The Princess of Wales wore Holland Cooper for her visit to RNAS Yeovilton today.
The Royal Naval Air Station is in Somerset, and this was the Princess’s first engagement in her role as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm.
More from this BBC story.
The Princess of Wales has visited one of the busiest military airfields in the UK, just weeks after after the King appointed her Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm.
Catherine was shown around Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset – where King Charles had his helicopter flying training in 1974.
The Royal Navy notes “…4,300 personnel, Service and civilian, including MOD employees and permanent contractors are employed on the site. The air station also hosts a large support staff from the Defence Equipment and Support organisation, and the world famous Fleet Air Arm Museum.”
The Princess started her visit in the Air Traffic Control Tower.
While there she donned a headset and spoke to an airborne Wildcat helicopter crew.
More from a Royal Navy story about the visit.
Her Royal Highness’ introduction to naval aviation began with a roar as an F-35B Lightning ‘buzzed’ Yeovilton’s control tower; the stealth fighters are the most advanced aircraft in the UK’s military arsenal and are currently operating aboard the nation’s flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, on her autumn deployment.
The Princess then visited a hangar and spoke with personnel. Here you see her looking at a Banshee drone used by the Royal Navy.
We return to the Royal Navy story.
Personnel from 700X Naval Air Squadron, normally based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, showed the princess their Banshee drone – used for developing tactics to defend the nation’s aircraft carriers against air attacks.
“She was fantastic, genuinely interested, really personable and for me it was a great opportunity and a privilege to meet her,” said Lieutenant Commander Marcus Pennant, the squadron’s Commanding Officer.
Here you see her getting out of a Merlin helicopter.
And a final portion from the Royal Navy post.
Able Seaman Danielle Beckinsale, who maintains Merlin helicopters which support Royal Marines operations, explained how busy her squadron was – currently deployed in the Middle East, gearing up for a winter in Norway.
“I’ve never met royalty before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but she was very down to earth,” she said. “She was really, really nice, really genuine and interested in the role of a female engineer.”
Her last stop at the base was the Wildcat Training Centre.
The Princess learned about safety equipment used by Royal Navy personnel.
She tried on one of the inflatable life jackets.
More from the Daily Mail’s coverage.
As she pulled on the toggle, she closed her eyes and winced as the device inflated quickly and with force, just as it would in an emergency situation.
Appearing a little taken aback by the fast inflation, Princess Kate burst into a fit of giggles, before staff aided her in removing the lifejacket.
More from the Daily Mail article.
After the exercise, Louise Evans-Hughes, a leading survival equipment technician, revealed she knew exactly what was going to happen the moment the lifejacket inflated.
She said: ‘I told the princess there might be a bit of a bang because sometimes when the Velcro rips open there is a bit of a noise.
‘I think that was why she was a bit apprehensive to pull it. As soon as she pulled it, it inflated.
‘I gave the princess the option whether she wanted to put it on or whether one of my colleagues would put it on.
‘I didn’t know if she would or not, but it was really nice that she got hands-on and got really engaged in what we do and making the kit work.’
Captain Duncan Thomas, RNAS Yeovilton’s Commanding Officer, said “I am delighted and privileged to have welcomed Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales to the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, at the start of what I am sure will be a long and rewarding relationship in her capacity as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm.”
Kensington Palace posted a video featuring today’s visit.
Visiting RNAS Yeovilton for the first time as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm.
Thank you to all the brave men and women who serve in the Royal Navy and across the Armed Forces. pic.twitter.com/fbLyvSgJ9r
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) September 18, 2023
Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement.
The Princess brought back her Holland Cooper Double-Breasted Twill Blazer (£549) for today’s engagement.
The jacket has a slim silhouette; it is made in England of 100% UK-woven fabric. It was first worn in May 2021 in Scotland. I don’t know the designer of her trousers or her top.
She also brought back her Gianvito Rossi Piper 85 Pumps ($675). The black suede pumps feature a pointed toe and 3″ block heel.
It looked like the Princess wore the Anderson Croc-Effect Leather Belt we have seen several times.
The Princess wore her Kiki McDonough Cushion Citrine Detachable Drops (£900) suspended from plain hoops. I am not convinced they are the plain Kiki McDonough Hoops (£500) she has previously worn, shown below right.
She also had on a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm pin.