Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Duchess Dazzles in Papyrus Tiara and Red Jenny Packham Gown for State Banquet

It's the night we've all been eagerly looking forward to for months! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the state banquet at Buckingham Palace in honour of President Xi of China.


The Duke and Duchess arriving at the Palace.


It's an incredibly exciting night for royal fans. State visits offer one of the very few opportunities left for the royal ladies to don sweeping gowns, sparkling jewels and historic tiaras. Without question, this is the most formal event the Cambridges have attended. We have been so excited to see Kate in a sparkling tiara, and here she is. :)


The much anticipated white-tie dinner marks the first time William and Kate have attended a state banquet. Their presence was very much expected but only confirmed this afternoon. Prince William made a successful trip to China in March where he personally presented President Xi with an invitation from the Queen - making this the ideal opportunity for the couple to make their banquet debut.


The Duke and Duchess joined Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and around 170 guests in the palace ballroom, where they took their places at a beautifully laden horseshoe-shaped table.


The president was seated between the Queen and Kate, and to Kate's right was Mr Wang Huning, a senior advisor to President Xi.


Prince William was seated beside Madame Peng.


An overview of the ballroom.


The president and his wife posed for an official photograph with the Queen and Prince Philip before the banquet.


From Her Majesty's speech:

“Mr. President, your visit is a defining moment in this very special year for our bilateral relationship. I am confident that it will serve to highlight the sincerity and warmth of our friendship and to strengthen relations between our countries for many years to come.
 Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you to rise and drink a toast to the President and Madame Peng and to the people of China.”

The Queen and President Xi share a toast.


Preparations ahead of the banquet have been in the planning for months with each and every detail considered and carried out with precision. It takes three days to lay the table and Her Majesty, keen to ensure everything is perfect, inspected the finished table earlier this evening. In keeping with the Queen's fastidious nature, she will also personally show Mr Xi and his wife, Madame Peng, to their suite of rooms.


The Palace has been sharing photos of final preparations throughout the day on their social media platforms, including a look at the Mall lined with UK and China flags.


A sneak peek from the royal kitchens.


The menu for the dinner included Venison from Balmoral and West Coast Turbot.


The Mail Online reported the following on the layout of the table: "1,700 pieces of mismatched baroque, rococo and neo-classic cutlery to be placed at each of the 170 table settings precisely 46 cm apart." Crockery is taken from King George IV’s 4,000 piece Grand Service and 1,104 glasses - six for each guest to contain water, champagne for the toast, red wine, white wine, champagne or sweet wine and port - must be laid on the pristine 175-foot dining table.


The completed table will feature stunning flower decorations, candlebra and six glasses per person - water, red and white wines, a dessert wine, port and a champagne toast. Nineteen stations are set up around the table each manned by four staff - a page, footman, under butler and a wine butler - who use a traffic light system to co-ordinate the serving of courses.


Floral displays in the ballroom included clematises, flowers native to China.


Ahead of the event the Duchess will have received notes on where she's sitting and who she will be next to. The Countess of Wessex recalled one occasion where she couldn't find her seat as the Queen was about to make her speech during an interview for the ITV documentary Our Queen: "I shan't forget the look I got when I couldn't find my chair and she was looking to do her speech, I decided I might study the notes a little more carefully next time."


It's very much a night where etiquette and impeccable manners will be observed. For example, in order to avoid uncomfortable situations and to ensure all are included in conversation one speaks to the person on your left for the first course, changing to the right for the second, and alternating for remaining courses.


The purpose of the state visit is to help strengthen diplomatic, cultural and economic links between the UK and China. It is the first such visit from China to the UK in a decade. During an address at Westminster earlier today President Xi said that he is "impressed by the friendly relations" between the two countries and he hopes the visit will take relations to "new heights". The Telegraph reports the Government believes up to £30 billion investment could come from it.


Yesterday, to coincide with the visit, Prince William recorded an address for China's biggest television station CCTV1 at King's College London. It has been described as William's most personal and direct appeal against the illegal wildlife trade, and was view by tens of millions of people. The speech can be viewed in its entirety at YouTube.


In the speech, Prince William spoke of the world his children will grow up in and the surge in the slaughter of animals.

'Today, we face an unprecedented surge in the brutal slaughter of iconic animals by poachers. In South Africa, for example, one rhino was killed every month until 2005.  But last year, three rhinos were killed every single day.
In the 33 years since I was born we have lost around 70 percent of Africa's elephant population. Of those that are left, 20,000 are being killed every year – that is 54 elephants killed every single day. At this rate, children born this year – like my daughter Charlotte – will see the last wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthdays.'

Earlier this evening, Prince William called on the Mr Xi at Buckingham Palace where they discussed their shared interest in combating the illegal wildlife trade. Kensington Palace said William believes "China can provide vital leadership to help prevent the extinction of some of the planet's most iconic endangered species".


Other events in the packed first day of the visit included a formal welcome at the Royal Pavilion on Horse Guards Parade. The guard of honour gave a royal salute and the Chinese national anthem was played.


It was a display of pomp and pageantry at its finest.


Afterwards, the Mr Xi and Madame Peng joined the Queen and Prince Philip for a state procession along the Mall to Buckingham Palace.


The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall greeted President Xi and Madame Peng on behalf of the Queen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. They also welcomed the couple to Clarence House where the group viewed a display by students of the Prince's School of Traditional Arts.


Back to tonight and a topic we're eager to discuss: the Duchess dazzled in the Papyrus tiara, also known as the Lotus Flower tiara. I had thought we would see Kate wearing this piece for a number of reasons. Kate's worn it before and one imagines it will be her 'go-to' piece for the next few years.


Below, we see the first time Kate wore the tiara - at the annual diplomatic reception in 2013.


Also, the symbolic meaning of the Lotus Flower in Chinese culture is purity of heart and mind and represents long life, humility, honour and tranquillity. The lotus flower is one of the top-ten most famous flower species in China, and has been the most favoured one for hundreds of years. Grown in muddy swamps, it rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. The exquisite flower is huge in size, bright in colour, fragrant in scent, and extremely adaptive. At night the flower closes and sinks underwater; at dawn it re-emerges to open again.

China Culture

More from China Culture:

'Chinese people have an abiding fondness for lotus flowers. Literary people through the ages praised the lotus, chanted the eulogy of the lotus and painted lotuses. It is the subject of poems and paintings with great artistic appeal; it is the material of graceful dances; and it is a common pattern and design in various architectural decorations, sculptures and daily utensils. The adoration of the lotus has formed a unique “Lotus culture”, lasting a long time in China.'

The pretty tiara was worn by the late Queen Mother, then Duchess of York, during her early years. It was made from one of her wedding gifts in 1923 - a necklace of a Greek key pattern with pendant diamonds and pearls given by her husband.

Order of Splendor

Garrard jewellers dismantled it and created the Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara instead. As you can see, it is a very delicate design of fanned motifs crowned by floating diamond arches and studded with two pearls at the base and a central top pearl.

Tiara Mania

The Duchess of York wore it in a fashionable bandeau style during the late 1920's. In 1959 she gave it to her daughter Princess Margaret who wore it for numerous occasions. Margaret lent it to Serena Stanhope for her wedding to her son Viscount Linley in 1993. It wasn't publicly worn again until 2013 when Kate wore it. It's a beautiful choice for the Duchess.


The Duchess looked beautiful in a bespoke red gown by one of her favourite British designers, Jenny Packham - the choice of colour without doubt a nod to China. I watched the royals arriving on the BBC and Kate's cap-sleeve sweeping gown literally sparkled as she took her seat.


A screenshot of the gown.


It doesn't appear Kate's dress is based on any one style from the designer. Glancing through the current collection there are several elements in Kate's dress very much evident including cap-sleeves, full skirts, belts, and of course, sequins and embellishment. Below we see the Elbow-Sleeve Embellished Gown, the Cap-Sleeve Embellished Gown and the Crystal Cluster Gown.

