Wednesday, 7 December 2022

The Lotus Flower Tiara Returns for the Glittering Diplomatic Reception

It's the most wonderful time of the year... And as you all know by now, it's my favourite time of year. December always offers several calendar highlights, none more glittering than the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace. As is customary, the event is not pre-announced and despite its prominence as one of the few remaining white-tie events, it's always a surprise when it comes around. 

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When arrival photos began to surface after 8 pm, it was an unexpected treat for royal watchers.

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Surprisingly, until 2018, the Diplomatic Reception was almost entirely a private affair. Arrival car photos were the best one could hope for and a good angle through the car window represented many of Kate's tiara shots. I seem to recall it was Charles, then Prince of Wales, who suggested opening up the event and inviting a pool photographer to cover the event (thank you, Your Majesty!). The decision was very much seen as a passing over of responsibilities from the late Queen to her heir. Due to the pandemic in 2020, it was cancelled and again last year due to the conflict in Ukraine (it was due to take place in early 2022). It's back in full swing tonight -- the first time it will be led by King Charles III and the Queen Consort.

The Queen Consort was regal in a gown by Anna Valentine and the dazzling sapphire Queen's Belgian Tiara and matching necklace and earrings, which she wore last month for the State visit. 

Camilla opted for quite the re-wear -- choosing a Saudi Arabian Daqlah which was gifted to Charles on an official visit some years ago. I believe she also wore it over the Jubilee celebrations last summer.

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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, the monarch throws a reception in their honour and members of the Royal family in attendance make a point of meeting with each one.

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Guests were welcomed to the palace ballroom, which at 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m high, 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. The majestic room is used for State banquets.

The Princess with guests.

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A quick refresher of Kate's Diplomatic appearances over the years. For her first Diplomatic Reception outing in 2013, Kate wore a bespoke McQueen gown and the late Queen Mother's 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.

We saw a glimpse of the McQueen gown in 2015 when a brief piece of video was included in the documentary Our Queen at 90. It was a significant night for royal watchers as Kate debuted the much adored Lovers' Knot tiara.

With a finger on the pulse of transition, Buckingham Palace shared a rare portrait from the 2016 event with Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Cambridges. Kate donned her sweeping red Jenny Packham gown. Six years later, and with the passing of the family matriarch and patriarch, there's an added poignancy to seeing it again.

In 2017, Kate chose a beautiful white embellished gown complemented by Diana's earrings and the Queen's stunning diamond collet necklace.

In 2018, it was a princess moment for Kate in a Jenny Packham gown with delicate beading, sheer overlay and a full skirt with the Lovers Knot tiara.

And in 2019, it was velvet Alexander McQueen, the Lovers' Knot, the Queen's commanding Nizam of Hyderabad necklace and the Queen's Diamond Chandelier Drop Demi-Parure earrings.

Tonight, the Princess of Wales had something special in store...in the return of the Lotus Flower tiara. It was quite a surprise as we haven't seen the piece since Kate began using the Lover's Knot in 2015. I had a feeling it would make a return to her rotation, and it works beautifully with her hair down -- not something which could be easily achieved with more intricate tiaras like the Lover's Knot. Equally, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a couple of 'big guns' from the vault next year (Coronation year).

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The beautiful tiara belonged to the Queen Mother, having been made from one of her wedding gifts in 1923 -- a necklace of a Greek key pattern with pendant diamonds and pearls given by her husband, the future George VI. Garrard jewellers dismantled it and created the Papyrus tiara instead. As you can see, it is a very delicate tiara of fanned motifs crowned by floating diamond arches and studded with two pearls at the base and a central top pearl.

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother pictured as Duchess of York wearing the tiara.

The Queen Mother gave the tiara to her daughter, Princess Margaret, in 1959 before she married Antony Armstrong-Jones. It became one of her most frequently worn tiaras during her younger years. Below, Margaret and her husband Earl Snowden in Washington in 1965.

