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Duchess Kate looking radiant in 10-year-old coat lights up garden party in Northern Ireland

By Frances Burscough

The Duchess of Cambridge picked out an old favourite to wow the crowds at Hillsborough.

Kate Middleton has developed a distinct - and very chic - style all of her own since she stepped into her royal role.

For example, at formal daytime events she loves to wear a coat dress, with a gentle A-line silhouette tailored to accentuate her tiny waist, with a hemline resting just above the knee.

Softly padded shoulders add balance and this is then topped with a "witty" cocktail hat and finished with nude heels and a tiny matching clutch bag.

She has done it time and time again because it is a winning formula - and it worked again at yesterday's Hillsborough Castle Garden Party.

Her coat by Day Birger et Mikkelsen and Lock & Co hat drew admiring comments from many of the gathered guests.

Of course, it also worked the first time she was spotted wearing it - 10 years ago at Laura Parker Bowles' wedding to Harry Lopes.

Clearly much-loved, Kate dug it out for the wedding of Zara and Mike Tindall in 2011, and again the following year for the Paralympic games.

I absolutely loved everything about her ensemble and would not be surprised if it sparks a copycat frenzy before the season is over.

The silk brocade in that soft, summery vanilla shade which complemented her complexion perfectly was an immaculate choice for a sunny afternoon.

Every detail about it was sumptuous, from the covered buttons and piped panel seams to the duchess satin lining which ensured she remained cool for the whole event.

She complemented it all with a minuscule clutch bag, just big enough to hold a lipstick and little else.

The look was completed with a work of millinery art - a cocktail hat featuring a single oversized rosebud crafted from fine parasisal straw, in the perfect matching shade of vanilla.

As far as jewellery was concerned, it was minimal yet equally as effective. The gold shamrock brooch is a firm favourite of the Duchess, as it has been with other members of the royal family before her.

The Queen Mother was originally given this gold shamrock brooch, featuring a single emerald at its centre, by the Irish Guards on March 17, 2000, when she took the salute of St Patrick's Day in her garden at Clarence House.

She received the brooch for a double birthday - her own 100th birthday; and the 100th birthday of the Irish Guards.

After her mother's death, the Queen received all her jewellery. It was loaned in turn to both The Princess Royal and now Kate, who has worn it many times in recent years, usually on St Patrick's Day, as a nod of respect to the Irish Guards.

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