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.
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.
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.
The Lover’s Knot tiara.
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.
I will update with more photos and images when they are available. (We generally get a photo or two as guests leave the reception.)
- The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Sun’s piece is here; The Daily Mirror’s article is here; The Express coverage is here
- People’s story is here; PopSugar’s gallery is here