Amid a sea of royals celebrating the 60th anniversary of the queen’s coronation today, it was the family’s newest member, Duchess Kate, whom all eyes were watching.
The Duchess of Cambridge kept the crowd’s gaze in a Jenny Packham shift-dress and matching long coat that showed off her growing baby bump as she counts down the weeks until her July due date.
Duchess Kate, 31, was joined by her husband, Prince William, and the rest of the royal family – from Prince Harry to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to Kate’s in-laws, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla of Cornwall – for the Queen’s Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey.
The royals filed into the service by order of seniority, with the woman of honor, Queen Elizabeth, leading the way. Also present for the momentous event was the queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who had to withdraw from an anniversary engagement Monday night after being “unwell,” according to the palace.
The royal tradition that Duchess Kate and Prince William’s first child, the royal heir, will inherit was all around during the service. The regal St Edward’s Crown, with which the queen was crowned, sat on the High Altar, the first time the 350-year-old solid-gold, jewel-encrusted crown has left the Tower of London since the queen’s coronation in 1953.
Today’s event at Westminster Abbey was likely one of the last pre-birth public events for Duchess Kate as she and Prince William, who were married at the abbey two years ago, prepare for the next chapter of their lives.
“I think what we are seeing now is inevitable, a changing over to the younger royals,” Victoria Murphy, ABC News’ Royal contributor, said. “They are going to be doing a lot more from now on.
“This is their lives now,” she said. “Their time to step up and become the royals in the spotlight.”