Jenny Packham

Several readers have been in touch searching for a 'Repli-Kate' for the dress. The talented Kate's Closet discovered the Adrianna Papell Cap Sleeve Beaded Mermaid Gown. It's very similar to Kate's dress and is currently available at Nordstrom and Zappos for $300 with Free Shipping.

Zappos

Kate complimented her look with dazzling jewels including The Queen's diamond chandelier earrings which have been loaned to the Duchess several times including the Diplomatic Reception in 2013.


The Duchess wore striking diamond bracelets - one on each arm. It is understood they were loaned to Kate by the Queen.


Our very own Rebecca may have identified one of Kate's bracelets as a gift Prince Philip gave the Queen as a wedding present. It is encrusted with diamonds from a tiara which belonged to Philip's mother.


The wonderful Order of Splendor believes the other bracelet was originally a choker Queen Mary used to wear, circa 1920.


It was later converted to a bracelet and worn by the late Queen Mother. Both pieces are very substantial items steeped in royal history.

Order of Splendor

Kate was not wearing the Royal Family Order tonight, meaning she hasn't received it yet.

There's a full video from the evening available at YouTube.


Kate looked stunning, her sartorial choices were effortlessly elegant and appropriate. Tonight marked a royal milestone for William and Kate and the first of many state banquets we'll see the couple attend. I'm very excited to hear your thoughts :)

************

Tonight is also the perfect time to congratulate Megs, the winner of our 'Vote for Your Dream State Banquet Look' poll. A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the delightful activity. Megs, if you could email me at your earliest convenience we'll coordinate delivery of your prize, Kate's Mirabelle Lolita earrings.


We'll see you tomorrow when William and Kate accompany President Xi and his wife Madame Peng for a creative industry event at Lancaster House.

334 comments:

  1. Amazing. Stunning. Perfect. And I so happy she had her hair up! And at some angles she did look like lady Mary from downton Abbey..especially with that hairstyle!
    Best the duchess has ever looked..including her wedding day (I didn like her hair and veil on her wedding day)
    Sarah usa

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    1. Lady Mary. That's correct, she reminds me of her

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    2. Klara from Croatia21 October 2015 at 06:41

      Yes yes! I also thought of lady Mary looking at some pictures :)) and I agree she looked perfect!!!!!

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  2. Sarah from Calif.20 October 2015 at 22:12

    Kate looks absolutely lovely!
    Well done on the speech William!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 22:30

      I agree. The speech was VERY well done. Both good delivery by William, he is really growing. But the speech writers are really good!! Such a great balance in the speech. He managed to not sound like he was lecturing, and that is hard in a case like this. So a real KUDOS to all involved!

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    2. Sarah I totally agree with you. Kate looked just so beautiful. In one photo William could not keep from looks no at her. Wish we had a photo of them together. They are such a striking couple.
      And I am really disappointed that Kate was not given the Royal family Order by the Queen. She deserves it.

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  3. I loved her look. Perfectly polished and glamourous at the same time
    Great post

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  4. She looks beautiful. Red is definitely her color. I hope we see her more in glamour like this - no one can do it better than her. That said, I was quite disappointed to see her face look absolutely peaky and thin. You can see her Adam's apple in her profile. I wish the media did not put this incredible pressure on women to be stick thin.

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    1. For some women, nursing leads to weight just dropping off. Coupled with the understanding that the Duchess has always been an active person, maybe her getting back to her thin figure just happened naturally. I thought she looked healthy :-)

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    2. She does not look too thin in my opinion, rather fit and very healthy. She is not near the tiny waist she used to have, which i mean in the most positive was. Also she does not have the tired look she had the last couple of times we saw her, shes just sparkling :) very nice to see her like that!

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    3. I didn't think she looked too thin. I think she looks healthier, weight-wise, now than she has since before her WEDDING even!!
      She has a woman's body now, that has carried and borne two children. Her body has definitely changed, she's got some curves and it's flattering on her as is a normal weight vs. the anorexic, skeletal look she had for a while there.
      She even looked a bit more rested today vs. the rather fatigued, stressed look and forced smile she has had in the past couple of engagements.

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  5. The Duchess should have asked to alter the neckline in order to wear some stunning necklace (like her ruby necklace for example). A necklace is really missed here!

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    1. There is always someone that finds fault with what the Duchess is wearing. She was just stunning tonight. It was not the place to wear a lower neckline for god sake.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 22:31

      I can almost promise that this dress is bespoke and is high necked on purpose. A very good choice, I think.

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    3. A tiara and those earrings with those bracelets... And a necklace? No that'd be too much

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    4. With the two bracelets, the earrings, the tiara, her ring and the way the dress sparkled, a necklace would have been too much IMHO. She looked exquisite. Great job on the post, Charlotte.

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    5. Agree, a necklace would have been way too much. She looks very elegant.

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    6. A necklace would have been Too much.
      Pure perfection to me

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    7. I think there was no need for a necklace. She looked impeccable.

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    8. One can never have enough bling, but wearing it appropriately is the key to showcasing one's bling. And one got it right. With the sparklies on the dress, it wouldn't have been fair to any necklace, even the great Hyderabad, to be exposed so.

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    9. A necklace could have been very nice, especially since it wouldn't have been fighting with an order.

      I don't know that it would have been Kate's style, though. She tends to be more low-key with her accessories. A tiara, large earrings, and two very blingy bracelets is already more jewelry than we're used to seeing her wear.

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    10. I would not have wanted a necklace. those bracelets are unbelievable. Wow! They are gorgeous and so wonderfully wide and fluid. Her tiara looked wonderful, sat on her head really nicely. The earrings work well with the dress and other jewels. Love her dress, would love to see some vey clear images of it in movement. In one article they mention the translators sitting behind, once they were seated I could not pick out were they were. I was interested in that tidbit. I wondered about gloves as it seemed as though from some of the articles on the protocol, gloves were required. Did everyone take them off at the front door? I only saw a few ladies wearing and then a few carrying. Also did not look like very many tiaras. I watched the video. It was fun to see the process.Thought Catherine looked very lovely, regal and yet youthful. ali

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  6. I totally agree with the last comment. This is the most spectacular I have ever seen Kate look. Red is devine on her. Her hair was simply breathtaking. All in all a magnificent Duke & Duchess tonight.

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  7. Hefty position to be in for our Princess,

    The President of China on your left and the Communist Party's Central Committee on Policy Research star, Wang Huning, on your right. Whew. And a lot of heavy hitters seated at the other tables and all looking at the head table (and your "premier" appearance). Couple that with the diplomatic gravity of the situation and ...........

    Her dress, hair, tiara and accessories were impeccable. Not too fru fru for the seriousness of the occasion. SADLY, no Family Order. I can't think of any reason why.

    As someone said on the previous page, the president's wife is a heavy hitter also. A general in the Chinese army......., a world traveler of 50 countries they say.

    Kudos, Kate. Ya done good..... :)

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    1. Anonymous @ 22:25

      You mean the young man seated on Kate's right? Ha! He is Communist Party's Central Committee on Policy Research star?

      Good information. I was wondering who he is. Kate seemed to click well with him, may be to make him more comfortable. She toasted him first too, (while the President was busy toasting the Queen) and then toasted the President. William is not that visible tonight at the table.

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    2. I read there is some order to whom you speak to first etc at these functions. I wondered if Catherine made sure to not get in the way of the Queen and the President in their routines and rituals. I thought it was interesting to watch that also. I would have enjoyed seeing more of William in the video to see how he handled the exchanges between Phillip, the first lady of China and whomever was seated on his other side. I wondered what rank she had in the government as she walked in with William. Ali

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden21 October 2015 at 07:17

      I agree it would have been nice to see William as well, but after watching pictures and videos from previous state banquets it seems like the side Kate was sitting on is always way more photographed than the other, and Anne who is usually placed on "Williams side" is often hidding behind a bouqet of flowers :P

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  8. Any ID on the two bracelets Kate wore?

