Kate Middleton Broke Maternity Leave For a Really Sweet Reason

Kate Middleton made a surprise appearance Tuesday at an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. She arrived alongside Price William, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle wearing an Alexander McQueen coat dress and Sean Barrett hat.

The Duchess of Cambridge wasn’t expected to attend, because she is still technically on maternity leave. But according to The Mirror, there was a poignant reason she went to the event, which took place one day after the christening of her youngest son, Prince Louis.

The Royal Air Force reportedly means a lot to Kate because in 2015, she was named Honorary Air Commandant by the Royal Air Force, taking over for Prince Philip. It appears she wanted to attend today’s event if she was feeling up to the task. The only other official engagement she’s attended since Prince Louis’ birth was Trooping the Colour in early June.

When Kate received the role of Honorary Air Commandant, the air force gave her the prestigious diamond Dacre brooch, which she wore to Tuesday’s event. Previously, the brooch was given to the top female air force cadet, but that year, it was decided that women should be awarded the same way men are: with a sword.

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Other royals also have a strong attachment to the Royal Air Force, such as Prince William and Prince Charles, who have both served as pilots. Prince Harry also has a military background, serving in the army for ten years. And the Queen, Air Commodore-in-Chief of the RAF, also appeared at the anniversary event, even a day after missing Prince Louis’ christening. Prince Philip did not attend, as he has retired from official royal duties

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