Duchess of Cambridge makes debut at Beating Retreat to take salute

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
The Duchess of Cambridge takes the salute at Beating Retreat [Photo: PA]

The Duchess of Cambridge made an unannounced appearance at the Horse Guards Parade in London to take the salute at Beating Retreat - an annual military music concert - on Thursday night.

The ceremony is a colourful pageant of military music and precision drill carried out by the the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry and the Massed Bands of the Household Division.

It takes place on two successive evenings each year before Trooping The Colour - the Queen’s official birthday parade.

This is the first time Kate has attended - her husband William took the salute last year and brother-in-law Harry in 2017.

Kate looked regal in a cream Catherine Walker coat. [Photo: PA]
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Horse Guards Parade [Photo: PA]

Kate looked elegant in a repeat cream Catherine Walker coat (first worn on her Canada tour in 2016) with her blush pink Mulberry 'Amberley' clutch bag and matching heels.

The duchess also sported her Cassandra Goad pearl stud earrings and the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch on her left shoulder.

The Duke of Cambridge was made Colonel of the Irish Guards before their wedding in 2011 and wore the uniform of the regiment on the day.

READ MORE: Trooping the Colour: The Queen's annual birthday parade, explained

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives to watch members of the Massed Bands of the Household Division during the annual Beating Retreat ceremony. [Photo: PA]

Beating Retreat has its origins in the early years of organised warfare when the beating of drums and the parading of Post Guards heralded the closing of camp gates and the lowering of flags at the end of the day.

Earlier today, the Duke of Cambridge made an unannounced appearance at a D-Day commemorative service in Staffordshire, to mark the 75th anniversary.

READ MORE: Best photos of the Royal Family at Trooping the Colour through the years

William, 36, joined veterans, and members of the public, at a service in Heroes’ Square at the National Memorial Arboretum, before laying a wreath at the Normandy Campaign Memorial.

The Duke of Sussex, 34, visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea to review the Chelsea Pensioners at the annual Founder’s Day Parade, while the Prince of Wales, 70, and Duchess of Cornwall, 71, attended engagements in Normandy to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore an Alexander McQueen gown and Princess Diana's Lover's Knot tiara to the state banquet [Photo: PA]

Kate and William both attended the state banquet for US President Donald Trump on Monday night, alongside the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family.

The Cambridges are expected to attend Trooping the Colour on Saturday 8 June and it’s thought that their youngest child Prince Louis will make his debut on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the RAF fly-past.