Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Duchess Dazzles in Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara for Diplomatic Reception!

We love nothing more than a tiara appearance here at 'Duchess Kate Blog', so naturally many of us were very much hoping the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would attend tonight's Diplomatic Reception. Thankfully, we were not disappointed...


A glittering Duchess and the very smartly-dressed Duke arrived at Buckingham Palace in a chaffeur-driven car.


Hosted by Her Majesty the Queen, the white-tie reception is one of the most glamorous events on the royal calendar with the royals donning their most formal attire - gowns, jewels and Royal family orders are worn.


There was quite the royal presence tonight with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Cambridges in attendance.


Below we see Charles and Camilla arriving. 


In a break with tradition (and perhaps due to the persistent pleading of royal fans) Buckingham Palace released a photo from inside the reception with the six senior royals. It's a lovely opportunity to see the monarch, two heirs and their spouses together at such a formal event - the present and future of the Royal family. Reporters described the decision to release the photo as "remarkable".


The Mail Online offered a brief rundown of everyone's attire. The breeches worn by the male members above have garnered a giggle or two :)

  • The Queen - Her Majesty wore the Belgian Sapphire Tiara and the George VI Sapphire Suite with an Angela Kelly dress, Garter sash and Royal Family Order.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall - The Duchess is wearing the late Queen Mother's Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara, also known as the Greville Tiara, Royal Family Order and a white beaded Burce Oldfield gown.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh - White Tie, and as a Knight of the Garter he wore the Order of the Garter, with Garter sash, with knee breeches.
  • The Prince of Wales - HRH wore the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the Most Honourable Order of the Bath and his diplomatic medals.
  • Prince William - White Tie, and as a Knight of the Garter he wore the Order of the Garter, with Garter sash, with knee breeches.

There are over 170 foreign missions accredited to the court of St James's in London (St James's Palace is still the senior palace and official residence of the sovereign). Each year Her Majesty throws a reception in their honour, and members of the Royal family in attendance make a point of meeting with each one. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed to the palace ballroom. At 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m high, the ballroom is the largest multi-purpose room in Buckingham Palace. It was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. It is used by the Queen for state banquets. Below, a look inside the ballroom at the 2015 state banquet William and Kate attended.


More from Rebecca English:

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

Tonight marks the third time the Cambridges have attended the reception. For their first outing in 2013 Kate wore a bespoke McQueen gown and the late Queen Mother's Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara. It was a very memorable event as it marked the first white-tie reception the couple had attended and Kate's first tiara appearance since her wedding.


Last year, Kate surprised us all when she elected to wear the iconic Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara for the reception.


Photos from the reception were not released, but thanks to the fabulous Our Queen at Ninety documentary we got a proper look at the tiara on Kate, and her very princessy icy-blue McQueen gown.


Kate's dazzling red gown and sparkling jewels need no introduction.


The Duchess wore the red sparkling cap-sleeve Jenny Packham she debuted for the Chinese state banquet last year. For that event, Kate wore it with the Papyrus Tiara and the Queen's Chandelier earrings. It's such a beautiful, flowing gown, it's lovely to see it have another wear at the prestigious diplomatic reception.


Tonight, Kate selected the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara once again.


The tiara, which is steeped in royal history and is so closely associated with William's mother, looks beautiful on Kate. It's a stunning piece and one I expect we'll see the Duchess wearing throughout her life. The tiara features elements of the Gothic Revival style. The circle of the Cambridge Lover's Knot is made up of a lower semi-circular band, set with a row of brilliant cut diamonds. Where two adjacent arches meet, a pillar-like structure is formed that rises up and ends in a round diamond, forming a diamond spike. There are nineteen diamond spikes of this nature and the size gradually decreases from the centre towards both ends.

Order of Splendor

A quick recap on the history of the piece: the sparkler was commissioned from Garrard in 1913/1914 by Queen Mary, Queen Consort of King George V, using jewels she already had in her possession. Mary wanted to have a tiara created based on the design of her maternal godmother Princess Augusta of Hesse, the Duchess of Cambridge's  'Lovers Knot Tiara', whence comes the name. The original was a striking piece, and back then, lovers knot bows were very popular, so there were several similar ones made.


After Mary died in 1953, the tiara passed to Queen Elizabeth II who wore it on a number of occasions in the early 1950's, but the Queen decided to put it into storage.


In 1981, the day before Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, Her Majesty gave her soon-to-be daughter-in-law a red leather box, and inside lay the tiara. According to various media outlets young Diana exclaimed, "I have Brenda's rocks", referring to a nickname the British press had given the Queen. The Cambridge Lovers Knot became her go-to piece, however, the princess found it quite heavy and headache-inducing - reportedly the reason she wore her family's Spencer Tiara instead. Following Charles and Diana's divorced in 1996 the tiara was returned to the Queen, as Diana was only able to keep personal gifts, not official ones, and as the tiara is part of the Queen's Collection it is classed as official. It remained in the royal vaults until last year when Kate wore it.

NPG

Most recently, the tiara has been remade for Netflix's excellent drama The Crown. Below we see Princess Margaret, played by Vanessa Kirby, wearing the Cambridge Lovers Knot. It's a fictitious addition to one of the later episodes of the series as Margaret never really wore the piece.


Kate teamed the tiara with Her Majesty's Diamond Pendant earrings, which she first wore for the Place2Be Awards last month. Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports: "This pair of diamond pendant earrings includes a pendant of separate stones hanging within a diamond frame. These appeared at the 2012 State Opening of Parliament, but have no publicly known provenance as of yet." I anticipate we may see Kate wearing these with some frequency moving forward.


The Duchess wore The Queen's Wedding Gift Bracelet (also worn at the 2015 State Banquet). Prince Philip gave the piece to the Queen as a wedding present. It is encrusted with diamonds from a tiara which belonged to Philip's mother. Kate also carried a red clutch.


An unforgettably regal look for the Duchess. Kate looked poised and confident - every inch the future queen. What do you think of Kate's look tonight? 

***********

In other news - William, Kate and Harry carried out two private engagements for the Royal Foundation yesterday. The trio attended a board meeting at 5 St Mary Abbots Place, and later in the evening a reception at Buckingham Palace. With thanks to Cepe for sharing the news!

Court Circular

The Irish Guards Band shared a photo of their Woodland Quintet who performed at last night's reception (with thanks to Scarfie). BP is looking very festive!


This morning, the Duchess received Julie Beatti from her patronage the Art Room.

Court Ciruclar

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

Finally, Emily Nash, royal reporter for Hello! revealed Pippa Middleton and James Matthews wedding will take place on Saturday, 20 May 2017 at St Mark's Church with the reception taking place at the Middleton family home in Bucklebury. There was much talk on possible locations for the nuptials and I think Pippa's choice of hosting for what promises to be the wedding of the year speaks volumes about her wishes for the big day. I imagine it will be a lovely day for family and friends to celebrate. 


You can read Hello!'s article here.

231 comments:

  1. Am I the only one who thinks it is disappointing that she wears repeats to such important events each year? Of all times, I would think this would merit a new dress. However, she looks beautiful as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, I'd love to see her in a new gown every time! Perhaps because she doesn't attend many of these types of events as yet, she can't really justify having a new piece made for each one. At any rate, I'm very pleased to see this red gown again. It is simply beautiful!

      Delete
    2. No, you are not the only one who thinks that such an important event is worthy of a new dress. I am all for re-wearing clothes, but at appropriate times. I was quite disappointed when she recycled at the elegant evening in NYC when they did that short visit several years ago. That said, the Duchess looks stunning, hair, makeup, jewelry - perfection.!!

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden8 December 2016 at 23:59

      The Queen and Camilla are wearing repeats. And this is not so much an occation for new fashion as it is a very dressed up diplomatic meeting. So from a fashion point, sure it would be fun. But it would not feel very fitting, especially not as she already has a tendency to pull the focus!

