Princess Catherine wears classic Zara checked dress and meaningful leek brooch as she pays her respects in Wales

Princess Catherine's Zara checked dress and leek brooch were the perfect understated choice for this incredibly poignant visit

Princess Catherine’s Zara checked dress seen during a visit to the Aberfan Memorial Garden
(Image credit: Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Princess Catherine wore a classic Zara checked dress and a meaningful leek brooch as she paid her respects in Wales. 

With King Charles’ coronation now days away Prince William and Princess Catherine have undertaken an important visit to Wales. The future King and Queen Consort became Prince and Princess of Wales last year and have been to the country several times since then. Most recently they stepped out in Port Talbot in February and Princess Catherine thrashed Prince William in a bike challenge. Although they didn’t mark St David’s Day in Wales, they attended the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards parade where Princess Catherine’s St David’s Day brooch paid tribute to the occasion. 

Now Princess Catherine has worn the same meaningful leek brooch as she paid her respects in Aberfan. It was here in 1966 that 115 children and 28 adults were killed when a colliery spoil tip collapsed and ash slurry engulfed the village, including a local primary school.

David Davies walks with Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales during a visit to the Aberfan Memorial Garden

(Image credit: Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited the Aberfan Memorial Garden which is located on the site where Pantglas Primary School once stood. The senior royals were guided around the garden with the Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Peter Vaughan, and Aberfan survivor, David Davies, who is a former pupil at the school. The couple also met trustees from the Aberfan Memorial Trust who help ensure the garden is maintained and also members of the Aberfan Wives Group - relatives of those who were lost in the disaster. 

Whilst fans might be more used to the Princess of Wales wearing bold colors in recent weeks such as Princess Catherine’s burgundy Karen Millen dress, for this visit she opted for a respectful combination of a black coat and checked dress with her iconic leek brooch. 

Princess Catherine wearing a Zara checked dress on two occasions

(Image credit: Future//Image 1: Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princess Catherine’s Zara checked dress is a wardrobe staple for her and has been seen several times over the years, including for a visit University College London's Centre for Longitudinal Studies in 2021. Featuring a black and white checked pattern, long sleeves and a pussy-bow neck detail, Princess Catherine’s dress is effortlessly elegant and understated. 

She paired this recycled dress with classic black boots, tights and a formal black calf-length coat. Perhaps in a considerate move so as not to detract from the poignancy of the visit, the only noticeable piece of jewelry other than her engagement and wedding rings was her leek brooch.

Princess Catherine and Queen Elizabeth wearing a leek brooch

(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images //Image 2: Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This small diamond brooch is a replica of one that was gifted to the late Queen Elizabeth by the Welsh Guards in 1960 and is the same as the cap badge worn by the regiment. The leek has long been associated with Wales as a symbol and whilst Princess Catherine wore this same brooch on St David’s Day, Queen Camilla has also been spotted wearing a replica leek brooch over the years.

It’s also relatively subtle compared to a lot of Queen Elizabeth’s brooches and other royal brooches. The choice to wear it here along with Princess Catherine’s classic checked Zara dress makes this look both very low-key and also a special tribute to Wales during this significant visit. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!