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The Duchess in Glittering Diamonds & Pearls for Diplomatic Reception

Tonight the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Queen’s annual diplomatic reception.

The white-tie event is held at Buckingham Palace. It is attended by senior royals, hundreds of foreign diplomats, members of the British diplomatic corps, and other government officials.

The Duchess first attended the reception in 2013, wearing an Alexander McQueen lace gown and the Lotus Flower tiara, also referred to as the Papyrus tiara.

For the 2015 reception, Kate wore the fabled Lover’s Knot tiara and brought back the icy blue McQueen gown. We were able to get a full-length view of it because the ITV documentary Our Queen at Ninety included footage from the reception.ITV/HRHKateMiddletonUK Instagram

Here you see Kate and William at last year’s reception when the Duchess again opted for the Lover’s Knot tiara. Kate was in the red Jenny Packham gown first seen at the China State Dinner.

Here you see her as she arrived at last December’s event.

The Duchess arriving at the Palace this evening.

In addition to the Lover’s Knot tiara, Kate wore a necklace we’ve not previously seen on her, and Diana’s Collingwood pearl drop earrings, so named because they were a gift from Collingwood jewelers. The necklace is a collet/rivière style, described by Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault as a “basic necklace with single round diamonds (of considerable size on their own) in a single row.” It has to be another piece on loan to Kate from HM’s collection.

The Queen wearing one of the collet necklaces for a 2010 event in Abu Dhabi.
Embed from Getty Images

Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault points out it is difficult to tell the different collet necklaces apart.

The Queen also wears collet necklaces, but she tends to stick to one at a time. According to Hugh Roberts in The Queen’s Diamonds, Queen Mary had 8 collet necklaces, and 2 of those were left to the Queen.

…the Queen’s collection almost certainly includes more examples, but these necklaces are devilishly hard to tell apart when in use. They can also be varied in length, as Queen Mary did. Identifications are always up for debate.

We have nary a clue about the gown, other than to say it appears to be white or ivory with hand beading at the neckline. Obvious designer possibilities include Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham. UPDATED DEC 11: Jenny Packham has confirmed it is their gown. Thanks to Heaven for getting and sharing that info!

Here you see Kate arriving at Buckingham Palace tonight and in previous years.

Thank you to the Royal Order of Splendor (also known as Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault), the Court Jeweller, as well as Carolyn Smith and Luxarazzi for sharing their jewelry expertise.

I will update with more photos and images when they are available. (We generally get a photo or two as guests leave the reception.)



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Thursday 7th of December 2017

That Dec. 2016 photo where she has her hand by her neck is simply gorgeous, but I like this year's jewelry combination the best. Those earrings are perfect with the tiara and how can you go wrong with a string of big diamonds around your neck?


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

This occasion always brings out the serious bling, in all the attendees. I do wish we could see the Duchess's dress, but we'll have to wait for another occasion. What we've seen so far is lovely.


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

Now those are jewels! It almost doesn't matter what the gown looks like!

The Way We Were

Wednesday 6th of December 2017

The gown, I suspect another piece from her favorite Jenny Packham...looks like her embellishment work.


Monday 11th of December 2017

I believe that the designer’s rep has confirmed that this was, indeed, one of their bespoke creations for the Duchess.


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

Love everything about this look. I do wish her hairstylist would get a bit more creative with her tiara hair, maybe look to Princess Victoria of Sweden as an example? But that's just me being nitpicky.


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

I can't say I have seen a hairstyle of Victoria's that I liked. Can you reference a specific event?

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