Kate Middleton braves the cold to meet wheelchair rugby athletes

The Princess of Wales looked elegant in a £1,200 Roland Mouret burgundy suit as she hosted a reception for wheelchair rugby players at Hampton Court this afternoon.

Kate, 41, looked calm and collected as she arrived at the London venue in the wake of a growing fallout from Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir, Spare.

The mother-of-three turned to one of her favourite brands Roland Mouret for today’s engagement, opting for a two-piece suit she previously wore during her tour of Boston last year.

While the Princess previously wore her bespoke £750 blazer and £450 trousers with a pink blouse, the mother-of-three braved the cold temperatures today in a thin white knit.

The Princess of Wales glowed in a burgundy suit as she arrived at Hampton Court Palace this afternoon

The Princess of Wales glowed in a burgundy suit as she arrived at Hampton Court Palace this afternoon

Opting for a sleek blowdry, Kate finished off her ensemble with a pair of matching suede burgundy heels and minimal gold hoop earrings.

Last month, Kate put on a united front with Zara Tindall, her sister Pippa and daughter Princess Charlotte when they all wore burgundy to attend the Princess of Wales’ Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey.

The concert fell on the same day as the second installment of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix special landed on the streaming platform.

In the documentary, Meghan claimed she had ‘tone down’ her wardrobe to avoid wearing the same colour as the Queen or other senior royal women.

The royal mother-of-three opted for a smokey eye look and pink lipstick for her royal engagement today

The royal mother-of-three opted for a smokey eye look and pink lipstick for her royal engagement today

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The Princess of Wales wore a simple gold necklace and plain hoop earrings for the reception at Hampton Court Palace

The Princess of Wales wore a simple gold necklace and plain hoop earrings for the reception at Hampton Court Palace

The Princess of Wales hosted a reception for the England Wheelchair Rugby League team in recognition of their success at the recent Rugby League World Cup at Hampton Court Palace

The Princess of Wales hosted a reception for the England Wheelchair Rugby League team in recognition of their success at the recent Rugby League World Cup at Hampton Court Palace

The Princess of Wales with Josie Hill, (left), James Simpson and coach Tom Cold (right) with the team's trophy

The Princess of Wales with Josie Hill, (left), James Simpson and coach Tom Cold (right) with the team’s trophy 

The Princess of Wales hosted a champagne reception for the England Rugby squad to discuss their victory in November's tournament, which was England's first since the inaugural competition in 2008

The Princess of Wales hosted a champagne reception for the England Rugby squad to discuss their victory in November’s tournament, which was England’s first since the inaugural competition in 2008

The mother-of-three, 41, rewore a Roland Mouret burgundy suit for the special occasion this afternoon

The mother-of-three, 41, rewore a Roland Mouret burgundy suit for the special occasion this afternoon

The Princess of Wales pictured shaking hands with a guest at her reception at Hampton Court Palace

The Princess of Wales pictured shaking hands with a guest at her reception at Hampton Court Palace

The Princess of Wales went out of her way to greet guests at her reception in their honour this afternoon

The Princess of Wales went out of her way to greet guests at her reception in their honour this afternoon

Kate looked effortlessly elegant in the tailored burgundy suit which she paired with a white jumper and gold jewellery

Kate looked effortlessly elegant in the tailored burgundy suit which she paired with a white jumper and gold jewellery

Kate poses with the England Wheelchair Rugby League team. Back row - Tom Cold (head coach), John McMullen (asst. coach), Lewis King, Tom Halliwell, The Princess of Wales, Mark Oxley(trainer), Set Bechara, Dec Roberts, Rob Hawkins & James Simpson.(L-R) Front row - Nathan Collins, Wayne Boardman & Adam Rigby

Kate poses with the England Wheelchair Rugby League team. Back row – Tom Cold (head coach), John McMullen (asst. coach), Lewis King, Tom Halliwell, The Princess of Wales, Mark Oxley(trainer), Set Bechara, Dec Roberts, Rob Hawkins & James Simpson.(L-R) Front row – Nathan Collins, Wayne Boardman & Adam Rigby

The Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Zara Tindall and Pippa Middleton all matched in burgundy for Kate's Christmas carol service last month

The Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Zara Tindall and Pippa Middleton all matched in burgundy for Kate’s Christmas carol service last month

Zara Tindall and Pippa Middleton (pictured arriving for the Christmas service) showed their support for the Princess in burgundy - on the same day Harry and Meghan's second Netflix episodes dropped

Zara Tindall and Pippa Middleton (pictured arriving for the Christmas service) showed their support for the Princess in burgundy – on the same day Harry and Meghan’s second Netflix episodes dropped

The Royal women put on a united display in burgundy last month on the same day as the second installment of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix series (pictured) debuted

The Royal women put on a united display in burgundy last month on the same day as the second installment of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix series (pictured) debuted

In an effort not to step on any toes within the Royal Family, the Duchess said in the third episode of the docu-series that she adapted her wardrobe accordingly.

She said: ‘Most of the time I was in the UK, I rarely wore colour. To my understanding, you can’t ever wear the same colour as Her Majesty if there’s a group event but then you also shouldn’t be wearing the same colour as one of the other more senior members of the family.’

To respect this rumoured royal protocol, Meghan says she started dressing almost exclusively in shades of camel, beige and white.

She continued: ‘I wore a lot of muted tones but it was also so I could just blend in. I’m not trying to stand out here. 

‘There was no version of me [that was] joining this family and trying not to do everything I could to fit in. I don’t want to embarrass the family.’

However, Meghan did still continue to wear colour on solo engagements – including her visit to a community centre in Birkenhead, where she wore a bright red coat over a purple dress.

Although it is unclear whether royal women are asked to abide by this hierarchical dress code, the Queen famously wore bright colours for public engagements. 

This afternoon, Kate, who is patron of the Rugby Football League, met members of the squad and coaching team to discuss their victory in November’s tournament, which was England’s first since the inaugural competition in 2008. 

Meghan (seen in 2018 with the Queen) said in the third episode of the doc that she tried to'tone down' her outfits by wearing beige and white to avoid overshadowing anyone

The Duchess of Sussex said she wore ‘beige, camel and white’ while around other women to avoid clashing with their outfits. Pictured: Meghan with The Queen in June 2018

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Meghan Markle pictured with Queen Consort Camilla shortly after her wedding in May 2018

The biggest crowd in the sport’s history was watching on at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, with 4,500 spectators at the arena and a seven-figure broadcast audience. 

Asked by one of the players if she went to the gym, the princess said: ‘It’s running around after the children, I do it all. Whenever I can squeeze in exercise I do, even jumping on the trampoline with my children before school.’

The mother-of-three added: ‘We’re always slightly competitive with each other. They all love sport and Louis is mad about rugby. They are at an age where they just love running around.’

Kate said she watched the squad’s November World Cup Final victory over France with her family on TV, telling the players they had ‘set the bar high’.  

The princess told the players: ‘I bet you’ve been smiling since your win, you’ve all got used to smiling’

She added that the final ‘really raised the profile’ of wheelchair rugby, saying it ‘highlighted the power of the sport’.

The mother-of-three styled her hair straight today and wore a minimal gold necklace over her chic white knit

The mother-of-three styled her hair straight today and wore a minimal gold necklace over her chic white knit

The Princess of Wales

The Princess of Wales

The Princess of Wales was all smiles as she arrived at Hampton Court Palace this afternoon to meet the England Wheelchair Rugby League Team

The Princess of Wales with Simon Johnson, Chair of the RFL

The Princess of Wales with Simon Johnson, Chair of the RFL

The Princess of Wales was pictured walking with with Simon Johnson, Chair of the RFL (Rugby Football League)

When one of the squad remarked that he wanted to see her visit and try playing with them in a wheelchair, she quipped: ‘There’s no excuse now…I’m going to have to do some upper body strength.

‘I’m really proud and really grateful we got this opportunity and best of luck for the training and the season and I promise I’m going to come and see you for some games.’

Tom Coyd, the squad’s head coach, said: ‘Her Royal Highness is just so engaging. It’s probably the most privileged we have felt since winning the World Cup…That was the icing on the cake.

‘She said she’d watched the final with her kids and she knew loads about the sport already and was talking about how exciting it was, how it’s really fierce in terms of collisions.

‘She said it would be great for us to go and do an engagement session at the school where her children attend.’

