Trooping the Colour: The Duchess of Cambridge is bright and beautiful in Alexander McQueen

The Duchess of Cambridge waves to the crowds during the Trooping the Colour parad
The Duchess of Cambridge waves to the crowds during the Trooping the Colour parade Credit:  Mark Cuthbert

Today's Trooping the Colour was framed as a more solemn affair than usual by The Queen this morning, when she released a statement ahead of  the annual ceremony celebrating her official birthday, acknowledging that the terror attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, and the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower had led to a 'sombre national mood'.

Sartorially, there were two ways to approach this subdued sentiment; embrace the dialled-down feeling and choose a look which was subtly appropriate or tap into the royal family's ability to cheer the nation and attempt to bring a bright moment to what has been a desperately sad week. 

The Duchess of Cambridge took the latter route, emerging from the gates of Buckingham Palace in a fuschia ensemble which was one of the brightest, most joyful outfits she has ever worn. 

A view of Kate's dress from the back Credit: AFP

Kate's dress, which appears to be another creation by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, featured a paperbag waist and a round, pleated neckline. She completed the bold look with a co-ordinating hat by Jane Taylor, her go-to milliner. 

This latest Trooping the Colour outfit was finished off with a pair of drop diamond earrings which belong the The Queen but have been worn previously by the Duchess, including at last December's Diplomatic Reception

The Duchess of Cambridge wearing a Jane Taylor hat to complement her pink Alexander McQueen.  Credit: WireImage

In previous years, the Duchess has opted for equally elegant but more muted outfits for the Trooping the Colour ceremony- and Alexander McQueen has overwhelmingly been her preferred label for the event, one of the most important of the royal calendar. 

The Cambridge family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace Credit: Wireimage

For her first appearence at the occasion in 2011, Kate wore a tailored white coat with bustle detailling which nodded to the wedding dress she had worn by the same designer just months before. 2013, 2014 and 2016 were also McQueen years, in a baby pink coat with pearl buttons, an iridescent blue skirt suit and cream folded lapel dress respectively. 

The only other designers to have had a look-in on Kate's Trooping the Colour  style have been Catherine Walker and co (a cornflower blue dress coat in 2015) and Erdem, who created a silver-grey cowl neck dress by Erdem for the 2012 event. 

The Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen at her first Trooping the Colour in 2011 Credit: PA

Kate's look projects a predominantly cheering and hopeful message but could it also be a signifier of the shifting  role which she and Prince William are taking in the royal family?

'I have to be seen to be believed' has long been The Queen's mantra, and amongst all the royals at today's parade, the Duchess will have been the most visible in her striking pink choice. Add to that the fact that she is wearing The Queen's earrings and the outfit suggests the more prominent position of the Cambridges as Prince Phillip steps back from public duties and Her Majesty celebrates 65 years on the throne. 

Today's fuschia isn't the first time this week that Kate has shown a more experimental side to her style. Yesterday, she eschewed her usual preference for skinny jeans in favour of cropped, kick flares by J.Crew as she visited a sailing centre in London's Docklands.