The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a fundraising dinner for the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal at St. James’s Palace tonight (November 10th) in London. Prince William launched the appeal in April 2009 “to develop the Arboretum into a world-renowned centre for Remembrance and to ensure that there are necessary facilities for the 300,000 visiting families, Service men and women, veterans and members of the public each year,” according to the its site.
120 guests sat at tables named after trees in the Picture Gallery, according to Victoria Murphy, the Daily Mirror‘s royal reporter. William and Catherine spoke to guests, and one in particular was touched by how down-to-earth they were, a sentiment many who had the pleasure of meeting them second. Jacqui Thompson, the widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan, told Murphy that TRH “were so sincere and interested. I felt they could have been my son and daughter.”
According to Peter Hunt, royal correspondent for the BBC, William called the Arboretum an “iconic focal point for the Nation’s remembrance of British heroes. It is a place of sanctuary….a place of quiet pride in the selflessness and sacrifice of those who have gone before.”
William and Catherine both wore remembrance poppies for Remembrance Day (November 11th). According to HRHDuchesskate, Catherine wore a custom-made Jenny Packham gown. The one-shoulder Grecian style showed off the Duchess’s toned arms (she plays tennis with sister Pippa at the exclusive Harbour Club). Catherine wore an equally gorgeous Packham gown to the ARK dinner back in June.
Thanks to @BBCPeterHunt, @WhatKateWore @HRHDuchessKate @KatePippaStyle @MrsRegalEyes @PetiteHRH @QueenVicMirror @Kates_Wardrobe for their coverage of the event and Catherine’s look for the evening!