This evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended their third Diplomatic Reception hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace. The annual white-tie soirée is one of the most formal events on the royal calendar. Over 1,000 people from around 130 countries, including members of the British government, past Prime Ministers and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York attend the gathering.
It is a private function and the public usually only gets a glimpse as guests arrive at the palace.
However, the Press Association released a rare photo of the Royal Family at the reception. It is the first time the royal family have posed for a photo at an event normally shrouded in secrecy. But now, in the Queen’s 90th birthday year, officials have decided to release an image of the family group as they prepared to welcome the guests into the palace.
The princes wore their Order of the Garter breeches & insignia. Her Majesty donned her George VI sapphires, Duchess Camilla wore the Boucheron tiara, and Duchess Kate was back in the Queen Mary Lover's Knot tiara. You may recall Kate debuted the tiara at last year's Diplomatic Reception.
The iconic tiara was gifted to Diana, Princess of Wales upon her marriage to Prince Charles. Princess Diana wore it on many occasions and the piece came to be associated with the image of the popular princess.
The Queen Mary Lover's Knot Tiara dates back to 1913. It was commissioned by Queen Mary (the present Queen’s grandmother) and modelled after the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara worn by her grandmother, the Duchess of Cambridge. The tiara features large natural pearls hang down from 19 diamond lover’s knots (hence the name).
Kate opted for a bespoke red Jenny Packham gown, the same one worn to her first state banquet back in 2015.
In addition to the tiara, Kate also loaned Her Majesty's diamond orbital teardrop earrings, and a diamond bracelet that was a wedding gift to HM from Prince Philip. It is set with diamonds from a tiara once belonging to his mother, Princess Andrew of Greece. The Duchess has worn both pieces on previous occasions.
Kate also carried a tonal red clutch bag believed to be a bespoke piece from Jenny Packham.
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