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Margaret loaned the tiara to her new daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope, who wore it at her wedding to Viscount Linley in 1993.

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When Princess Margaret died in 2002, it would appear it was returned to the vault until the Queen decided to loan it to her granddaughter-in-law, then Duchess of Cambridge, in 2013.

In true festive form, the Princess chose a shimmering red Jenny Packham gown for the night. 

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I simply love this look. The Elodie gown is from the designer's 2019 Pre-Fall Collection (with thanks to UFO No More). The piece is adorned with red floral embellishments.

Kate accessorised with a pair of the Queen's diamond earrings she's worn on numerous occasions over the years.

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And donned her Royal Family Order. It looks like it will be the Coronation before we see the addition of King Charles III's RFO (after which, we'll see Kate wearing two for white-tie occasions).

The Princess donned her GCVO regalia. In April 2019, to coincide with William and Kate's eighth wedding anniversary, the Queen appointed her granddaughter-in-law Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for services to the Sovereign. The Royal Victorian Order was established in 1896 by Queen Victoria to recognize personal service to the monarch. Like the Royal Family Order, the blue sash with red and white trim and the star of the order will be worn at white-tie occasions throughout Kate's life.

Once again, Kate used her divine diamond Bentley & Skinner brooch (debuted on Remembrance Sunday) to secure the sash. The piece is described as: "An Art Deco diamond set brooch, of rectangular shape with corners cut away, with an openwork pattern comprising of a central, round brilliant-cut diamond with an estimated weight of 0.35 carat, with a baguette-cut diamond to the top and bottom of the rectangle, total estimated diamond weight 4.5 carats, all mounted in platinum, circa 1920." I suspect it may be a gift from the King.

A very sparkling night, I think you'll agree :)

104 comments:

  1. I've said this before, but this is my favorite look on Kate of any in the past....and her hair is beyond beautiful. Kate is a princess in every way.

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    1. I fully agree. She absolutely exudes beauty and grace.

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  2. Thank you so much Charlotte. At first I was surprised to see photos of the even since I knew that in times past it wasn't photographed. Thank you for explaining that Charlotte! Such a special event, in a class that can only be Royal. I was wondering, since I am not a fashion expert, if a gown is from a "2019 Collection" does that mean that Catherine bought it then or does she have fashion books that she looks at and orders it? Can someone who is familiar with fashion explain it? Valerie in Arizona

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    1. Val, could of had it but I think if The Princess of Wales ring's and asks for a certain dress it's taken care of. She buys these dresses so huge advantage to the designer. She has chosen pieces before and had them changed to her taste. S.😊

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    2. I agree. It appears in my humble opinion that the gown has been altered to reflect
      the Princess of Wales’s taste and fashion protocol. When I looked at the picture of the gown on the model versus Kate it appears the sleeves have been shortened. It also looks like a row of red sequins were added to the waistline to give it more definition, and the sleeves look a little more tufted at the shoulder. Suzie USA

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  3. Love the gown, but do prefer this tiara with fuller hair behind it. I think it's that middle pearl that seems so elevated and odd with the flat hair.

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  4. Wow! Kate gets more elegant and regal every time we see her. She is the epitome of what a princess should be. I too hope she wears a new tiara for the coronation next year.

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  5. Absolutely stunning look. Love this tiara.

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  6. First, I want to say that I am capable of enjoying this blog in addition to being an H&M superfan! The two couples have always had different futures, so why try to make their lives the same? Of course, it's double duty for Charlotte. This was a surprise but the gown is gorgeous!! And the side view of her hair -- I love the sleek poufiness! And a different tiara! She really looks wonderful. I had not seen all of her previous gowns but they are all so beautiful. I'm not a fan of gobs of jewels but I understand why Camilla has to wear them now. It's the only time people can see them. The art deco brooch must be a gift but it's interesting -- Kate must be a fan of the period or at least of that brooch.

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    1. It’s so refreshing to hear that you can appreciate both couples and understand they have very different expectations. Kind of funny that they both have a dressy evening in the same night.

