister likely to be enrolled in a nursery, this is the last time the royal couple will be able to take their children with them without school commitments making it problematic.
Royal watchers will also get a glimpse of Kate's new haircut dubbed the 'Kob', Kate bob, which she debuted during a visit to Wimbledon last week. Kate appears to have lost quite a few inches from her tresses and it has a vibrant deep brown colour.
Family affair: The visit to Poland and Germany offers the family a final chance to travel together on official business before George starts school. William and Kate's trip was taken at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Princess Charlotte was pretty as a picture in a floral dress with adorable red shoes and white socks. The trip is likely to be seen as another Brexit diplomacy tour, helping to maintain and strengthen the UK's relations with Europe as it leaves the EU
One is not amused! Understandably Prince George seemed a little underwhelmed by the formality of the occasion and was seen fidgeting and swinging his legs as his father received an official welcome after touching down in Warsaw today
She's a natural! Charming Prince Charlotte needed no encouragement to shake hands in the line-up, but her brother wasn't so sure. Kate, sporting a new haircut, teamed her peplum Alexander McQueen coat dress with a pair of nude suede heels
Princess Charlotte is already showing signs of picking up her mother's famous charm, happily waving to onlookers after arriving in Warsaw. Her older brother George, conversely, looked a little shy as dignitaries greeted them in Warsaw
A reception at Warsaw's Presidential Palace was the first stop for the Cambridge's after leaving the airport (left). It's believed their children will only be seen in public a handful of times during the visit (right), when not being looked after by their nanny
It was straight down to business for the couple who began with a meeting at the Presidential Palace. President Andrzej Duda (right) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (second left) and the British Ambassador Jonathan Knott (third right)
Polish President Andrzej Duda chats to the Duchess of Cambridge during an official welcome lunch. The Duchess teamed her Alexander McQueen ensemble with a pair of dazzling drop earrings and a matching necklace, but travelled without a bag
George, who celebrates his birthday on Saturday, was paying close attention as his father offered words of encouragement (left), although at one point the little Prince looked adorably disillusioned with the whole affair (right)
In her element! Princess Charlotte was having no issues with shyness as she waved happily to onlookers. This trip may be the last time the royal couple will be able to take their children with them without school commitments making it problematic
The Duchess of Cambridge carried her two-year-old daughter from the plane and down the steps (left). Charlotte was looking adorable in a red and white floral patterned dress while Kate plumped for her go-to designer, Alexander McQueen
After receiving an official welcome on Monday, the foursome walked along a red carpet into a small terminal past the large group of media and on to a meeting with Poland's President Andrzej Duda.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: 'The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to this tour and are delighted with the exciting and varied programme that has been put together for it.
'They have decided that their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will travel with them and we expect the children to be seen on at least a couple of occasions over the course of the week.'
William and Kate's five-day trip will begin with a welcome from President Andrzej Duda in the Polish capital, followed by a visit to the Warsaw Rising Museum, dedicated to the 1944 Polish uprising to liberate Warsaw from German occupation during the Second World War, and end with a Queen's birthday garden party.
During their five-day tour William and Kate will also meet survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi oppression as they acknowledge the complex 20th century histories of each country.
In Poland, they will tour the former Stutthof concentration camp where 65,000 people died at the hands of their captors, and also visit Berlin's Holocaust museum and memorial.
They will also tour the site of Gdansk's shipyards, the birthplace of Poland's Solidarity movement that helped topple Communist rule.
Here they will meet with founding members of the organisation but it is not known if Lech Walesa, Poland's former president and leader of its peaceful pro-democracy struggle, will be present.
Prince George looked a little in awe as his father and mother were officially welcomed to Poland. This week the family will tour the site of Gdansk's shipyards, the birthplace of Poland's Solidarity movement that helped topple Communist rule
The royal wave! While George may be feeling a little shy, his younger sister is already a natural on official engagements. The adorable two-year-old wore a red dress with white floral detail and a pair of matching T-bar shoes and socks
Prince William was seen giving his son some gentle words of encouragement as he experienced a fit of shyness on arrival. It is not the first time the youngster, who declined a high-five from Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, has stolen the show
Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a private meeting with the royal couple in Berlin at the start of the German leg of their tour on Wednesday, and afterwards William and Kate will visit the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of German unification.
The mood will change when the Duke and Duchess renew their friendly sporting rivalry, that seems to play a part in most of their trips, when they visit the picturesque Germany city of Heidelberg, twinned with Cambridge.
William and Kate will take to the waters of the River Neckar to cox opposing rowing teams in a race with crews from drawn from Cambridge and Heidelberg, before flying back to the UK on Friday.
The Royal Poland and Germany itinerary in full
MONDAY 17TH JULY
The couple will be greeted by President Duda and the First Lady at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.
. Warsaw Rising Museum
The couple will visit the museum dedicated to the uprising against the occupying Germans in 1944, where they will meet veterans and lay a wreath.
. Young Entrepreneur's Reception
William and Kate will join a tech market-place event, and pitching sessions from UK Polish entrepreneur at the Heart in the Warsaw Spire Building.
. Garden Party, The Orangery, Łazienki Park
William will make a short speech at the event held in honour of his grandmother the Queen.
TUESDAY 18TH JULY
. Stutthoff Concentration Camp
The couple will meet a group of five former prisoners of the Camp, which was the first set up outside German borders in 1939.
. Town Market, Gdansk
Kate and her husband will travel to Gdansk where they will attend a street party in the central market square.
. Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre
The Duke and Duchess will visit the theatre and attend a reception inside the theatre.
. European Solidarity Movement
They will tour the museum, and meet with founding members of Solidarit, before walking through the iconic shipyard gates, and leaving a wreath at the foot of the Solidarity Monument.
WEDNESDAY 19TH JULY
. Arrival in Berlin and official welcome
. Visit to the Brandenburg Gate
. Holocaust Memorial
The couple will meet survivors and tour the museum before walking through the Memorial itself.
The charity supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
. Bellevue Palace Gardens
William and Kate will meet with the Federal President
. Queen's Birthday Garden Party, Ambassador's Residence
William will give a speech at the event held in honour of his grandmother
THURSDAY 20TH JULY
. German Cancer Research Institute
William and Kate will meet Nobel Prize winner prof. Dr. Harald zur Hausen, and visit the stem cell research lab.
. Traditional German market, Heidlberg
The pair will be given a tour of the traditional market by the Mayor of Heidlberg
. Rowing race
Each will cox a boat each in a competitive race between the twinned town of Cambridge and Heidelberg.
. Reception at Clärchens Ballhaus
A reception will be held at the last original dancehall in Berlin for some of the most exciting new names in the world of art, culture, style, fashion and technology.
FRIDAY 21ST JULY
. Maritime Museum
The Cambridges will celebrate the joint UK-German year of science which for 2017 is focused on oceans at the Maritime Museum.
. Elbphilarmonie Concert Hall
A special performance given by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra for the children of Hamburg.
. Visit to Airbus
After a tour of the training facilities, the pair will meet apprentices and view the final assembly line of an A320 aircraft.
. Official departure from Hamburg
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