Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Duchess Sparkles in the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara, Dazzling Jewels & A Marchesa Gown for State Banquet!

It was a glittering evening at Buckingham Palace as Her Majesty hosted a State Banquet in honour of the Spanish State Visit of King Felipe and Queen Letizia. As hoped for, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were in attendance.


A smiling Kate arriving.


The Queen and Prince Philip posed for photos with King Felipe and Queen Letizia before the event began.


Earlier today, Her Majesty awarded King Felipe with Britain’s highest honour and made him a Knight of the Garter. Felipe has become a "Stranger Knight" or "Extra Knight Companion" of the prestigious Order of the Garter. The last foreign royal to be invested as a Knight of the Garter was King Harald V of Norway in 2001.


We do love a tiara event here at 'Duchess Kate', and given the rarity of white-tie events on the royal calendar the State Banquet offers a wonderful opportunity for the treasures in the royal jewel vault to be showcased. It is William and Kate's second State Banquet - their first in honour of the Chinese President took place in 2015. Tonight marks two milestones for the Royal family -  Harry's first State Banquet and reportedly Prince Philip's last ahead of his retirement later this summer. Reporters suggested the younger royals attended due to the closeness and history between the British and Spanish royal families. As children, William and Harry joined their parents for holidays with Felipe and his family in Majorca.


William, Kate and Harry joined Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Gloucesters, Kents in the Palace ballroom. The Duchess arrived with Spain's ambassador to London, Carlos Bastarreche-Sagues.


The royals take their seats.


The Royal Procession list.


It's very much a case of third time lucky for the Spanish State Visit which already had to be postponed due to political issues in Spain, and was postponed again this year due to Britain's snap election. The visit has been feted as another diplomatic step in continuing Britain's relationship with Spain as Brexit unfolds.


An enormous amount of planning goes into State Banquets, ensuring no detail is overlooked. According to the Royal family's website: "Preparations for a State Banquet begin well over a year in advance, but the final build of the State Banquet table starts around five days ahead of the arrival of the visiting Head of State. The operational arm of Buckingham Palace, The Master of the Household’s department take the main bulk of the responsibility for ensuring the Banquet runs according to plan."


The completed table features 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.  After the Banqueting table is put together, and the decorative display is delivered, unpacked and positioned in place, the final touches are added.


Sugarwork red carnations - the national flower of Spain - adorn the gold plates which petit fours were served on.


Preparations in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace begin as close to the event as possible — with every dish handmade from scratch. Every element of the State Banquet is inspected, checked and approved by the Queen, right down to the very last detail. Below, a look at the menu which included Scottish beef and dark chocolate and raspberry tart.


Ahead of the event the Duchess will have received notes on where she's sitting and who she will be next to. In order to avoid uncomfortable situations and to ensure all are included in conversation one speaks to the person on the left for the first course, changing to the right for the second, and alternating for remaining courses. 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 at Ninety: "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."


Prince Harry sat beside The Marchioness of Cholmondeley.


Rose and her husband David live a short distance from William and Kate's country home Anmer Hall. Kate and Rose are said to be good friends- last year Kate hosted a gala for EACH at their home, Houghton Hall.


Prince William sat beside Prime Minister Theresa May.


The Queen's speech:

'This State Visit is an expression of the deep respect and friendship that describes relations between Spain and the United Kingdom.  Just occasionally, a State Visit can provide an opportunity for great personal happiness also.  So it was, more than a century ago, when your great-grandfather, King Alfonso the Thirteenth, met his future wife, Princess Victoria Eugenie, the grand-daughter of our Queen Victoria, in this very ballroom.
The new Queen of Spain cemented strong ties between us, a link honoured by the service in the Royal Navy of your grandfather, Don Juan, Count of Barcelona.   
Prince Philip and I recall with affection the State Visit of 1986 made by your parents, during which King Juan Carlos addressed both Houses of Parliament.  His Majesty was the first foreign monarch ever to do so, which was a tribute to his role in Spain’s transition to democracy and acknowledgment that he was a King for all Spaniards. Your father spoke proudly about Your Majesty that day.  You had just come of age, swearing loyalty in your Parliament to the Spanish Constitution.  These years later, those duties are now yours, supporting Spain’s thriving democracy.  It is therefore altogether fitting that Your Majesty, too, has addressed our Houses of Parliament today. 
The relationship between our two nations is dynamic and modern.  We are NATO allies, striving together to improve security in Europe and across the globe.  Our armed forces are currently working side by side in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, led last year by Spain and now by the United Kingdom.  We remain deeply committed to the common defence and freedom of our countries.
There are so many facets to our shared experiences and close connections.  Indeed, the lives of our peoples themselves are more intertwined than ever before.  Thousands of Spanish students are studying at British universities, and Spanish scientists are working with British colleagues to tackle disease.  We are also significant investors in each other’s economies, with the United Kingdom being the principal European recipient of Spanish overseas investment.
A relationship like ours, founded on such great strengths and common interests, will ensure that both our nations prosper, now and in the future, whatever challenges arise.  With such a remarkable shared history, it is inevitable that there are matters on which we have not always seen eye to eye.  But the strength of our friendship has bred a resilient spirit of cooperation and goodwill. Your Majesty, our countries are reliable partners and friends. We deeply appreciate the significant contribution that Spain continues to make to this country and assure you of our enduring friendship in the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you all to rise and drink a toast to Their Majesties The King and Queen, and the people of Spain.'

An overview of the event.


In his speech, King Felipe said there been co-operation over security and he offered his condolences to the victims of the recent UK terrorist attacks.


A royal toast.


For Kate's first State Banquet in 2015 she chose her bespoke red Jenny Packham gown with the Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara, the Queen's chandelier earrings, and two bracelets on loan from the Queen.


Kate looked stunning tonight.


The Duchess added a touch of regal sparkle in the form of her new 'go-to' tiara - the Cambridge Lovers Knot. Of course, the history of the piece is well known to all royalists. It was the signature tiara of Diana, Princess of Wales. With Diana's 20th anniversary taking place next month, it seemed a perfect time for Kate to give a nod to her late mother-in-law.


A refresher on the history of the tiara: it 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  'Lover's Knot Tiara', whence comes the name. The original was a striking piece, and back then, lover's knot bows were very popular, so there were several similar ones made. 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

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 signature, however, the princess found it quite heavy and headache-inducing - reportedly the reason she wore her family's Spencer Tiara quite often.


Following Charles and Diana's divorced in 1996 the tiara was returned to the Queen, and it was widely believed it would remain in the royal vaults unseen for years if not decades. Thankfully, the Duchess surprised us all at the 2015 Diplomatic Reception when she arrived wearing it.


Kate donned the piece again for the 2016 Diplomatic Reception. It's a beautiful tiara, steeped in royal history and arguably one of the most iconic pieces in the collection. The tiara is now a part of Kate's royal journey; I expect we'll see it time and time again in the coming years.


Kate's tiara was not the only piece once worn by Diana. Ella Kay noted the diamond and pearl earrings the Duchess wore were a wedding gift from Collingwood Jewellers to Diana (the jewellers favoured by the Spencer family). They are part of Diana's private collection and I expect William gifted them to Kate at some point - a perfect match for the Lovers Knot tiara.


A closer look at the earrings on Kate.


The dazzling effect did not end there. Kate's stunning statement necklace is from the royal jewel vault and loaned to the Duchess from the Queen.


The Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace was one of the Queen's wedding gifts from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.


More from the Queen's Jewel Vault: "It was part of the Greville bequest, the collection of jewelry left to Queen Elizabeth by the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville when she died. Mrs. Greville purchased the necklace from Boucheron in 1907. The intricate piece is set in silver and gold and features single rubies between diamond flowers. It’s an interesting bandeau format, a deep v-shape culminating in a diamond pendant. The Queen did shorten it, as she tends to do with necklaces, by removing the two smaller floral piece." The Queen has not worn the piece since the early 1980s.

