Before we get to that (and yes we cannot wait to chat about the look), let's step back to the couple's arrival in Paris. Following this morning's St Patrick's Day Parade the Cambridges went straight to the airport and to the surprise of many, the Duchess elected not to change, wearing the green Catherine Walker coat from this morning.
William and Kate's first port of call was Élysée Palace where they were greeted by President Francois Hollande.
Rebecca English shared a video.The President spoke in English although translators were on hand. There's quite a funny moment when the President mentions to William he was in Verbier, to which he smiles broadly and says "Yes".
Am told that Kate speaks no French and William only basic, conversational (not that I can claim to be any better). Queen is fluent pic.twitter.com/05uXzxansI— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 17, 2017
More on the meeting from the Daily Express "President Hollande remarked that the couple were going to watch the rugby the following day, to which William replied "Yes, to cheer on the Welsh", and made a small gesture of enthusiasm wth his hands. Kate asked the President whether he enjoyed watching rugby - but he suggested he was not a fan. William seemed rather ill-at ease during the meeting but aides said his slightly stiff demeanour would have been due to the formality of occasion. An aide said of the meeting: "They are very grateful that the President has invited them to the the Elysee Palace for a meeting at the very start of their trip, which gives you an indication of the importance and status of the visit."
From there, it was time for a quick change of clothes before the next event - a reception at the British Embassy.
The event hosted by the British Ambassador to France Lord Llewellyn, marked the official launch of "Les Voisins" a programme celebrating UK-French cultural ties and links.
Speaking ahead of the evening, the Ambassador said he hoped the visit to Paris would be a "special" day. He added: "This visit also underlines the very close ties between Britain and France, countries which are allies, which are friends, but more than that, this is something we will be underlining in this visit, we have the ties of neighbours, of neighbouring countries. And we will be launching during the Duke and Duchess's visit a programme entitled Les Voisins - the neighbours - and that is a programme over the course of this year (to) celebrate and highlight and underline the ties that go beyond the traditional ties of government, important though they are." The Ambassador also noted how struck he has been by the French people's affection for the British Royal family.
During his speech Prince William said: "Forgive me if I now continue in the language of Shakespeare." Before adding: "This partnership will continue despite the United Kingdom's recent decision to leave the European Union."
The full text of the speech:
'Merci, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, pour ces mots. De la part de Catherine et moi même, nous sommes tout à fait ravis d’être à Paris et d’être parmi vous ce soir.
And forgive me if I now continue in the language of Shakespeare, so as to reduce the risk of mangling the language of Molière. It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be here this evening, in this beautiful, elegant, and global city.
As the Ambassador said, the connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family. And ties born, above all, of the fact that our countries are neighbours. So much of our countries’ histories, culture and language are intertwined. Those ties of neighbours which run through our history are as powerful today as they have ever been. Most fundamentally, our nations share a set of common values: democracy, free speech, the rule of law, among many others.
I have been reminded over the last few years, as Catherine and I have attended commemorations of the two World Wars, how much we have experienced together and have stood together in moments of great crisis. Our relationship is just as strong and enduring today. Our hearts went out to the people of France when you responded so bravely to the awful terrorist attacks of the last two years. I was very proud personally to have been present at the England-France football match just days after the Bataclan. Our intelligence agencies and security forces are working together night and day to counter the continuing threats. Our armed forces are working more closely together than they have ever done – over the skies of Syria and Iraq, or here in Europe. And our Governments work closely together to resolve some of the world's most complex issues – whether in the Middle East, Africa or elsewhere.
This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure. Our relationship is greater, of course, than security and global partnership. Catherine and I have been honoured to meet many of you tonight. You have all been invited because you remind us that our two nations also share something else in common: talented, creative young people who are already shaping the world around us – whether in science, music, film, commerce, politics, sport, academia – I could go on, as this list touches practically every area of our national lives.
Like all neighbours, sometimes our two nations encourage each other through mutual support. Sometimes we attempt to outdo the other through rivalry - as we will see tomorrow when Wales play France at the rugby. But always our two nations continually inspire one another to become better: more creative, more prosperous, more innovative. This partnership will continue despite Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union. The depth of our friendship and the breadth of our cooperation will not change.
So I am proud to be here this evening with you to launch Les Voisins to recount those ties and to strengthen them even further. Before I came here, Her Majesty the Queen reminded me of how much she has enjoyed her many visits to France. It is a feeling that Catherine and I entirely share, and look forward to this and many more visits in the years to come – to France our ally, our friend, our neighbour.
C’est vraiment un plaisir d’être ici à Paris ce soir.
Below, the Duchess listening to the speech.
William and Kate chat to young French leaders.
The Duke and Duchess clearly enjoyed meeting everyone.
Kate and her private secretary Rebecca Deacon grabbing a quick word.
Next, the couple will enjoy dinner with a host of well-known faces. More from the Telegraph on those attending: "Guests will include Kristin Scott-Thomas who played the Queen on Broadway in Peter Morgan's play The Audience, and may offer the Duke a welcome talking point among the formalities. Other guests will include actors Jean Reno and Audrey Tautou, Robert Pires, the footballer, several paralympians and business leaders."
We had hoped to see the Duchess implement Parisian chic into her wardrobe and I for one certainly wasn't disappointed. Upon first glance, I felt certain the look was by a French designer, but it turns out the bespoke piece is by Alexander McQueen. Once again, Kate's relationship with Sarah Burton has proven fruitful with this effortlessly elegant black dress. I love the fabric, the neckline, the cinched in waist and the length. It's something quite different and perfect for Paris.
A closer look at the fabric.
The Duchess debuted a gorgeous new pair of shoes by Gianvito Rossi.
With thanks to Middleton Maven, Kate wore the Gianvito Rossi Ankle Strap Suede D'orsay Pumps. The $800 pumps are described: "These Gianvito Rossi pumps demonstrate traditional Italian craftsmanship and designs in a d’Orsay silhouette. Softly structured from black suede, pointed-toe pair is finished with a buckle ankle strap for a slender sculpt." They are available in several sizes at Lane Crawford and Barneys.
The choice of dress allowed Kate's stunning pearl jewellery to be shown off to perfection. Kate wore a statement necklace with four large pearls and a matching ring. It's incredibly rare to see Kate wearing cocktail rings or any rings apart from her engagement/wedding/eternity ones.
A closer look at the earrings. What Kate Wore noted Kate wore her Balenciaga earrings. We do not yet know if the ring and necklace are part of a matching set.
Kate first sported her pearl Balenciaga earrings at Trooping the Colour last year.
Kate was also wearing her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.
If you're just joining us, the post on William and Kate's St Patrick's Day appearance this morning is here. Kate looked elegant in a new Catherine Walker coat and enjoyed a sip of Guinness.