      Delete
    4. I assume this is all part of the image the Crown is wishing to show - not allowing Kate to upstage the higher up royals by having a new dress that everyone is going to report on and talk about. It's also been mentioned many times, Charles wants the royals to not appear they are spending too much $ by showing up in new clothing all the time. I think the red dress is lovely - if I owned it, I would want to find another occasion to wear it as well.

      Delete
    5. It is nice to see a new gown, but IMO the significance of Kate's jewelry trumps the gown. :)

      Delete
    6. there are only 3 occasions a year where this type of dress is appropriate.
      Inbound state banquets and the Diplomatic Reception.

      So buying a new dress for this type of event would not make sense. And the people in the room wont have seen her in it (exception being the Chinese Ambassador)

      Delete
    7. Hmm there's something about this look that doesn't really do it for me. Her hair in the front is all pushed back which makes the tiara look like an alice band. I love her chignon hairstyles but with a little bit of hair going down the side of her face.

      Wrt the dress, I didn't particularly like it the first time either. Dont get me wrong, the colour and elegance of the dress is gorgeous but I don't like the idea of capped sleeves on an evening gown. Something about capped sleeves just reminds me of a t-shirt and I think that there are so many other options that would work on a formal evening dress. Just my opinion.

      Tersha

      Delete
    8. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)9 December 2016 at 04:35

      I understand the repeat this evening for the reasons mentioned above. Also, what if they'd chosen to not release a photo.... it would've been a shame not to have a good look at a new gown.
      Everyone looked lovely. Love the breeches! LOVE the jewels!

      Shantel
      Minnesota, USA

      Delete
    9. Kate looks beautiful,. I don't care if it is a repeat. Am I the only one who is sick to death of negativity. She is gorgeous and she is there.

      Delete
    10. When Kate first put on Diana's tiara, that must have been a very emotional moment for Kate. That tiara has such historical import. Must have been an emotional moment for William.
      And, also Kate must have felt very cherished and special when the Queen offered her wedding bracelet to her. Can you imagine?

      Delete
    11. With the Queen and Camilla wearing repeats makes perfect sense.

      Delete
    12. Tedi, opinions about her dress are not negativity- just differing opinions from a bunch of different people.

      Delete
    13. I have thought of that more than once, 1720.
      It had to have been a little challenging for her with both items. It has to make William happy for sure that the Queen, "granny", has let Kate wear such a special bracelet also. Their bling tells such amazing stories.

      Delete
    14. Tersha. Honestly, I love the color of the dress, the skirt and the sparkly on the top, but the sleeves and the neckline make it seem like a schoolgirl uniform. It is way prim and proper. I don't like the gathers on the top at all. Very rudimentary and not the best tailoring effect. And the top with the severe hairstyle emphasizes the schoolgirl/school marm features even more. No more school marm, please. Kate does that a lot with her clothes and hairstyle. She needs a new hairstylist and stylist. No offense, truly, just expressing my sartorial opinions. She looked beautiful but she could have looked even more beautiful and more gently feminine. I envision the potential.

      SO happy that we got a photo. How historic is that? I agree that it truly does seem that someone in KP or BP reads this blog. This isn't the first "coincidence". If I were them I sure would read this blog,

      Delete
    15. I agree Anon 18:40. There just has been a lot of negative postings the last week, and it has been refreshing to have these past two blogs bring some joy back. I enjoy reading everyone's opinions, even if I differ with some, what I don't enjoy are hateful remarks. Thankfully they are a rarity here. But, as all are aware Charlotte had to delete and then request people to tone down their posts last week. We can't all agree, but we can be respectful of each other. :)

      Delete
    16. I agree Tedi, and not for one moment did I think you were referring to different opinions. I get it and I'm sure everyone does. :)

      If Kate needs a hairstylist with THIS look, then I suppose CP Mary should consider one as well, right? Ladies, this is a classic and timeless look, and, as Tedi said, she was there. Besides, how should she dress if she is there as the third senior royal lady beside the Queen and Camilla?? She's wearing a RED gown for goodness sake. If that spells schoolgirl uniform I'd like to know where folks went to school....and what they studied.

      17:20, this bracelet is a double stamp of approval...from the Queen AND Prince Philip. :) As I stated above, the significance of the jewels far outweighs the gown.

      Delete
    17. I wasn't talking about the color RF, but the pattern/design of the bodice, neckline, shoulders and sleeves. The color and fabric are beautiful. I just do not like the design of the top of the dress, not for a day dress, blouse and especially not a ball gown. That's why it looks schoolgirl to me.

      Delete
    18. I think they meant the dressmaker's pattern, not the color.

      Delete
    19. Thanks Royalfan, you are a gem ;)

      Delete
    20. Haha, royalfan. Schoolgirl, indeed. Some school.
      How can one simultaneously look like both a school girl and a school marm?

      Delete
    21. In response to your question 16:04.

      That's easy. School girl top. School marm tightly pulled back bun. As 18:40 said, "opinions about her dress are not negativity, just differing opinions". I like Kate and have ever since I found out about her way back in 2004. I just have some questions about this outfit, that's all.

      Delete
  2. This is only her 2nd time of wearing this tiarq, If I'm mistaken?? I wish we can get better footage from inside!

    ReplyDelete
  3. She looks gorgeous ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia from Leominster8 December 2016 at 22:19

      Forgot to mention Kate's outfit but I agree. I love that dress and don't mind seeing it repeated. Love seeing the Lover's Knot too, although I think I liked the 'swoop' in Kate's previous hairstyle.

      With the other ladies in white, this might have been a good place to reuse Kate's wedding reception second gown, which would look fantastic with the lover's knot but this is a quibble. The most important thing is to see the family together.

      Delete
    2. That's a great suggestion Julia but isn't it strapless so may not be appropriate to this type of event. I have no idea if that is true or not or what the dress code is but maybe that is why we haven't seen it or maybe its now locked up in storage for future generations as a part of history.

      Either way, I really like your suggestion. Maybe next year?

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 00:00

      Oh, I would like to see the reception dress again! It has such a nice skirt! Maybe with some type of "shirt" over. Could be a great base for interchangable tops! Maybe one day! But I like this red, and actually makes her stand out less than the other women so I think a good choice! :D

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 07:44

      Kate wore a shrug for the reception. It was very charming but too informal I would think for an occasion like this. But if there was silk remaining from the dress, a bolero edged with diamante would be lovely and give her a chance to reuse that dress.

      Camilla's is certainly a repeat several times over. I don't recall the queen's but others say it's a repeat. There is a lot of talk of royal finances at the moment, so I suspect we will be seeing a lot of repeats which is too bad but necessary. But in this case, we never had a good full-length view of Kate's gown and the tiara is different so it seems almost new to me. Such a beautiful skirt.

      Delete
    5. Julie from NC-- there's video footage on Youtube from the 1992 Diplomatic reception with Diana wearing a strapless white gown, so i think Kate should be fine:)

      Delete
  4. Very nice! I think these earrings must be in her possession now. Does she seem to be wearing the tiara further forward than the last time? It looks better this way, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's a link to Kensington Palace IG site with full views

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BNxVBB_AXXf/?taken-by=kensingtonroyal

    ReplyDelete
  6. I will be sailing in an hour but saw the photo on Daily Mail of the "magnificent six" posing for the first time at the Diplomatic Reception. I thought Kate looked gorgeous and the close-ups of her face with her smoky eye makeup--beautiful!!! A great way to begin my voyage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zora from Prague8 December 2016 at 22:01

      Have a great voyage, Valerie! :)
      Thank you for the lovely post, Charlotte! Kate looks so beautiful and regal in the photo of the six senior royals!!! It's really great we can see the picture. What exactly are the gentlemen wearing? Is it connected with the Order of the Garter?