From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault

Kate debuted a gorgeous new bespoke gown by Marchesa. The bespoke pink lace design is quite different to the signature style we've seen the Duchess favour up to this point. It features distinctive flared cuffs, a plunging neckline and a v-neckline at the back. It's very much a gown perfect for a princess. It's also interesting to see Kate opting for a new brand for bespoke pieces on such occasions.


The talented Laura noted the Marchesa Peplum Top features are incredibly similar to the top half of Kate's gown. Our reader Gabi also posted a look at the Pre-Fall 2017 Collection style and What Kate Wore shared the Tulle-Paneled Guipure Lace baby pink gown which features the same lace and colour as Kate's.

Marchesa

More from The Telegraph:

'Her gown was by New York-based brand, Marchesa. While she hasn't worn a dress by the label's main line- which is headed by duo Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig - before, the Duchess has worn a dress from their second, slightly more affordable line, Marchesa Notte to the opening night of 42nd Street in London's West End. The label is renowned for providing gorgeous red carpet looks for the likes of Halle Berry and Emma Watson, and so was a fitting choice for this evening.
This dusty-pink hue is one the Duchess of Cambridge has worn before, most recently at her sister Pippa's wedding, where she wore an Alexander McQueen dress in a similar shade. But colour aside, the Duchess branched out in terms of cut and shape, opting for a noticeably more low-cut design than those she usually adopts.'

The banquet offered a stunning array of looks. Queen Letizia looked amazing in a red embellished off-the-shoulder gown by Felipe Varela. The Queen accessorised with Cartier earrings, a Magrit clutch. Letizia's dazzling tiara is The Fleur de Lys. You can read more on the history of the piece over at Order of Splendor.


More on Her Majesty's tiara from the Mail Online "The Queen donned her Brazilian Aquamarine tiara, which is a favourite of the Queen's dresser, Angela Kelly, who describes it as 'majestic in appearance but cool and calming'. It was commissioned by the Queen from the then Crown jeweller Garrard in 1957, to match a necklace and earrings given by the President of Brazil to mark her coronation in 1953. She was so fond of the set that she wanted a matching tiara."


You can view a video of the banquet here.


The post will be updated if high-res images of Kate become available (unfortunately it's looking unlikely). We'll see the Duchess tomorrow for the opening of the new Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum.

362 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden12 July 2017 at 20:14

    Yippie. This looks so promising! I've been dying for this necklace (if it is the one we think it is) to come out of the vault, preferably on Kate. I'm really happy!

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    1. Me too! I was so excited to see the rubies!

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    2. What necklace do you think it is?

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    3. That is some nice bling! :)

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  2. Is she wearing the ruby and diamond floral bandeau necklace?

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  3. Julia from Leominster12 July 2017 at 20:16

    Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing - the top of the ruby necklace the queen was given when she was young. How exciting that would be!!!! Or is it the top of a gown? Or another ruby necklace - I'm sure it's rubies -thrilling!

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  4. And drop pearls with the CLK - yesss!

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  5. I'm right here with you, Rebecca!

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  6. I wonder what her dress is like! The necklace is longer so it would not work well with either of her previous banquet dress necklines.

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  7. Can't wait to see the dress it's paired with!

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  8. I think I'm going to love her dress!! It looks gorgeous as a blur in the background!!

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  9. You can see Kate in the background of the pic of their majesties!!

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  10. SO fast as always, Charlotte! Thank you!

    I'm with you, Kiwi Gal! Can't wait for clearer pics of Catherine and the bling. ;o)

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  11. I have a screen shot but I don't know where to put it! V-neck, pink lace, Lovers Know, AMAZING necklace

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  12. So awesome!!! So far the gown and necklace look amazing!!

    The Queen's tiara (or is it crown) is beautiful. What is it? Does she wear it often?

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  13. Anonymous in Colorado12 July 2017 at 20:48

    Loving the plunging neckline on Kate! Vavoom! And those jewels!

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    1. Anonymous in Colorado12 July 2017 at 22:40

      Also WOW Queen Elizabeth's jewels are magnificent!! And Queen Letizia is absolutely stunning...I have major posture envy ;-)

      Lastly, it must be so surreal for the Middletons seeing Kate in this formal capacity!

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  14. Oh, and, that look on Kate's face! If looks could kill..... ;)

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    1. Haha! Yes! Too bad that's the one pic that is circulating.

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    2. Death stare LOL

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    3. florida girl and Katie. I know. that expression. uh oh.

      I refuse to extrapolate on that. I've learned my lesson. :)

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    4. Every time they showed Kate's face in the video above she looked very nervous and was making funny faces. Did anyone else notice that?

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    5. I did. I watched a live feed and she was biting her lips and looking uncomfortable. Perhaps it's because she was sitting across from The Blonde Lady in The Red Dress Who The Camera Man Loved. When she was around, he went right to her!!

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    6. I did notice it. She was fidgeting constantly and playing with her lips - something my 7 year old is apt to do on stage for ballet performances. I have to tell her constantly not to do it because it completely ruins the video. But she can't help it because she gets nervous. In contrast to Kate, Rose her friend the marchioness was still and calm. The contrast between the two was striking.
      I was watching one of the Wimbledon videos last night. I completely missed that post because of work deadlines and was catching up on everything related to that. And if you look at the one where she chatting with one of the ball boys you can see how incredibly self-conscious and nervous she is. She is rattling off one question after another without actually engaging the boy. It was as if she was interrogating him - like the police ! A conversation is one where there is back and forth, not like a rehearsed interview. She also brings out her hands for each question in a very artificial manner, as if doing so lends her some gravitas. Her body language is really sad to watch because she is completely ill at ease and thinks she is faking it well, yet can't WAIT for it to be over. She is not even faking it, let alone doing a good job of talking to this boy. And all this with a boy who is not older than 11 or 12. I think that Kate is incredibly nervous and her self-esteem and confidence has been knocked to the ground.
      It made me feel so sorry for her. I don't know what goes on in her life but this is not a woman who is proud of herself and likes what she is doing. She is one who is setting out with gritted teeth and getting each engagement done somehow, and then breathing a sigh of relief.
      I know that Kate has a lot going on in her life that would seem worth envying, but I suspect she is not really all that happy, especially when at work. She feels inadequate. Maybe the professional demands of her job really eats away at her. Maybe the royal machinery is killing her spirit.. But everything, her body language, her aversion to work, her sole focus on her family, the crazy attachment to her mother.. all of this suggests a person who is trying hard to keep faking it but is ill-at-ease.
      My 2c.

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  15. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert on the Queen's jewel vault, so can anyone tell me about the set the HM is wearing in the photo above? They are absolutely spectacular!

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    1. Check out this site

      http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.com/2013/03/tiara-thursday-brazilian-aquamarine.html?m=1

      It has a nice write up, pics & history of the pieces.

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    2. Louise, London, UK12 July 2017 at 21:53

      It's the Brazil aquamarine parure which was a coronation gift and has been added to subsequently http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/tiara-thursday-brazilian-aquamarine.html?m=1

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    3. Thanks Julie, Louise. A coronation gift. very special.

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    4. Thank you, ladies :)

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  16. Wow - she's experimenting with a seriously plunging neckline. Love it! Not sure I like the poof at the end of the sleeves, but plunging neckline plus major jewels makes it a win! Just wish they'd go ahead and give her the darn family order!

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    1. That was my first thought about the dress!! Hello, plunging neckline. It does look like a gorgeous dress though.

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    2. Sonja from Bavaria12 July 2017 at 21:40

      I agree with everything you said!

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    3. Sarah Maryland USA12 July 2017 at 21:43

      She has to earn it first and working 60 days a year isn't helping her cause

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    4. & the 60 days a year, if condensed into standard 8 hour days is closer to 16 ...

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  17. Rebecca - Sweden12 July 2017 at 20:49

    Kate looks absolutley splendid. I love the combnation of the subdued pink with the rubies. Unexpected but stunning. And the subtle trend sleeve. Such a princess look with the skirt and all. But what I love the most is her wearing some new-to-her jewels! This whole look is splendid and very much up my alley! Modern fairy tale princess. It's quite a lot of "LOOK", but one that I love. I expect this one to be quite divisive because it's not a safe choice!