      Catherine looks incredible. I love everything about this ensemble: hair, tiara, dress that works with the sash and makes the yellow ribbon pop. She is so elegant & graceful. It’s fun to see a change in tiara. Thank you Charlotte! Sue

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    2. Sue, I was thinking about the women both having a dressy night on the same night. The usual nasty tabloids are making it a war, but I think that's silly. I can easily read about both women in one day. In the US, there's no war. As much as I worship H&M, I don't think most people in the US think about any members of the RF. The best people can do is to try to make the lives of others better; I appreciate anything H&M and W&K do toward that end, and then I enjoy the fashions. :)

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    3. Sue, the press did the very same with Diana and Sarah. Tabloid fodder. I really wish Prince Harry and his wife well but I don't understand what this award is for. S 😊

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    4. Hi Allison, I also love to see the differences in the 2 women fashion, so stilish but so different. And, you can like them or not (I do), but I think everyone has to admit that they are both so beautiful!

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    5. Yes, the press certainly did with Diana and Sarah. It really is disheartening to see how poorly all of them, including Beatrice & Eugenie have been treated. As you said, both Catherine & Meghan are very beautiful!

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    6. Meanwhile, Sophie Countess of Wessex was in Washington DC the day before, receiving an award for her work with women who are victims of wartime sexual violence.

      And hardly a peep about that in the press that I could see.

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    7. Oh my goodness, that's SO unfair!! Sophie is so dedicated and she's been doing excellent job for years! Zora

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    8. I saw that about Sophie. Briefly. Would be lovely if the palace gave monthly updates on what all the Royals had been doing. Or weekly.

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    9. I saw that about Sophie. Briefly. Would be lovely if the palace gave monthly updates on what all the Royals had been doing. Or weekly.

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    10. So true about Sophie’s incredible work! The Royal Family does incredible work shining a spotlight on such a range of charities, organizations, issues, etc Sue

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    11. I follow a few Instagram accounts that are pretty good about giving updates on Sophie, and I agree that she is not given the credit she deserves for her work.

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    12. Allison the Palace and the RF social media accounts and website do a very good job of reporting what all members are doing.

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  7. The Princess of Wales looks simply stunning. I love the choice of the Lotus Flower Tiara with this Jenny Packham gown. I wonder what Princess Charlotte thinks when she sees her beautiful Mom dressed in these gorgeous gowns and tiaras. Every little girls dream. Equally
    Prince George and Prince Louis must be proud of their handsome Dad. Thank you for sharing theses beautiful photos. Suzie USA

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  8. I just googled the tiara. I don't think I've ever seen it worn so well. Stunning.. The dress is beautiful and I love the colour on The Princess. Someone obviously thought the say as me and added the sapphire link's to Queen Elizabeth's necklace. Much better worn like this. I'm still not a fan of this tiara/necklace. They definitely need a substantial sapphire tiara in such a large collection of Jewels. I'd like to see the Russian sapphire tiara being used again and also heard talk of a Grenville sapphire tiara. The Dubai sapphires gifted to the Queen would make a beautiful tiara, in the style of the French sapphire and pearl tiara. S.😊

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  9. Gorgeous look. It looks to me as though the dress has been modified for Catherine, I think for the better. i love the hair. A great look for the night. The tiara and earrings wonderful. I wish we could see the shoes. Ali

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  10. Forgot to add, l think the brooch is a gift from one of her own Family. Definitely means a lot to The Princess. S.😊

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  11. Sarah from California7 December 2022 at 01:45

    Oh my! I'm loving the dress (the color is gorgeous, the fitting and flow lovely, and tiara!
    William looks very handsome!
    Well done to the Prince and Princess of Wales, from their USA visit, Earth Shot Environmental Project, to their continued hard work in Britain!


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  12. Susan in Florida7 December 2022 at 01:59

    Oh my! I love this dress and the Papyrus tiara is one of my favorites ! Thank you for the close up photos of the Royal Orders. And can I just say the Queen looks great in blue ! ?

