This evening we saw the Duchess wearing the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara for the second time.
The occasion: the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace.
The white tie reception is hosted by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. More from The Daily Mail:
It is also the largest reception held at Buckingham Palace, requiring hours of intricate planning by the Master of the Household and the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as the commandeering of almost every member of waiting staff.
More than 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.
Here you see the monarchy’s ‘Magnificent Six’ in an unusual photo – it is the first time the royals have ever posed for a photo at the event.
The Queen was in a gown by Angela Kelly, and the Duchess of Cornwall wore a Bruce Oldfield design; both have been worn previously. You can see all three gentlemen are in what is called Alternative Court Dress: sashes, breeches, and Order of the Garter garters. Our thanks to GorgonaJS for her comment about the proper terminology for the men’s attire. A little more about the reception from The Daily Express:
At the white tie reception, the highlight of the annual diplomatic social calendar in London, the monarch meets each of the 160 heads of mission accredited to the Court of St James.
In addition to ambassadors, high commissioners and their partners, around 600 foreign diplomats based in London were among the guests together with around 300 British diplomats and senior figures from commerce, education, broadcasting and the arts.
Another view of Kate in this photo from James Whatling.
— James Whatling (@JWhatling) December 8, 2016
This is the second time the Duchess has been seen wearing the iconic tiara.
You’ll remember that Mary was a member of the Cambridge family herself…
…the piece is definitely the most famous lover’s knot tiara today, it was originally a copy of another almost-identical sparkler that once belonged to the Cambridge family. The lover’s knot motif was very popular in the nineteenth century; the knots are the pretzel-like elements at the top of the tiara — the part from which the pendant pearls are suspended.
The tiara is most closely associated with the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
The dazzling headpiece was a favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales, and was given to her by the Queen as a wedding gift in 1981.
The diamond and pearl-encrusted tiara… has a strong French influence with a neo-classical design of 19 diamond arches, each cradling an oriental pearl drop.
Back to The Daily Mail:
It was a copy of one owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, who married the first Duke of Cambridge, seventh son of King George III, in 1818.
In her will Queen Mary left the tiara to to the Queen who wore it frequently, including at an evening event in 1955.
Another view of Diana wearing the tiara.
From what we can see in the photos, Kate seemed very comfortable and confident tonight.
Kate has worn three different tiaras: the Cartier Halo, the Papyrus/Lotus Flower and the Cambridge Lover’s Knot.
Below, the Duchess in previous tiara appearances: at her 2011 wedding; on her way to 2013’s diplomatic reception; at the 2015 China state dinner, the 2015 diplomatic reception; and in the Lover’s Knot this evening.
UPDATE: We have more background information on the tiara. Ella Kay of The Court Jeweller reports that it is actually the Queen Mary Lover’s Knot tiara, a copy of the original Cambridge Lover’s Knot.
While the piece is definitely the most famous lover’s knot tiara today, it was originally a copy of another almost-identical sparkler that once belonged to the Cambridge family.
Ella tweeted that the “Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara belongs to a German noble family, the Waldburg zu Zeils.” There is more information in this post at The Court Jeweller.
The tiara wasn’t the only item glittering tonight. The Duchess wore the diamond drop earrings loaned to her by the Queen; they were initially seen at the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools function in late November, accenting her Preen dress.
HM wore the earrings for the State Opening of Parliament in 2012.
Here are some closeup shots.
The Duchess wore the shimmering Wedding Gift bracelet loaned to her for the China state dinner, so called because it was a wedding gift to then Princess Elizabeth from the Duke of Edinburgh, made of diamonds taken from his mother’s tiara. (Her engagement ring was also created with diamonds from the same source.)
Kate’s clutch and dress were first seen at the China state banquet last October.
Like many of her evening gowns, the dress features a fitted bodice that flares into a full skirt. The upper portion of the gown has a lace overlay that is sprinkled with sparkling beads.
This struck me as a ‘wow appearance.’ I know some readers believe the Duchess should have been in a new dress. Seeing a repeated gown didn’t bother me, I thought the color worked well for the approaching holiday season.
The dress, combined with the updo, jewelry, and tiara created an elegant look.
Looking at Kate on her way to all three diplomatic receptions one sees a transition from perhaps a somewhat anxious appearance the first time she attended the event, to a demeanor this evening that appeared almost serene.
One more photo.
As well as one of our desk calendars.
UPDATE: Thanks to a comment from Beth I was reminded that I hadn’t posted the winner of our StyleRocks giveaway, arrggh! With apologies, the winner of the diamond ring is Claire G., *thank you* Beth for the reminder.
We’ll see you next week.