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  18. Yay for jewelry! I am so glad they had some closer shots of her dress. From a distance, I thought she was sporting something, well, like something you would wear if you were going to a fancy event during the Revolutionary War(1770's). I think it's the sleeves. Luckily the close ups look stunning.

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    1. Anonymous in Colorado12 July 2017 at 21:56

      LOL yes to all of this, Katie C.H.! I had flashes of the musical Hamilton in my head when I saw the sleeves. But the plunging neckline & lovely jewels are on point!

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    2. YES!!! "1780, a winter's ball and the Schuyler sisters are the envy of all..." was literally what I thought when I saw the sleeves!

      The rest looks outstanding. Loving the dip in the back. The front is low but well covered with diamonds and rubies!

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    3. Anonymous in Colorado13 July 2017 at 02:42

      Ahhh thanks a million for that that little dose of Hamilton!!!! ;-)

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    4. Love the Hamilton reference, Katie! The fuller skirt gives it that look IMO. She may have been going for a style that gave a nod to Spain, and from the waist up her gown does that. At least I thought so. ;)

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    5. And I saw Outlander from the back, and a skating costume from the top front.

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  20. I wonder why she still hasn't received the royal family order?

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    1. Likely because she is not yet a 'full time' royal

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  21. Love that she is also wearing Diana's jewels! She is just gorgeous!

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  22. This is these dress, but in grey and as a gown ? ;)
    http://marchesa.com/collections/marchesa/pre-fall-2017/collection/16

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    1. That sure does look like it...

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  23. OMG how low is her dress!!?? Too much cleavage imo

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    1. This kind of cleavage is usually what I save for date-night lingerie.. ahem.. so I do tend to agree with you. Just a bit too much for public consumption.

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    2. I love the dress and while low Kate is so small and the dress so well tailored it just looks gorgeous and sophisticated to my eye. I love this dress from the few images I have seen.

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    3. I wonder if there is tulle or something to keep everything together. Otherwise, she'll have clothes tape all over her front.

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  24. Thank you for the live stream & super fast photos, Charlotte! I really enjoyed it :)

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  25. Julia from Leominster12 July 2017 at 21:00

    Yes, it is the bandeau - fabulous! And William was seen earlier - also good. Kate's gown looks to be amazing and perfect for the necklace. And Letizia is dazzling. No worries about outshining her. And the queen in aquamarines which she hasn't worn for a while. A great night.

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    1. The aquamarines! Sigh...Letizia looked outstanding & regal.

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    2. The Queen is so adorable. Irreplaceable.

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  26. So excited. Been checking site all day!!! Love it!!!

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  27. Wow this appears to be a smashing look. I love Marchesa in general, but this looks like a really pretty dress. I love the arm details -- can't wait to see it better. The necklace and tiara together, though, is what really knocks it out of the park for me. It's good to see her in some queenly attire.

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    1. 👑 yay, for "queenly attire", Becca. I agree. I hope she continues to have fun with it and wow people from now on.

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    2. I'm thrilled she's wearing Marchesa. And wow, Kate really looks like a royal princess tonight - or a queen, as you said! She really brought her A-game with that dress and that bling, oh my. I'm not a huge fan of the sleeves but the bell sleeve is very trendy right now, alas. The colour and lace details on the dress are stunning nonetheless.

      Thanks for sharing pictures and information so quickly, Charlotte!

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    3. Exactly! Penny, I actually like the sleeves on this, but probably because I like little fashion nods to royal periods way back when -- definitely not everyone's cup of tea ;) It was also nice to see her embrace something a little different style-wise.

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  28. Oh! I also meant to add that it's a very daring neckline for Kate for such a formal event! I think it looks great on her.

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    1. I love the plunging neckline, it perfectly complements the necklace. & she can get away with it. She looks beautiful.

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    2. That was the first thing I noticed, Becca.

      Quite surprising (but nice) for a State dinner. Very sweet with the style of the dress. That will keep William's attention. lol

      Are those Diana's earrings? (someone please say yes. :) Those go perfectly with the tiara. I was so hoping she would get earrings to go with the tiara and Diana had it figured out perfectly.

      Does the necklace go with the tiara, earrings, and color of the dress? (don't hate me for asking please. I am one of the biggest fans of bringing royal bling out of the vault and flaunting it.) But I don't think it goes with the tiara, earrings and dress. I will know more once we get a better look at the outfit.

      I want to see Rose's outfit also. She seems more in tune with the event this time. Not so overwhelmed perhaps. Having children will do that for you. lol

      Thank you Charlotte for prompt coverage. :)

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    3. They ARE Diana's earrings. YAY. 🎉

      And they go with that tiara perfectly. I don't think the tiara and earrings go at all with the necklace though. To me it is so off-putting. So disappointed because I do love royal bling. But Kate has Diana's earring to go with the tiara. SO special. And, Kate ventured forth with a new gown style. So kudos to her for that. I am eager to see the gown.

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    4. They ARE Diana's earrings. YAY. 🎉

      And they go with that tiara perfectly. I don't think the tiara and earrings go at all with the necklace though. To me it is so off-putting. So disappointed because I do love royal bling. But Kate has Diana's earring to go with the tiara. SO special. And, Kate ventured forth with a new gown style. So kudos to her for that. I am eager to see the gown.

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    5. YAY, indeed, SG. YAY indeed! :-)))

      As far as the necklace being paired with this tiara and earrings, well, as I stated elsewhere in this post, I see it as quite a significant statement that far outweighs anything that would qualify as a perfect match. Just consider recent articles and discussions regarding Diana, William and Harry...or other related subjects............... I appreciate every karat and facet in this necklace.

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    6. I wonder if the rubies are a nod to Spain...red decorations in the room, red decorations on Kate...for me, it's not enough of a clash to dislike it.

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    7. Katie, I think you're right -- since Kate has always been good about giving a sartorial nod to the countries she's touring, I think it's safe to say she was giving this same nod to Spain. The fact that the necklace is such a stunner kills two birds with one stone, really. :)

      SG, how nice to see her wearing Diana's earrings along with the Cambridge tiara! I didn't notice anything off-putting from her combination of jewels, but I can see how you'd feel that way. I think that red and pink can go well together, so the hint of rubies against the dusty rose color of the dress works nicely, for me. I was excited to see her in a new dress! Marchesa, too!

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  29. Love her dress!! It has a bit of a "Betsy Ross" look to it. She is still rocking the retro looks. Jewels are ohh-la-la! Letizia is amazing! That is a big gun tiara! HM is gorgeous with the tiara, necklace and embroidery matching! This was definitely worth waiting for!

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  30. She looks like a goddess !! My word those rubies ! Love the whole get up.

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  31. I have been waiting a long time for this look on Kate. Does anyone else see it? It's Cinderella at the ball, no doubt! What a beautiful gown, and the jewels are gorgeous. On the live stream, I spotted her as she passed by and knew it could get no better. This is it, girls!!!

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  32. I so wish she would be given the family order by the Queen.....

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  33. The Queen probably gets a nostalgic flash when she sees Rose Cholmondeley. She looks even more like her garandmother, Queen Elizabeth's bridesmaid and friend, Lady Elizabeth (can't think of her last name at the moment). So glad she was there and seated next to Harry.

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  34. No family order :(

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  35. Courtney Providence Village, Tx12 July 2017 at 21:19

    I LOVE the shot of her in the background!! It makes me think of Victorian times! That blur of her takes me back to another time! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

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    1. She does look like she's been transported from Victorian times, that was my first thought!

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    2. That was a very evocative and nostalgic photo Courtney. I also immediately thought of Victorian times, especially with the style of Kate's gown.

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    3. I so agree with you Courtney. The best part to me is that the picture most interesting at this moment is the blurry background shot of Kate, past Queen Letizia and the Queen!! Letizia looks lovely, but Kate really looks the part of a princess and it really does invoke a Victorian time!! The jewels, the dress, the fact Kate and William are at the banquet, just wow and ditto on the LOVE!! cc

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    4. Julia from Leominster13 July 2017 at 06:38

      From the previous post CeCe - the repeat gown Diana wore was to La Scala on her first tour of Italy. It was a girlish deep pink gown she had worn in Australia and possibly elsewhere. The Italians were insulted that La Scala was not worth a new gown whilst Diana was trying to look thrifty.

