Kate Middleton Wears First Tiara as Princess of Wales at State Banquet

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Kate Middleton is making her tiara debut as the Princess of Wales!

The royal, 40, sported her first tiara in nearly three years for Tuesday’s state banquet at Buckingham Palace. The banquet was held as part of the first state visit of King Charles III’s reign, welcoming the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, to the U.K.

For the elegant evening, Princess Kate wore a white gown by Jenny Packham paired with her go-to headpiece for such occasions: Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot tiara.

With pearls hanging from diamond knots, the tiara was also a favorite of her mother-in-law, Princess Diana. According the Court Jeweller, the stunning sparkler is more than a century old and was originally commissioned from the jeweler Garrard by Queen Mary in either 1913 or 1914. It is a replica of a tiara owned by Mary’s grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate also wore earrings that previously belonged to Princess Diana (that she recently wore for the Remembrance Sunday service) and a bracelet from Queen Elizabeth‘s jewelry box. She completed her look with the Royal Family order and the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order star and sash.

Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Prince William adorned his suit with the Garter Star, the Thistle Star and three miniature medals for Queen Elizabeth‘s three Jubilees that he was a part of (Gold in 2002, Diamond in 2012 and Platinum in 2022).

Due primarily to COVID-19 pandemic, the state visit is the first hosted by the British royal family since then-U.S. President Donald Trump visited the U.K. in 2019.

Kate most recently wore a tiara for Diplomatic Corps reception in December 2019, an annual event for 1,000 guests including ambassadors, high commissioners and government officials. She wore the Lover’s Knot tiara for the event paired with the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace and a navy velvet gown with long sleeves by Alexander McQueen (her royal wedding dress designer!).

Kate Middleton.
Chris Jackson/Getty

Queen Camilla also wore her first tiara of King Charles’ reign for the state banquet, a sapphire and diamond tiara that Queen Elizabeth wore for a 2015 state visit with President of China Xi Jinping. She opted for a blue gown to complement the headpiece.

Also in attendance were Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex (wearing the Aquamarine Necklace Tiara), the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Lady Susan Hussey and Queen Elizabeth‘s former lady-in-waiting, Annabel Whitehead.

Queen Camilla.
Chris Jackson/Getty

The menu for the banquet’s dinner in the palace ballroom included grilled brill with wild mushrooms and truffles in sorrel sauce and ballotine of Windsor pheasant filled with artichokes, quince compote and port sauce. For dessert, guests had iced vanilla parfait with caramelized apples.

President Ramaphosa sat between King Charles and Kate, while South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor was flanked by Queen Camilla and Prince William at the table.

Before guests arrived, King Charles and Queen Camilla inspected the table as final touches were made, as seen in a video shared to the royal family’s Twitter page.

The table is decorated with over 100 ivory-colored candles in silver-gilt candelabra, along with displays of seasonal fruit and 23 flower arrangements in silver-gilt centerpieces, many purchased by King George IV in the nineteenth century. Seasonal flowers from Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle’s gardens were used for the floral arrangements.

Over a thousand glasses are used at a state banquet — every guest is given six glasses, with another champagne glass for the toasts also provided.

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Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

Kate and Prince William, both 40, have played a major role in the state visit so far. Earlier on Tuesday, the couple welcomed President Ramaphosa at the Corinthia Hotel on behalf of King Charles, then accompanied him to Horse Guards Parade, where the president received a ceremonial welcome.

Along with King Charles and Queen Camilla, Kate and Prince William then participated in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

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