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  13. Wow! So Festive & Gorgeous!! I don't know if I'm the only one.... but in several photos, I'm finding that Kate appears a dead ringer for Crown Princess Mary of Denmark! Such a lovely event to see back on the calendar & Kate is just so regal! I love everything about her look & seeing her interact so genuinely with the guests! :) xoxo

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    1. Hi Becca, yes I agree, Kate looks so much like Princess May with this look. Lovely! Federica

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    2. Ditto Becca! Regal is the word. And there's definitely a likeness there, I first noticed it thanks to the pictures from Royal Ascot 2016. Zora

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  14. The Princess looks absolutely immaculate!! A true elegant and classy young lady she is!! ♥️♥️

    -FloridaGirl

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  15. I think Catherine should wear red more often, FAR more often, but I doubt too many red gowns can top this one.

    I’ve given up trying to pretend it’s the event not the gown & jewels that interest me.

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    1. Tammy from California7 December 2022 at 03:02

      HA HA HA!! Don't pretend! You do YOU. I don't even comment on the event, I am here for the fashion baby! I always will be.

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    2. Keeping it real....love it!!

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  16. the queen consort look stunning with that gown and the king look dashing and love the princess wales looks simply fabulous love the gown and add the lotus flower tiara and the prince of wales look perfect its a festive night indeed

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  17. Tammy from California7 December 2022 at 03:00

    This was SMASHING. The red is so festive and I think she looks SO elegant with her hair smoothed down. Add the tiara and WOW. The only thing I wish was different is the choice of earrings. Something about the silver/white gold holding the diamonds always looks dirty to me, which makes the earrings look fake. I think the chandelier earrings again would have really looked nice.

    I am surprised Camilla has favored the sapphire tiara lately. The Honeycomb tiara is a favorite of mine. I do love the sapphire necklace, but love even more, the necklace in emeralds like this one. I think Camilla looks so lovely in lighter colors with the beautiful color of her hair, I would have preferred something light OR green, she looks really beautiful in green too.

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  18. What a wonderful surprise! I love that Catherine is going with sleeker designs for formal events. And these are among my favorite earrings. Queen Camilla’s sapphires are amazing as well!

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  19. Thank you so much for another interesting post, Charlotte. I was thinking, "I simply love this look" too!! Absolutely breathtaking. And she looks so engaged with the people she's speaking with. I loved the 2018 blue Jenny Packham (she suits the Princess so well), and I very much appreciate that you include info from previous events in your post. So much work, and so worth it! -- And I agree with another poster: I wish we could see the shoes, too! I hope they release another portrait of the family afterward.

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  20. The dress is beautiful and love the colour for this festive time of year. Seeing this tiara again is a pleasant surprise but I'm not liking the position of it and think it could do with a bit more height in the hair style or even an up do, but Kate is looking stunning and relaxed and happy and doing a wonderful job considering all the publicity around H & M at the moment I'm sure she has learnt to switch off from media comments. Sue in WA

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  21. The POW looks absolutely stunning and I too saw a CP Mary similarity. Interesting also to note that Prince William has eschewed the knee breeches for the first time and is now wearing regular evening trousers with his white tie. That is a real move forward in the formal dress department. The King, of course, stayed true to tradition. Lovely photos. And much prefer the QC’s necklace with the pendant. Truly lovely sapphires. So great to see these super photos.

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    1. I agree about the knee breeches - I thought they were very unflattering. Annette NZ

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  22. She is just stunning! Head to toe gorgeous! This color looks lovely on her. Is it me, or does it look like her hair has had a few inches taken off? Loving this gown. Thanks Charlotte!!
    Joanne in CA

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    1. I’m not a fan of this tiara with her hairstyle. Something looks off to me. But I love love love the dress. Lena

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  23. I think I’m in the minority because this look is a huge miss for me! The spangly dress with long sleeves and big hair read sort of retro in a dowdy, 80s way to me.