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  36. Sonja from Bavaria12 July 2017 at 21:20

    Do we know when high-res pictures will be released? It looks like tgere is some sort of beading or maybe pattern on Kate's skirt... I am dying to see a clear picture!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden12 July 2017 at 22:48

      It's not so much a case of when but more one of if, sadly. There are rarely any good pictures from the british state banquets, and if it is, only on the people in the middle. There were surprisingly many film-shots of Kate based on her location in the video.

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    2. Julia from Leominster12 July 2017 at 23:33

      When Julia takes over running the Palace there is going to be a photograph taken at state banquets of all royal ladies present - as we've seen in other countries - or photos of them arriving. Sadly, my application for palace photo reform has not been seriously considered - but the photo at the diplomatic reception was a start.

      Quite seriously, in this media age, I think sharing with the public would be a good thing. We should be allowed to feel part of the night - even if we will never get an invite. It won't make the slightest difference to the republicans who will grumble no matter what - but it would give more insight into the palace workings to those who are interested.

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    3. Oh Julia! If only we could sneak your application into one of those Red Boxes.

      Delete
  37. Nicole from france12 July 2017 at 21:21

    Whaou ! Charlotte, you made it so fast ! I just checked the blog thinking it was too early and .... here is our Duchess, and she looks absolutely astonishing ! All what she never did : the dress with a deep "décolleté " , very big and splendid blings, I can't Waite to see, the entirety of the dress, which seems in pink shades , with a lovely detail,on the sleeves .... it seems as if she had wanted to make as big an impression as queen Letitia, who is always really "sexy" ! By the way, does she really respect the dress code , which says no to strapless dress? What do you think ? The Queen has also beautiful jewels, aqua marines, mays be ? I am really excited and happy to see Kate at least getting to a higher and really regal sartorial choice !

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  38. That dress is very 18thC from the back. Dangerous Liasions territory no? I think she looks great.

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  39. yep, MaryM. :) Letizia came to play.

    yep. she wore her big girl tiara and the lady wore red. Stunning. Regal. Va-va-va voom. I love, love, love the red dress. Everything about it. No apologies for being royal (and sexy) from Letizia. Ever. She owns it. She rocks it.

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    1. So true! And it's always in a classy polished way.

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    2. LOL surfer girl thanks! She rocks the house. Wow. Even her travel wear with the snakeskin shoes and purse - to die for. Just perfection. Polished from head to toe. This is the world's most fashionable royal - she has the crown. Maybe Meghan will give her a run for her money lol

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    3. MaryM. I just googled Letizia to see about her style. wow. simply wow. Loved about 95% of it and for me that is a miracle. Not only loved the clothes but the accessories, hairstyles and make-up that went with them. She thinks of the whole picture. Her style makes sense to me. What a lot of people wear and call style doesn't make good sense to me. Letizia's style certainly rings true to me. So glad I saw her outfits. Will most likely repli-letizia. :) I love most of Meghan's style also, particularly everything she designed for her clothing brand. So she might give Letizia a run for her money.

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    4. Yes surfergirl - That's the thing, the way she styles an outfit is perfect. Everything is right, the accessories the hair - it is impeccable and just knocks it out of the park. Whatling and the photographers were saying she's the best royal to work with too, a real professional. I notice she looked into the camera too which makes for great pics, love her look - she is fierce!

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    5. Julia from Leominster13 July 2017 at 06:41

      Agree Surfer Girl, at first I wasn't a huge fan of Letizia but I've come to love the consistency of her style - often very elegant - sometimes a bit daring, almost always polished. She works closely with a couple of designers who serve her well for the most part. Even if I don't personally care for an outfit, and it happens, she always seems to have given it thought. Especially since she became queen.

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  40. FINALLY, a real jewel of a necklace!!! Thank you Charlotte for these early pictures. You are the best!!!

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  41. Ghastly gown. Disney cartoon? Little Bo Peep? Those sleeves. Ick. Queen Letizia looks quite elegant.

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  42. I forgot to mention Queen Elizabeth. I love the way the aquamarines match her gown. She looks lovely.

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  43. This dress is awful. The sleeves, the neckline, the colour.... no. I also dislike how she chose rubies when wearing pearls, if she had worn the Lotus it'd have looked better. Other than that, hair and makeup were nice.

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  44. Beautiful! Thrilled that she's wearing some gorgeous jewels but wondering if it's appropriate to mix rubies and pearls?

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  45. Gorgeous all round! It's a win from me.

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  46. Gorgeous necklace!

    I am not a fan of the model of the dress nor the color for as far as I can see, but waiting for better pictures of course! The Victorian vibe of it is not to my liking.
    I love the dress and tiara of queen Letizia. To me this looks more modern, I think red looks great on her and I like that way better.

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  47. I could be still in Barcelona-land (just flew back this morning) but the cut of Kate's dress reminds me of some of the lines in gowns in portraits of Spanish Infantas from previous centuries. It is a beautiful gown, the jewels are gorgeous. As I watched the video I couldn't help thinking how overwhelming it would be to attend a State Banquet! Even though she has been to one before, I wonder if Kate still keeps internally pinching herself; not only attending but being one of the Royals too. I wonder if she worries about her pumpkin coach outside.... I don't mind the low cut of the gown because it isn't like she is spilling out of it. And the necklace really needed to be "out there" on its own. Wow.

    Letizia is gorgeous of course but to me she looked really quite stiff walking down the hall. She has amazingly straight posture anyway but she looked a bit teetery to me. Charles seems to be completely enchanted by her and she is very gracious toward him. I loved Letizia's yellow hat earlier today.

    And what can I say about Felipe. Honestly, Spanish men make this 65 year old heart beat faster than it has for awhile. Even the police officers in Barcelona were gorgeous. And soooo charming!

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    1. lol, Jo. I agree about Felipe. As for the men in Barcelona, I will take your word for it.

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    2. Julia from Leominster12 July 2017 at 23:29

      Yes to Spanish men but especially to Felipe - wonderfully, tall, handsome, grave but with such a delightful smile - don't tell Leo I said all this...

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    3. :-)) Jo, did you have an iced tea to cool off?

      Yes, I would imagine that Kate has moments when she needs to pinch herself. And imagine her proud parents...more pinching, I'm sure.

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  48. Stunning! When will she get the Queen's/Family Order?? Rubies, the July birthstone, in July!
    AH

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  49. That necklace was a gift to the Queen from her parents, on her wedding day. https://twitter.com/Art_of_Nuance/status/885224564099305472

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  50. Well I am in heaven. Fabulous all the way around. Kate looks positively magnificent. That necklace! I love the dress, from what I can see of it. I think the bold neckline is trés chic and I am happy to see her move out of her comfort zone.
    King Felipe and Queen Letizia are a gorgeous couple. Letizia looked so beautiful, she is a stunning woman. Looks like a glorious event.

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  51. She went all out and I love it! The gown, the necklace, the tiara - everything!
    I love Letizia's tiara and gown as well. She is an incredibly beautiful woman and so elegant.
    The Queen is wearing a beautiful tiara also. Does anyone have more information on it?

    Thank you for posting a link to the live stream, it was a lot of fun to watch!

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  52. What a treat for royal watchers this has been! Kate looked regal, and I hope we get a better look at her dress. I love the Cambridge Knot tiara and the pearl and diamond earrings together. The necklace is stunning, but I don't think it's the best pairing with that tiara or the pale pink, delicate dress. I hopped over to Order of Splendor's jewel vault to look at pearl and diamond necklaces in the Queen's possession. I think I would have preferred Queen Victoria's Jubilee necklace or Queen Alexandra's pearl and diamond wedding necklace.

    Letizia was perfection, as was her handsome husband. The Queen and Prince Philip amaze me with their devotion to duty. They have set a high bar.


