The Duchess wore a Marchesa evening gown for this evening’s state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
We also saw Kate in glittering “new-old jewels,” pieces previously worn by others, with history and emotional significance. The elegant occasion at Buckingham Palace was in honor of Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia. From a Hello! story:
The black-tie affair took place in the palace ballroom, with around 170 guests invited to dine there at the horseshoe-shaped table, which was laden with floral decorations, candelabras and six glasses per person – for water, a champagne toast, red and white wines, a dessert wine and port.
A video of people entering the banquet, you will see the Duchess just before the end.
Queen Letizia in the Fleur de Lys tiara, and the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by royals including the Duchess of Cambridge pic.twitter.com/sgUqchTH7u
— PA Royal Reporters (@PARoyal) July 12, 2017
The order of the procession into the banquet via Alastair Bruce.
This offers a full-length look at Kate’s dress.
Decor for dinner included red carnations made out of spun sugar; the red carnation is Spain’s national flower.
Prince Philip, the two Queens, and King Felipe.
Prince Harry also attended the dinner, his first official role at a state banquet. Here is a quick video from ITV’s Chris Ship.
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) July 12, 2017
He was seated next to Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, and a friend of Kate’s. Some readers will recognize her from last summer’s EACH fundraiser; she is seen below with her husband as they welcomed Kate and William to their home for that event.
Other royals in attendance included Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall; Princess Anne & her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence; Edward and Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex; Prince Andrew, the Duke of York; and Princess Michael of Kent.
Tiny pictures taken from the wide shot above of Harry (left) and Kate, whom you cannot see at all other than her tiara.
The menu included poached filet of salmon and medallions of Scottish beef. Dessert was a dark chocolate raspberry tart and a selection of fresh fruits. When it comes to what Kate wore for the occasion, we’ll change things up a bit and begin with the shiny, sparkly things, as the Blingometer was peaking in the red zone tonight.
Kate wore the Queen’s Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace. More about the glittering piece from the Queen’s Jewel Vault:
This necklace was one of the Queen’s wedding gifts from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It was part of the Greville bequest, the collection of jewelry left to Queen Elizabeth by the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville when she died. Mrs. Greville purchased the necklace from Boucheron in 1907.
Back to the Queen’s Jewel Vault.
The intricate piece is set in silver and gold and features single rubies between diamond flowers. It’s an interesting bandeau format, a deep v-shape culminating in a diamond pendant. The Queen did shorten it, as she tends to do with necklaces, by removing the two smaller floral pieces (these are the pieces you see in the photograph at the beginning of the entry – to my knowledge, they have not been converted to earrings).
Order of Splendor (publisher of the Queen’s Jewel Vault) reports the necklace has not been worn since the 1980s.
Another view, this one via Chris Ship of ITV.
Kate’s earrings were part of Diana’s private jewelry collection. They are known as the Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings, a gift from Collingwood Jewelers.
Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing the tiara and earrings in November 1985.
This is the sixth time we have seen Kate wearing a tiara.
Previous occasions when the Duchess has worn a tiara.
She returned to the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara (a copy of the Cambridge Lover’s Knot, more info here). Below you see the Duchess wearing the tiara to the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace in 2015 and 2016.
Kate’s gown looks like a combination of elements from multiple Marchesa styles. On the left, the Frilled Lace Peplum Blouse from the Fall 2017 pre-fall collection. In the center, the Guipure Lace Peplum Gown. And on the right, we show a gown from Marchesa Bridal.
Our thanks to Gabi for her comment on today’s earlier post pointing out the top and skirt shown above left. Kate’s gown was described as pink; it looks like a soft blush color. The piece in the center above is referred to “delicate baby-pink” lace guipure atop beige tulle, so it is possible the material is the same as Kate’s, we just won’t know until we see better photos. The Duchess’s dress features a deep vee neckline front and back, belled sleeves, and a full skirt.
A look at the back of the two Marchesa designs shows their similarity to the back of Kate’s gown.
The Peplum blouse on the left is a silk/cotton blend, while the fabric on the right is 100% polyester if I am reading the product description properly. Kate looked simply beautiful. Her hair, the tiara and earrings, and subtle changes in makeup (it appears she wore a slightly stronger lip color) all combined for a “wow!” factor that was off the charts. But I wasn’t crazy about the necklace with the elaborate lace and scalloped neckline of the gown. It looked ‘heavy’ to me (for lack of a better term), reminiscent of the way I thought the Queen’s Nizam of Hyderabad diamond necklace looked when worn at a National Portrait Gallery event in 2014. Tonight’s necklace is spectacular, to be sure, but it’s possible it is sitting a little higher on Kate than on HM, and that may be emphasizing its elaborate design and sparkling gems in contrast to the dress neckline.
It will be easier to form an opinion when we (hopefully) have better photos from the evening; seeing the gown’s bell sleeves, the full skirt and other design elements making up the ensemble in a wider shot at a higher resolution would be helpful. Queen Elizabeth wore the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure, a full set of jewels including the tiara, necklace, earrings and bracelet. More about HM’s Aquamarine set may be seen here, at The Court Jeweller.
A closer look.
The Queen’s Jewel Vault also has loads of info on the set, including a picture of that extraordinary tiara.
Queen Letizia wore the Fleur de Lys tiara, a piece dating back to 1906. More via The Court Jeweller:
Queen Letizia did not disappoint tonight, wearing several pieces from the joyas de pasar, the family’s heirloom jewelry collection. (We talked about the entire collection over here this morning!) She wore the tiara from the set, nicknamed “La Buena,” plus the large diamond cluster earrings and one of the matched diamond bracelets.
The tiara was previously worn by her mother-in-law, Queen Sofía. It is only the second time Queen Letizia has worn the piece.
Queen Letizia was in Spain’s national color, wearing another design by Felipe Varela. The brand is now headed the UK’s Jonathan Anderson, making the gown work on a dress-as-diplomacy level as well.
UPDATE: It doesn’t look like we’re going to see any hi-res photos of Kate, William, Harry, or other guests. I don’t believe any were taken. My guess is that the Palace only wants “good shots” of royals in keeping with the decorum of the event, no candid pictures. The nature of the event makes it unlikely they will want to spend time posing different couples/people/groups of people, so they limit things to the principals.
We’ll see you tomorrow for Kate’s engagement at the Natural History Museum. Click here for our post on the day’s earlier engagements with a focus on what Queen Letizia wore. Here is a link to a video of the dinner, I believe you see a full-length view of Kate at about 21:00.
UPDATE: The post has been corrected to reflect that Queen Letizia’s dress was by Felipe Varela, *not* Loewe as I initially wrote.
LINKAGE: (One FYI – I am doing my best to avoid the “Fashion Face Off!” and “Style War” types of stories, pieces pitting Kate and Letizia against each other in an imagined competition. Thus, no links to stories of that genre.)
- The Daily Telegraph’s fashion story is here; The Daily Mirror’s story on Kate’s ensemble is here; the Hello! fashion piece is here; The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Daily Express article is here
- The Fug Girls slideshow gallery is here; PopSugar’s photo gallery is here
- For more on tonight’s jewelry visit The Court Jeweller’s post here; read The Court Jeweller’s backgrounder on HM’s Brazilian Aquamarine gems by clicking here; there is also terrific background on HM’s jewels at the Queen’s Jewel Vault here, as well as at The Royal Order of Splendor here; The Court Jeweller’s backgrounder on Queen Letizia’s jewelry is here; The Royal Order of Splendor’s column on Letizia’s tiara is here