Kate Middleton Stepped in for the Queen in a Dress From Her Go-To Designer

Once again, Kate Middleton and Prince William are filling in for Queen Elizabeth II, who is currently staying at Windsor Castle.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the President and First Lady of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky and Olena Zelenska, at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

Middleton wore a belted cornflower blue tea-length Emilia Wickstead dress for the occasion, pairing the piece with her signature bouncy waves, a sapphire pendant necklace and matching earrings, and beige suede pumps. Emilia Wickstead is undoubtedly a favorite of the duchess — she turns to the designer’s dresses for all manner of events, be it a visit to Wales to speak with local business owners, or a celebration of NATO.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Though no masks are worn in the photos taken of the meeting, it appears that all parties maintained proper social distance throughout the engagement.

This is the first time since March that a meeting has been held at Buckingham Palace. The Queen fled to Windsor Castle on March 19 as the coronavirus pandemic amped up in the U.K. She and Prince Philip stayed there until August when they traveled to their home in Scotland, Balmoral Castle, and then Sandringham House in Norfolk. The Duke of Edinburgh is reportedly still at Sandringham, though the Queen returned to Windsor on Tuesday.

Prince William and Middleton stepped in to meet with the Ukrainian president and first lady on behalf of the queen. While neither Buckingham Palace nor Windsor Castle will be hosting “large scale events” until at least 2021, the queen is expected to partake in intimate engagements throughout the fall.

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