18/06/2012 13:26 BST | Updated 18/06/2012 13:41 BST

Kate Middleton And Will Share Intimate Moment During Order of The Garter Parade (PICTURES)

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.

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.

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.