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Kate Middleton opens new galleries at Imperial War Museum in London

Thrifty Kate is back! Duchess of Cambridge recycles navy Catherine Walker coat and nautical Alexander McQueen shirt first worn ELEVEN years ago as she opens two new galleries at the Imperial War Museum

  • Kate Middleton, 39, cut an elegant figure as she visited the Imperial War Museum in London this afternoon
  • Mother-of-three opted for an Alexander McQueen shirt first worn months after her 2011 wedding to William
  • Royal was officially opening two new galleries, The Second World War Galleries and The Holocaust Galleries
  • The Duchess of Cambridge also viewed an exhibition which includes two portraits she took last year  

The Duchess of Cambridge recycled a navy Catherine Walker coat and nautical Alexander McQueen shirt first worn eleven years ago as she arrived at the Imperial War Museum in London today to officially open two new galleries.

Kate Middleton, 38, wrapped up against the cold in her elegant navy jacket, which she paired with a cream designer shirt first worn months after her 2011 wedding to Prince William. 

Meanwhile the royal also opted to wear Princess Diana’s dazzling diamond and sapphire drop earrings for the outing. 

The Duchess appeared in high spirits as she visited the museum in the capital to open the spaces, named The Second World War Galleries and The Holocaust Galleries.  

The mother-of-three also visited the exhibition Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors, which includes the two portraits she took last year to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust, and reunited with survivors Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein.

Kate photographed Steven and Yvonne, who both settled in Britain after the Second World War, as part of a 2020 project marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, cut an elegant figure as she arrived at the Imperial War Museum in London today to officially open two new galleries


As the mother-of-three walked into the Imperial War Museum earlier this afternoon, she turned to give waiting fans and photographers a brief wave 

The thrifty royal first wore the top for a visit alongside the Duke on 19th of August 2011, when the royal couple visited Birmingham

The Catherine Walker coat is a favourite of the Duchess, who first stepped out in the garment earlier this year for Mental Health Awareness Week with a visit to Wolverhampton. 

The thrifty mother-of-three first wore the Alexander McQueen top for a visit alongside the Duke on 19th of August 2011, when the royal couple visited Birmingham. 

She has since re-wore the piece a number of times in the following years, including a visit to Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes in 2014.  

Today she paired the distinctive blouse with a pair of smart suit trousers and a lengthy blue long-line coat. 

The Duchess wore her locks down in her usual bouncy blow dry style, and kept her makeup minimal for the occasion.

Meanwhile she also added a touch of glamour to the outfit with her pair of dangling  blue earrings, and placed a poppy on the collar of her coat. 


The earrings, which can be adapted and worn as studs or as drops, are a favourite pair of Kate’s and have been worn by the Duchess on a number of high profile occasions. Pictured right, Princess Diana wearing the same earrings but as studs at an engagement in May 1988

Meanwhile she also added a touch of glamour to the outfit with her pair of dangling blue earrings, and placed a poppy on the collar of her coat

The earrings, which can be adapted and worn as studs or as drops, are a favourite pair of Kate’s and have been worn by the Duchess on a number of high profile occasions. 

The Duchess firstly visited the new Second World War Galleries, which display over 1,500 collection items from 80 countries that bring to life the impact of the Second World War on millions of people. 

She then visited The Holocaust Galleries, which tell the individual stories of some of the six million Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust through over 2,000 photos, books, artworks, letters and personal belongings. 

During her visit, Kate also unveiled a plaque to officially open the two new Galleries. 

The Duchess was then accompanied to Generations: Portraits of the Holocaust, which features over 50 photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families. 


The royal proved she is still the Queen of thrifty shopping as she recycled several garments for her visit earlier today, including an Alexander McQueen blouse she first wore in 2011 (pictured left and right) 

The Duchess of Cambridge beamed widely as she arrived at the museum in London this afternoon to open the galleries 

Kate toured the exhibition and met with individuals involved in the project, before reuniting with Stephen Frank BEM and Yvonne Bernstein, who she photographed alongside their granddaughters for the exhibition in January 2020. 