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    1. I'm with you. I love this tiara, but the dress and the hair are quite unflattering.

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    2. I’m in the same boat. The gown is too busy and makes her look older

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  24. I like this look overall, red suits K quite well and the tiara is unexpectedly pretty with a “down” hairdo.

    My only quibble is that K’s makeup seems to be heavier lately (maybe it’s the photos) which is less flattering as one matures. In particular her blush and eyebrows seem too “ painted.”

    - celticgirl

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  25. Hi all! Wow, she's really come into her own lately since she hit 40, hasn't she?! Confident, happy, smiling. Her hair looks gorgeous the way its been done for this beautiful tiara. She's been wearing her hair in more of these sleek styles lately, but I agree with others on this blog who've said it looks particularly great in this style for this tiara.
    And the red dress! Again, as a brunette with green? eyes, she cannot go wrong with that colour at night. She knows what she looks good in and which styles suit her. I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice how often she's choosing this bodycon look. And with her figure, why not?
    This is the best she's been and I believe she will only get better and better as she gets older. Well done Catherine, your Prince is so lucky to have you. What an amazing asset to the BRF you've become. Salute! P.s just a note on how GORGEOUS those sapphires look on Queen Consort Camilla. Stunning. Good for her, she deserves it...

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    1. TFLH, I couldn’t agree more!! :)

      Becca
      USA

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  26. wishiwereinlondon7 December 2022 at 05:31

    I noticed that the royal men were wearing full length trousers rather than the traditional knee breeches this evening. Another modernization?

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    1. wishiwereinlondon7 December 2022 at 17:06

      Guess it was only The POW and not KC, but still-wouldn’t and didn’t happen in the previous reign.

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  27. It’s a very beautiful tiara. Very happy to see it again.

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  28. This is a beautiful appearance by the Princess. The Lotus tiara looks superb, beautiful tiara. I love her hair, free flowing for a change, with a little volume. The diamond earrings look lovely. Great to see the art deco diamond brooch, keeping the order sash perfectly in place. The Jenny Packham red gown is stunning, I love the design, the fit is perfect. The slight train at the back looks divine A very elegant look. The embellishments are beautifully crafted, it looks so effective. Her makeup looks exceptionally good. She looked simply splendid.

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  29. Perfection. A very constraining dress code, sash, order, only two tiaras to choose from, she manages to created a whole different look. Love how the tiara sits, and her hair. Very youthful yet perfectly elegant and put together. That gown is beautiful

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    1. Natacha, I was thinking tonight ( quite out of the blue) about the lovely photo of Natasha Archer (I hope I got her name right) & a) what a good job they have done together over the years, getting all Kate’s looks together, especially on a trip/tour & b) how Fascinating it would be for a documentary to be made of all that is entailed….. the planning, the purchasing, the chronicling & cataloging it all, not to mention storing it…. I know many have mentioned this over the years, but it would be utterly fascinating!!!

      Becca
      USA

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    2. Agree Natacha, she has completely succeeded in keeping it fresh by creating a new look. I for one would love to see a documentary on everything that is entailed with this aspect of royal life! It would be completely fascinating!

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    3. Agree Becca, those details would be fun to hear about.

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  30. I love this look, not least because it's a change. Tiara network for a while + new hair = a fresh look. Love it. And I'm normally 'Team Up Do'. Lol.

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    1. I don't know where 'network' came from. It was supposed to say 'Tiara not seen for a while'! (My username is different on different devices but I'm the Anon 07.40).

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    2. Haha, I like "Tiara network", Anon !!! What an "idea"! 😁

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  31. Kate looks stunning love the hair and tiara. I have a question that I have always wanted to ask but probably sounds stupid Did the Queen Mother have a very small head? how come the tiara on her is so far down on around the complete lower forehead but everyone else who has worn it from Princess Margaret to Kate have it sitting much higher up. Or was the size very big and shrunk down? I'm confused haha

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    1. In the 1920s and 1930s it was fashion to wear a tiara so far down. I have a wedding picture of my grandmother from 1931 and she wears her myrtle wreath in the same style.