    Didn't William look ever so nice? :)

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  9. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 22:27

    Wow, she was so stunning tonight. Absolutley perfect. Absolutley sublime. Very elegant and "proper" but still soooo stunning! Very impressed! She's so pretty and poised and carried her self very well!! I'm so happy! Also, that bracelet is a huge loan. Not only is it a wedding present from Prince Philip to the queen, but also a piece the queen still wears regulary. AMAZING!

    Also, a little sad that she didn't get the RFO, but not too much. It probably is because Kate is not a full-time royal yet :) I'm mostly just dreading all the conspiracies the Kate-haters on the web will get from this. But at least this shows people how credible these "inside sources" the media dreams up are...

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    1. In this case I think it's better that she did not have the Family Order. It is made with ivory, so can you imagine the backlash on that one.

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    2. Rebecca, I don't think I could have said it better myself. Simply stunning in every aspect tonight. What a great service she did for herself and England tonight. I was too a little sad and surprised that she doesn't have the RFO yet but that is up to the Queen herself to give when appropriate.

      Well done Kate. You rocked it tonight girl!!

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    3. Dear Rebecca I'm right with you! I just dread the potential feeding frenzy almost as I am sad she did not have it.:( Golly, you'd think she was my own daughter:) I think many of us have grown a bit protective of her:)
      Hugs,
      Becca USA

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    4. I agree that the order is more likely to come once she's more full-time.

      On an entirely selfish and superficial note, I've never been a huge fan of the way orders look (IMO, they often clash with they gown), so I'm quite okay with the Queen delaying on this one! :)

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    5. Hee hee agree. They seem to be very tricky to wear. ali

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    6. Ya think, Becca? :)

      I know I am. (Just ask my family. lol)

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    7. I didn't know the RFO had Ivory on it. Really?
      Other people wore theirs though, even the Queen.

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    8. Oh my, I never realized the family order is painted on ivory! Kate probably will never wear it.

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    9. Rebecca - Sweden21 October 2015 at 07:19

      I think she will get a new one maybe. Made on enamel or something like that.

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  10. Tedi in California20 October 2015 at 22:28

    She rocked that tiara! She was breathtaking. I love the dress, especially the color. What a gorgeous couple. Can't wait for more pictures.

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  11. I rather like the neckline. I think it's sophisticated. The huge diamond bracelets make up for the lack of necklace. A necklace on top of the bracelets would be too much and simply is not her style.

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  12. I think she looked absolutely stunning. I personally think the the bling of the tiara, her earrings, and the two diamond bracelets she wore made up for the lack of a necklace. Well done Kate. Bev in Colorado

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  13. Entirely appropriate choice and I am relieved to see her hair worn up vs. down for this grand occasion. I expect, along with the rest of the etiquette and protocol, that there are a number of rules on dress, makeup, hair, jewels, etc. so as not to offend the visiting dignitaries nor upstage or offend Queen Elizabeth II.
    The gown is simple and elegant, she looks good in red.
    Madame Peng is stunning too. These are the first good photos we've seen of her. Very striking and elegant.
    Great coverage, Charlotte!!

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  14. Charlotte. Do you have any idea why Katecwas not given the honor of the Royal a Family Honor.
    Understand Sophie received it only after 2 years. But Sophie is the queens favorite.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 23:02

      I think Sophie got it after 5 years, actually.

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    2. Maybe because Sophie was doing dozens more engagements each year at this stage? Kate is not considered to be a 'full-time' royal as I understand it, and she does not do that many appearances. That could be the reason why she has not been given it.

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    3. Sophie received it after five years.

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    4. I often forget since they're somewhat close in age, but Sophie's also married to one of the Queen's kids--one generation removed from Kate. It's likely just a matter of timing and work load--Kate's not doing full-time royal work yet.

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    5. Sophie is a daughter-in law Kate is a granddaughter - in law. None of her grandchildren have the order.

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    6. Good point.

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  15. Love the dress. ;-) I got the color right in my dress choice, also the cap sleeves. Interesting there are no gloves, but she doesn't need any. The papyrus tiara and the way she wore is making me very happy. Cannot wait to hear more about the bracelets, if there's more to be found out.

    Mrs. Peng's clothes choices that I've seen are beautiful. Are there pictures yet of William? Camilla's dress in the meeting at Clarence House is beautiful too. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall there! I wonder if it was the tiniest bit awkward . . . much.

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    1. So happy to hear about the bracelets. They are amazingly stunning pieces, and with their history, it looks as if they signify the "next best thing" to the Royal Family Order, being pieces close to the Queen's heart. I imagine it's coming up, but the timing will be carefully staged. Just stopped staring at the Duchess and looked carefully at the Queen's tiara and jewels for this dinner. The Wow factor there is pretty high!

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  16. Kate was gorgeous. The Lotus tiara really suits her--I think she might be my favorite wearer of it!

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    1. I agree, Labelo, Kate wore the lotus tiara better than the four other beautiful women who have worn it. Her dark, sleek hair style really lets it shine!

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  17. I love the fact that Kate is so close to the Queen!

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    1. Close, but no Family Order.

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    2. No family order, but sitting in a very high place of honor.

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  18. Ana B. from Brazil20 October 2015 at 22:39

    The Duchess looked gorgeous, fabulous, stunning! Impeccable from head to toes!
    I hadn't been so excited for an event since her wedding in 2011 LOL
    I find it quite sad she hasn't been given the Royal Family Order yet. Any clues why?

    Megs, congratulations! You truly deserved to win! Your entire look was absolutely divine!

    Thank you so much, Charlotte! For this post and for always answering to my questions on Twitter!

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    1. Congratulations Meg,

      Your choice was classic and perfect.

      Did you notice that the Prime Minister's wife's dress was all see through lace in the back bodice?

      And so was the lady's who wore the pale greenish blue with the silver sparkle.

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    2. Kate 's gown is no doubt bespoken, it' s so similar to the Real one she wore a couple of years ago. Fitted bodice cap sleeves and full gown. That one featured lace but the structure of the garment is almost identical

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  19. The Duchess looked perfect & appropriately regal! I was nervous & excited just watching the footage, can't imagine how one would feel to be there at the Banquet. Just imagine the etiquette protocol!

    As the camera panned the head table, I was absolutely awed. It became real to me that the Duchess will one day be Queen consort (more so than even on her wedding day strangely enough)! I don't know, but I got quite emotional about it. Longtime American fan here :-)

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 23:03

      I agree that it all got very real at this moment. She looked like she really fit in there, she was really poised and really looked like she belonged there! Exciting times ahead! :)

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    2. I felt the same way, 22:41.

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    3. Ana B. from Brazil20 October 2015 at 23:40

      Hey, Anonymous!
      I got a bit teary eyed too... It was an emotional day for all of us, Kate's fans, I guess!

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    4. Kate, Texas, USA21 October 2015 at 00:59

      So true, Anon 22:41. As Rebecca said, Kate really belonged there. Bless her heart, it had to be a bit overwhelming. She handles herself with such grace and elegance. Rebeca, YES, exciting times ahead!

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    5. It warms my heart that I wasn't the only one feeling that way about our favorite Duchess! @Rebecca, indeed exciting times ahead! :-)

      Anonymous 22:41

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  20. Hello ladies,
    Charlotte I've been peeking in when I can, & am sorry I've been remiss in complimenting you on your amazingly dedicated & thurough coverage leading up to the State Visit! It's Tops!:)
    Kate looks as beautiful & regal as ever! However, I can't deny feeling a twinge when I didn't see her wearing the "Order":( May they all enjoy a wonderful evening & I just love watching Will & Kate continue to "Grow Up" :) With my children of the same age, they have had a special place in my heart, as in many others', for years. Bravo Charlotte & Bravo William & Catherine!
    Hugs,
    Becca USA

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    1. Good to hear from you Becca. :)

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    2. Hi Becca :) Hope you are doing ok.

