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Kate Middleton's Lace Gown Includes a Sweet Nod to 9th Anniversary of Engagement to Prince William

Stephanie Petit
Kate Middleton's Lace Gown Includes a Sweet Nod to 9th Anniversary of Engagement to Prince William

Kate Middleton and Prince William shared news of their engagement with the world nine years ago this week — and Kate included a special nod to their relationship during their date night on Monday.

The royal couple stepped out looking glam on Monday evening for the annual Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in London. Kate chose a new gown for the special event, a floor-length black dress with intricate lace patterns. The eye-catching ensemble even included a tribute to her wedding day in April 2011 — it was by Alexander McQueen, the fashion house behind her iconic wedding gown.

Kate’s wedding dress also heavily featured lace. The appliqué on the skirt and bodice of the dress was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. The dressmakers used the Carrickmacross lace-making technique to add hand-crafted lace flowers, including roses, thistle, daffodils, and shamrock onto ivory silk tulle.

Samir Hussein/WireImage
Prince William and Kate Middleton | CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty
Prince William and Kate Middleton

Kate accessorized her look for the Royal Variety Performance with dangling Erdem earrings, which she previously wore when she officially opened the new Photography Centre at the V&A last October, and a black velvet clutch. The finishing touch was her signature bouncy blowout.

Meanwhile, Prince William — who has been taking a number of fashion risks lately! — kept it classic in a black tuxedo and bow tie.

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Kate Middleton | Karwai Tang/WireImage
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Neil Mockford/GC Images

The duo even showed off a rare moment of PDA — William affectionately put his hand on Kate’s back as the entered the event.

Prince William and Kate Middleton | BACKGRID

The event included performances from Rod Stewart, the cast of Mary Poppins, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel, Robbie Williams, the cast of Come From Away and a special collaboration by Emeli Sandé and Manchester’s Bee Vocal choir.

William and Kate, both 37, met with some of the performers and charity members before and after the show.

Kate Middleton | Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock
Prince William | GEOFF PUGH/POOL/AFP via Getty

Last year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attended the event on behalf of the royal family. But they are currently on a six-week break from their royal duties to spend some valuable “family time” together, a royal source confirmed to PEOPLE.

The origins of the Royal Variety Performance date back to 1912 when King George V and Queen Mary agreed to attend a “Royal Command Performance” at the Palace Theatre in London, in aid of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund. In July 1919, the second royal show was performed and was the first to be billed a “Royal Variety Performance.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton | GEOFF PUGH/POOL/AFP via Getty

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Held at London’s Coliseum, the show was staged as a “celebration of peace” and, as the official announcement expressed it, “had been commanded by The King to show his appreciation of the generous manner in which artistes of the variety stage had helped the numerous funds connected with the war.”