Kate Middleton dazzled in a red beaded gown and the Queen Mother’s Lotus Flower Tiara at the Buckingham Palace Diplomatic Corps Reception on Tuesday evening (6th December). It was the Princess’s second tiara moment in two weeks.
Kate wore the impressive jewel as she mingled with British and foreign diplomats at the annual white-tie event. The diplomatic reception took place in the State Rooms at the palace. Approximately 500 guests attended. It was King Charles’s first time hosting the reception following his accession.
The diplomatic reception last took place in 2019 (it did not go ahead in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.)
Kate’s gown & jewels:
Kate’s glamorous red gown, which featured intricate beading and sequins, was the perfect choice for the formal occasion. It had a festive feel—perfect for a December event.
The Princess wore a Jenny Packham gown, the ‘Elodie’ style from the British designer’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection.®
The frock featured long sleeves, a beaded neckline and beaded and sequin flower motifs. ModeSens shows the dress at Boutique1 for £4032.
Kate completed her look with the Lotus Tiara and a pair of diamond earrings on loan from the late Queen Elizabeth.
The necklace, which was made of diamonds and pearls and featured meander and festoon designs, was given to her by her husband, the future George VI, who had purchased it from Garrard […] Elizabeth decided she’d rather dismantle it and reuse the gems elsewhere. Only six months after she received it, Garrard broke up the necklace and used the diamonds and pearls to create this tiara.TCJ
Kate looked regal—every inch the Princess—wearing it at the reception.
This isn’t the first time Kate’s worn the Lotus tiara. She’s worn it twice before: at the Diplomatic Reception in 2013 and to the Chinese State Banquet in in 2015.
Kate’s earrings are described by The Court Jeweller the “Diamond Frame Earrings.” The late Queen Elizabeth loaned the spectacular sparklers to Kate. We first saw the then-Duchess wear the earrings at the Place2Be Wellbeing Awards in 2016.
The earrings feature a cluster stud with a floral motif, from which a pendant of four graduating diamonds is suspended. The pendant is surrounded by a diamond frame. We don’t know any specific provenance information about the earrings, but the Queen has worn them on a handful of occasions.TCJ
Let’s take a look at Kate’s insignia now (shown below on Kate’s gown at the South African Banquet. You’ll notice the blue sash running over her dress, the Maltese cross hanging from it and the star badge? (Below right.) All three were given to Kate by the late Queen Elizabeth. They signify that the Queen appointed Kate as a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, an order of chivalry established in 1896 by Queen Victoria to recognise personal service to the monarch.
The yellow ribbon at the top of Kate’s gown (above left) is the Royal Family Order, which Kate received in 2017. It features a portrait of the late Queen surrounded by diamonds. The Royal Family Order is usually awarded by the Sovereign to female members of the Royal Family. King Charles is yet to issue his Royal Family Order. When he awards it to Kate, I expect she’ll wear both together, layered on the shoulder, as other royals have in the past. I just want to share this great resource from RoyalWatcherBlog.com. Their page on Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Family Order helped me fill in a few blanks. Worth a look if you want to learn more.
You’ll note Kate also wore her new (to us) Art Deco brooch. It’s a diamond set brooch in the classic Art Deco style. The intricate geometric design features an open-work design set throughout with diamonds. The centre of the brooch comprises of a central, round brilliant-cut diamond, and a baguette-cut diamond at the top and bottom, all mounted in platinum.
The piece sold for £14,500 at Bentley & Skinner.
Royal watchers speculate that King Charles purchased the piece for Kate as a 40th birthday gift earlier this year. We know he’s awarded the company with a royal warrant and he’s purchased items from the shop for his wife Camilla and his other daughter-in-law Meghan.
The Princess first debuted the stunning piece of jewellery at the National Service of Remembrance 2022. She used the brooch to pin three red poppies to her coat. She also wore it to the South African State Banquet last month.
I’ve not managed to catch a glimpse of the Princess’s shoes as yet. I will add to those to the post if/when I do.