      Delete
  7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE, the group picture!!! How many times we complain that we can't see her whole dress, or we can't see pictures inside! They really need release more pictures of the Queen and the future Kings!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Saw some great pics on Twitter. That Packham gown is absolutely stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Theresa - Austin, Texas9 December 2016 at 14:21

      Which twitter accounts?

      Delete
  9. Hello magazine has a photo of the royal family altogether. The men are all wearing knee breeches and except for Prince Philip, look extremely self conscious!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful post as always! But do you know (or have an opinion on) why Kate doesn't have the Family Order?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Any insight as to why Kate still doesn't have royal order? I love her dress. And of course, that tiara is just stunning!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same. She should have it as Sophie has one

      Delete
    2. The Royal Family Order is made from ivory. And one of the biggest points on Will's agenda is stopping the ivory market. If Kate gets the RF order made from ivory, it will make Will look like a biggest hypocrite.

      Delete
    3. I think, but I could be wrong, it took Sophie 10 or so years to get hers. The queen waits a while and makes sure you have a lot of enegagaments under your belt before you get one.

      Delete
    4. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 00:01

      Sophie got it after 7 years as a royal I think. (2 years after going full time)

      Delete
    5. The RFO is a gift from the Queen and represents particular affection and family ties.As most gifts, it is not a service award.
      I've never read in any official BRF communications any reference to "full-time, part-time" royal."
      Camilla received hers two years after her marriage to HM 's son and heir.
      I believe. Sophie is married to another son. Catherine is married to a grandson.
      All those other ladies have been in the family for years. It is a family token, not an OBE. It is not earned by deeds. It is not about the succession, obviously.
      I do think the ivory question may be a factor with Kate's wearing one.

      Delete
    6. I agree 15:54 and those considerations change completely the complexion of the situation. Unless they have retired that custom, Kate should have one. The only other deciding factor would be the Ivory. I think they may definitely be re-thinking the Ivory. They would have to, don't you think?

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 07:53

      The ivory issue will have to be dealt with. I would think enamel might be the most likely possibility, it would look almost identical, although cameos have been used in the past. Or they might go quite modern with rock crystal. There are many choices.
      There is no such thing per se as a part-time royal but Kate's duties are viewed as very light right now by the public, so it is circumspect not to give her the queen's order at the moment. Technically, it hasn't been given for royal work in the past, the queen got hers quite young, I believe, but today there is a link.

      I don't think it will be too long through, as I would think the queen would want it granted in her lifetime. My feeling is it might appear on a tour with a formal event, that's when it was given to Diana. But neither of the tours this year had a suitable occasion. So time will tell, but I'm sure it will happen.

      Delete
  12. What a joy to stop by this afternoon and see this! Kate loved perfect - everybody looked great, but Kate in read with those gems stole the show.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a nice surprise to actually see a full length picture of the royal family. Kate looks beautiful and this dress is really nice and festive for this time of year.

    I had to giggle at the expression on William's face in the picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 00:01

      Haha yeah. I think he's still not gotten used to the breeches.

      Delete
    2. My vote goes to Charles or DOE as best looking in breeches and garters.

      Delete
    3. William's expression is priceless!

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 07:55

      I agree, William is a big man, and that is one look I think looks better on a man with a slighter build. It is such an honour to be able to wear the garter though - and hopefully, for the sake of those who have earned it through their services to the nation, the royal men who get it as a matter of course, will feel the honour.

      Delete
  14. Can you give us any information about what that men are wearing? I have never seen them in pants like that. I wonder what the background is on their outfits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_uniform_and_dress_in_the_United_Kingdom

      Delete
  15. Julia from Leominster8 December 2016 at 22:12

    First of all, I love the banner. Many thanks to Mr Charlotte for an excellent effort.

    I'm thrilled by the group photo and agree with Emily. First, of all, I'm just delighted to see the photo. It's one for the history books and with the queen and Philip not young, while I hope both will see the big 100 or more, it's important to have photos like this.

    But I see two even more important reasons. I agree with Emily that they should release more photos like this. It gives continuity. The royal family can seem strangely disconnected from each other, and especially recently. Whether it was the service for the Prince's Trust, or the celebration for Princess Alexandra, we don't see the whole family uniting. We don't even see Charles and Camilla at these events. Yet, I think the continuity of the succession, of the present, the immediate heirs and the future heirs is extremely important. A photo like this really brings that out.
    I also think it is extremely important to show what the monarchy does in every way. Nothing is going to convince those who don't want a monarchy, but there is not always clarity to those who are on the fence, who like the idea of a monarchy but are't certain what the purpose is, this gives a sense of the diplomatic role. At a time when the Internet is full of rubbish and the main topic on royals is Meghan's necklace or Charles' letter to donors, more attention to actual royal work is vital in my eyes. And allowing this photo where none was taken before is a great new precedent. I hope to see William and Kate brought in more to traditional duties because that brings the greatest possible attention to what those duties are.

    As for Pippa's wedding, if true, it is much as I thought, a family wedding in the local church as would be most traditional. It used to be said not to be good luck to marry in May but I must say my in-laws were married in May and had over sixty years of happiness. So, to put it not too elegantly, I think that superstition is a load of tosh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, there's more to the news than Meghan's necklace....... their matching bracelets. :)

      The DM had Saturday photos of an apparent security person outside Meghan's prior to Harry's arrival there Sunday. Security, Royal and local, would have had to know about Harry's "change in plans" considerably in advance, and apparently, so did the DM, unless they have photographer outside Meghan's now just as a matter of course. Pippa is managing to keep a low media profile these days. Perhaps Meghan should try to do the same, as much as possible.

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster9 December 2016 at 00:27

      Exhaustion getting the better of me. I meant the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme.

      The men are wearing the formal dress relating to the Order of the Garter. Note that they're wearing the ribbon of the garter as well as the garter itself. I'm sure Charlotte will come up with the correct terminology for this.

      Love to have a chance to see Kate's skirt. The flow is very beautiful.

      Delete
    3. Agree, Julia. Seeing what royals do and making it public is the way you get people behind you. Not hiding away.

      Delete
    4. William's expression is priceless!

      Delete
    5. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 07:58

      Yes, if Meghan is concerned about too much press attention, she is certainly going about things very oddly, with the bracelet and necklace and her dog (a charming fellow) in the coat.

      Delete
  16. Thank you so much Charlotte for this wonderful surprise post although we were keeping our fingers crossed hoping for it. Kate as usual looks wonderful. I am so thankful that we are getting information of their activities meetings and receptions and receiving someone from her patron Art Room, even though nothing was announced in advance. I am sure a lot goes on behind the scenes that we know nothing about. This should tell the ones who are disappointed at no engagement announcements that we can't always be disappointed when nothing is announced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so true Rose. I had no idea she was doing those activities.

      Delete
    2. Touche Rose! cc

      Delete
  17. She and William look wonderful. One quick thought, I wonder how it was worked out that she would not wear gloves as the Queen and Camilla due to many events? I wonder if the etiquette "rules" have changed over time so that for those under 50 the gloves rules just do not apply anymore? It mainly struck me in this group goto as everyone was decked out with all the bells and whistles:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana attended banquets without wearing gloves and I've seen Sophie without them. A combination of etiquette and generational differences, I guess.

      Delete
  18. First, a huge thank you to whom ever decided to release the photo. I think Catherine looked lovely but first place in the dress department goes to Camilla. Also I love that the men are wearing garters.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The women are beautiful, and the men are handsome, except for the knee breeches. Knee breeches can be nice looking on little boys, but (in my opinion) they are not flattering on adult men. I cringed when I saw that all 3 had to wear those breeches. Straight-leg trousers would be more comfortable and far more handsome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 00:04

      I actually think they pull it off. It gives it almost a fairytale look and that works very well with the royal family!