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    2. Thanks Nora it is actually quite beautiful worn that way

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    3. My grandmother and great-aunt, married in the late 20s/early30s, wore their wedding wreaths around the lower forehead, too. And I have a picture of my grandmother, a concert singer before her marriage, wearing a tiara for a recital that way, too.

      On the site below, you'll see a picture of Princess Charlotte of Monaco, grandmother of the reigning prince, Albert, wearing a tiara low on her forehead, just to let you know that the Queen Mother wasn't the only royal who did it. Judging by the general style, I'd say the photo was taken in the 1920s. By the way, many of you may note a striking resemblance between Charlotte and Albert's sister, Princess Caroline, who named her daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, for her grandmother.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Charlotte,_Duchess_of_Valentinois

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    4. Thanks so much Vittoria and yes I see the resemblance and Charlotte Casiraghi is a real beauty

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  32. This look is lovely on the Princess from tiara to glamorous hemline.Gorgeous color for her skintone and the festive season. I love everything about it. The Queen Consort looks wonderful too.
    Karen In Virginia

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  33. Absolutely incredible look. I'm in love with the red gown and this tiara is a perfect match for it. Regal and just...indescribable. She really is a joy to see. Glowing.

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  34. What a stunning look from Kate - the dress, the hair, just perfect and I think I actually prefer the Lotus Flower tiara to the Lovers Knot. Annie, Wales.

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    1. Ditto, Annie! I prefer this tiara too. Zora

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    2. I agree, this tiara suits Kate and she is perfectly styled with this dress...only wish we could get a peek at the shoes! :)

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    3. Ha, ha, not to disparage a world famous, multi million dollar tiara, but me too! Good on Kate for wearing it so beautifully.

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  35. A stunning look, I love every piece of it and I'm happy we can finally see another tiara then the Cambridge one (although I love that one, too!).

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  36. My favourite tiara look till date. In the first photo, Kate looked so similar to CP Mary; probably because of the poof n the silhouette. This gown is gorgeous, reminds me of another red cocktail dress by Needle & thread. So happy to see the papyrus tiara again n hoping to see more big guns from the vault next year.

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  37. Can the Lotus tiara be converted into the necklace as well, or is it a permanent tiara?

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  38. Simply divine, my equal most favourite Catherine look ever (I equally loved her stunning Gold Bond look). She is the epitome of grace, compassion, kindness, and duty. With William by her side, together they are going to be the most wonderful Prince & Princess of Wales. Our King & Queen Consort must be so grateful for their support & commitment to the United Kingdom & our Commonwealth.

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    1. Dee, I just stumbled upon an article referencing what Prince Phillip though/said when Kate came on the scene in William’s life & it appeared she was “The One”! It was said that he said, “sensible girl, lovely girl, has her head on straight….. will make a jolly good thing of it! You can’t think it’s about you, it’s about the job that you are doing. Never look at the cameras, always look at the people right in the eyes, watch The Queen, that’s what she does. It’s the ones in the family that thought it was about them, they got tripped up every time.” - I have no idea how accurate these words are, that were attributed to him, but they sure sound like something he would say/think!?

      Becca
      USA

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    2. I read that article too Becca, and it does sound quite like Prince Phillip and seems pretty spot on! I particularly like the statement that "you can't think it's about you, it's about the job that you are doing." To Dee's comment, I agree that Kate is the 'epitome of grace, compassion, kindness, and duty' and I also think that Kate took some cues from Prince Phillip on the role and duty of a supporting royal. I believe that W & K have a similar love and respect for one another, that mirrors HM and PP in many respects, and lends itself to working together to support one another.