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    1. Kim. I agree. The tiara, earrings and dress go together. The necklace throws it all off. And odd pairing. (Natasha???) lol. SO, SO frustrating because as you said, Kim, there other better choices. You have to be careful with a tiara, dangly earrings and a big necklace to keep the balance of the pieces in order. I so hope I like Kate's gown. Sadly, the necklace was a total miss in my opinion.

      Letizia's outfit was perfection. That is exactly where you should wear that neckline. When Kate wore that style with the floral print she wore the neckline too far down in her body and shoulder line and it looked not so good. But Letizia had the neckline and sleeveline bjust right. I hope Kate took notes. :)

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    2. Kim you are right that Letizia is beautiful and pretty much all the time does it right....but her best accessory yet is her handsome husband (actually they compliment each other quite nicely). Someone said in a different post that Prince Felipe has "bearing" and he definitely does. He is truly a man that could make you go weak in the knees with just a look! They are an incredibly handsome couple and their devotion to duty and to each other is commendable. They are the couple who should be mentoring Kate and Wiliam as they are the epitomy of "royal"! cc

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    3. I agree, Kim. I think the tiara and earrings look lovely, and look nice with the dress. I ADORE that necklace but I think I agree it's not the best with the dress, mostly because of the rubies. And that a pearl/diamond necklace would have been better with the tiara/earring combo. However, I'd prefer a diamond tiara and diamonds. Like that Hyazerabad(???) necklace she wore a few years ago with the blue dress.

      But my god, that's a spectacular necklace and would be faboooo with that black velvet gown.

      And those aquamarines the Queen is sporting. They're boulders!!!

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    4. I agree about the pairing being off, but there's far more to it than that, IMO. I believe the rubies (red) are a nod towards Spain and, once again, Kate is wearing a piece that is near and dear to the Queen. THAT speaks volumes; certainly more than a perfect match. On a positive note, at least there can't be complaints of it being too matchy-matchy. ;-)

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    5. Oh that was fun to follow live last night,wasn't it?
      Charlotte, thank you very much for your time and energy you put into this blog every time!!!!

      I loved the whole Banquet, the flowers, the surrounding, the people. The Queen is a pro, she looked absolutely smashing in that aquamarine necklace and that dress. They look very heavy but she wore it perfectly.

      My second favourite was Letizia and her best accessory is her husband. I must express my affection for the king, the way he speaks, and the way he looks and so much more.:)

      I agree with the people above. Each piece Kate wore is lovely, to be honest, I don't care about tiaras as much, but that necklace, that is a showstopper.
      I am not getting into too much detail of the dress, the only thing I like about it was that delicate neckline which given the fact this is not a reception of any kind but a state banquet, I am actually puzzled by that low cut. That necklace does not work with the rest of the jewellery. And why not wearing the matching earrings with the ruby necklace? It totally looks thrown together, just because she has a key to the vaults, good results won't come out of it automatically, she needs to learn how to use that. Perhaps with the help of a sylist.
      For me she looked like a character out of Jane Austen's book, especially with her bitchy resting face, idle and bored and that slash or whatever on the elbows,yikes. She needs to put some work (!) into her expressions because they do not look convincing enough, she wants to be there. And it is not even her first banquet...

      Camillla looked also beautiful, I would love to have those earrings of hers any time when she decides on ditching them:)

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  53. I'm beginning to think the queen will not give her her family order out of compassion. Unlike the sashes where they only wear the highest one, with the family orders they wear all of they have received. Having three to coordinate with and wear most of her adult life would be cumbersome.

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    1. That is one of the nicest excuses I've ever read.

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    2. Bluhare, that's such a gentle response. I was going to say: No, they pay someone to make sure they are positioned and worn correctly. Kate wouldn't have to worry. 😉

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    3. The ribbon would clash with so many colors. And it would be hard to pull off plunging necklines...

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    4. If wearing the Queen's most beloved jewels shows how much she respects and loves Kate and speaks volumnes (sicc), I wonder not having an order from the Q, shows us what exactly?

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    5. Haha you guys. That was kinder, gentler bluhare for a minute there. I think Moxie's got it right. Too many colors to coordinate and nowhere to put it on a plunging neckline, plus those sashes would ruin the look. That's why she's not got one.

      Except, wait. Letizia managed it! :)

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    6. I was more thinking of the weights. I didnt figure she had to pin them on herself. Even we plebs have our corsages pinned for us... :) If I were picking, I'd sure rather have her jewels than her order and that's what Kate is getting!

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  54. Sarah Maryland USA12 July 2017 at 22:28

    I like the necklace but I'm not sure it goes with the dress tiara or the earrings. Can we talk about the queen of Spain though? Omgod it was awesome. Her dress was amazing and that tiara was fabulous. Kate should take some pointers!
    And as for people complaining that Kate doesn't have the family order yet, it is something she has to earn and I don't think working 60 days a year is enough. She doesn't automatically getting it because she married William

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    1. She went all out for this one. Can't get much better, seriously. Kate looks stunning .. absolutely stunning. But I agree that pearls, diamonds and rubies are a bit much together. They do clash a bit. I would have left out the necklace or worn it with the papyrus tiara. The dress is dreamy. Old school princess dreamy. My only quibble is that it is cut to the bottom of the breasts - a tad bit much. That just goes to private-night territory, in my opinion. But can't complain much.

      As for the family order - I wonder why the QUeen hasn't given it to her. Didn't Sophie get it after five years? Did all the women get it before Kate? Does she really work that less in comparison to others? That would be sad, if so.

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    2. I couldn't agree more Sarah with everything you said :). Especially about the Order. The fact that Kate doesn't have it yet shows that the Queen obviously doesn't think Kate has earned it yet, but people will keep making excuses on why she doesn't have it.

      Letizia was stunning. I wish Kate would take some pointers from her as well. I didn't like Kate's dress on it's own, but compared to Letizia's it looks even worse. Kate's had potential, but there was way to much going on between the lace, plunging neckline, and bell sleeves. A big miss for me this time. That color also really washes Kate out. I hope she wears that necklace again sometime

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    3. I think Kate GAVE the pointers here. Queen Letizia looked beautiful of course,but Kate wore a similar red gown for the last state banquet. Been there, done that already. She set the bar high tonight with a elegent and beautiful gown fit for royalty. I love both ladies' style and beauty. One a beautiful Queen, and one a duchess.

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    4. If we ever see a side by side shot of Kate and Letizia from this night, what's been missing from Kate on the fashion front will be crystal clear.
      That's ok, Kate's not a fashion girl we should stop pretending she is.

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    5. The Royal Orders are on ivory. William is very anti ivory.

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    6. The Queen of Spain looks beautiful of course but a little plain without any kind of jewelry (except the tiara).

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    7. The Queen of Spain is wearing a headful of historic family diamonds, Two balls of historic family diamonds on her ears and a wrist weighted with a raft of historic family diamonds. (The family jewelry has names!) I'm not sure she could carry anymore jewelry!!

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    8. I find it interesting that for the last state dinner, Queen Elizabeth loaned Kate two diamond bracelets that are personally very important to her and that for this state dinner, she loaned the necklace given to her by her parents as a wedding gift. As Anglophile noted, having Kate wear an ivory family order would be problematic given William's outspoken opposition to the use of ivory--even old ivory. Also, none of the blood princesses in Kate's generation have been given the order, and some family members may not be happy if she who married into the family is so honored before the blood princesses. Given all of this, it may be (and I realize this is speculation), that loaning Kate such personal and loved pieces of jewelry for these events is the queen's way of showing her appreciation for Kate while avoiding stirring up another area of conflict in her family.

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  55. Ooops...posted this in the wrong place first. Anyway...

    I don't love Kate's gown as a whole. Love that she is experimenting and obviously the plunging neckline works great with the bling!! But I don't love the waist. So I like it in the pic of her sitting, but don't like it in the standing/walking pics.

    Love Letizia's gown! Sometimes wish Kate would take notes from Letizia. Letizia's style seems a little "edgier" but still "safe."

    The Lovers Knot tiara is lovely, but is not my favorite. Still, Diana aside, the Duchess of Cambridge wearing the "Cambridge" Lovers Knot is right.

