Friday 17 January 2020

Kate Middleton makes first appearance of the New Year in country chic outfit - alongside Marchioness Rose Hanbury

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
Rose Hanbury the Marchioness of Cholmondeley arrives to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
HRH Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted by Rose Cholmondeley, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley as they attend a gala dinner in support of East Anglia's Children's Hospices' nook appeal at Houghton Hall on June 22, 2016 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
HRH Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted by David Cholmondeley, Marquess of Cholmondeley and Rose Cholmondeley, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley as they attend a gala dinner in support of East Anglia's Children's Hospices' nook appeal at Houghton Hall on June 22, 2016 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Rose Hanbury (L) arrives through the East Gallery for a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019 in London, England
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Kate Middleton made her first official royal appearance of the year at a church service with Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

The Duchess of Cambridge and husband Prince William were pictured at St Mary Magdalene Church in the queen's private Norfolk estate on Sunday morning, this time without the fanfare they attracted with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the same venue on Christmas Day.

The new 'fab four', minus little Prince Louis who stayed home because of his young age, the Cambridge children took centre stage in their first Christmas walk, meeting with waiting fans who queued from the early hours of the cold morning to give them gifts and hopefully have a quick word with one of the royals - tiny or otherwise.

But yesterday's church service was significantly more low-key and Kate was dressed appropriately for the occasion, debuting a funnel neck rust ombré coat by Roksanda and recycling a pair of Stuart Weitzman brown knee-high boots and a statement cerulean fedora by Hicks & Brown. The service was also attended by Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton, both of whom are fresh from a sunny New Year getaway to St Barth's with their youngest daughter Pippa, son James, their respective partners and RTÉ presenter Vogue Williams.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk

Most notably, one of the high profile guests in attendance was also Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who attended alongside her husband David Rocksavage, aka the Marquess of Cholmondeley.

It was rumoured earlier this year that Kate and Rose, once thought to be close friends, had a falling out, but this marks their second joint public appearance since the story broke. Rose was also a guest at the State Dinner Banquet at Buckingham Palace in June, honouring US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

Read more: Sarah Caden: 'Outsider Kate Middleton leaves royals in her wake with new roles'

The former model, who is 24 years her husband's junior, arrived in a military-style navy blue coat and fur hat. Due to the couple's high social standing and jaw-dropping wealth, they have been a fixture in British society magazines and columns since announcing their whirlwind engagement and marrying just one day later in 2009.

It's thought the women's friendship developed at first because of geographical proximity: the Cambridges expansive estate Amner Hall is just a few miles from Houghton Hall, an 18th century mansion which the Cholmondeleys call home.

Last year, the Mail on Sunday reported that there was Kate saw Rose as a "rival to her rural crown" and on Saturday, The Sun followed up that Kate wanted to "phase" out Rose and her husband. It's believed the closeness of their friendship has been exaggerated as sources now say that they've only been to each other's homes on three occasions and the only work they share is through their roles as royal patron and patron of the East Anglia Children's Hospice.

Rose Hanbury the Marchioness of Cholmondeley arrives to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
Rose Hanbury the Marchioness of Cholmondeley arrives to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk

"I am told the rumours of a falling out between these two young women are false. I can also reveal both sides have considered legal action but, they have chosen to ignore it," a source told the Mail on Sunday.

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