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    3. Victoria, Oregon21 October 2015 at 06:10

      Nice to see you here, Becca! :)

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  21. Stunning indeed. The red surprised me...and I love it. The design is modest, yet the color is "wow"! And I'm glad she wore this tiara rather than the Halo which doesn't have sufficient height-factor to it. The bracelets are a nice touch too!!

    But I am disappointed that she didn't receive The Royal Family Order. She is the Windsor's second chance at getting it right and they should recognize it (officially). Aside from providing an "heir and spare", Kate has given William a happy, loving home with two beautiful children and, clearly, has what it takes to ensure that the next generation will be happy, confident, emotionally stable, and prepared for the challenges they will face. This "package" should mean a lot to the Queen...

    And congratulations, Meg! I am not surprised that your look won...you did a great job. :)

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    1. I was HUGELY disappointed also Royal Fan. I think that was a real faux pas on the Queen's part, bracelets or no bracelets. Kate should have shown up with the Family, that's FAMILY, Order.

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    2. royalfan, I'm not as upset, I think the royal order would have ruined a great dress.
      As far as "emotionally stable," well, William, sadly, seems to have inherited all the paranoid tendencies of his father (and his mother) with regard to the public (his future subjects!) and the media. I'm not sure that being paranoid recluses locked away up in Norfolk and making their children permanently terrified and hostile toward the public and toward the media, both of which George and Charlotte will be required to deal with in their positions, is going toward making a more stable, less dysfunctional next generation of royal heirs but we can hope, I suppose!
      The queen, for her part, doesn't seem as close to William and Kate as she is to Edward and Sophie and their children or to Beatrice and Eugenie or to Zara and her husband and their daughter.

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    3. Hi Royalfan,
      I utterly & completely agree with your every word. From start to finish!
      Becca USA :)

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    4. Kate, Texas, USA21 October 2015 at 00:56

      Royalfan.... AGREE! Why no Royal Family Order for Kate? :(

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    5. Elizabeth,

      Truly, no offense, but I don't agree with anything you said. A lot of blanket statements and opinions and no substantiation. And they are pretty drastic blanket statements and opinions. I don't agree.

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    6. Well, the Queen seems to give it to full-time working royals only and after about two years as such.

      Diana had it after 18 months, Camilla had it within 2.5 years, both full-time working royals since marriage. Sophie was officially full time from 2002 and got the order in 2004, married in 1999. Sarah of York, for example, never got it even though she and the Queen were apparently quite close.

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  22. Charlotte, what a superb post, so quickly done!

    Everyone should read the thread about the jewels on the Royal Jewels of the World Message Board. Kate wore, in addition to the tiara and earrings, two very special and stunning bracelets, They are a mark of the Queen's esteem, especially the one Kate wore on her left wrist, next to me he Chinese president.

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    1. Any history on the bracelets?

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    2. Thanks Charlotte. I love to learn the history on the Jewelry. :)

      Funny she got the two very personal bracelets but no Family Order.

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    3. Next to the Chinese president, that should read. Bad iPad! Yes, there is plenty of history, which is why I suggested reading the thread on the Royal Jewels board. The bracelet on Kate's right wrist was once part of a choker of Queen Mary's. She gave it to Queen Elizabeth, later QM, who wore it as a bracelet. (The choker may be divisible.) The bracelet on Kate's left wrist is very special indeed. Prince Philip's mother gave him a tiara from which to take diamonds for Princess Elizabeth's engagement ring, and for this bracelet, which he designed himself and gave to her as a wedding gift. Kate wearing that particular bracelet has to be a mark of real favor from the Queen.

      Delete
  23. The red is beautiful on her and I love the tiara but I was a little disappointed that she wore the exact same combo tiara + earings as in the Diplomatic Reception in december 2013. Surely it isn't for lack of choice in the Royal collection!

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 23:06

      I think it actually is a bit "lack of choice". The queen is nutorious in royal circles for being stingy with her loans. That is why I think Kate's bracelets are such a huge deal

      Delete
    2. me, too, 22:52. She wore new bracelets, why not new earrings. I understand about the tiara with the lotus theme but she could have borrowed some new earrings. And since no sash or Family Order, I would have asked for the perfect necklace also. Even with that neckline the would have been a perfect one. Bling is like prestige, like military ribbons, badges and medals. She looked beautiful but under prestiged.

      Delete
    3. Flavia, Kate is still a junior royal, ranking below her father-in-law and stepmother-in-law, Charles and Camilla so I wouldn't expect to see her in all of the queen's bling just yet.
      It's my understanding that the queen is the only one who has access to, of course, her own collection, as well as the jewels owned by the State. I can't imagine her handing over the keys and saying "Go to it!"

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    4. I'd have been more disappointed by the repeat, but we didn't get a decent look at the whole outfit at the Diplomatic Reception--just hurried pap shots of her in the car with only half the tiara visible. I was excited to get a proper look at her this time!
      Plenty of years to see more jewels, especially since she's only the heir's heir's wife. Honestly, I'm more disappointed in the lack of variety in Camilla's outings, especially since we see her at tiara events more often.

      Delete
    5. True. Her hats are always great however:)

      Delete
    6. Maybe she felt the earrings fit the design of the tiara better than any other option she had. Whatever the reason she looked great!

      Delete
  24. Absolutely gorgeous and sumptuous. I was curious about the absence of gloves, which I had thought were de rigeur for events of this type. But then I saw that the wife of the Chinese president was gloveless. Perhaps it was merely good manners.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden20 October 2015 at 23:07

      Camilla has been gloveless alot, Diana as well etc. I think it's more of a suggestion nowdays and being fazed out.

      Delete
    2. Good manners and, hopefully, a small attempt at introducing a shred of modern sensibility and fashion into these events. With such elegant gowns and in these times, the gloves seem a bit outdated and awkward.

      Delete
    3. Hi Jackie,
      I was noting a lack of gloves? So maybe the double fisted Bracelets were to elevate in lieu of gloves? They definitely shine more notably on her skin!
      Becca USA

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    4. I agree the gloves would have spoiled the bling, and like to believe Kate is sensitive to the feelings of those around her. Altogether a great choice to leave them out!

      Delete
    5. I typically don't love gloves, but I think this outfit would have looked nice with them.
      I'm not too miffed either way. I think gloves probably just seem a bit outdated and on their way out.

      Delete
    6. Totally disagree about gloves, Elizabeth. What goes around comes around! Lovely dress, though; really nice choice.

      Delete
    7. I'm going to preface my comment by saying that I am not an old lady but I would have loved the gloves with the bracelets. Kind of Audrey Hepburnesque. With tradition flying out the window everywhere, I think it would be wonderful to retain some of the older customs, if only once or twice a year.

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  25. Ah. Upon looking at the video, I noted that William looks extremely elegant in his white tie. Also that Anne, the Princess Royal, is in white somewhat like her mother. Also that there was a lady with an uncanny resemblance to Mrs. Carole Middleton, but hardly likely!?! And of course, Catherine's very easily the most stunning woman in the room. And then I was imagining the surreal experience of being one of the Middleton parents and watching your daughter in that setting and saying yet again, "We could never, ever, in our wildest dreams! imagine this when she was young!!!"

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    1. Marci, I have wondered about that many times...how must her parents feel at times like this? Proud and ecstatic, I would imagine.

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    2. I was thinking the Middletons must think it sort of surreal also Marci. It is too me. I followed their dating from the get go and now, she is sitting at the head table in Buckingham Palace beside the President of China and his right-hand man. It is almost unbelievable. I think Kate realized even more this evening the weightiness of her future position as Queen (consort). She was the most beautiful woman there. No contest.

