The British Royal Family rolled out the red carpet tonight for King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands who are on a State visit to the United Kingdom.
Queen Elizabeth hosted a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in honour of the Dutch monarchs, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge partook in the evening along with many other members of the Royal family.
This was Kate's third state banquet at Buckingham Palace and she wore a light dusty blue mermaid gown by Alexander McQueen teamed with some serious crown jewels and (finally) a Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II! Palace aides said she was awarded it in 2017 and wore it in December to the diplomatic reception. The event is not open to the media so there is no photographs from within Buckingham Palace - just a handful of car arrival pics.
The Queen gives the order to female members of the Royal Family at her discretion. Here's a description of the Order from Wikipedia:
The Royal Family Order depicts a young Queen Elizabeth II in evening dress wearing the ribbon and star of the Order of the Garter. The miniature, painted on ivory (glass since 2017), is bordered by diamonds and surmounted by a Tudor Crown in diamonds and red enamel. The reverse, in silver-gilt, is patterned with rays and depicts the royal cypher and St Edward's Crown in gold and enamel. The watered silk ribbon is chartreuse yellow and formed into a bow. It is worn pinned to the dress of the recipient on the left shoulder.
Kate returned to her new 'go-to' tiara - the Queen Mary Lover's Knot tiara, and once the signature diadem of the late Princess of Wales. You can read about the history of the tiara here.
Tonight the Duchess paired the tiara with Princess Diana's Collingwood diamond and pearl drop earrings which she has worn on a number of occasions since they were gifted to her last year.
The glittering effect extended to Kate's neckline. She borrowed a necklace from the royal vault - a piece from Queen Alexandra's wedding parure. Here is a little history about the parure and necklace from the blog From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault:
Albert Edward, Prince of Wales - son of Queen Victoria and the future King Edward VII - purchased a magnificent parure for his bride, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, as a gift for their 1863 wedding. The set from Garrard included a large diamond tiara plus a diamond and pearl necklace, set of earrings, and brooch.
The necklace features 8 pearls surrounded by diamonds, each connected with festoons of diamonds, and three detachable diamond and pearl drop pendants. Queen Mary gave the necklace to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and she wore it constantly. The necklace was finally reunited with the brooch and earrings when The Queen inherited it in 2002; we have yet to see her wear it publicly.
Kate carried a new embellished clutch bag and a bracelet. I'll update if/when images become available.
UPDATE (6 Jul 2019): It appears the clutch is the Jenny Packham 'Belle' clutch. Thanks to UFO No More for the identification.
SHOP KATE'S CLOSET