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    3. Hello from Australia Becca, I’ve been an avid Royal lover for over 50 years. I met Prince Charles in 1978 when I was an exchange student in California - he was so lovely & charming, I have such vivid memories of how beautiful his aftershave was. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I was 17 at the time, and it was just before he met Lady Diana Spencer. Our meeting was captured by The Sacramento Bee, so I’m lucky to have photos of that very special moment. I think it’s very possible that these are indeed words from Prince Phillip, it certainly does sound like something he would say. Thank you for sharing that with me. I know he would be so proud of Catherine & William. Wishing you the loveliest Xmas xx

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    4. Becca, thank you for the quotation, It really sounds like Prince Philip. And that's exactly Kate. He is right, the only way to remain sane is knowing it is not about you.

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  39. Please explain the reference to a Saudi Arabian Daqlah. I have googled the phrase unsuccessfully. Cecilia

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    1. Is this what you are referring to? Did she wear it earlier at the reception?

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10892577/Camilla-wore-traditional-Saudi-costume-gifted-Prince-Charles-Platinum-party.html

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    2. A daqlah is a long robe worn over another garment, rather like a fancy coat. In this case, it was a dark-blue daqlah with silver embroidery. Camilla had worn it before.

      https://www.arabnews.com/node/2099656/lifestyle

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  40. The gown is lovely, but the pouffed hair is ... not, I'm afraid.

    It brings back memories of perfumed ladies looking for bargains at Harrods in the 80ies. A touch (or more) of Calèche and a tally-ho.

    Heidi

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    1. Gorgeous but I agree about the hair. Looks awkward. Does she have hair extensions in?

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    2. Well, buckle up....because as 80s styles continue to influence fashion right now, you may see quite a bit more of this. I certainly think she can carry it well, if anyone can.

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  41. Beautiful. She’s regal in every way. I love how the gown puddles around her feet. She looks better on the gown than the model! It must be fun to choose jewelry from the vault and I wonder if anything has changed since the queen’s death. Is it easier now to pick and choose. Or is it more difficult with King Charles.

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  42. Haven't commented in awhile, but do read your posts. I was especially appreciative of your thorough & informative coverage of the EarthShot event. I'm wondering if it got much coverage in Britain? Catherine is an outstanding member of the RF. Has she ever not been poised, elegant, regal? I cannot recall a time. This looked to be a wonderful event and I'm glad that cameras were allowed in. Catherine is the light in the room. Look at the faces of those in line to greet her! I couldn't imagine engaging with such dignitaries. What does one say/talk about? Camilla is beautiful too - love her "queenly" look these days, and of all the members of the RF it would be her that I would most like to spend an afternoon with. She seems a whole lot of fun. Once again Catherine hits it out of the park. William fell in love with a superb woman. I only hope that I live to see her become Queen Catherine. The gown is divine, such a lovely color for the season with the sparkles. Her hair is gorgeous too - love the lift behind the lovely tiara. thanks for this post. Looking forward to the Together At Christmas Concert.

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  43. I am not a great tiara lover, but if I were offered one from the royal vault, this is the one I'd choose. I've long appreciated its relative modesty as bling goes and admired its slightly unusual, Mediterranean-inspired motif. I think it's far preferable to the Lover's Knot tiara, which I find too large and heavy.

    I love the slim silhouette of this dress and its rich red color, which the Princess wears so well. The beading is a bit much for my taste, but beading is a Packham trademark in eveningwear, and the Princess obviously enjoys the glitz. All in all, I think this was a lovely choice.

    But I continue to be puzzled by the choices she is making with her hair. This style would have worked nicely with the green Solace dress worn in Boston -- long, smooth, and sleek would have suited its clean, post-modern lines -- but an updo was really called for here. I can't fathom why she wore this style with the very formal gown and the tiara. It simply doesn't work for me, though it obviously worked in her eyes. Perhaps I should just throw up my hands and stop complaining?

    Nah. Where's the fun in that?

