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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Russell Myers

Kate Middleton steps in for Queen in £785 dress in stunning appearance

The Duchess of Cambridge shone in jewel shades as she joined fashion’s finest today.

Kate presented The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design at an event hosted by the British Fashion Council to up and coming designer Saul Nash and was treated to an "immersive" show by his dancer models.

Wearing a £785 shimmering green dress by London-based, Canadian-born designer Edeline Lee with gold earrings and her hair poker-straight, Kate towered over many of the models as she met Vogue’s powerful European Editorial Director Edward Enninful, as well as up and coming fashion industry stars.

Now in its fifth year, the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British design provided recognition of the cultural and trade role the British design and fashion industry has played throughout Her Majesty's reign.

The Duchess speaks with Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council Caroline Rush (Getty Images)
Kate presented the award to British Guyanese designer Saul Nash. (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The inaugural award was announced and presented to Richard Quinn in February 2018 when the Queen made her first visit to London Fashion Week.

The Duchess toured the Design Museum, just a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace, meeting each of the British Fashion Council’s 23 NEWGEN finalists.

Among them was Chet Lo, 25, whose jacket with knitted spikes on caught Kate’s eye - and she couldn’t resist reaching out her hand to touch it.

Kate and the Chair of the British Fashion Council, Stephanie Phair talk to NEWGEN recipients (PA)

He said afterwards: "I told her I was born in Hong Kong and it was inspired by the durian fruit there. I like to be inspired by my heritage.

"She was so incredibly sweetly and generous with her time with all of the designers.

"She is an incredibly graceful woman. I actually used to work for the brand she is wearing so as soon as she walked in I thought ‘I recognise that!’ "

The Duchess also spoke to Steven Stokey-Daley, 25, who has an up and coming meanswear brand, SS Daley, inspired by the history of the British aristocracy.

The Queen Elizabeth II award was given out by Camilla, Princess Anne in 2020 and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex last year (PA)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, talks with Chair of the British Fashion Council, Stephanie Phair (REUTERS)

"My designs are inspired by British heritage, the aristocracy of the the past, so kind of her world. I am a working class boy from Liverpool, so am not of the same background, but it fascinates me.

"She was just lovely and wanted to talk to me a lot about sustainability and those aspects of the design process. ‘

Conner Ives, 26, who is originally from New York told the Duchess how he had dreamed of studying fashion in London since the age of 12.

He has since graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s and has just held his first runway show.

Kate applauds after announcing the winner of 'The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design' during the prize ceremony (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"I told her that I London is such a hub of creativity that there is no-one else I wanted to be.

"Since I’ve been here I have been so nurtured and encouraged, it’s an experience that I wouldn’t have got anywhere else in the world.

"I will never forget the day she got married - it was the same day as my parents.

"She has had to grow and develop under such a spot light and she has always stayed true to herself.’

Introduced the the first winner of the design award, Richard Quinn, Kate asked him: ‘How has your business gone since?’

"Oh great, just amazing," he told her.

Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful (Getty Images)
Kate, Caroline Rush and Tim Marlow, CEO of The Design Museum, speak at the awards on Wednesday (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

"Did the award make a difference to your brand?" she answered.

"Oh yes, absolutely," he added.

Vogue’s Edward Enninfulm recently collaborated with the Duchess of Sussex when she guest edited the fashion bible in 2019.

Speaking of his conversation with Kate: "We were saying how fashion really is democratic, it feels very outsiders but actually it gives so many different people from so many different backgrounds a chance.

"The craftsmanship… and really just being proud of what is going on in Britain. She was saying that Britain is so important and leading the way in the world.

"Saul Nash is a shinning example of that. He is so young and inclusive, really concerned with bringing up other young talent. Her has such a diverse studio.

The Queen Elizabeth II Award is awarded each year to an emerging designer for British Design at an event hosted by the British Fashion Council (Getty Images)

"He is a shining example, really, of what we want this country to be. We have been through lockdown, which has been tough, but I think we have come out a friendlier industry.

"It doesn’t matter what goes on in the world, London is the place for creativity.

"If you are a young designer you have to be in London. That’s where you are nurtured."

He said of the Duchess and her evolving sense of style: "I feel like she has been able to grow so gracefully.

"Her style is inspiring to a lot of people , they relate to her, but without losing what’s important to her."

Asked about reports that the Duchess of Cornwall was about to become Vogue’s latest royal cover girl, he laughed mischievously and said: "That’s what they say, but I can’t say much! My phone’s been ringing but I just can’t say anything. You know I can’t comment!

"It’s just wonderful being able to get back and celebrate British creativity".

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