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LADIES OF LEICESTER: The Duchess of Cambridge joined Queen Elizabeth II Thursday morning for a royal engagement that marks the beginning of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour of the U.K. The Queen, Kate and the Duke of Edinburgh traveled by train from London’s King’s Cross to Leicester, in England’s East Midlands, where they were greeted by cheering crowds waving Union Jack flags.

It was the second time that the Queen and the duchess have attended a royal engagement together. Last week, they made a visit to Fortnum and Mason in London.

This story first appeared in the March 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On Thursday, the Queen wore a cerise cashmere dress and coat with a hat, designed by Angela Kelly, her personal assistant and senior dresser. Kate chose a dark green L.K. Bennett dress and peplum jacket, which she paired with a black James Lock pillbox hat and Episode shoes.

Later in the day, the royals visited Leicester’s De Montfort University, where the Queen and the duchess watched a student fashion show. Six students at the college had designed prototype shoes for Kate, and she picked a design created by Becka Hunt as her favorite, which will now be made into a pair of shoes for the duchess. Hunt’s design is a royal blue suede shoe boot embellished with lace details.

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