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  56. Yaaaasssssss LOVE the plunging neckline. Literally slapped my forehead in frustration when I caught sight of the sleeves + poofy skirt (one or the other IMO). Very reminiscent to me of Diana's fussy wedding dress. That necklace is delicious but I don't like it with the dress (although the neckline is almost perfect for it, a little less plunging would be better proportioned).

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  57. Pam from Boston12 July 2017 at 22:47

    I love this whole look so much more than what Kate has worn to the previous state banquets. Her whole look tonight just shouts "princess"! I'm not usually a fan of showing a lot of cleavage but I do think the neckline is fine and not tacky. Much better than the very high necklines of the previous dresses. Perhaps the color is a little bland but maybe tonight she wanted to blend into the background and not stand out too much.

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  58. Charlotte, I wanted to add that I always appreciate when you share the menu for these events! As a food lover I'm always curious as to what they're being served and I wonder if Kate actually eats it all!

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    1. Pam from Boston13 July 2017 at 13:42

      I wonder the same thing! In fact, I always wonder what she eats in general, to stay so slim.

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  59. On behalf of Ella Kay this is technically not the Cambridge tiara, it's the copy, known as Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara. Fans and press have called it the Cambridge Lover's Knot but that's actually not correct, according to the Court Jeweller. Calling it just "the Lover's Knot tiara" might be safest, as most accurate.

    The original Cambridge Lover's Knot was sold at auction in 1981. From her website:
    "At that 1981 auction, the tiara was purchased by nobility: Georg and Marie Gabrielle von Waldburg zu Zeil. Marie Gabrielle is pictured wearing the tiara above. Although Georg died last year, the family apparently still owns the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara today. The tiara was also recently featured on the cover of Vincent Meylan's new book about the Christie's archives."

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  60. Great to see her wear something different! Think its quite a romantic gown. Don't like the necklace.. Think it's too much, too big with this dress. Lovely to see her with dianas earrings.

    Thank you for the details about the state banquet! Very interesting to get a glimpse inside.

    Queen Letizia is perfect as always!

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  61. Marianne New Jersey12 July 2017 at 23:12

    I think she looks beautiful. As my millennial nieces say, matchy matchy is not modern. I love the pearls and rubies with the pink dress. I think the neckline is beautiful, bold yet restrained. The sleeves are on-trend. I love it. all.

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    1. MizBev in Colorado13 July 2017 at 00:23

      I agree with you. I am thinking maybe she chose the tiara and earrings as a way to honor Diana and the ruby necklace as an honor to the red in the Spanish flag. I thought she looked fabulous.

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    2. Marianne New Jersey13 July 2017 at 01:17

      That makes sense about the jewelry. I really loved her look today. It fits her style. Letizia was beautiful and queenly, but that's not Kate to me. I think the Duchess looked modern, princessy, and young.

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  62. The necklace is not good with the dress and earrings and tiara. The heaviness of it doesn't work with the airy and delicate baby pink lace. That necklace needs a burgundy velvet strapless column dress! Kate doesn't look so comfortable so maybe she's not too sure about it either, but couldn't say "no" when HM offered it up.

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    1. I think the necklace needs the 2 extra links so it lays correctly on Kate. The Queen is way shorter. It makes sense that Kate would need the links. DWLee333 in Oregon.

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  63. Julia from Leominster12 July 2017 at 23:27

    The winner dress-wise for me is Letizia, Spanish but not too costume-like, magnificent embroidery, sophisticated yet regal, and balancing that tiara perfectly. And that diamond bracelet is to die for - just the right amount of jewels.

    The queen's dress is lovely and a bit different for her with the blue embroidery. Thrilled to see the aquamarines come out.

    So thrilled (am I using that word too much?) to see Kate wearing the bandeau and Diana's earrings. That necklace does demand a low neckline and I think that's fine for a state banquet. I've been wanting that necklace to go to Kate and happy to say it works beautifully on her (shush - better than it ever did on the queen.)

    But the dress itself is a bit too much for my taste - if one could just take the neckline and the fabric and come up with something less bouffant, without the bell sleeves and a bit less like a bridesmaid to Diana's wedding gown, I would be happy. It is a pretty colour with the rubies and the jewels are so great - but Kate used to dress less girlishly and with more dash - could we return to those days? I loved Diana in romantic gowns but she was hardly more than a teenager - and Kate has worn some brilliant but more sophisticated gowns in the past.

    well, we can't have everything and having Kate and Harry there, having William really involved, earlier as well, having the queen step out a bit, and having Letizia look amazing - I loved all her outfits - that makes for a very grand day. Not to mention having Felipe, my favourite king, in England with the queen - I'm going to use thrilling again.

    Thanks as always Charlotte for a great write-up. Good-night all and dream of rubies.

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    1. Ditto Charlotte, you are amazing. Letizia is a gorgeous lady. I will dream of rubies, sigh.

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    2. goodnight, Julia. I trust you will have sweet dreams tonight. :)

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    3. Agree about Letizia. I'm not particularly a fan of hers but she really looks spectacular tonight. And she does have a dishy husband!!

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    4. Nicole from France13 July 2017 at 08:24

      I agree with you Julia, this necklace suits Kate better ....because she is taller than the Queen . The Queen is known to have her necklaces made shorter, and she knows why ! And I am very happy to see this elegant plunging nekline ! Just a detail about the earrings, with such a lot of diamonds and pearls on top of her head and such a lot of diamonds and rubies on her chest, she could have skipped the dangling earrings and have just "smal" diamonds ... as mademoiseléChanel used to say - before leaving home, check yourself in the'mirror and get one piece of jewels off ..... anyway, Kate was really lovely, but she did look nervous .....

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  64. Charlotte, thank you again for the excellent, comprehensive coverage.
    I was wanting to know the menu and as an added bonus you included info and photos on decor. :)

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  65. I liked Prime Minister May's dress but thought she was a lot under-dressed for the occasion.

    Who was Kate walking beside when they entered?

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    1. Thanks for that "who accompanied who" list, Charlotte.

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    2. Nicole from france13 July 2017 at 08:26

      Yes to me Theresa May was not properly dressed .... Kate walked with the Ambassador for Spain in UK, according to the informations.

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  66. Love the tiara and earrings, and the top of the dress. Love the necklace as well, but not in combination with the other jewels. I'm not even going to mention those sleeves....yikes!
    Queen Letizia looks amaaaaazing! Love how she has the sash tucked under the top of the gown. So so happy she pulled out the big guns tiara, she looks very regal. Those earrings! Wow! Now those are some hefty diamonds.

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  67. First and foremost, Charlotte, you are amazing. Thank you thank you thank you! This is one of my favorite posts yet!

    Second - Damn, girl (meaning Kate). Damn. Way to break out the big guns. Outside of the peplum sleeve cuff, I'm all over this look. Even the tiara! That dress is smoking, and I think the lighter shade balances the deeper V (and doesn't show up Queen Letizia, which is very, very smart). And oooooo, the necklace. That is some princess-level jewels. The subtle nods to Diana are pitch-perfect as well. I think she knocks this one out of the park. Poor Wills must have had a heck of a time paying attention to his dinner-mates. :-)

    I'll hope for some hi-res photos later, but this is, hands-down, my favorite Kate event outside of her wedding. Hurrah!

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    1. I'm so in agreement with your last sentence - Kate really brought it (but not too much so as to upstage anyone else) :)

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  68. ILoveElephants13 July 2017 at 00:01

    Wow, gorgeous dress gorgeous jewelry. I also love the tiara. I do hope that she rewears her wedding tiara at some point

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  69. I'd like to see Kate's full dress a little better. Don't mind the color, but I would have preferred a diamond or diamond and pearl necklace over this one with this dress. (Notice how the Queen pared with with gold colored dresses, I'd like to see Kate do something like that with this necklace. Or do a Queen Mary with it and turn it into something else.)

    I do love the hair and the earrings go great with the tiara - should always be paired together.

    Letizia looks great!!!

    Did Lady Gabriella Windsor wear a tiara? I haven't seen a good picture of her.