The Princess of Wales paired her burgundy suit with some matching suede heels and minimal gold jewellery

The Princess of Wales paired her burgundy suit with some matching suede heels and minimal gold jewellery

Kate wore a smart burgundy Roland Mouret suit as she visited Greentown Labs in Boston at the end of last year

Kate wore a smart burgundy Roland Mouret suit as she visited Greentown Labs in Boston at the end of last year

The 27-year-old added: ‘She said Louis is doing tag rugby at school. She was saying that it is quite basic at the minute in that he is just getting to grips with the passing and the running around. But when you are four-and-a-half you just want to get the ball and run in any direction.’

Wheelchair England player James Simpson, added: ‘Having the Princess watching the games and congratulating us and wanting to meet us is incredible.’

The former lance corporal, who retired from playing wheelchair rugby this month, said he had also met the then Prince Charles in hospital in 2009 after he lost both his legs below the knee in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.

He said: ‘That is what started my journey really of getting into Wheelchair Rugby League three and a half years later and that was a huge turning point for me.

‘It gave me that teamwork, that camaraderie that I lost when I got injured. Going out there in your England shirt and singing the national anthem is absolutely incredible for me as an ex-soldier.’

‘We played the semi-final of the World Cup on Remembrance Sunday and I nearly cried singing the national anthem that day.’

Kate took over Prince Harry’s former roles as patron of the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union in February last year after he and the Duchess of Sussex stood down as working royals.

She revealed in a visit to England’s senior men’s and women’s rugby teams at Twickenham in February last year that Prince George is a keen rugby player and Prince Louis is ‘kamikaze’ when he plays the sport.

Speaking about her children’s enthusiasm for rugby, she said: ‘They’re all enjoying it, Louis is kamikaze, we’re worrying about when he gets older, he’ll be in the middle of everything.’ 

Kate Middleton donned a burgundy coat to attend her Together at Christmas Carol Service at Westminster Abbey last month

Kate Middleton donned a burgundy coat to attend her Together at Christmas Carol Service at Westminster Abbey last month

The Princess of Wales' sister Pippa Middleton (pictured) also joined in on the burgundy coat trend, matching hers with a pair of brown boots

The Princess of Wales’ sister Pippa Middleton (pictured) also joined in on the burgundy coat trend, matching hers with a pair of brown boots

Burgundy: Zara Philips, 41, also joined the red crowd, sporting her stylish winter coat in the same hue as the others

Burgundy: Zara Philips, 41, also joined the red crowd, sporting her stylish winter coat in the same hue as the others

Princess Charlotte, 7, was her mother's mini-me, donning her own burgundy coat as she stepped out to attend the carol service tonight

Princess Charlotte, 7, was her mother’s mini-me, donning her own burgundy coat as she stepped out to attend the carol service tonight

Her solo outing follows a trip to a nursery in Luton yesterday where she larked about with children and discussed early years development. 

This morning Prince William also made a solo trip to a homelessness charity in London where his late mother Diana had taken on engagements in the 1990s.  

Despite an almighty fallout from his brother’s memoir, Prince William looked professional as ever on his visit to Depaul UK this morning, following Kate’s first solo outing yesterday since the book was released.

It was Kate’s second appearance since backlash against the Duke of Sussex mounted after the Iranian regime used his admission that he killed 25 Taliban fighters to justify its execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari, 61.  

Iran’s foreign ministry posted on Twitter that the UK was ‘in no position to preach’ on human rights after Harry’s comments. 

Iran murdered Alireza Akbari after he was accused of being an MI6 spy. 

And the Duke of Sussex has now been described as a ‘stupid boy’ for his comments in Spare, in which he also described those he killed as ‘chess pieces’. 

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former UK military commander in Afghanistan, said: ‘Harry should take full responsibility for giving ammunition to the murderous Iranian regime’s propaganda machine.

‘While all decent people will reject Iran’s lies, many of their supporters will be strengthened by the ayatollahs’ exploitation of the duke’s ill-judged comments.’ 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-11653671/Kate-Middleton-braves-cold-meet-wheelchair-rugby-athletes.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Kate Middleton braves the cold to meet wheelchair rugby athletes

Bradford Betz

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