      Delete
    2. I really dislike the breeches and William looks like he's embarrassed and about to laugh out loud as if he knows it's just so out-dated and would rather be wearing trousers. And the shoes? I'm trying to figure out if they are slip-ons or what? Are they wearing knee-high tights? Kate looks beautiful as always. I think I prefer her wearing a single large diamond bracelet as she is this evening.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Rebecca. Evenings such as this are all about traditions and pageantry.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:01

      I prefer the single bracelet too.

      Those are court pumps for the men. I'm with Rebecca in liking the traditional court apparel, especially considering the meaning behind it.

      Delete
  20. Is it me or do others think its about time the Queen honors Catherine with the Royal Family Order?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree 100% she deserves it. She should have had it by now

      Delete
    2. The queen doesn't just give those out, you have to do a lot of events/work for her. Technically, Kate hasn't. So I would think that's why. I believe it took Sophie 10 or so more years to get hers from the queen.

      Delete
    3. It's not just you. :)

      Delete
    4. Since Kate is a senior Royal. She should have one. She is a future Queen and has given birth to the third and fourth in succession to the throne. She does do engagements. She has been there for William for fifteen years or so. She has meshed seamlessly, no drama, into their family and her royal role. She did not waiver at the thought of having POTUS and FLOTUS over for dinner or sitting next to the leader of China at a powerful State dinner, or meeting various other world leaders, etc. She's done some hefty things and gracefully. Unless William and the Queen have decided that the custom is outdated, then perhaps she has been given the wedding bracelet to wear instead and have available in her private rotation. It will be fun to note if the Queen wears that again. If not, it might be Kate's already. Anne may want the bracelet to be showcased on a senior Royal rather than on her or Zora. That bracelet is a HUGE statement.

      Delete
    5. The Royal Family order is a memento and is given to royal women at the Queen's discretion. The Royal Victorian Order is for service and there are grades of it apparently. I'm not that up on them. That's where the sartorial splendor blog comes in! So, the Queen has not conferred either on Kate yet. Why she hasn't got the royal family order I don't know; however, I think I do know why she hasn't got the other. :)

      Delete
    6. I really believe that the ivory aspect is a huge issue. Maybe they will wait until Charles is king and new ones without ivory will be made. Also no one of the second generation has received one, that is the grandchildren. That could be a problem that HM does not want to navigate. Argument with blood princesses as so forth.

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:11

      Warning, this is a frank comment. To put it bluntly, these days royal orders aren't push presents. They are based today on royal work and Kate at this point has not carried out extensive duties. (This is a statement of fact.) I do think it won't be long though, as the queen will want to grant it in her lifetime.

      Having said this, Diana who did masses of work, some of it extremely important for the times, never received the the Royal Victorian Order, while Camilla, who has carried out comparatively few duties by comparison, did receive it. I've always felt that was for ummm services rendered to the Prince of Wales, to be a bit vulgar, since there is no other explanation for the discrepancy in more conventional royal duties.

      Delete
    8. Julia, you have really surprised me with that remark. If screwing an heir is the only requirement, Kate should have one too.

      I can think of an explanation. The Queen did not like how Diana publicised her relationship with her husband and the royal family. That's how we all know how bad it was, but my guess is the Queen does not view it the same way we do. My guess is she thought it was appalling how Diana was washing her dirty linen in public. Camilla, for all her faults, has discretion locked down. T

      Delete
    9. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 21:42

      I truthfully think Charles pushed for Camilla to have that honour to show royal acceptance. The amount of work Camilla did at the time she received it would not normally have supported that honour for any royal lady.

      If it was truly based on service to the monarchy, I would have expected Diana to have it well before there were any revelations made by her. And during that period, there were a number of remarks of Camilla that were made public, mostly about Diana's mental state. I don't consider her discreet, at least during that time.

      With her work with AIDS and her work with so many different areas of concern, from young to old, and the freshness and relevance Diana brought to the monarchy, she was more than entitled to the Royal Victorian Order. While there were revelations on all sides, and the divorce was handled badly by everyone, I don't think the monarchy would be in a good position today, if Diana hadn't existed. My guess is because the marriage was known to be rocky, the queen decided not to honour her or Charles may have vetoed it.

      So this is an area we can agree to disagree. Over on From her Majesty's Jewel Vault someone suggested that Camilla has earned acceptance at least in Britain, but I can't agree. I would say more people tolerate her but there is little or no affection for her by most. I don't set huge amounts of importance by polls, but her poll numbers have been consistently abysmal, right down with Andrew in recent times.

      Delete
    10. Julia, when Camilla was given the Royal Victorian Order, I felt it was the Queen's way of helping Charles to have his wife and second marriage seen as having the Queen's blessing. It was more about the long term survival of the monarchy than it was about this woman. I mean TWO years and Diana never received it? Come on. I assume it was withheld since Diana was not prepared to go along with the farce of a marriage and tolerate the "discreet" Mrs Parker Bowles.

      Delete
    11. I can understand Charles influencing the Queen far more than I can understand her getting it for services to Charles. Matter of fact, I can see Charles asking his mother to legitimize Camilla more. However, she still would not have got it had she not been working on behalf of the monarch. Which she has done. Diana went rogue too often, and the AIDS is a good example. They didn't want her to champion that; it was too controversial at the time. All that being said, I'm surprised she never got it. On that note, I'm out.

      Delete
    12. Diana said directly and specifically that Charles wasn't qualified to be king (in her opinion). If that didn't disqualify her I don't know what would. And even in the early part of their marriage, I think the Queen knew that Diana didn't really consider herself as part of their family. The Queen probably knew, that as far as the monarchy was concerned, Diana was an unknown quantity.

      Delete
    13. Julia from Leominster11 December 2016 at 19:46

      Only out on this thread, bluhare, I trust, and I will happily close the subject. This was a sensitive point with me as long ago, I was waiting for Diana to receive the Royal Victorian Order and it never happened.

      Delete
    14. Only on this thread, Julia. I only jumped in as your initial comment surprised me.

      Delete
  21. How come Kate isn't required to wear gloves like Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cornwall? Maybe it isn't a requirement, but I see the older royals wearing them and the younger do not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, Duchess of York gave an interview and stated that she wore gloves because her hands hurt by the end of engagements from shaking hands (even though everyone is instructed to shake gentle and not "pump" the hand multiple times), she shared this as a tip from the Queen. Perhaps we will see the Duchess of Cambridge wear gloves as she takes on more engagements (multiple public and private engagements in the same day as the Queen does) and ages. I could understand Sarah's comments in light of the fact that Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cornwall are senior citizens. I guess I never really thought about hand strain and the repetitive motions involved in a handshake but it makes sense.

      Delete
    2. Gloves are no longer compulsory at white tie dinners like this I think. However, I think Kate should have had a pair of opera length gloves on. Personal preference.

      Delete
  22. Beautiful! It is great that she is wearing the dress again and that we can really see how it shimmers and flows down. So special that she is wearing the crown special to Diana! Can someone tell us why everyone else in the picture has a sash except for Catherine?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She hasn't been given the royal family order yet.

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 00:31

      Thatäs actually not it Anon 23.45. The family order is just the yellow brooch ribbon. The blue sash Camilla is wearing is for the Royal Victorian Order and the others are wearing the sash for the Order of the Garter.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the clarification Rebecca :)

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:13

      I suspect the sash of the Royal Victorian Order will be some time in coming. The queen's order will appear first. Other royal families give out orders and sashes more freely. (There was a recent exhibit of orders in Stockholm, very interesting.)

      Delete
  23. Catherine's simplicity and elegance are what makes her beauty radiate. Even against all of the sashes, jewels and badges, she stands alone as a regal sight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, 22:36. She's a beautiful young lady and, together with her personality, the surroundings have some serious competition. :)

      Delete
  24. I am sure I am in the minority, but as lovely as the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara is, I am not a huge fan of it on Kate. I much prefer the Papyrus Tiara on her - it looks much lighter and more youthful and whimsical than the Lovers Knot. But of course, Kate looks stunning and I'm glad to see the red Jenny Packham dress again - it is gorgeous and definitely one of the colors she wears best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, while I do like this tiara, it does look "heavy" on her, I think because it's so large!

