It is a rare occasion to see any member of the royal family in a crown but it was tiaras all round on Tuesday night.
Both the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall could be seen wearing the ceremonial piece as they made their way to the Queen’s Diplomatic Reception this evening.
Kate, 35, and Camilla, 70, were seen wearing their glittering head pieces as they made the short trip from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace for the annual celebratory dinner.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are expecting their third child in April 2018, were all smiles as they rode in the back of a Bentley to the prestigious event.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are expecting their third child, were decked out in all their finery for the Queen’s Diplomatic Reception on Tuesday
Kate wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara which she is accustom to wear on ceremonial occasions such as tonight’s reception
The pregnant mother-of-two appeared to be wearing a white silk gown which featured inticate embellishment around the neckline off-set by an elegant diamond necklace.
As she is custom to do when she wears a tiara, Kate swept her brunette locks up into a low chignon revealing a pair of pearl drop earrings.
The tiara we see Kate in this evening is the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara a piece beloved by William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales and one that the Duchess seems to favour.
William, 35, looked his dapper best in white tie, saved only for the most special of occasions as he chatted with his wife in the passenger seat.
Camilla stunned in a white lace gown which was paired a four-string pearl necklace fixed with a diamond clasp.
The pregnant mother-of-two appeared to be wearing a white silk gown which featured inticate embellishment around the neckline off-set by an elegant diamond necklace
KATE’S TIARA TRIBUTE TO HER LATE MOTHER-IN-LAW
Princess Diana wearing the Cambridge Lover’s knot tiara
The Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara is the one worn by the Duchess of Cambridge most frequently – and for very sentimental reasons.
The tiara was made by Royal jewellers Garrard in 1914 to Queen Mary’s personal design, from pearls and diamonds already in her family’s possession.
It was a copy of one owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, who married the first Duke of Cambridge, seventh son of King George III, in 1818.
In her will Queen Mary left the tiara to to the Queen who wore it frequently, including at an evening event in 1955.
In 1981 she gave it as a wedding present to Prince William’s mother, Diana, who wore it for the first time at the state opening of parliament that November.
Diana also wore the tiara in 1985 on an official visit to Washington with Prince Charles.
And since her death the glistening head piece has been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge who was most recently spotted wearing it at the state dinner during Queen Letizia and King Felipe VI’s visit.
It was also seen on Kate at last year’s Diplomatic Reception.
She was pictured wearing the Boucheron tiara, a piece from the Queen’s collection most famously worn by the Queen Mother that Camilla favours when it comes to choosing a tiara.
The Duchess of Cornwall was joined by Prince Charles, who too was dressed in all of his finery including several ceremonial medals for the reception.
Camilla is also thought to be wearing The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, an honour bestowed on female members of the British Royal Family by the monarch and worn on formal occasions.
It depicts the Queen as a young woman in evening dress wearing the ribbon and star of the Order of the Garter.
The miniature, painted on ivory, is bordered by diamonds and surmounted by a Tudor Crown in diamonds and red enamel. Its reverse, in silver-gilt, is patterned with rays and depicts the royal cypher and St. Edward’s Crown in gold and enamel.
According to tradition, the Order is worn pinned to the dress of the recipient on the left shoulder with a watered silk ribbon in chartreuse yellow, formed into a bow.
The women currently entitled to wear the order aside from the Queen are: Camilla, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, the Queen’s cousin, Princess Alexandra, and the Duchess of Gloucester, married to her first cousin.
Camilla stunned in a white lace gown which was paired a four-string pearl necklace fixed with a diamond clasp
The Duchess of Cornwall was joined by Prince Charles, who too was dressed in all of his finery including several ceremonial medals for the reception
THE FAMILY HEIRLOOM FAVOURED BY CAMILLA
The Boucheron tiara is one that was worn by the Queen Mother
The stand-out part of her outfit was the glittering Greville tiara, on loan from the Queen who was left the tiara by her late mother.
The Queen Mother was left the diamond tiara by the Hon. Mrs Greville from Boucheron, a well-known society maven.
The honeycomb-patterned jewellery piece was made by Boucheron jewellers for the Hon. Mrs. Greville in 1921 out of stones salvaged from another tiara.
Having no heirs of her own, she left her considerable jewellery collection to Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) when she died in 1942.
In 1953 the Queen Mother asked for the height of the tiara to be increased by adding a number of brilliant cut diamonds and a single marquise cut diamond in 1953.
Since the Queen Mother’s death, the Queen has not worn this tiara (unlike the Queen Mother’s other signature tiara, the Oriental Circlet); instead, the Queen has loaned it to the Duchess of Cornwall who has worn it at most of her tiara events.
Camilla has worn the tiara to several high profile events, including the Queen’s Diplomatic Reception last year.
The white tie Diplomatic Reception is the main social event of the year in London for the diplomatic community and reflects the Queen’s importance in terms of the UK’s international relations.
It is also the largest reception held at Buckingham Palace, requiring hours of intricate planning by the Master of the Household and the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as the commandeering of almost every member of waiting staff.
More than 1,000 people from around 130 countries, including members of the British government, past Prime Ministers and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York attend the gathering.
Most notable, however, are the many hundreds of ambassadors and embassy staff officially accredited to the Court of St James, often in brilliantly coloured and eye-catching national dress.
One noticeable absence this evening is of course Prince Harry, who was attending an annual charity carol concert in London’s Chelsea.
Harry, 33, who announced his engagement to Meghan Markle last week, was joined by Pippa Matthews, Carole Middleton and former flame Cressida Bonas at the Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund carol concert.
The charity, which uniquely has both William and his brother Prince Harry as patrons, was set up in memory of their friend, who died in a car crash in 2002.