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  70. What a gorgeous group of people:). Kate looks wonderful. I love this very sophisticated lace gown. Beautifully fitted. I really like the bling she wore with it and love the non "matchy matchy", necklace, earrings and tiara.The shot of her in the car shows a gorgeous make up job. Can't quite tell what is going on with her hair but it looks lovely in the photos. How fun.

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    1. Her make up was the best I've seen it. Stunning. I like her hair done this way with the CLK, rather than having it pulled away from her forehead, like the last time she wore it.

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  71. LOVE everything about this - especially the bling!!! I've been looking forward to this post all day - poured myself a glass of chilled vino, sliced some British aged cheddar cheese and tucked right in. THANK YOU for all your hard work!!!

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  72. Louise, London, UK13 July 2017 at 00:23

    I love the necklace, and although it's nice to see Kate wear the Lover's Knot tiara for sentimental reasons, I think it would have been better paired with the Oriental Circlet. I'd love to see Kate wear this piece. I think it would really suit her. http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-oriental-circlet.html?m=1

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 00:36

      We'll have to wait quite a while for that. Queen Victoria stated that it was only to be worn by Queens. And yes, the Queen mother continued to wear it after not being queen anymore but I think that was mostly The Queen letting her mother keep it, and she was still a Queen Mother. But doubt Kate would wear it before becoming queen. Which is a shame. Because that is one of my favourite tiaras!

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    2. The Queen Mother was still a Queen after her husband died. She just was not HM The Queen anymore. From 1952 to 1953 when Mary died, there were 3 Queens at the same times.

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    3. Louise, London, UK13 July 2017 at 07:05

      Thanks, Rebecca. What a shame, I would love to see this piece. I think the queen has only worn it once. The queen mother was a dowager queen so no 'rules' were broken :-)

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  73. A big thank you for the very kind comments! I very much enjoyed blogging about the jewels and seeing Kate wearing more treasures with royal history :)

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    1. I was wondering if this means Felipe and Letizia will attend the Order of the Garter Service each year? I have a feeling that isn't what it means , but would love to be proved wrong!

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    2. I'd like to see that Darla. Certainly cannot attend if you are not a member. It was very kind of the Queen to recognize Felipe in this way.

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    3. good question, Darla. It would seem like they would be there.

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  74. Got a feeling there might be more than 200 comments :-)

    "Is everyone aware of the Load More button below the comments? You need to keep clicking it until it disappears, in order to see all of the messages. It appears when there are 200 comments, and continues in 50 message increments until the current number is reached."

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  75. Charlotte, your post is amazing as always. Thank you!

    How smart of Catherine to wear this blush-colored lace dress with its plunging neckline to show off that amazing necklace! The dress is beautiful with its nod to centuries past and yet very modern cut. I think rubies and diamonds and pearls play very well together! This is a stunning look and I'm all for repeating it. I do love a tiara event, as Charlotte said.

    Queen Elizabeth looked amazing in her aquamarine-and-diamond parure with the matching embroidery on her gown.

    What a lovely thing to have awarded King Felipe the Knight of the Garter. He and Queen Letizia looked every inch the regal couple. I hope the connection between Spain and the UK remains strong, through Brexit and beyond.

    I love that photograph of the two royal couples, with the blurred images of Harry and Kate, and Edward and Tim Lawrence in the background.

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  76. Oh, Kate! She has the world at her finger tips in terms of wardrobe and jewels, but she just doesn't know how to put them together. I have finally come to terms with it: She has no style! I don't think I will ever stop being a fan of her work and warm presence. However, there is just no way to get around the fact that this is clearly a situation where she has access to beautiful things, but that alone does not amount to a fabulous look. She needs to take a page from Letizia's and Maxima's book of style! Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part because Kate's wardrobe seems much more pragmatic. But, oh, wouldn't it be great if her grace could match her style?!

    The necklace and the tiara did me in. :(

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    1. I think you meant "if her style could match her grace". I don't agree with you about her lack of style, but the grammar seemed backwards.

      Delete
  77. I'm eager for more photos. I want a better view of this new dress. I love her jewels and I think it's a great idea to wear pearl earrings with a pearl tiara.

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  78. Oh, Kate! She has the world at her finger tips in terms of wardrobe and jewels, but she just doesn't know how to put them together. I have finally come to terms with it: She has no style! I don't think I will ever stop being a fan of her work and warm presence. However, there is just no way to get around the fact that this is clearly a situation where she has access to beautiful things, but that alone does not amount to a fabulous look. She needs to take a page from Letizia's and Maxima's book of style! Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part because Kate's wardrobe seems much more pragmatic. But, oh, wouldn't it be great if her grace could match her style?!

    The necklace and the tiara did me in. :(

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    1. Sadly I totally agree with you. Something hutsbdoest. Click with me and her style.

      Delete
    2. Bronwyn, Sydney13 July 2017 at 13:19

      I agree - i dont think the D of C's dress, colour or style, her best. The tiara and matching earrings, are just lovely but the necklace seemed to be wearing her, instead of being the other way round. Queen Letizia looked beautiful and stylish.

      Delete
  79. Hmm i love the splendid gowns the queen. And the queen letiza from spain ans ths duchess cambridge are all good hmm i eager tio see.more photos hd photos

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  80. My two cents...or more... :-)

    Kate looks lovely and regal and I'm beyond tickled pink to see her wearing this tiara and earrings...AND, at a State Banquet at BP so there's no "is she/isn't she giving Diana a nod" guessing over this one. CLEARLY, Diana's memory is being honored by her son's wife. (Perhaps an Alka Seltzer or two was required at dinner this evening! Ohhh, well.)

    And on THAT note, clearly (there's that word again), the Queen is treating Kate with affection and respect by having her wear such a personal and significant piece of jewelry. The Queen is the Master of symbolic nods and lately she's been on a roll. Granny strikes again! :-)

    The sleeves on Kate's gown remind me of some of Maxima's pieces; hopefully, this checks a box or two. And quite obviously there's no need to worry about girlish sleeves and boring necklines! More boxes checked.

    Letizia looks quite lovely too, as expected. And I do like the bare neck given the tiara and earrings.

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  81. Laura in Canada13 July 2017 at 05:11

    Wow! We're to start!

    Kate's hair and make up with the tiara and earrings is pure perfection. I love that she has the courage to wear something that was so iconically Dianna's. (Mind you she does that everyday with the ring...) but still I am sure that wearing these pieces brings a sense of responsibility to honour her memory that carries some emotional heaviness.

    The dress took me a few minutes but I have decided I do love it. The sleeves and shape of the skirt are a nod to older Victorian times but the plunging neckline makes it modern and current. And I am okay with the neckline. Sexy, a bit risqué but very tasteful. I will admit I would never have thought we would see Catherine in something so low cut but I am glad she did. Very glamorous. I will also agree with the poster that these bell sleeves are very much in style. I bought a Zara jacket this spring that has them.

    So let's talk about the necklace. Wow. IMHO....this is EXACTLY how this necklace should be worn. On skin, not over material and with a V neckline so it has space to shine and breath. Perfectly styled. I wondered about the red rubies with the pink dress at first. But I suspect the dress is more blush with brown/tan undertones than a true pink which means they would go very well. It is a very popular colour this spring. I ordered a pair of "pink" shoes online and was shocked when I got them to find they looked more tan than pink. And I would also agree with poster that said "match match" is definitely out of style.

    Letzia looked lovely from head to toe. Love her tiara. I am not always a fan of her styled. She has worn a few gowns that I thought were very unflattering and made her look like a beanpole. But this one was very elegant and gorgeous. I also quite liked her "lemon ice" arrival outfit and her white Hugo Boss departure outfit....but again to avoid matchy matchy would have swapped the purse for a simple grey clutch.

    The Queens tiara....well. ...I don't think there are words to describe it. That is stunning. Personally, I think she should have passed on the necklace but it was very keeping with her style. And her dress was lovely.

    Finally while we are talking about tiara's....I usually find that Camilla looks very nice in them..but something was off with tonight's...did not care for it...Too heavy looking.