      Delete
    2. I agree Jenna, the Papyrus Tiara is my favorite on Kate too. But while I love seeing her in red, I'm not a fan of this dress, the cap sleeves and high neckline give it too much of a twee look imo.

      Delete
    3. I agree as well. I think the Papyrus looks great with the diamond earrings.

      Delete
    4. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 01:19

      I also think I like the Papyrus more on her so far. But might just be that she hasn't landed on the perfect hair for the Lovers Knot yet. Either way I like that she has both in her rotation (I saw it noted that the CLK now has brown velvet piping so it seems it's here to stay as hers!), and it's a bit more of a big gun. I still hope we get to see her wedding tiara again :)

      Delete
    5. The Greville tiara is larger than the Queen's!

      Delete
    6. 15:59, yes it is! :) Camilla does enjoy playing the part.

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:20

      Camilla's hair is larger than the queen's! Size isn't the status issue with tiaras. Camilla tends to feature large jewels - and lots of them.

      I've never cared much for the Greville and some of the queen's tiaras have a much longer history. (Not the one she is wearing here though which is one of the newest. She has used it a lot lately, so I'm wondering if there is a comfort factor. The necklace it was made from is old but without close connections to the crown.)

      I loved the Lover's Knot on Diana because she had a very romantic style that suited it, but it has great symbolism for Kate to wear so I'm glad to see it appear.

      Delete
  25. Jenna,
    I think it might help if Kate wore the tiara more horizontally and more up front on her head and with a hairstyle that isn't so severe. I think it could look really good on her if she would loosen up a little and be a little more fru fru.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! The lack of fringe looks quite harsh and too much of forehead for my liking. Ages Kate as well. The other time with a fringe I thought looked really lovely.

      Delete
    2. I don't think it is the tiara either. It is the hairstyle and the positioning. Just-the-right pearl earrings would look so much better. And I hope she wears that diamond and ruby necklace this season, with her hair up in a pretty and flirty updo. The necklace she wore with that one-of-my-favorites black velvet dress is the one I would like her to wear again. She's gotta know that if the Queen has let her wear her wedding bracelet and Hyberdad necklace, then the rest of her Jewelry box is pretty much available to her also. Hopefully she will wear something new from there. I think the Queen would be really happy to see many of her pieces out and about again. She needs help to wear it all. I'm available. :)

      Delete
    3. One reason she may not choose to wear pearl earrings with this tiara is because Diana did. Given how much Diana comparison goes on with the tiara, can you imagine the comments if she wore similar earrings?

      Delete
    4. Perhaps Kate felt wearing pearl earrings as Diana did would be inappropriate.
      This way, there is more of a distinction between Diana's tiara appearance and hers.
      anon 16:58...that was an amazing look-the black velvet gown and jewels. I had thought that necklace would make a remarkable tiara.

      Delete
    5. I don't know. Wearing pearl earrings with a tiara that has pearls wouldn't be copying Diana, unless she wore ones very similar to the ones Diana wore. She has done that before.

      Delete
  26. They look great. It is interesting to hear how unprecedented this kind of photo is.

    Charlotte or other readers, do we expect a Christmas/holiday photo of the family to be released? I sure hope so, but it is getting close! When was it released last year?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Many thanks Charlotte for another quick and informative post. I Have to say she looks simply stunning tonight, the hair swept back more off her face and the positioning of the CLK seems to give her a softer regal look reminiscent of an early Elizabeth (maybe she's been watching "The Crown" too!).
    It's fantastic to see the "magnificent six" line up, and as Julia and others have commented, it's important that these photos record for posperity the continuing link through the family. Still a little bemused by Catherine still not awarded the Queens honour and sash etc... but the diamond bracelet is their as a significant display of affection I'm sure.

    Loving your flashing banner too Charlotte - i've not commented in a while but I thought your last post covering Christmas and all things Royal was a lovely start to the seasons festivities. I love this time of the year too and so wish you a great Christmas, flashing lights et al!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. D, you KNOW she is watching The Crown! Who in her position wouldn't? LOL

      Delete
  28. It's my understanding that the Diplomatic Reception dress code is white tie, national dress for the guests and the royals interpret that to be a version of old court dress (breeches, etc) for the men and formal wear (with long gloves) with as much bling as they can carry for the women. Since the late Queen Mother's day, if not before, the royal women have been wearing white to this event. I was really surprised to see Kate in red. As to the lack of royal order, I suspect that it's because Kate's still working part-time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting about the Royal Women wearing white. Kate has not worn white and maybe it is one way to show another level between the third in line and the Queen and next in line. Who knows, we will see in the future if Kate starts wearing white after Charles becomes King.

      Delete
    2. White tie does not mean literally you have to wear a white dress. The queen and Camilla have both previously worn color to this event.

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:26

      Royal ladies often do wear white but there is no requirement that I know of. (However, for the opening of Parliament, when that day comes, I would expect a white gown. Diana did wear a creamy one once, but white is traditional there.)

      Kate wore pale blue previously to the diplomatic reception. I suspect colour may be more a personal preference than anything. The red is quite festive for the season.

      I suspect one reason the queen wears white a great deal is it allows considerable variety with her jewellery. But it is very regal-looking too.

      Delete
  29. Kate may not have a Royal Family Order yet but the fact that she wore, for a second time, the Queen's wedding bracelet that Prince Phillip designed from his mother's tiara speaks volumes not only by the Queen but by Prince Phillip. Prince Phillip's family history adds an extra poignant provenance to the bracelet. If he didn't want Kate wearing "his" bracelet she wouldn't be. But she is and that's a very special honor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really doubt that Catherine would wear the family honour as it is ivory and we all know how William feels about that.

      Delete
    2. I agree. I think the fact that Kate wears this bracelet (and it's more than twice, can't remember if it's 3 or 4 in public) says all you need to know about her relationship with the queen and Philip. It's not part of the crown's official collection, it's a private piece. The queen and Philip must be very fond of Kate indeed.

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:31

      I'm sure they are fond of Kate, but watching the loans to Kate and to Sophie, who the queen is also very fond of, I would say the queen is mostly loaning out things she doesn't wear often anymore. An exception are Kate's earrings which the queen did wear recently, but only once. They may have been a gift she doesn't mean to wear regularly.
      Ultimately, Camilla will have the first pick of what to wear of the queen's jewels. Since she has many of the Queen's Mum's at her disposal, it will be interesting long term to see what she wears. I would like to see her leave the Girls to Kate but time will tell.

      Delete
  30. I'm disappointed she wore the same dress, not that it isn't nice, I just would have liked to see something different :) I wish, if is going to wear the lovers knot tiara, she's would wear pearl earrings with it, I think it would pair really well :) does anyone know why tonight it was "knee breaches" for all the men? Vs last year when everyone wa sin tuxes? Just curious :) I know it's tradition, but I'm not a fan of the breeches, personally. I also noticed she wore just one bracelet, instead of two like last year. Maybe because that one was her first she wanted to go "all out" last year.

    Charlotte, I love this Merry Christmas banner! I
    I've how it changes colors too! Great job:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the Diplomatic Reception this form of dress is always worn. the video shows knee breeches very clearly..

      This is Formal Court Dress.

      At State Banquets, it is White Tie - tail coat and f/l trousers.

      Delete
    2. You are mixing your events. This is the Diplomatic Reception. It's held every year near the end of the year. The Cambridges have gone multiple times. The royal men wear the tux, white tie and breeches every year. The red dress Kate wore previously was to the State Dinner for China. It was the first and so far only State Dinner that they attended. The men wear regular pants with their tuxes.