Mr Frank was among only a handful of children to make it out alive from the last of the many concentration camps he was sent to. By then his father had been gassed to death for speaking out against the Nazis.

Mrs Bernstein was hidden as a child in France throughout most of the Second World War and her uncle was seized and murdered for shielding her.

Both Mr Frank and Mrs Bernstein were photographed at Kensington Palace alongside their granddaughters.

The photos, released last year, are now on display at the Imperial War Museum in an exhibition bringing together more than 50 contemporary portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Instagram account shared the news, writing: ‘Displayed for the very first time, these powerful photographs capture the special connections between Holocaust survivors and the younger generations of their families, and remind us of our collective responsibility to ensure their stories live on.

Meanwhile she also added a touch of glamour to the outfit with a pair of dangling blue earrings, and placed a poppy on the collar of her coat


The mother-of-three was beaming as she arrived for her visit to the Imperial War Museum earlier this afternoon in London (pictured) 

The Duchess recycled her navy blue Catherine Walker coat, which she first wore in May this year to visit Wolverhampton (pictured) 

‘The photographs present a group of survivors who made the UK their home after beginnings marked by unimaginable loss and trauma.

‘While offering a space to remember and share their stories, these portraits are a celebration of the full lives they have lived and the special legacy which their children and grandchildren will carry into the future.

‘The exhibition is in partnership with the @RoyalPhotographicSociety and @holocaustmemorialdaytrust, two organisations who invited The Duchess to be part of this special project, marking 75 years since the end of the Holocaust last year.’

In one of the pictures Mr Frank is seen holding a pan, this had been one of his mother’s items that he had kept from during his time at Westerbork transit camp. He was later sent to Theresienstadt with his brothers and mother.


Business chic! The Duchess beamed widely as she arrived at the museum to open two new galleries this afternoon (pictured left and right) 

The royal paired her Alexander McQueen blouse with a pair of navy blue trousers, heels and her longline Catherine Walker coat (pictured) 


The Duchess wore her locks down in her usual bouncy blow dry style, and kept her makeup minimal for the occasion (pictured left and right) 

The Duchess also visited the exhibition ‘Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors’, which includes the two portraits she took last year to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust


The Duchess appeared excited ahead of the visit to the museum in central London earlier today (pictured left and right) 

Whilst at the camp his mother would do laundry for prisoners in exchange for a small amount of bread. She would put crumbs into the pan, adding hot water to make a paste. She would give each child a spoonful to keep them alive, denying herself of the food.

It was this act of kindness from his mother and her use of the pan that ultimately saved his life. He survived multiple concentration camps and Mr Frank and his and his brothers are three of only 93 children who survived the camp, out of 15,000 children sent there.

Kate, who is patron of the Royal Photographic Society and had produced a thesis on photography during her art history degree, said at the time ‘despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives’ they were ‘two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet’.

She added: ‘They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through.

Steven Frank was among only a handful of children to make it out alive from the last of the many concentration camps he was sent to. He was photographed with his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie

Memories: Yvonne Bernstein, pictured alongside her then 11-year-old granddaughter Chloe, was hidden in France throughout the Second World War and later moved to Britain

‘Their stories will stay with me forever.’

She added that whilst she had been lucky enough to meet the survivors, she recognised that not everyone in the future would be able to hear such stories first hand.

Kate has always had a passion for photography and she produced her undergraduate thesis on the era of photography – in particular, photographs of children.

She graduated in 2005 from the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, with an undergraduate (2:1 Hons) in the history of art.

Recently she turned her skills to the creation of Hold Still, a book that pulled together photographs of lockdown across the UK.

The Duchess has previously said she was ‘honoured’ to have her photographs of Holocaust survivors and their families included in a new Imperial War Museum exhibition

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