    Charlotte many many thanks for your amazing post. Keeping my fingers crossed for HD pics because I want a closer look at the dress.

    Can't wait for the tour and enjoying the lively conversations it will surely generate in this comment section.

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    1. The earrings that Camilla was wearing did not go with the tiara or the pearl necklace. All you see is the earrings!

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  82. The Duchess of Cambridge looked lovely in her dress. She took a risk in fashion with the bold neck line but still in good taste. The pictures taken of her face captured her looking uncomfortable or bored. Totally different from her happy smiling face at Wimbledon. I know, State Dinners are NOT Wimbledon. But still, the Duchess of Cambridge did not look comfortable.

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  83. Eve from Germany13 July 2017 at 06:21

    There´s an absolutely ADORABLE photo of HM and King Felipe during the carriage procession over at the "orderofsplendor"-blog!! You can see how much at ease and happy they are together - even my daughter was delighted when I showed it to her and said "Oh my gosh, how SWEET!!" (she´s - unlike me - NOT into any "royal stuff" at all, so usually my excitement is only met by "mild indifference").

    I would love to have a good photo of the gown "in total" - what I do love about it, is the upper part, it suits Kate very well. I must admit that while I do love the piece itself, the necklace with the rubies kind of didn´t really match well with the tiara and pearl earrings on the one hand and the colour of the gown on the other (that is as far as we can see from the photos thus far - they were all very "dark", I´m sure with full light on the gown it looks very different).
    Still, the Duchess looked stunning and I love that she is smiling a lot these days (I refer to the photos of her in the car). She seems to be very happy and at ease.....
    Letizia is always stunning in red. The tiara seems to be too big for her, though.
    HM´s jewels - OMG, she really went "full gear" last night! Those aquamarine stones are HUGE! I loved her speech. She - or whoever writes them for her - always finds the right balance between "personal" and "official".
    All in all: what a wonderful opportunity for us to see lots of tiaras, gowns, necklaces and the lot!
    Thanks, Charlotte, for another wonderful post!

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  84. Guess I should eat my hat, since I did not think Queen Letizia would wear her tallest tiara. However, it did belong to Queen Victoria Eugenia (see the Queen's speech). And Queen Elizabeth got out her own largest tiara. It does not make her anything but tiny, of course, but it is amazing. Apparently Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex also wore their aquamarines. Does anyone know what symbolism they might have had in mind?

    Kate looks very beautiful, especially walking with the Spanish ambassador. Her gown is wonderfully graceful. I would normally prefer a less low cut top, but it fits her so perfectly that I like it. I can't dislike the sleeves, since there is a mother of the groom suit in my closet that has flared sleeves. I do think the Hyderabad necklace might have looked better than the Greville rubies, but this one does fit the neckline beautifully. It strikes me that the major jewels loaned to Kate have been from among the Queen's wedding presents, meaning of course that they are her personal property. I can't help wondering what this portends. Prince Charles will inherit, for tax reasons, but perhaps the Queen's personal jewels will be set aside for Kate, as many of the Queen Mother's have been for Camilla.

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  85. Oh Kate, the colour does make her look washed out. Definitely more suited to red, much like the gown Queen Letiza is wearing. She looks unhappy at the table too tucked behind the candlestick in the corner of the table. Not her best night I don't think.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 11:33

      She doesn't look unhappy. They look somber. Everyone kind of has that face during this event. Also, most of these pictures were taken when Felipe was holding his speech in Spanish so they are looking down to read the english translation.

      Delete
  86. What a great post and delight to see Harry and the Cambridges attend the state diner. Scolling through the comments I haven't see someone expressing that Kate's dress might be the one she was wearing for the evening evnt at her sisters wedding. From the color code and the decoration or that glass marque I find it likely she wore that dress without the huge bling. I love the dress and it goes well with the tiara and the earings but the necklace is too heavy and makes the look "old". Nothing or bracelets or even something with just "white" such as diamonds and pearls would have suited better. Nevertheless I am looking forward whether we will see her today again and so soon over in Germany! While I follow the british royals closely in terms of fashion queens Maxima and Letizia (and the Argentinian prime minsiters wife) are my favorites .... Thank you for always keeping us informed so speedy and well written!

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  87. Anyone. About those earrings that Letizia has on with the red gown. Are those real diamonds? Does anyone know? If so, how many carats? And any provenance? I love the way they are so close to the earlobe. No pesky wires showing.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 11:32

      Real diamonds. They are from the set of "joyas de pasar".

      http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2017/07/joyas-de-pasar-jewels-of-spanish-queens.html

      Delete
  88. Oh. And Kate seemed to be wearing a bracelet. It barely shows when they are entering the dining room. What bracelet was that?

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  89. Hi everyone! Before I say anything about Catherine, I have a pressing question: why on earth is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley given such importance at State Banquets?! It can't just be about her (and her husband's) friendship with the Cambridges, coz that's ridiculous!

    I mean, she was paired with Prince Harry! After Catherine and the ambassador! That's quite massive for someone who has no known credentials. Really strange.

    Moving onto Catherine - so beautiful! :) She could have matched her necklace and earrings better, though. Both pieces are gorgeous and worked with the dress but not with each other.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 11:31

      Her husband has a state role. He will be the one to dress the future monarch at their coronation. So he is high up, hence she gets a high up place at the table.

      Delete
  90. Hmmmm....not sure everything is working together. I think her dress is pretty and good for her, to chose the plunging neckline. So happy she was wearing Diana's earrings. They do look so pretty with the tiara. That necklace! Amazing. But agree with something someone else said above, it would have looked pretty with a gold dress and I don't think it needed to be a metallic gold. A beautiful gold silk would have worked.

    I didn't search for other photos but I'm wondering if Kate also had a diamond bracelet on her left wrist. Looks like maybe. And then I thought it was interesting that Rose wore a tiara with her hair down. What do others think about that?

    HRH - wow! Love the embroidered fabric her gown is made of and aquamarine's are my birthstone so happy to see how amazing her jewelry looked. Can anyone tell what the pin was that she was wearing?

    And lastly, Queen Letizia she is and was - which was perfect - the center of attention. She carried off her entire look with aplomb.

    Looking forward to seeing Kate tomorrow and hopefully this weekend for Wimbledon finals (maybe the ladies this time?)

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    1. On your question about the hair down with a tiara: on a Dutch website we discussed this too as Maxima sometimes wears her hair down w tiara's. Queen Letizia and the Swedish princesses are seen w tiara's and hair down too. I think it depends on the tiara and the type of hair. Smaller tiara's and voluminous hair look pretty nice. My opinion on Rose is that her hair is not voluminous enough to wear it down with a tiara.

      Delete
  91. Letizia is a walking master class of perfection; the tiara is in perfect balance with the hem of the dress. The fabric requires no heavy necklace - the colour, the cut.

    She is obviously a stylish lady - but also receives advice on how to present a look from top to toe.

    I've no strong opinion on Kate's dress - personally I think she should have skipped the necklace; it steals something away from the dress. Is it too heavy?

    Heidi

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  92. Can anybody shed some light on how these tiaras are fixed? Thanks!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 14:13

      Depends. Often alot of hairpins. The swedish royals hairdresser have made some pin-like contraptions you put in the hair before the tiara to fasten it with. Some have combs. Sometimes a small braid is made in the hair and it's sewn into the braid. Alot of tricks :P

      Delete
  93. I have already commented but I just had to say that since Kate wore Marchesa, I would love to see her in this dress by Marchesa at some point in the future. She would look amazing in it:
    https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/891667/Marchesa/embellished-tulle-trimmed-silk-satin-gown

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  94. I absolutely LOVE Catherine's look for this state visit! She truly looks like royalty! The jewels are to die for and the hair and makeup was on point and the dress...oh the dress... was new and young and modern for her. She always looks great in lace and I think that the shade of pink on her is fabulous with her coloring. The plunging neckline and back and the bell sleeves and the slightly ball gown shape was simply superb! Overall, I am impressed and it made me smile. Wonderful job Duchess of Cambridge.

    ReplyDelete

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