Forget Kate for a Moment and Look at Prince William's Cape

Britain has excellent traditional garments.
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A cape full of velvet and history. Photo: Peter Nicholls/WPA Pool/Getty Images

A cape full of velvet and history. Photo: Peter Nicholls/WPA Pool/Getty Images

It's been a very busy week for the British Royal Family, what with the Queen's multi-part birthday celebrations and the Trooping the Colour ceremony. The events continued on Monday as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen at the annual Order of the Garter Service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England. 

According to "Encyclopaedia Britannica," the Most Noble Order of the Garter is an English knighthood and the country's oldest and highest civil and military honor awarded to those who have contributed to British life or served the sovereign. King Edward III founded the Order in 1348 after a dance partner's blue garter fell off during what one assumes was a particularly athletic waltz. In response to the rude, snickering onlookers, the king picked it up and put it on his own leg, inspiring him to found the Order with a commemorative feast and joust. Membership is up to the Queen alone, and Prince William was inducted back in 2008 when he became the 1,000th knight of the Garter. 

Royals wait for valet parking. Photo: Matt Dunham/AFP/Getty Images

Royals wait for valet parking. Photo: Matt Dunham/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, Prince William wore the same ceremonial and traditional garments he wore during his induction, and worn by all the Garter knights: a blue velvet cape complete with gold badge, tassel and a black ostrich plume hat. All of which is to say that, though we are accustomed to focusing on Kate Middleton's fashion choices, this time Prince William's were much more interesting — and historical. Meanwhile, the Duchess wore her own version of a traditional garment: the coat dress. The bright red look designed by Catherine Walker made its debut during the couple's 2011 Canada tour, says Hello!.

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