The Duchess sparkled in the Lover’s Knot tiara and a new evening gown at tonight’s diplomatic reception.
Held at Buckingham Palace, the annual event is hosted by the Queen. The dress code is white-tie, thus the tiaras. In these photos, the Duke and Duchess are seen leaving Kensington Palace.
The gathering is the highlight of London’s diplomatic social calendar in London, attended by hundreds of foreign diplomats, British diplomatic corps members, government officials and senior members of the royal family. Historically there are no photos from the event. We are very fortunate, for that is not the case tonight.
More about the function from The Royal Family Twitter:
The reception, attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps based in London, supports the work of the Royal Family in representing the UK at home and abroad. This work includes the hosting of State Visits and The Queen’s regular audiences with Ambassadors and High Commissioners.
HM was in an Angela Kelly gown featuring tiers of contrasting lace.
The Daily Mail reports “…the Queen appeared in excellent spirits as she greeted some of the roughly 1,000 guests invited to the reception, including ambassadors and high commissioners posted in the UK.”
Below, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall; the Duchess is wearing a Bruce Oldfield design.
HM wore the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, described by the Order of Splendor as “…a diamond design of festoons and scrolls set on a bandeau base of round and lozenge-shaped diamonds.”
The Duchess of Cornwall wore the Greville tiara. The Court Jeweller notes “…the tiara was originally not a royal piece at all. It was made in 1921 by Boucheron — hence it’s often called the “Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara” — for the Hon. Mrs. Greville, a society hostess who was a friend of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.”
Kate was in a new gown by Jenny Packham. It is crafted in an off-white shade with a sheer overlay adorned with sequins and crystals. It’s difficult to tell from the photos, but it looks like there *might* be multiple layers of the sheer material.
The overlay is softly draped at the neckline and cap sleeves have the same folds; the waistband is defined by crystals or rhinestones, and the gown has a full, sweeping skirt. You can see the pleating, or folds, at the back of the garment.
A closer view of the waistline.
Our thanks to Heaven for sharing the Jenny Packham confirmation on the dress.
As noted, the Duchess wore the Lover’s Knot tiara.
A refresher on it via the Court Jeweller:
…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.
As most readers know, the tiara was long associated with Diana. This is from the Royal Order of Splendor:
Diana famously found the piece to be too heavy and headache-inducing, and often opted to borrow the lighter-weight Spencer tiara from her family instead.
The Fug Girls make a good point in their post, that “…for people who are now very young, eventually it will be associated with Kate more than Diana, simply due to the way time works.”
It has clearly become a favorite for the Duchess. This is the fourth time in a row she has opted to wear it for this event. In 2013 Kate wore the Lotus Flower tiara, also referred to as the Papyrus Tiara, but since then we have seen her wear the Lover’s Knot.
It looked like Kate wore a diamond bracelet on loan from The Queen, a piece we have seen before.
The glittering bracelet is thought to have originally been a choker-style necklace worn by Queen Mary (below left) before it was converted to a bracelet. We show it as worn on other occasions.
We saw the return of Diana’s Collingwood diamond and pearl drop earrings.
The Duchess also wore the Royal Family Order on her left shoulder.
Below we show it as worn at October’s state dinner.
In 2013 the Duchess wore an Alexander McQueen gown for the reception. She repeated the style in 2015, which is how we have an image of her wearing the dress. (An ITV documentary contained footage from the gala.)
In 2016 Kate wore a Jenny Packham lace gown.
And last year the Duchess opted for an ivory or white frock with crystal beading, but we do not have any photos of the dress beyond what was visible through a car window.
This was a spectacular look for Kate: elegant and very regal.
If you didn’t see our earlier post, click here to see all the photos and info on the Christmas party the Duke and Duchess hosted earlier today.
One final note: a reminder that tomorrow William and Kate will fly to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, where they will “meet active serving personnel, families living on the base, wider station personnel and members of the local community.”
- The Mirror’s story is here; The Daily Mail’s coverage is here;
- The Royal Order of Splendor’s post on the Queen’s tiara are here and here; the Court Jeweller’s post on the Greville Tiara is here
- The Court Jeweller’s post about the event is here; The Royal Order of Splendor’s post on the reception is here;
- People’s story is here; Town and Country’s photo gallery is here; PopSugar’s gallery is here; the Fug Girls post is here