The Duchess of Cambridge shared a tender moment with her husband the Duke on Monday as the royal family took part in the historic Garter Day service.

The couple exchanged smiles as William, a Royal Garter Knight, processed past Kate dressed in the lavish blue velvet robes of the Order with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The touching display of affection was in contrast to the formality of the annual event which celebrates the ancient Order of chivalry with a service held at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Kate also proved she has a frugal side appearing in a stunning ivory double breasted outfit for the occasion, which she wore at last year's Trooping the Colour ceremony.

The Alexander McQueen coat was this time combined with a matching hat by Jane Corbett - a world away from the casual clothes, and £300 Le Chameau wellies, she wore yesterday during a visit to Kent to meet youngsters taking part in an outdoor residential course.

kate william

The weekend has been a busy period for the Duchess who attended the Trooping the Colour ceremony with many members of the Royal Family on Saturday, and on Friday night she hosted 150 children and young people from her charity The Art Room at a London production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

With other royal women - Duchess of Cornwall, Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Gloucester - Kate watched from the vantage point of the Galilee Porch at St George's Chapel as their partners processed past.

Wearing their blue velvet robes and black velvet hats with white plumes the Royal Garter Knights walked past as 6,000 spectators gathered in the grounds of the castle cheered.

Members of the monarchy who are Royal Knights or Ladies of the Order include the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal.

When William was made a Royal Knight of the Order in 2008, Kate was there to witness his first procession and collapsed into a fit of giggles with Prince Harry.

At last year's Garter Day ceremony Kate made her husband blush by smiling at him but this time he kept his emotions in check and acknowledged her with a beaming grin of his own as he walked stride for stride with the Prince of Wales.

queen

When the Queen processed past Kate and the royal women they all curtseyed in deference to the monarch.

The Queen is sovereign of the Order and a number of other British and foreign royals are additional Royal Knights including Philip, Charles and William.

The Order also has up to 24 Companion Knights who are usually drawn from those who have held high office like former prime ministers Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the president of the Supreme Court, and Admiral Lord Boyce, a former head of the UK's Armed Forces are the newest Knights, installed last year. Twenty-two individuals in total hold this honour, with two vacancies, and this year Lady Thatcher, who has retired from public life, did not attend.

After processing to St George's Chapel through bright summer sunshine the service was held where hymns were sung and prayers said in praise of the Knights and their fellowship.

After the service the senior royals travelled back along the procession route in horse-drawn carriages.

The Queen and Philip were the first to leave and were driven past squadrons of the Household Cavalry's Life Guards who lined the route in their scarlet tunics and plumed helmets. William and Kate were in Charles and Camilla's carriage, and the foursome waved to the crowds who cheered as they passed.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Order of the Garter parade

    Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh after attending the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge leave by carriage after attending the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh after attending the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Princess Royal, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales during the procession of the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh after attending the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Baroness Soames and Sir John Major lead the procession of the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the King George VI chapel after attending the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinbugh leave King George VI chapel after attending the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the Duchess of Cornwall leave the King George VI chapel after attending the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the Duchess of Cornwall leave the King George VI chapel after attending the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the King George VI chapel after attending the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Earl of Wessex leave the King George VI chapel after attending the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Queen Elizabeth II walks from Windsor Castle to King George VI chapel for the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor , Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    Queen Elizabeth II walks from Windsor Castle to King George VI chapel for the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor , Berkshire.

  • Order of the Garter parade

    (left to right) The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall watching their husbands as they pass by during the annual Order of the Garter parade at Windsor Castle

  • Order of the Garter parade

    (left to right) The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall watching their husbands as they pass by during the annual Order of the Garter parade at Windsor Castle

  • Order of the Garter parade

    The Duchess of Cambridge watches her husband pass by during the annual Order of the Garter parade at Windsor Castle

  • Order of the Garter parade

    (left to right) The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall watching their husbands as they pass by during the annual Order of the Garter parade at Windsor Castle

  • Order of the Garter parade

    (left to right) The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall watching their husbands as they pass by during the annual Order of the Garter parade at Windsor Castle

  • Queen Elizabeth II and Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Order Of The Garter Service

    WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (R) attends the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 18, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. Membership in the order is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II and Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Order Of The Garter Service

    WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: A general view during the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 18, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. Membership in the order is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II and Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Order Of The Garter Service

    WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Queen Elizabeth II attends the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 18, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. Membership in the order is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II and Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Order Of The Garter Service

    WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 18, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. Membership in the order is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole - WPA Pool/Getty Images)