      Delete
  31. So nice that they confirmed about Pippa's wedding. That had been printed before but not confirmed. So happy she is keeping it real and homey. What a beautiful wedding and reception it will be, no doubt. That country side there is beautiful. I hope we get a lot of photos of the wedding and the reception. Hope George and Charlotte are in the wedding. Where do you think they will go on their honeymoon? Eden Rock, or to the family home in Scotland, or someplace else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad Pippa's wedding will be a simple family affair. I'm sure it be a beautiful country wedding:)

      Delete
    2. I believe the close family and friends attending part-that's a no-brainer.
      The rest of it sounds exactly like the wish list from a fan blog or reporter's imaginings. When Pippa, the Middleton family release the information under their name or the date is
      printed in the local newspaper, I will believe the rest. I can't imagine them
      giving out such personal details, however. The security issues in a backyard reception boggle the mind.
      Still going with a very private Eden Rock or Matthew family home in Scotland .site-and sooner, rather than later.

      Delete
    3. Charlotte may be too young, but I do hope that George will be part of Pippa's special day.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:35

      I don't think security should be too much of a problem, as Kate was there after the birth of George without incident. There will most likely be a marquee set up. What is being described is very traditional and tasteful, and is what I would expect for Pippa.

      Delete
    5. The traditional celebration of Carole's birthday on Mystique in Jan/Feb. seems like a good excuse for the gathering of friends and family. A short hop to Eden Rock? Her dress is ready, according to recent photos of the possible designer carrying a garment bag. I've never heard of a gown being fitted six months ahead of the wedding. Selected, perhaps, but this seemed a fitting.
      I wish circumstances Would allow for an idyllic country wedding. I think that ship sailed,once her sister married an heir to the throne.
      I think the Hello article was meant as a distraction. The use of a favorite fan scenario for the event a decoy to counter the designer entering Pippa's home with a garment bag pictures.
      There is also the possibility of a very private ceremony followed later by a more
      public reception complete with photos.

      Delete
    6. Regarding the post -George visit..other than the garden family photo, which was not announced ahead of time, I doubt they spent much pre-scheduled time outside. A reception outdoors would not only be well-known ahead of time (six months!), but also involve extended
      periods of exposure in the open, marquee or no, and crowd control. I seriously doubt the whole little country wedding scenario. It does sound like something Pippa would have written wishfully in her diary as a teenager or possibly in her book or one of her columns.
      Also-the guest list of royals could extend beyond the Cambridges. Other than Anne's Scottish getaway nuptials, (required as she could not marry in the CofE in England), I know no other royal or family member of a royal who married in a neighborhood church whose guest list included multiple heirs.
      Even if Charles does not attend, there are the three Cambridge heirs, as well as likely Harry. Perhaps Beatrice and Eugenie. Zara.

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster11 December 2016 at 19:37

      I would be very much surprised if it is anything but a country wedding. That is what is "done" normally in the circles the Middletons now move in, with the banns read in the traditional way. A London wedding in the parish Pippa resides in would be the other possibility but crowds would be as much at issue. Upper class families normally have weddings at the family parish church of the bride. Destination weddings aren't as common in those circles. Pippa could have a civil service at some approved location, such as a stately home but I think that's very unlikely.

      Diana's brother had such a wedding. Pippa is not a royal. Camilla's children likewise had similar weddings, with both Charles and William in attendance. William and Kate have attended a number of weddings of aristocratic friends, most of which have been held in the local parish church. There have been other parish weddings (the Westminster girls' weddings for instance) where multiple heirs attended without any issue. I think the queen may even have attended one of those. (I believe Charles may have boycotted one of them, due to issues about where Camilla would sit. They were not yet married.)
      Anne was married in Scotland because she was divorced, to avoid the need for a registry wedding and blessing. I have no idea where Sophie's brother was married; I believe he may have been married before she was.
      The Middletons have considerable grounds around their home. There is no reason why a wedding breakfast or reception held in a marquee wouldn't be private. There might be photos outside the church but there isn't likely to be any objection to that. It's quite traditional. I doubt that Charles will attend but you ever know. Zara strikes me as most unlikely. I don't know how close Beatrice and Eugenie are to Pippa but they are possible. It seems likely that Harry will attend.

      Like the song in Fiddler on the Roof says, 'tradition, tradition...' Because Jame's situation is far less certain, should he marry Donna Air, I think the Middletons will take advantage of being able to have a country wedding. I would expect the designer with a garment bag may well be a canard, although six months ahead for a bespoke wedding gown doesn't seem unlikely to me.

      Delete
    8. I guess time will tell. We'll see.

      Delete
  32. Rebecca - Sweden8 December 2016 at 23:57

    Wooooooooow! What a luxury with a proper picture! And great repeat of dress. The red is very pretty on her, and this is basicly the only room where red makes you blend in to the surroundings! I liked the dress very much last time, and this better picture seals it. It's a very pretty and elegant dress!

    I am very happy to see the Lovers Knot on her again, but even more happy that she is continuing to wear the Queens bracelet. I still cannot get over how big that loan is!

    And nice that she has a new pair of big gun earrings in her rotation. While I like her other ones more, the variety is nice!

    A little change in her hair as well. I think I like it. Either way, I like that she changed a bit.

    Always great to see them in these more traditional royal scenes!!

    And quite a few engagements (especially for William) with meetings in the CC this week!

    ReplyDelete
  33. The group picture is charming--I imagine the photographer's assistants trying to stifle giggles--
    WILLIAM: I hate this outfit.
    CHARLES: Suck it up, son.
    CATHERINE: Ha ha. You all DO look a sight.
    CAMILLA: I know, right?
    PHILIP: I didn't hear that.
    QUEEN: Stop that and carry on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lolllllll.......

      Delete
    2. PHILIP: She'd better remember she's wearing *my* bracelet!
      QUEEN: Carry on, Philip.

      Delete
  34. My my my! Catherine look stunning! What a regal look for such an important reception!
    Is it me, or does Catherine look a bit short? She's usually William's height when wearing heels, and in the "magnificent six" picture she's much shorter. I think she's wearing flats. But I wonder why...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia from Leominster10 December 2016 at 08:41

      I would be surprised if she was wearing flats. Kate isn't that tall, if you look at her next to William and the Obamas, both of whom are tall, although she is much taller than the queen. (Having just viewed some of the queen's gowns in the recent exhibits, she is amazingly petite - even when she was young. Her Hartnell gowns were tiny.)

      The fact Kate often wears very high heels gives the illusion of height. However, this dress was originally worn for the Chinese banquet where guests were shorter and she may have chosen lower heels for that reason. Bespoke gowns like this are always styled for the heels that are to be worn.

      Delete
    2. She would not have wanted to be taller than the Chinese leader at the State banquets so maybe the gown was designed for flats, although when she wore the lace Gucci to host he and his wife she had heels on so that wasn't a problem apparently.

      Delete
  35. Sarah Maryland USA9 December 2016 at 01:03

    Her hairdresser does a much better job with updos than when Kate wears her hair down
    I don't mind the repeat but hopefully at next year's reception we see something new!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree I don't mind the repeat either, although she could have chosen something else from her wardrobe and not the same dress she wore a year before. :(

      I agree and disagree with you about her hair styling, I think she looks like an old lady with this, it would be nice to see another hairstylist, lame and tired looks she makes.

      Delete
  36. People have been debating which tiara they prefer on Catherine, I think I prefer this one, I also think the hair is much more balanced with it than the last time she wore it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I agree with "Anonymous8 December 2016 at 23:44" re: the bracelet. For Kate to be wearing the Queen's "Wedding Gift" bracelet with the ties to Phillip's mother as well seems very significant. Has anyone else been granted the privilege of wearing it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden9 December 2016 at 01:58

      Not that we know of. When Kate got loaned that bracelet it was the first time someone other than the queen was photographed wearing it. Which is huge in it's own. But also, since the Queen wore it rather recently it's even bigger. I think this is the 3rd time Kate has worn it so it seems to be a long time loan. And a freaking big of that!