      Delete
    3. @Marci: I had the same thoughts! Must be a surreal yet prideful moment for them!

      @Anonymous 1:30: I've followed them since those days, too & 2011 when they married was a very happy year for me personally that I look back upon fondly. I wish her all the best as she continues to grow into her role.

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  26. Stunning look for Kate! And thanks for the quick post Charlotte. I watched parts of the video too.

    That dress is beautiful. I want one! I do think a lower neckline with a simple necklace would have completed the look (particularly for the occasion). A 9/10 from me.

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  27. Theresa, from Paris20 October 2015 at 23:01

    I like the dress and the jewels. Lovely. I'm sorry but I do not like that hairdo. That sort of fringe on the side seems heavy to me, and makes the Duchess' face look drawn. Her gorgeous hair must be so easy to work with. I'm thinking of Princess Mary of Denmark, whose hairdo's are always sumptuous with tiaras. The Duchess' make-up also seemed a bit heavy for my liking. But I hope she enjoyed herself !!!!!
    Wonderful coverage, dear Charlotte, thank you so much !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary does have fabulous tiara hair (as do the Swedes)! They typically use hair pieces though; I think this was all Kate's hair, which accounts for some of the difference. I actually liked the side-swept fringe (my wedding hair was somewhat similar), but I suppose that's just a matter of preference.

      Delete
  28. Kate, Texas, USA20 October 2015 at 23:02

    Kate is absolutely stunning! Flawless, regal, glamourous, and gorgeous! The dress was beautiful and so sparkly (says the little girl in me). A perfect choice for the evening! I loved Kate's hair up and the tiara was amazing (more sparkle....yea). So very pretty! I think the jewelry was beautiful and understated. The bracelets were incredible and I loved reading the history of both. Such a lovely and exciting post and one we have all waited for!

    While we love seeing our Queen and all the brilliance of the evening, all eyes were on Kate for her first state banquet. My Twitter feed and the internet exploded with pictures of Kate. Bless her heart, she seemed a bit nervous from the live feed when watching. I would love to know what she was thinking during the banquet and to hear her conversation with William after all was over. I'm sure she was a bit in awe.

    Charlotte, any thoughts on why Kate was not gifted the Royal Family Order? I was a bit disappointed to not seeing her wearing it. Also, any idea on the ID of the Queen's tiara and jewels? Both were striking! I hope Kate enjoyed her evening. She look amazing! Thanks for the post! I'm sure I'll read it several times over this evening! :)

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    Replies
    1. The queen is wearing pieces from the George VI/Modern Sapphire set. The Queen's Jewel Vault blog has a nice post on them: http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-george-vi-and-modern-sapphire-set.html

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    2. Labelo, thank you for identifying the Queen's jewelry here, and for providing the link to read about them. I keep forgetting to check that blog often enough.

      Delete
    3. The Queen's necklace was given to her when she was Princess Elizabeth, by her father. She later purchased a Belgian necklace which was then altered to become a tiara. I love the way those jewels sparkle! It had been awhile since the Queen wore the sapphires, but the complementary outfits she and the first lady of China wore were very nice - the Queen in white with Garter ribbon and sapphires, Madame in deep navy with touches of white. There must be careful diplomatic correspondence about these matters during planning for the visit. Kate completed the British patriotic triad, and honored the Chinese flag, with her red dress. Very similar to what she and William and Sophie did at Wimbledon last summer. And she looked stunning!

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    4. Yes her jewels were incredible. Sad to say but do you think you have to be of her generation to wear that much bling? I love sapphires. The Queen looked so wonderful. Great dress, great jewels. How does she do it at 89. Those type of evenings are hard at any age. Maybe she naps from 11 to 3 then gets going. ali

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  29. Absolutely stunning! In the first picture, I thought I was looking at Princess Mary of Denmark. Very excited to see Kate sitting practically right next to the Queen!

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  30. I'm sorry. I should have said in the first close up of Kate is where she looked like Princess Mary.

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  31. I think she looked absolutely beautiful in the red. I have to confess was in hopes she would have the family order also.

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  32. On the other side of the Chinese President! Wow.


    To be picky... I don't like the side part in her hair with a tiara that so obviously has a center. And I'm a bit surprised the queen wore white. It's a funeral color in China.

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    Replies
    1. I noticed the Chinese President's wife wore white at the beginning of this state visit and I was surprised. Maybe that's a tradition that's not as strong anymore? Or maybe it's like wearing black here--it's a funeral color, but that doesn't stop people from wearing it other times.

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    2. Me too. And the Chinese First Lady wore white earlier. We need some protocol clarity and fast. :)

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  33. Thanks, Charlotte, for your post with all these details. I watched the live feed as guests entered the hall, and enjoyed how they found their seats and prepared to "step in" when the Queen and honored guests entered. I thought Kate looked lovely. . . even without the Family Order.
    Terry

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  34. Knowing how "color sensitive" clothing choices have been for this diplomatic visit, I am SO surprised and not just a little off-put the President's wife wore ALL white. She had not know. Was she trying to tell the British something?

    Charlotte, I never noticed the lotus tie-in to China. Thanks. Excellent page, as usual. So enjoyed that.

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    Replies
    1. I can't helpful but wonder if white=mourning color is becoming a bit of an old-fashioned idea in China? It seems that western influence (especially in bridal wear) has been creeping in recently and wearing white's not as taboo these days.

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    2. Yeah, there was recently a big photo shoot with a Chinese star Angelababy (no idea who she is, but she wore some royal jewellery in the pictures) and she wore a white wedding dress in the pictures.

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  35. Super exciting to see Kate at such a formal royal occasion. It certainly makes up for the time she has been out of the public eye. I guess we are to assume that opera length gloves are no longer de rigeur? Like royalfan and others, I am more than slightly dismayed at the absence of a royal order. I'm sure there is a reason for that but for the life of me, I don't know what that could be :(

    The red of the dress is beautiful and I was glad to get a good view of the Papyrus. Absolutely loving the two historic bracelets as well. Although I like the low chignon a lot, I think the front could have been styled better so as to have
    been a bit less severe. She really does look lovely though. I do find her style these days ultra conservative and would enjoy seeing her experiment with fashion more but obviously that is not who she is anymore.

    This is a heavy duty occasion with all sorts of political ramifications but she looks to be handling it well. I hope she can enjoy the moment.

    Congratulations Megs!! Your choices were truly beautiful. If we can compare our contest participants with what Kate is wearing, I think that the silhouette of Sam Tennessee's dress came the closest. (#27)

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  36. Absolutely stunning! Love the red and I was kind of thinking she would go BOLD AND RED. Tiara and jewelry is spot and perfect. Love when she wearsaw her hair up! She really is a very beautiful and elegant young woman.


    I too am disappointed that she has not received the Order. Not sure why this is taking so long? Perhaps this will happen before at or at the 5 year mark?

    Congrats Megs as your picks were fabulous!

    Congrats to you too royalfan as your outfit was stunning too!

    Well at least we got a State dinner under 'our' belt LOL... oy the stress of it all. Now I can take off my shoes and have little Champs!
    DB

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  37. Some lady, believe it or not,

    not only didn't wear a tiara, but she wore her SUNGLASSES, on her head instead. Watch the video above. A lot of the ladies were underdressed big time in my opinion and that makes the gowns and tiaras and uniforms and tuxes look out of place when it should be the other way around. I think the Queen should do like they did at Ascot and re-state what proper attire is. Sunglasses, hmph. No Family Order for Kate, hmph.........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw that also! I was confused at first as to why she is wearing Sun glasses!

      Delete
    2. I don't think those were sunglasses, but, being a lady "of a certain age"...., I think those were her bifocals and her vanity didn't allow her to wear them in a more normal fashion. I agree, tacky. The wonder in the video is the woman who appears at 6:34 and about 10:22, long ice blue gown with sparkly sleeves and a tiara. No idea who she is, but wow!