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  44. What a happy surprise. And so nice to have an annual Tiara Event back, after the COVID world break (also looking forward to the Swedish Royal Family back in tiara action later this week for the Nobel Prize ceremony). PssoW - I like the dress. Not a favorite, but I love that color is back on the menu. The hair is different and that is fun. (And totally get the CP Mary vibes too.) LOVE this tiara. So happy to see her in something other than QMLK tiara. Of course, something completely new from the vaults would be great, this is still a treat. I agree with a previous poster that the earrings tend to look off, not as grand, but I think that it is something about the setting. (I will note that I often have the same opinion about a lot of the jewels in the Danish crown jewels - the settings didn't age well or at least don't photograph well.)

    QC - the dress goes back and forth for me from black to very, very deep blue. But again, love that it isn't white/white family. I also wonder whether the necklace, which is longer than the last appearance, will be easily converted back and forth for length? That would make it more usable (would work with more gowns). I had hoped to see QC in something else new to her this time, but still one of my top two appearances ever of this tiara (and the other one is QC's first time wearing it last month). I used to see this tiara as similar to what my daughters would have worn playing princess dress-up.

    I also have to comment on Serena's hair from 1993 - wowsa, that is a lot of hair. As a girl of that time, I love it (and will admit that my wedding up-do was similarly big, although alas no amazing tiara). But I can only imagine how much time that took to put up and to take it out!

    And just under 5 months to the coronation!

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    1. Serena didn't have that much hair. Most or all of that braid up-do was a hairpiece. Look at pics of her just before and after the wedding.

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    2. That was a hairpiece, not all Serena's own hair.

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  45. I love it!! I have not warmed to this tiara thus far but the long, straight hair and the slinky dress are the perfect match!

    Rachel

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  46. Im in πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ and I love both couples. They are beautiful women who are just doing their best in their situations. I have no doubt whatsoever that we all will look back and say “remember when”… they will be fine because they love each other. Kate looks beautiful! So pleasant and a wonderful support for her husband. King Charles looks like he is finally happy in his role. And Camilla, wow! Ma’am! Lovely. Just lovely! Remember when.. ro from πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

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  47. I’m not a fan of this look. The gown looks gaudy and make her look older than she is. Too much things going on with the gown and the jewelry makes it look even busier.

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  48. Utterly sublime. Kudos to Kate!

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  49. Hair, dress, tiara-an absolutely gorgeous look. I love red and burgandy on her

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  50. Oh my goodness, this is a spectacular look. Every inch the Princess of Wales. I can’t say enough about how regal, and beautiful she looks. Magnificent.
    Tedi

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  51. I can’t get over how perfectly regal she looks. I adore this dress.
    Karen in Virginia

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  52. My first thought was that’s she looks so much like Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. I like that her hair is down but it does look like they teased it a little too much at the tiara line. I think soft waves would have been a better down style then slicked back and teased.

    I was surprised by the dress but not in a bad way. It’s very pretty and I think choosing the Lotus Flower was the perfect complement to the dress. It’s not my favorite tiara but it is pretty.

    As we get further past the Queen’s passing, I think we’ll be seeing more of the jewelry that hasn’t been seen in awhile. I don’t think it’s a slight against the late Queen or anyone else but I think there are probably pieces that no one touched out of respect or maybe they were not offered and now, I think the possibility is back because there is less connection to the pieces. There are no longer very strong, familial ties to many of the pieces. Camila, Kate & Sophie all married into the family and I think we’ll see them experiment a little more with jewelry and tiaras as the years go on.

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  53. Wow! Such a pretty festive header! With lights! Thank you -- that's very cheery, which is always needed.

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  54. Not a regular commenter, though I check this blog several times a day. Charlotte you are so fast in posting the outings. Thank you for always looking out and reporting on the event.

    Which brings me to my next point that the KP had released a photograph of the PoW with regards to the Carol Service, but there hasn’t been a post on that - even a First Look - and I am hoping that all is well.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Just published a new post :)

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    2. Yes, saw it. Like I said, I visit the site a couple of times a day, so I hardly miss a post 😊. Thank you again.

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  55. Why is Kate awol nowadays. I thought being princess of wales she will up her engagements?

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