      Delete
    2. "...maternal godmother, Princess Augusta..." Did you mean grandmother?

      Delete
  38. That photo of Kate by James Whatling is gorgeous - she looks very serene. I'm also a fan of her hair off her forehead with the CLK tiara. A winning look all around tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm curious as to why Kate hasn't been given the order that Camilla (and incidentally many other minor female royals) have. It seems such an oversite to me as Kate is a future queen! What gives?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Well i dont agree the she wear the same dress in the formal dinner also known as dipolomatic events like these. I think good that she wore these thing again during the chinese diplomat dinner she only wear once i think its okay to recycle these thing as thing i love the cambridge lover tiara its seems its the favoritte.bof her late mother in law hmm as per the royal family order can seems to comment to that why she have a family order
    Hmm One morre. Thing i love the queen outfit Prince phillp. Looks suits is good prince charles suit smart thing the duchess cornwall looking regal Thing prince william looks. Good. In his haircut and good
    As. For meghan. Its seems she wearing the. Necklace pretty. Nice thing Maybe the. Gift for prince. Harrry
    As pippa middleton Maybe the realase the save date card good
    Last thing charlotte i love the christmass banner im sure will will all begin in festive way

    ReplyDelete
  41. Courtney from NC9 December 2016 at 04:44

    When I saw the picture on my phone, for just a moment I thought she had altered the dress. The way she is holding the clutch and where her arms are made it look like it was a dropped waist version. Or that the dress had been a skirt and top that was redone for tonight. I loved it. Then I realized with was just my imagination. Sigh.

    She looks beautiful and these earrings "fit" with this tiara much better than the more delicate ones. I don't mind that she wore the red again, simply because the cost of the gowns compared to the times they are worn gets the public questioning money. We have seen a blue and a red dress now, two times each. However, she wore different tiaras each time she repeated a dress and now different earrings with a different updo. This, by far, is her best look yet for white tie functions.

    ReplyDelete
  42. That is very sweet. You might think that Anne or Zora have worn it or maybe Sophie?

    ReplyDelete
  43. I knew Kate would wear this dress to the Diplomatic Reception! I was just looking at her in the pale McQueen the other day & thought, "I really wish she would bring out the red Packham from the State banquet, she needs a pop of colour!". So glad she did as she looks stunning...very refreshed & beautiful.

    Red is definitely her colour with her brunette hair & her smokey eye make up is gorgeous! As for the lover's knot tiara, I love it with the hairdo but I don't think it goes with this particular dress, nor the earrings. Pearl drops would've been perfect & the Papyrus tiara suits this dress better imo.

    The Queen & Camilla look fabulous & the men very handsome...not sure about the breeches though! Fantastic photo of the six of them, I agree with others that it shows continuity & we're lucky to get an inside look at this event & have a record of the three generations of royals.

    Thanks Charlotte for your excellent work & dedication to this blog & to your significant other for the cute flashing banner! Hope you both have a great holiday season with your loved ones. x

    ReplyDelete
  44. HRH looks absolutely stunning, the close ups are some of my favorite photos of her, her expression was so much more solemn at the state banquet she wore the dress at for the first time it is lovely to see her smiling. I think it says volumes the Queen lends her such substantial and meaningful pieces such as that bracelet. She looks regal, every inch a Princess and Future Queen. I wish they would take formal portraits in tonight's outfit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, I completely agree with everything you said. I am in awe of Queen Elizabeth and I too like it when she smiles! The lending of the bracelet is significant and heart warming at the same time. Kate looks stunning and a formal portrait would be nice. Love the addition of the James Whatley photo of Kate. It comes close to being a portrait shot and it truly captures her natural beauty. Looks like a lovely evening and a treat for us that they shared the photo of the "six". cc

      Delete
    2. His photo does come close to being a portrait one. If they were going to make the group photo a portrait perhaps their distance between each other could be closer.

      Delete
  45. What a pleasant treat to wake up to this morn! Everyone looked absolutely stunning. This may be my favourite Kate Diplomatic reception look yet. And what a radiant smile!

    Also thank you for sharing the court circular events and the photo of her attending the private reception last month. It reminds us that many jobs are done behind the scenes.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Julia from Leominster9 December 2016 at 09:53

    The Daily Mail has an explanation of what everyone is wearing, which I'm quite sure is wrong. They say the queen is wearing two orders, her father's and herself. But this isn't right. I'm sure the second order is her grandfather George V.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am not sure why I do not really think this dress works. The all red makes it very solid, perhaps the top of the dress requires a different style to make the dress less solid in appearance. Perhaps a slightly lower scooped neck line or maybe a boat neckline. It is great that we got to see this photograph.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a scoop neck would look less severe. I do like this outing with this dress better than the first though.

      Delete
  48. I love everything about this! Smiling at the photographer's, showing the beautiful tiara which is so gorgeous on her, the Queen's jewelry, beautiful gown and I love her makeup. And the men's breeches are so funny and cute.

    ReplyDelete
  49. It looks to me like the Queen may also be wearing the same dress, crown, and jewels that she wore to the Chinese State Banquet. If not, very similar. It is wonderful that they are humble enough to recycle these beautiful items. They all look great!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love everything about this! Smiling at the photographer's, showing the beautiful tiara which is so gorgeous on her, the Queen's jewelry, beautiful gown and I love her makeup. And the men's breeches are so funny and cute.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Why doesn't Kate wear evening gloves? The other royal ladies do and (based on watching Downton Abbey and the 'Manners of Downton Abbey' shows) I would think they would be required for a formal occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish she had had gloves. It was a night of tradition and pageantry, and would not have looked too much. Would have gone well with William's fancy dress.

      Delete
    2. Gloves would work quite nicely with her black velvet Alexander McQueen gown.

      Delete
    3. I love gloves with almost any gown. I hope she wears that dress soon.

      Delete
    4. I think opera length gloves look lovely with most any gown too. Royalfan, gloves with the strapless black McQueen would be the
      ultimate. Doesn't get much better than that.

      Delete
  52. Eve from Germany9 December 2016 at 16:41

    LOVE the Christmas banner, Charlotte, it really is so cute! :-)))

    These breeches, really, I wonder what the men were thinking while wearing them? Maybe what my colleagues used to say (back in the day, while I was working in Britain): Golden rule: Make a fool of yourself at least once every day! ;-))))

    The KP posts made me laugh out loud, I couldn´t help it! Could it be that someone over there is actually reading the blogs? First these photos from the dinner appear out of nowhere (the event took place on the 14th of November!), then these posts... Too much of a coincidence, IMO! Anyway, I´m glad someone seems to listen, a little bit of information and there you go! - most people are happy with this and stop "complaining" or "wondering" at once. It´s so easy....

    The tiara is a show-stopper, I remember well how much I liked it on Diana. Really a stunning piece... I have to admit, I was just a little bit disappointed (really just a little) that she didn´t wear a new gown to this special occasion. On the other hand, she stood out nicely amongst all those "whites" and looked very youthful. The picture with all three generations - really lovely!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. So very glad you added the picture from James Whatling. Had seen it on twitter and thought it really captures Kate's natural beauty....her eyes, her smile and her lovely English complexion, very beautiful. A very royal photo. While loved the color of the red dress, wasn't a true fan of the dress at the State dinner, but last night, she looked simply stunning from head to toe. The significance of all the jewelry is heart warming! She definitely is a stand-out in the photo of the "six", but what a wonderful treat to see them all together and on such a special occasion. Funny how one little gesture like the sharing of this photo of an otherwise private occasion can create such positivity, engender support and some understanding of the monarchy's role. These glimpses help connect them to the people they represent IMHO.