      Delete
    3. I saw the glasses also but I think they were maybe her regular glasses. I agree though I can not imagine pushing them up on my head at a formal setting. Also agree that many did appear to be underdressed. I do not attend anything that formal but I do go to formal black and occasional white tie events and it is pretty dressy for everyone, and these are fundraisers.:) I did see a man in a wonderful red coat and black pants with red stripe, assume he was from a military branch? ali

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  38. I would have LOVED Kate's gown even more with long gloves (AND, a Family Order.)

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  39. Was just catching your updated coverage, Charlotte! Continuing great job!
    My only correction to Kate's look tonight - and it's an ongoing thing with me - is I wish she'd ditch some of that heavy, black eye makeup. It ages her and tonight was the only drag on what was otherwise an impeccable ensemble. Just makes her look older and more tired -and her eyes more droopy and aged - than her 33 years. I only hope that, as Diana did, time will wean her off the excessive use of the eyeliner and dark shadow.
    A lot of people seem concerned she hasn't been given the royal order. I'm not. I think it would have ruined a perfect dress!!
    I'm not a huge fan of the two big, heavy old bracelets clamped on her wrists - they look out of place with the fresh, elegant style of her gown - but I can live with them.
    Neither President Xi nor Madame Peng were wearing any royal orders so it might have something to do with that. The UK is stepping carefully with this visit, treading a thin line of wooing China and not offending their own citizens.
    Without the royal orders, Kate and Madame Peng look stylish and modern while maintaining their elegant looks, while - can we admit it? - the queen and Prince Philip look a bit dated with rafts of medals dripping from them. Same goes for the gloves.

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    1. Let's be honest. The Communist party in its essence doesn't aspire to royals and all their stuff, kinda antithetical to communism, ya know. I was surprised the President's wife wore Jewelry. I was surprised the Queen didn't tone hers down a tad. I was actually just surprised by the fact that "China" was in Buckingham Palace toasting the Queen of the British Commonwealth. (I for one don't trust that whole scenario.) Just my opinion.
      The medals are a different story. That's military and the Communists are still about rank and honors for military service. They understand the military regalia.

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    2. I do agree with you about the eye makeup. I would have liked a nude color, or a pale shimmer. Though I am on the Let's-Bring-Gloves-Into-Fashion-Again Team.

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    3. I agree about the bracelets. I think one would have been better. Or two on one wrist. The two side by side look like cuffs. Very nice, blingy cuffs!

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  40. Charlotte,
    The you tube link is very nice. Kate’s aura and outfit is best enhanced in the video, better than the photos.
    The planners seem to highlight her appearance from prominent seating arrangement to the Chinese flag red dress.
    She looks regally a polished princess in the video/may be her personalty helped too and blended with her costume.
    The photos look simplified.

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  41. She looked absolutely royal! The red dress was perfection. As was the up-do and tiara. I also loved the earrings.

    However, I was expecting gloves tonight??

    If I'm being picky I didn't like two bracelets. One would have been enough, especially with all the other jewels.

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  42. I just finished watching on you tube. My, Catherine will make a Beautiful & Regal Queen (whatever her eventual Title). I also found myself reflecting that She & William remind me of Queen Elizabeth II's Parents, who formed a true partnership & appear to have had many of the same family values as William & Catherine.
    Charlotte,
    I'm sorry to ask, as I believe it's already been & I can't find your answer.:( I was wondering what type of guests would be in attendance? I noted many decorated men, with honors on their jackets & some around their necks. I also enjoyed seeing a fair share of ladies with Tiaras as well as sashes & orders? A few gave me a giggle as they carried themselves as if they were the queen bee themselves:) which brings me to my last thought. Whilst I didn't find Catherine looking too thin, I was wondering, as they walked in, how she is treated by "The Old Guard"/ "The Old Families"? Because that would be a stress upon other stresses. A bit of kindness can go so far!

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  43. I have an etiquette-ish question. I've heard from multiple sources that people speak to the person on their left and then switch to the person on their right, but that has never made sense to me because if everyone turned to their left they'd be speaking to someone's back because that person would be turned to their left. (I'm probably not explaining that well). Does the Queen turn to her left and then everyone else goes from there? And what about the people on the end of the horseshoe?
    Sorry for the rather obnoxious questions but I find these details fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol I was wondering the exact same thing!

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    2. very good question. I thought I had that all worked out but now I am all confused about it. Thanks, Marian. :)
      Wish I could help you but now I also need help with that.

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    3. I too had the same thought!

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    4. Hi Marian, Beth, and Anon 1:09 - Just a wild guess about the left and right way of talking: Maybe it's like dancing - the woman's "left" means the men's "right." The reports I read were about Hamilton meeting HM so HM (and the ladies around the table) first speak the person to their left while the men do the first round to the right - again, just a wild guess.

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    5. If the women turn to their left, and then to their right, and the men sit still, doesn't it work out? I'm not sure if that's how it is, though.

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  44. If you watch closely at the 2:50 minute mark in the video, there is a lady "Repli-Kating". Her earrings are look like the Cassandra Goad "Temple of Heaven" earrings Kate has. Considering the price on the website is "please inquire" it may be plausible she is wearing them.

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    Replies
    1. I saw that and had the very same thought.

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  45. Can we talk about the seating arrangements? Can anyone tell us why Kate was chosen to sit so prominently -- I'm glad she did! -- but what does it mean?

    LOVE the way she looks and even more, I love the way she always gets it right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Order of Precedence for the BRF on the night was Queen/DoE, then W&K. Seating arrangement at top table (and elsewhere if poss) is always male/female. So.... in the centre at the top President - HMQ - DOE - Mrs President. Next in precedence works outward so... Kate - President - HMQ-DOE-Mrs President-William.

      Hope this makes sense. If Charles and Camilla had attended, then Camilla would have sat where Kate did.

      The reason that you get more pix of Kate is the camera angle in order to see Queen and the President. Happens at every banquet. So if Camilla and Charles had been there, probably v few pix of Kate available

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    2. If you detail the position of each person in the table, the Queen sits exactly at the center of it (I assume protocol), and that gave Kate the chance to be seen more because she only had one person between herself and the Queen (that is, President Xi). On the other hand, we can't have a better view of William because between him and the Queen there is Prince Phillip and Madame Peng.

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  46. A very beautiful look for our Duchess. I thought she looked elegant and simply lovely. Imagine how daunting it must have been to be sitting there like that in full view of everything. Because of her place next to the President and the Queen, she was in every shot. I will admit that I did have a moment where I thought "Andrew must be having a coronary at the fact of Kate and William beside the Queen and the President". Anyway, what a great night for Princess William of Cambridge.

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    Replies
    1. I love the prominence the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given at the banquet. Just being nosy, but why would Andrew be having a coronary about that?

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  47. I thought she looked beautiful... and kudos to all of you who chose red in the Dream Look post! I was pleasantly surprised I have to admit, but thought she looked lovely, and perfectly appropriate.

    Just some thoughts... with all the attention on Kate, very few media acknowledged it was also William's first state banquet and I wonder what his impressions are, how it's all affecting him this week.

    I also notice most front pages are going with the Kate in the car photo Wednesday, only the Guardian I believe has the President and Queen shaking hands. My hunch is Kate will hate to see that and I wonder how the others in the family honestly react to it, not to mention the BP press office.

    On the order, I always wondered if those sourced articles were a deliberate leak to try to nudge/remind the Queen ahead of the banquet, and sometimes in those instances she's been known to dig her heels in, if she feels she's being "pushed" toward something.
    Is it at all possible that Kate has the order and chose not to wear it? Anyone know if it's "required" to be worn at a state banquet? Expected yes, but would it be unheard of not to wear it?

