Sporting a sleek black Alexander McQueen peplum skirt suit with classic black court shoes, Kate Winslet was the epitome of elegance on Wednesday. But it was her dramatic headgear that stole the show as she accepted her OBE from the Queen.
The black feathered creation, custom-designed for the actress by up-and-coming milliner Natalie Ellner, was inspired by magpies, Art Deco lamps and. of course, the McQueen outfit that Kate was wearing on the day.
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In an interview with the Telegraph, Natalie, who now counts Kate as her highest profile customer to date, revealed the process behind creating the stunning number.
"It's taken about a month to create, going backwards and forwards with Kate," she said. "She had a lot of input; it had to reflect her personality".
And the two ladies had a dramatic piece in mind when they set about fashioning something to top off her otherwise simple ensemble.
"It's such an important, once-in-a-lifetime occasion, it's nice to have a statement piece. This is what evolved."
It is a fantastic coup for Natalie. After graduating from the London College of Fashion with a degree in Costume, Make-up and Special Effects, she spent seven years making prosthetic limbs for amputees. But four years ago, she founded her line 'Ellsewhere', and earlier this year she was commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts to create over 70 masks for an event to mark the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
While accepting her honour from the Queen, Kate said that "motherhood is the best role".
The monarch, who is mother to four children, gave the Oscar winner the accolade for her services to drama, which led to the pair to speak about their love of motherhood. After the thrill of meeting the Queen, Kate shared that the royal had offered her congratulations and asked her whether she enjoyed her job.
The actress responded: "I said yes I liked it but not as much as being a mother. She said: 'It is the best job'."
Kate, 37, is known to be a doting mother to her two children, Mia, 12, and Joe, nine, who is fathered by Skyfall director Sam Mendes. Rising to fame in her role upper-class socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, the actress has been appropriately honoured 100 years after the iconic ship sank.
Performing in a series of prolific acting roles, the star picked up her first Oscar for her performance in The Reader, but Kate revealed that receiving the CBE was a far more relaxing experience than the¨"terrifying spectacle" of an awards ceremony.
Full of pride, the star said:"It is a completely different kind of honour." She added. "The sense of gravity is enormous and you very much feel you are being acknowledged by the whole country in a way. There is something incomparably overwhelming about that."
Award-winning Kate was joined by Take That star Gary Barlow, who collected his OBE for services to the entertainment industry and to charity. The mastermind behind the Diamond Jubilee's musical celebration said that he was "absolutely thrilled" to receive his commemoration.
Speaking in an issued statement about the award, the 41-year-old said: "I am very privileged to be in the company of so many people I know who have received an OBE. Growing up I never dreamt that one day I'd be getting one myself. I enjoy every minute of the work I do, with a lot of it being a reward in itself, so for somebody to decide I should get recognised for that is just amazing. My family are very proud."
As well as honouring the pride of Britain, the Queen had a personal cause for celebration this week. Marking her 65th year of wedded bliss with Prince Philip on Tuesday, the monarch celebrated their blue sapphire anniversary in the privacy of her own home. The royal met the love of her life when she was just 13, and married the man she calls her "strength and stay" at the age of 21.