Duchess of Cambridge greets troops at Beating Retreat ceremony

The Duchess of Cambridge cut an elegant figure as she attended the Beating Retreat military pageant in London this evening.

Kate, who was wearing a cream Catherine Walker coat and the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch, was seen greeting troops ahead of the ceremony.

Tonight’s event, which is a major part of the Army’s ceremonial calendar, will see three hundred musicians, drummers and pipers from the Massed Bands of the Household Division performing traditional military music and marches.

It has taken place on House Guards Parade in Whitehall every year since 1966 and raises money for service charities.

Kate is set to take the salute tonight, a role given to the Queen or another member of the royal family. 

The Duchess of Cambridge cut an elegant figure as she attended the Beating Retreat military pageant in London this evening

The Duchess of Cambridge cut an elegant figure as she attended the Beating Retreat military pageant in London this evening

The Duchess of Cambridge cut an elegant figure as she attended the Beating Retreat military pageant in London this evening 

Kate, who wore a cream Catherine Walker coat and the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch, was seen shaking hands with troops ahead of the ceremony

Kate, who wore a cream Catherine Walker coat and the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch, was seen shaking hands with troops ahead of the ceremony

Kate, who wore a cream Catherine Walker coat and the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch, was seen shaking hands with troops ahead of the ceremony

Kate was all smiles at this evening's event

Kate was all smiles at this evening's event

She kept her style simple, wearing her hair in a chignon and accessorising with a pair of flower-shaped pearl earrings

She kept her style simple, wearing her hair in a chignon and accessorising with a pair of flower-shaped pearl earrings

Kate was all smiles at this evening’s event. She kept her style simple, wearing her hair in a chignon and accessorising with a pair of flower-shaped pearl earrings

Kate is set to take the salute tonight, a role given to the Queen or another member of the royal family

Kate is set to take the salute tonight, a role given to the Queen or another member of the royal family

Kate is set to take the salute tonight, a role given to the Queen or another member of the royal family

The Beating Retreat ceremony takes place over two days

The Beating Retreat ceremony takes place over two days

Traditionally a member of the royal family will attend one of the days to receive the salute (pictured)

Traditionally a member of the royal family will attend one of the days to receive the salute (pictured)

The Beating Retreat ceremony takes place over two days, and traditionally a member of the royal family will attend one of the days to receive the salute (pictured)

Kate takes her seat before the ceremony begins. Tonight's pageant is a major event in the Army's ceremonial calendar

Kate takes her seat before the ceremony begins. Tonight's pageant is a major event in the Army's ceremonial calendar

Kate takes her seat before the ceremony begins. Tonight’s pageant is a major event in the Army’s ceremonial calendar 

What is the Beating Retreat ceremony? 

The Beating Retreat dates back to 16th century England and was traditionally used to recall troops from the frontlines. 

The London ceremony takes place over two days on the Wednesday and Thursday before the Trooping the Colour. 

It takes place at sunset and sees troops perform drills and light fireworks and cannons in time with military music.  

The concert raises funds for the Army Benevolent Fund which helps soldiers and veterans and their families.

The duchess kept her style simple, wearing her hair in a chignon and accessorising with a pair of flower-shaped pearl earrings.

She also opted for a pair of nude suede stilettos and a matching bag. 

Earlier today, the Duchess of Cambridge was absent from a commemoration service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in which her husband gave a speech.

At the event, the Duke of Cambridge delivered the D-Day address made by his great-grandfather King George VI in 1944.

He said: ‘Four years ago our nation and empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall.

‘Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause.

‘At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nationwide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth.’     

In this picture, the Duchess of Cambridge can be seen standing for the salute at the parading ground this evening

In this picture, the Duchess of Cambridge can be seen standing for the salute at the parading ground this evening

In this picture, the Duchess of Cambridge can be seen standing for the salute at the parading ground this evening

Kate opted to accessorise with the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch (pictured), which she usually wears on St Patrick's Day

Kate opted to accessorise with the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch (pictured), which she usually wears on St Patrick's Day

Kate opted to accessorise with the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch (pictured), which she usually wears on St Patrick’s Day

The ceremony takes place at sunset and sees troops perform drills and light fireworks and cannons in time with military music

The ceremony takes place at sunset and sees troops perform drills and light fireworks and cannons in time with military music

The concert raises funds for the Army Benevolent Fund which helps soldiers and veterans and their families

The concert raises funds for the Army Benevolent Fund which helps soldiers and veterans and their families

The ceremony takes place at sunset and sees troops perform drills and light fireworks and cannons in time with military music. The concert raises funds for the Army Benevolent Fund which helps soldiers and veterans and their families

The Duchess of Cambridge is flanked by troops as she makes her way to her place for tonight's ceremony in central London

The Duchess of Cambridge is flanked by troops as she makes her way to her place for tonight's ceremony in central London

The Duchess of Cambridge is flanked by troops as she makes her way to her place for tonight’s ceremony in central London

Tonight's ceremony has taken place on House Guards Parade in Whitehall every year since 1966

Tonight's ceremony has taken place on House Guards Parade in Whitehall every year since 1966

Tonight’s ceremony has taken place on House Guards Parade in Whitehall every year since 1966

Earlier today, the Duchess of Cambridge was absent from a commemoration service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in which her husband gave a speech

Earlier today, the Duchess of Cambridge was absent from a commemoration service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in which her husband gave a speech

Kate was seen chatting and laughing with troops

Kate was seen chatting and laughing with troops

Earlier today, the Duchess of Cambridge was absent from a commemoration service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in which her husband gave a speech

Three hundred musicians, drummers and pipers from the Massed Bands of the Household Division will perform traditional military music and marches

Three hundred musicians, drummers and pipers from the Massed Bands of the Household Division will perform traditional military music and marches

Three hundred musicians, drummers and pipers from the Massed Bands of the Household Division will perform traditional military music and marches

Kate kept her makeup to a minimum for tonight's event, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings

Kate kept her makeup to a minimum for tonight's event, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings

Kate kept her makeup to a minimum for tonight’s event, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings

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