    As for the Royal Order, she will receive it in due time and when she does there will be no question that she earned it. She's every bit a "gem" for the Royal family. cc

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thank you very much for your comments. It's such a regal event and it was a treat to see the photo of the 'magnificent six'.

    I was clearing the 'Spam' folder and accidentally deleted three comments awaiting moderation. My apologies to the posters! This is what happens when I try to multitask :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. How exciting to see a photo this year! Thank you, as always, Charlotte, for the quick and thorough post!

    I think it's very interesting that the group picture was released and that details were given of some private engagements on the heels of the recent criticism about workload. It's been my position (and I certainly don't mean to beat a dead horse) that there was more of a public relationships problem than anything else, so perhaps the approach is changing!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Seeing the breeches, one understands why they were unwilling to be seen... :) Such un uncommon, old fashioned look! This look shows up the strength of British Tradition: wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good points, Paola.

      Delete
  57. The breeches. NOW we know why they never allowed photos before.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Valerie,
    In transit did you have time to read Charlotte's 12/5 page? There are some sweet sends offs for you and your furry friend.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Charlotte, I love the banner you have put up on the blog, with the Merry Christmas all lit up!! <3 <3 Thank You for these magnificent pictures,, it was lovely to see our Kate looking so lovely!XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  60. Sharon - Washington state10 December 2016 at 00:46

    What a stunning look. The Getty photo of her in the car is one of the best ever. I think the earrings go really well with the tiara. IMHO pearl earring wouldn't work as well. It might be just me but I find the comments on how much she works tiresome. We don't know what goes on out of sight of the media. But as always everyone is entitle to express their opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  61. From the look of things, one of the first things to go when William is King will be those breeches. lol

    ReplyDelete
  62. Cute banner decorations!

    Kate is smolderingly beautiful in her lovely red gown, with Queen Mary's tiara worn flatter and her hair out of the way. I think it is the best that tiara has ever looked.

    Kate's hands and arms are quite bare compared to the Queen's and Camilla's, even though her neckline is as high as theirs. She has never repeated her mistake of wearing a very lowcut gown to a Muslim dinner, but apparently formal court dress worn in the presence of the diplomatic corps from all over the world has been somewhat relaxed. Do I remember Diana wearing a strapless gown to one of those receptions? That may not have been approved! Camilla is almost more covered up and formal than the Queen.

    Kate has no family honor or order ribbon to wear. Yet that bracelet conveys amazing respect and affection for her, and of course the love of William's grandparents for him. I wonder whose idea it was to have Kate wear it to her early court occasions. I thought that this time Kate did not look nervous as she approached the diplomatic reception. Perhaps the rituals of royal life are becoming more comfortable for her, and for William as well, and the ambassadors are now acquaintances she is happy to greet.

    Abigail Adams described a palace diplomatic reception in the late 18th century, which involved standing in formal dress, feathers in her hair, for many hours to be greeted by royalty. The ambassadors and their spouses are treated a bit more gently today, though they still line the room and stand there waiting to have a few moments with the senior royals. Most of them must enjoy the chance to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I think William's eyes look so tired. I wish he would give-in and wear his glasses! He looks quite handsome in them! Everything else? Fabulous! DWLee333

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William does look smart in his spectacles.

      Delete
    2. I agree. He looks great in his glasses :)

      Delete
  64. Tammy from California10 December 2016 at 16:47

    I have so many things to say:
    1) Kate looks beautiful. I like the way her hair is swept back from her face and tiara, then, up.
    2) I am currently finishing up "The Crown" for season 1. I notice all the jewelry and especially that they show the queen with the earrings Kate is wearing in this post, often.
    3) I think what strikes me the very most, almost to tears, is that many things Kate chooses, brings together the Royal Family today, while keeping William's mother, Princess Diana, with them at many events. I am sure it is just unicorn, rainbow thinking on my part BUT,it makes me happy, so it's what I choose to think.
    4) I've never been a big Camilla fan, but have softened to her over the years. I have to say, when she is dressed up, she is a very pretty lady and her Honeycomb tiara is in my top 2 for favorite.
    5) I LOVE the Queen. She's my favorite historical person, someone I look up to as someone who has lived a very full life of duty. I think it's sweet that she often wears the Sapphire Suite that her father gave her.
    6) I notice that the Queen is starting to show her age more and more, everytime I see pictures of her. Tear, tear. God Bless her.

    ReplyDelete
  65. While Kate looked absolutely beautiful (love those earrings and that gorgeous tiara!!), I am a little surprised that she did not don a long sleeved gown. It is December, after all. That aside, she looked amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I don't think the older ladies are wearing long sleeves because of the weather outside-they are indoors. In her younger years, the Queen actually wore strapless gowns to
    white tie functions.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Just wanted to say this tiara looks so much better without the bangs!!!! I was wondering why Kate looked so much more fantastic than the first time she wore this tiara, and I think that is why.
    Gorgeous photo from James Whatling!!!! Thanks Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy from California11 December 2016 at 16:52

      Sophie: I couldn't agree more on the bangs!!!

      Delete
  68. Happy Holiday Season To All :) I've been traveling & this is my first peak in. I'm in a hurry to comment & can't wait to read everyone else's :) Kate looks Amazing! Radiant, Glowing & (to me) Eminating A Comfortable Level of Confidence That Just Enhances Her Beauty! It's Most Striking To See Her In The Red Dress From last yrs State Dinner! She Just looks like she's just so much more comfortable in her own skin & it translates to Beauty & Regal Grace. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sentiments exactly, Becca! Thanks for expressing them so well!

      Delete
    2. Happy Holiday Season to you too Becca, Zora, Charlotte and all blog participants!

      Delete
  69. I am glad Kate is not yet required to wear the sash and those pins with the orders. They are so undesirable looking and just overshadow the pretty dresses that the queen and duchess are wearing underneath. William looks like he is self conscious of being stuck in britches and garter--looks like he is holding back giggles.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Wow Kate looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just spectacular and gorgeous.

    Congrats to Pippa on her nuptials.

    Thank you Charlotte for your hard work and great post and Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I like the red dress at the State Dinner and still like it(a lot) here. Totally fine with the repeat, especially since she did a repeat the year before - and to the same event. Being the Christmas person that I am, I love the red as a nod to the season(though I am sure that was not intentional). I don't remember who suggested it, but her strapless dress with a little bolero jacket would be fantastic. With some sparkles and some great jewelry, she would look very classic and elegant. And Charlotte, tell your husband I love the banner! Not going to lie, I watched that flash before reading the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Regarding Catherine's gown, it is beautiful and appropriate to the occasion.

    I clicked on the family portrait and zoomed in to look at it more closely ... I must say that the bar of ribbons on Prince Phillip's chest is most impressive. It looks like it extends past his jacket lapel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia from Leominster11 December 2016 at 19:42

      At least some of Philip's ribbons were earned by him in the war. However, there is an amusing possibly apocryphal story, of Philip making some crack about a South American general who had a number of medals and ribbons and the man retorted "at least I didn't get them for marrying my wife!"

      Delete
    2. I think the Queen has awarded Phillip some of those with the thought that he is royalty in his own right as part of the deposed Greek monarchy and in regard to his many other direct heritage links to many of the Royal houses in Europe. He and Elizabeth are both third cousins from Queen Victoria, etc. That Prince Phillip, who is reported to have more Royal heritage than the Queen, has chosen to honor her by complying with the three paces behind thing is even more endearing. I don't know what each medal is for and most likely he did earn those knowing how busy he always seems to be. If anyone else has one of those medals I have a feeling that Prince Phillip did the same thing to earn his. It would be nice to know what each of those medals is for. And the Queen has said that his support of her is invaluable to her. He is her strength on this earth, second only to her faith in God, no doubt.

      Delete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published.

We ask you use a name when posting (a pseudonym such as the name of a royal you like or anything you wish). If you do not wish to use the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.