Kate Middleton wore a familiar black bow-topped coat and Diana’s pearl jewellery to a reception on Monday (18th of September 2022).
The reception saw Heads of State, overseas royalty and official overseas guests gather at Buckingham Palace on the on the eve of the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
Representatives from dozens of countries gathered for drinks and canapés in the Palace’s State Apartments.
The Telegraph reported more than a thousand world leaders, foreign royals and other dignitaries attended (though I’ve read 500 elsewhere, both numbers seem very high!) It was a historic occasion; media outlets reported it was the biggest gathering of world leaders this century.
The official state reception [allowed] a pool of individuals from across the globe to pay their respects to the Queen, as well as [served] as an opportunity for the new King to meet (or in some cases be re-introduced to) key political and royal figures.Tatler
Some countries did not have representation at the reception (or funeral). The British Government declined to invite countries that the United Kingdom did not have “normal” diplomatic relationships with. A handful of nations—including Russia, Myanmar and Afghanistan—did not receive an invitation).
Kate and other members of the British Royal Family mingled with dozens of Prime Ministers and Presidents, including United States’ President Joe Biden, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and many, many more.
They also chatted with 30+ members of overseas royal families, including King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Queen Beatrix from The Netherlands, and Queen Margarethe and Prince Fredrik from Denmark.
Usually, during formal receptions at Buckingham Palace, we’d see guests in white tie, gowns and glittering jewels. Of course, on this occasion, guess attendees opted for dark, sombre attire.
Visiting VIPS paid their respects to the late Queen as she lay in state in Westminster Hall. There was also a Condolence Book for VIPs to sign at Clarence House.
Shortly before the reception, the Princess of Wales met with Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska.
About the meeting, from Vogue:
The Princess of Wales has met the Ukrainian First Lady, Olena Zelenska, at Buckingham Palace on the eve of the Queen’s funeral. The two women were photographed chatting in a drawing room at the palace ahead of a state reception hosted by King Charles III for world leaders and foreign dignitaries who have travelled to the UK from around the globe to pay their respects to the late monarch.
Since Her Majesty’s death on 8 September, the period of national mourning – and the associated processions, services and vigils – has dominated the headlines in Britain and beyond. But in Ukraine, war continues to rage. An acknowledgement of the ongoing crisis, the meeting also appeared to reflect the increasingly high-profile nature of the duties falling to Kate, now that her husband is first in line to the throne and she is Princess of Wales.Vogue
The First Lady represented Ukraine at the Queen’s funeral:
Olena Zelenskiy will represent Ukraine in the absence of her husband President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday at Westminster Abbey, where scores of world leaders will join King Charles and the rest of Britain’s royal family for the service.Reuters
Kate’s outfit at the reception:
As I mentioned in opening paragraph, the Princess donned a familiar coat. It’s the black Beau Tie coat by Catherine Walker. You might remember the piece from The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year.
She owns the coat in red too. Pictured below, Kate wearing it at the Christmas Concert in December 2021.
Kate paired the dress with Diana’s Diamond and Pearl Drop Earrings—
The stud portion of the earring is intricate, featuring a horseshoe set with baguette diamonds, with a leafy portion wrapping over and around it. A pearl drop is suspended from the diamond portion.The Court Jeweller
People Magazine called this particular pair of earrings the “South-Sea pearl earrings”.
The Princess of Wales wore the jewels on many occasions during the 1990s, including an English National Ballet Gala Performance in Budapest in 1992 when she paired the earrings with the Spencer Tiara.People
Prince William, 39, and Prince Harry, 37, inherited their mother’s amazing jewelry collection, and now their wives have been spotted wearing the sentimental pieces.
It looked like Kate paired the beautiful earrings with a one of Diana’s pearl bracelets, though it’s hard to see for certain in the grainy photos. The Nigel Milne Three Strand Pearl Bracelet, shown below on another occasion.
The second photo shows the original listing for the bracelet in Nigle Milne’s catalogue.
About the bracelet from a blog post published to Nigel Milne’s website:
[It] was designed by me and featured in our 1988/1989 jewellery catalogue. In 1988 we decided to produce some jewellery and donate the proceeds from their sales to the charity, BIRTHRIGHT. For personal reasons Cherry and I had become supporters of this charity, Sir George Pinker, Cherry’s gynaecologist, being its President and The Princess of Wales its Patron.
The three items that we chose for our Birthright Collection were a pair of diamond bow and pearl drop earrings, a diamond half eternity ring and a three row pearl bracelet with diamond and pearl spacers and clasp.
This is the bracelet that Princess Diana wore on several occasions including at the Birthright Ball in 1989 and with her iconic Catherine Walker ‘Elvis’ dress in Hong Kong and has now been seen adorning the Duchess of Cambridge!
This look was very typical of the style of jewellery that we were making at that time.Nigel Milne
Finally, the team at UFO NO MORE suspect Kate wore a new pair of shoes to the reception. They noticed the heel is black all around—all Kate’s other pumps have beige leather inside the heels. They suspect she’s wearing the Purist Style by Aquazzura. A good shout—the shoes look similar and Kate’s worn that particular shoe brand several times in recent years.
I just want to end this blog post by saying a HUGE thank you to Emma4AboutRoyal for sharing photos from the reception on Flickr and for sharing the earring information.