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#Kate And Sophie Launch The Slimmed-Down Monarchy’s Debut As They Lead Royals Hosting A Buckingham Palace Garden Party For King Charles

The Prince and Princess of Wales hosted a garden party in Buckingham Palace with the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh this afternoon in the first glimpse of King Charles’s ‘slimmed down’ monarchy.

Following the coronation of the new monarch and Queen Camilla on Saturday, Kate, 41, and William, 40, teamed up with Duchess Sophie, 58 and Prince Edward, 59, took the lead with the event which praises volunteers up and down the country.

Mother-of-three Kate wore an Elie Saab dress and hat combo, which is a repeat of an outfit she once wore to Royal Ascot, accessorised with dazzling diamond and blue topaz ‘Lola’ earrings from Kiki McDonough and a clutch. Meanwhile her hair was styled in a sleek, intricate updo while her hat contained another floral headpiece – harking back to her show-stopping Coronation look.

At her side was Duchess Sophie who also opted for a blue dress – and had also previously worn the outfit at Royal Ascot. With both Prince William and Prince Edward in top hats and tails, the foursome looked sleek and co-ordinated.

It comes as King Charles reportedly wants to reform the monarchy to a ‘slimmed-down’ operation as royal experts claims his official Coronation portraits showed ‘the people who the King can depend on’.

As Kate began greeting the 500 champions and thanked them for their hard work, she looked regal in the dress and hat combo, which was a slightly more jazzed-up look from her appearance at the Slough Big Help Out on Bank Holiday Monday.

Meanwhile Sophie stunned in a deeper shade of blue with a frilled midi-dress with a full skirt and looked just as regal alongside Prince Edward and the rest of the family.

Yesterday royal expert Richard Fitzwilliam told MailOnline that King Charles had likely chosen very carefully how his coronation portraits were staged, with a very important position for Princess Anne – who was also present at today’s garden party.

Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘This one is a strong forceful portrait of a monarch who knows his own mind and is very experienced.’

He added the Princess Royal’s proximity to the King in the group portrait ‘is no accident’, adding the fact she is ‘experienced and hard-working’ will have been noticed by Charles.

Noting the family shot included only four people under the age of 70, Mr Fitzwilliams said this will be a ‘challenge’ for the King in the future, who will need to decide ‘how slimmed down he wants the monarchy to be’.

As Kate and William walked down the steps outside the Palace and into the garden this afternoon, the Princess of Wales beamed at her husband, who appeared to be drawing her attention to something.

As they teamed up with the Scouts yesterday, the Waleses got to work filling in holes and driving diggers – with the children treated to s’mores as a reward for their hard work.

While Kate directed her children and got stuck in to help out herself, she opted for a practical yet chic baby blue ‘Liberty’ Frill Neck Silk Shirt from Really Wild Clothing, costing £129.

The shirt was paired with her black G-Star Raw skinny cargo trousers, which she previously wore in khaki to take part in emergency drills with the Irish Guards after becoming colonel of the battalion.

On her feet, she wore very sensible and hardy Blundstone 550 Chelsea boots.

It has been an extremely busy few days for the Prince and Princess, who shone at King Charles’s coronation on Saturday at Westminster Abbey.

Kate, along with eight-year-old Princess Charlotte, sported a stunning ivory silk crepe gown from Alexander McQueen to attend the event, and both opted for dazzling floral headpieces.

On top of her gown, which was embellished with the flowers of the four nations, Kate wore the Royal Victorian Order mantle.

To attend the coronation concert on Sunday evening, the Princess wore a crimson £2,280 Alexander McQueen suit.

She and her family danced the night away as acts including Take That, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie performed for the royals and thousands of fans who were lucky enough to get tickets to the concert, held at Windsor Castle.

And expert lip reader Jacqui Press revealed to FEMAIL what she believed Kate had said during a comedy skit which featured characters from The Muppets.

As Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog larked around on stage, they stopped to chat with the concert’s host, Hugh Bonneville.

The two characters walked up to the host, telling him they were ‘looking for their seats,’ explaining they were expected in the royal box.

Miss Piggy then exclaimed she couldn’t believe she didn’t have a castle yet, and asked Bonneville if he was single.

Kate Middleton particularly loved the skit, exclaiming: ‘that’s funny!’ as she sat next to her daughter Princess Charlotte.

Hugh Bonneville’s quip at Miss Piggy, calling her a ‘pig in a dress,’ particularly amused Prince William, as the royal repeated the words under his breath with a laugh.

Following an incredibly busy few days for the Wales family, Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, eight and Prince Louis, five, are back at school today, after their father joked he’d struggle to get them up this morning.

Speaking in Slough yesterday, William admitted his children were ‘so tired’ after three days of royal engagements – and no doubt the parents are feeling it too.

When Kate and William were spotted meeting royal fans in Windsor on Sunday afternoon ahead of the coronation concert, William told a royal fan who enquired about Charlotte that his exhausted eight-year-old was resting at home after the coronation.


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