    Claudia

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    Replies
    1. I’ve seen some speculating that because the portrait in the family order is done on ivory that Catherine might have decided not to wear it tonight in light of William’s speech yesterday and all. If this is the case it would have definitely been discussed with the Queen beforehand and approved by her.

      Personally, I think Kate simply hasn’t been given the order yet and won’t be until she and William become full-time working royals.

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  48. I believe I may one of the few that did not like her choice of dress. The color is divine and favors her but the cut of the dress is too dowdy. To me, Diana pushed the envelope and always looked glamorous. This choice was too safe... Her hair updo also ages her.

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    Replies
    1. Watch the flying eggs 00:32, but I agree. Beautiful but very safe. (quick. Duck.) :)

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    2. As many have said - she can not win. I thought it very youthful, You wouldn't expect her to show up in front of the queen in a low cut tight fitting dress. NOT appropiate

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    3. Why do we always go from dowdy to low cut, tight fitting? Isn't there a whole bunch of middle ground in there?

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  49. So if the Chinese president doesn't speak English (I saw another news story refer to a translator), how does Kate converse with him at dinner? Sounds like my worst nightmare! I agree, she looks gorgeous tonight!

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    Replies
    1. It looked like Wang Huing, to her left (he was her escort into the banquet room?), spoke English. Just guessing.

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    2. I suspect he speaks some English, but perhaps not enough to feel confident making a speech in it.

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    3. They have interpreters. If you look at the pictures when everyone is seated there are a couple of people sitting behind the main quests in the middle of the horseshoe, those are their translators so that they can talk with their neighbours during dinner.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if the president did speak passable English, but decided to do the speech in Chinese for political reasons.

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  50. Hi Charlotte,

    Congratulations to, and a big thank you for, the informative and entertaining blog – it always is great to visit your site and it bears repeating how grateful I am that I found your blog.

    Meg: congratulations to your winning outfit – will you show off the prize when you get it? Bright smile your way.

    … and as to the Duchess of Cambridge: Somebody above used the expression “regal” and that was exactly what went through my mind when I caught the first glimpse of Catherine during the life stream – then came “breathtaking”, “stunning” and “simply perfect!”

    I might be the only one who does not bemoan the fact that the Duchess did not wear HM’s family order. But then, here’s a little tale that a spy-fly on a wall in Buckingham Palace whispered into my ear about a conversation between HM and the Duchess:

    HM: Dear, the red dress Is adorbs, but the tiara and earrings are just not enough accessories for the banquette. What do you think? The family order or some diamond bracelets?
    DoC: Hmm … the family order has a yellow ribbon, no? Yellow on the red dress? If it’s all the same to you I’d rather go with the bracelet.
    HM: Let’s make it news-worthy then: My wedding bracelet and my mom’s bracelet which goes back to my granny’s choker. There, news media, take that and run with it.
    [both laughing and rubbing hands … ]

    No disrespect intended, of course, and who knows, the spy-fly on the wall may just have been an imposer … :P

    Míol Mór :-)

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    1. I like your version of events quite a lot :)

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    2. Love this! Your imagination is tres fun!!

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  51. Was this William's first state banquet as well?

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  52. Personally I am relieved she did not have/wear the order. I have said it before and I will say it again, no pin holes in.formal gowns!!

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  53. MIOL MOR, lol, lol, lol

    I am going with your story. How cute is that? Maybe truer than we know. I mean if yellow would detract, gee, then no contest. :)

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  54. I'm somewhat surprised not to see the order - but when I reviewed what she's done since she married William (at the Duchess Kate Tracker) you realize she actually hasn't done any personal service for the Queen - she's accompanied William while HE has done service for the Queen. I think Malta was suppose to be an opportunity to serve and she had to cancel. Interesting. Perhaps we will see something come up on her calendar where she can do some service.

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    1. I m sorry Moxier but what about the royal tours they have been on. That is service to the queen. They are representing her. And the order is not for service anyway. Did you even notice that the queen and her sister received it from their father when the were in their teens before they could do alot of service.
      And IMO even if Kate does 1,000 engagements a year she would not have done enough for you.

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  55. Just read another theory why she may not have one - those orders are made from ivory! So yes, that's the Queen sitting there with ivory pinned to her dress.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh here's a theory (I apologize if this was already mentioned up thread)....perhaps she has already received the Royal Family Order but chose not to wear it due to the ivory factor?! Maybe the Queen was cool with it ;-)

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    2. From what I've read, they used to be made from ivory but no longer are.

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  56. Well, William cannot do it all on his own. Somewhere along the way Kate's contribution has been quite significant. And is this a good opportunity to propose a new blog? How about "The Duchess Kate Trackers Tracker". It might be fun for those who enjoy keeping track of numbers and productivity. ;)

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    1. I don't think the order is only about service to the Queen. The Queen and her sister Margaret both received theirs from their father when they were very young, before they were able to provide any service. I think it is at the Queens discretion when and if she gives it and seeing that none of her blood grandchildren have received it yet, it is understandable that Kate has not.

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    2. They did receive theirs as children. So, since it seems discretionary, and she doesn't seem to have it yet, that just gives us another thing to look forward to. We learned that the Queen let Kate wear those two bracelets. She might not have, had Kate had the RFO. Another little insight perhaps into her relationship with the Queen.

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  57. Rose from Montreal, Canada21 October 2015 at 01:57

    Absolutely stunning. Way to go Kate. Thanks Charlotte.

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  58. Rhonda - Wisconsin21 October 2015 at 02:07

    It was so worth the wait! She was absolutely was stunning tonight. I loved it all. I can only imagine the nerves she must have felt and she looks so calm, cool and collected. She is truly amazing in my opinion. Beautiful, just beautiful.

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  59. Thank you Charlotte for this wonderful post. I am so excited that Kate wore a red dress. You stated that State Banquets are one of the few occasions left for royal ladies to wear tiaras. It does seem that there are less tiara appearances than when Diana was Princess of Wales. Why do you suppose that is?

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  60. Deliah, Florida, USA21 October 2015 at 02:09

    AWESOME! totally brilliant! HRH knocked this one out of the park! I don't see how there could have been any improvement- flawless in every way! & Megs- congrats to you, I too voted for #24.

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  61. Kate was beautiful, of course. When I first saw a photo of her seated at the banquet I thought "if I was Kate, right about now I'd be second -guessing my decision to marry William"! The entire setting looked so intimidating to me. Thankfully for William, Kate appears to be up to the challenge.

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  62. Bingo,

    I think I have it. I think Kate does have the RFO. I really do. But I just listened to William's speech about Ivory trinkets, Ivory bracelets and such and how he says don't partake of those. I believe Kate chose not to wear it because of that. William cannot tell his Queen and her friends not to wear theirs but he can suggest to his wife not to wear it sitting next to the President of China after giving that speech.
    William might even have suggested to the Queen a new material for the Order other than Ivory for the future starting with the one the Queen would give Kate. It may be being redesigned right now. Wouldn't that be nice. Kate would have one of the first ones not made out of Ivory. Either way, I think she one.

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  63. Lovely coverage of the dinner! Thank you. Can someone tell me who is the lady in grey wearing a tiara (and possibly expecting) who arrives at minute 6:36 in the video (in the background on the right) and is also seen sitting down at minute 27:47 of the video posted? She is sitting in a very prominent position. I find her very elegant and beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Victoria, Oregon21 October 2015 at 06:25

      I was wondering the same thing, Anonymous 2:33. :) She really stood out in the "crowd." Beautiful dress and she seemed so elegant.

      Delete
  64. Wow. Have to say as much as we sometimes spin into darkness here we are lame. I just read some comments about our Duchess on a legit site that felt like a punch in the gut.


    Actually many of the comments were nasty.

    Makes me thankful for this blog and all the wonderful ladies here who are mighty fierce and opinionated but remain ladies.

