Is Kate Middleton Overshadowing The Queen During Her Jubilee?

She wore a muted dress to the Jubilee festivities today, following criticism of the bright red dress she wore for the Jubilee boat appearance over the weekend. Is she trying to be more demure?

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William and Kate leaving services at St. Paul’s Cathedral today.

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrived to today’s Jubilee festivities wearing a simple off-white lace dress. Was this an exhibition of sartorial humility in the wake of what some argued was the Duchess of Cambridge’s first dressgate? On Saturday she wore a bright red Alexander McQueen dress and festive matching fascinator (not the biggest she’s worn, but lopsided and hat-y enough to give pause) to the Thames River Pageant, which the Daily Mail’s Amanda Platell argued overshadowed Queen Elizabeth II:

While the rest of the royal party sensibly opted for a muted palette, determined not to outshine the woman at the centre of it all, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a scarlet dress so bold and bright it just screamed: ‘Look at me!’

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Kate and William on the royal barge on Saturday.

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Kate v. Queen, on the royal barge.

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Hiss?

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Kate, exhibiting the audacity to change her look with the addition of a plaid scarf, on the royal barge.

Platell noted that the sleeveless version of that red dress by McQueen, the label that made her globally praised wedding dress, has been worn by especially attention-seeking celebrities including Kim Kardashian and X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.

Kate’s in a difficult position because she’s the most obsessed-over woman in the world so wherever she goes and whatever she does people are going to pay attention to her more than anyone else. So at an event like the Jubilee, which belongs to the Queen and should be about her above all else, she has to figure out how to disappear as much as possible without looking dowdy or bad — or too thin or too fat or any of those other “toos” the tabloids constantly accuse celebrity women of being. And she has to look festive and excited about everything going on — but not like she’s thinking about herself. So really, when it’s that easy, how dare she mess this up? Today, she blended in more:

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The royal family at the Service Of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

And at the Diamond Jubilee concert over the weekend, the flashiest thing Kate did was wave a little British flag.

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See? It’s almost difficult, even, to spot Kate in this photo of the concert crowd, she looks so blasé and off-to-the-side.

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Yet Jubilee fans are surely just as excited about seeing Kate as the Queen. Her cardboard face cut-out has landed on potted plants with the same sense of importance, anyway:

LUKE MACGREGOR / Reuters

And I’m willing to bet even the Queen had a hard time stealing attention from all the enormous rainbow that graced her concert.

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Perhaps the real offender wasn’t Kate, but Buckingham Palace, which was brazen enough to wear every neon shade from Rihanna’s “S&M” video. If this isn’t saucily inappropriate, I don’t know what is.

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But today, watching the final and grandest of the jubilee festivities, truly belongs to the Queen. You go, Liz.

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Queen Elizabeth II at Sts Paul’s Cathedral with the Dean of St Paul’s David Ison.

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