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    Replies
    1. awwh. Thank you Anon. @ 02:45. I also think this is a nice place to share, learn and have fun. :)

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  65. She looks beautiful, regal, and appropriate for the event. But no wow factor with the dress. And I'm not wanting her to be sexy like entertainment folks , just interesting in a royal sort of way. Ok, like Mary.

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  66. CHARLOTTE,

    Thank you so much for this consistently excellent blog. It adds so much enjoyment to my life and I learn so much. Thank you. :)

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  67. Guys, I have a rather different question. Who is that beautiful lady in the grey gown at 18:02 with the striking tiara?Rebecca do you know who she is? Is she from the royal family? A lot of ladies are wearing tiaras in this banquet.

    Kate looked gorgeous with a capital G!! Necklace not necessary. The two bracelets and the tiara were enough.

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  68. hmmm i love the duchess looks lovely and glam in the red gown prince William speech was nice hmm seems our duchess loves the regally red gown suite her I love the she does not wear the royal family order mrs president looks lovely too and I love the seating arrangement too and I love the queen speech

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  69. What a wonderful post! I can't thank you enough! I had an incredibly stressful morning/day at work, and I was even more stressed as I couldn't be on Twitter looking at the photos as we received them in real time. Then I remembered you would have the perfect blog post with every photo and detail and trivia nugget I could wish for:) I can't tell you how much joy and calm energy reading this post has brought me:) I think Kate looked perfect tonight-I love her in red and I think the Lotus/Papyrus tiara was lovely on her! I also loved the video when William said "my daughter, Charlotte!" Thank you for a wonderful post! Today was truly an exciting day in Kate fan world:)

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  70. Love that color on Kate. With so much bling on her head and ears, I didn't think we'd see a necklace too. I love the different bracelets and their family history. They both suite Kate's style, and maybe we'll see more of them on future occasions. I thought she would go very modest on the neckline and the boat neck does just fine. I thought she might recycle but so excited that she didn't! Thanks Charlotte for all the hard work and fine pictures. Can't wait to see her tomorrow!

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  71. It really was an honor for the Queen

    to let Kate wear those bracelets, particularly the one on her left wrist. That was Phillip's wedding gift to the Queen made from diamonds from Phillip's mother's tiara. The Queen deemed it special enough after all these years and many other Jewels to wear it for her Diamond Jubilee portrait with Phillip. The engagement ring that Phillip gave the Queen consists also of diamonds from that tiara. sweet. And truly, a real honor for Kate to be able to wear it for her first state banquet. I don't know how often the Queen has worn the other bracelet but the fact that Queen Mary and the Queen Mum wore it says a lot. So Kate is wearing Diana's ring, the Queen Mum's tiara, the Queen's special wedding gift bracelet and Queen Mary's necklace/bracelet. I think someone holds her in high esteem, and rightly so. :)

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  72. the lady in the Ice blue gown and tiara reminds me of that pale blue and sparkle dreamy gown and dreamy tiara someone entered in the contest here. So similar.
    Who is that lady in the Ice blue?

    Also, what necklace is that that Princess Margaret is wearing in the photo above?

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    Replies
    1. Victoria, Oregon21 October 2015 at 06:05

      Anonymous 04:20, I was wondering the same thing about the lady in the Ice Blue!

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  73. I think tonight we are all very happy and this will keep us going for some time! I looked back on the ensembles we put together and a nod to all the ladies who have chosen red! You were spot on, but I think a special nod to Rachel for I think not only in color but also in style her dress most resembled what Kate wore tonight! Add the cap sleeves and voila. Well done Rachel.

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  74. Glad to see the positive comments tonight. I can be quite critical of Kate, however, I have no right to be, but it is human instinct.

    However, Kate looked FABULOUS! I loved seeing her in color, rather than the blues and grays. It definitely brought out her coloring and gave us something to stare at! Love the tiara, it is very "Kate", jewelry is gorgeous, and her hair looks good. Very happy to see it up and out of her face.

    Thank you Charlotte for the post and taking time out of your busy day to do such!

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  75. First of all, thank you Charlotte again for the little competition, and huge congrats to Megs!!!! Enjoy!

    Wow that's all I can say, when I read last night there would be a live coverage of the SB, I got super excited. I enjoyed every minute. It is always great to hear the Queen's English in action, especially as not a native speaker, lots of my students and myself would be happy to have her accent.:)))

    On fashion front, at first I was surprised that it is red, I thought it will be too much, pop out too much, and another lace gown. But after seeing it in motion, a wonderful choice it was. I loved it. She looked her best. I was shocked with the amount of blings. Maybe I wouldn't put on 2 bracelets but this is minor. She just looked regal, gorgeous, totally stunning.

    As did the Queen, but we know she always looks impeccable.

    As for the order, for all those who think she has the right or she deserves it, I think the Queen knows best. It is her choice whom she gives it to, why and when. On the other hand I do not think she didn't wear it because it didn't match with her gown. She will wear it lots of times when this will be the case.

    Lastly, Charlotte, I hoped you are prepared to the influx of comments, I wanted to bet on the final number but Kate has many, OK, 2 engagement days to come so maybe won't be that many. Still I say 600!! :)))


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  76. The winning gown is amazing.... And Kate's is lovely too of course! Thanks for this great post! Wouldn't it be great to just order bespoke Jenny Packham gowns for our next formal events ladies?! LOVE her designs...

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  77. Victoria, Oregon21 October 2015 at 06:05

    First of all, thank you Charlotte for such a quick and thorough post! As always, so informative.

    I love the Duchess' look for the State Banquet. Classic, elegant, sparkly... the perfect amount of bling for me. I’m so glad she had an up-do and gorgeous (and so appropriate) tiara. I haven't read many of the other comments yet, so this is my first reaction.

    As someone else mentioned, it really brought home her status for me seeing her seated next to the President of China at the head table, near the Queen.

    Ok, now to my nerdy comment. I love to imagine being there at the State Banquet– the atmosphere, music, food, etiquette, etc. I don’t know French and was curious what was on the menu. So, for anyone else who was wondering, this is what I came up with through Google Translate and some searching: (Please correct any mistakes you see ☺.)

    Turbot (highly prized flat fish caught in England’s waters) Filet

    Loin of Scotland Venison

    Sauce Perigueux: Rich, dark sauce usually made from beef stock, onions, butter, truffles, and Madeira wine

    Braised red cabbage
    Celery root (cooked in a fancy mold)
    Creamy potato casserole
    Salad


    Chocolate, Mango, and Lime Dessert

    Dessert Fruit

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  78. I forgot to congratulate on everybody, runner up, who came up with a gown, really great choices!!

    And a special thanks to Julia from Leo, being this creative, thank you, it was fun, big fun!!

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  79. Love her overall look. I'm glad she's wearing major jewelry. Though IMO she doesn't look too fresh, a little worn out. I guess it goes with being a mom with two young children even with a nanny. People have a lot of expectations and it takes a toll. She looks gorgeous and well put together but she looks a bit older.

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  80. On a different fashion sidenote, I found this article on Mrs. Peng and her choices:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3280964/Is-Chinese-lady-real-star-state-visit-Peng-Liyuan-exudes-elegance-cool-white-dress-suit-accompanies-President-Xi-Jinping-Buckingham-Palace.html

    I must say she looked stunning in her ivory suit, I loved her brooch very much, it is an adorable piece and a great pair of earrings. She also had a grey coat mixed with some fluffy blouse while having tea with C&C.

    Regarding Camilla, I always have a good laugh about her hats, but her coats and colour she chooses really complement to her. This last coat colour which was described like pea green, sage, fawn is just outstanding.

    I hope you don't mind this little off topic comment, Charlotte.:)

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  81. This is by far the prettiest dress I have ever seen her wear she looks like a true princess just glorious and radiant wow and I love her hair! She is gorgeous! Thank you Charlotte for another great post!

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