The Princess of Wales wore the popular Lotus Flower Tiara for tonight’s diplomatic reception. Below, the Prince and Princess on their way to the reception. (How fun is the expression on the woman’s face reflected in the window?)
Below, Camilla, Queen Consort.
This is the first time King Charles and the Queen Consort have hosted the event. As many as 2000 members of the diplomatic corps are welcomed to Buckingham Palace for the reception.
The Prince and Princess.
The event at the Palace is the first Diplomatic Corps reception of the King’s reign, and the monarch, his consort Camilla, eldest son and heir to the throne William and daughter-in-law Kate, a future queen, welcomed foreign ambassadors to the grand occasion in the royal residence’s state rooms.
The late Queen was set to host the white tie gathering in March this year at Windsor Castle, but it was postponed due to Russian’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is usually held every December, but there were no receptions in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. The reception traditionally includes a buffet supper and dancing.
The most recent reception for the Diplomatic Corps was hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in December 2019.
Now for our look at what the two royal women wore for the reception, starting with Camilla, Queen Consort.
She was in a gown by Anna Valentine, per this Hello magazine story. She accessorized with stunning sapphire and diamond jewelry: the George VI sapphire necklace, a coordinating tiara, and earrings. The Court Jeweller notes, “The Queen received the sapphires from her father as a wedding present in 1947, hence the set’s usual name.” More about the tiara from The Royal Order of Splendor.
This tiara traces back to Princess Louise of Belgium (1858-1924), who was the daughter of King Leopold II and the wife of Prince Ferdinand Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. When you look at the current tiara, you can indeed detect a bit of pointiness – the tell-tale look of a converted necklace instead of something designed specifically to be a tiara.
Below is a closer look.
Moving now to the Princess of Wales, who chose a Jenny Packham design for tonight’s function.
The ‘Elodie gown is from the designer’s pre-fall 2019 collection and features a floral motif, round neckline, semi-sheer bodice, and extended keyhole back. Many thanks to UFO No More for their ID of this piece.
A closer look at the gown shows the zippers at the wrist and the intricate beading and sequin work embellishing the dress.
As mentioned above, tonight, the Princess chose the Lotus Flower Tiara, also called the Queen Mother’s Papyrus Tiara.
This is the third time the Princess has worn the tiara. We first saw her wearing it to the 2013 diplomatic reception. We had better pictures when it was worn almost two years later for the China state dinner.
A closer look.
More about the piece from The Court Jeweller:
The first royal wearer of this tiara, which takes its name from the lotus flower (or papyrus leaf) elements that dominate the piece, was the Queen Mum. She took a page out of her mother-in-law’s book when creating the sparkler: it was made from a necklace that she received as a wedding gift in 1923. The necklace, which was made of diamonds and pearls and featured meander and festoon designs, was given to her by her husband, the future George VI, who had purchased it from Garrard.
Even so, Elizabeth decided she’d rather dismantle it and reuse the gems elsewhere. Only six months after she received it, Garrard broke up the necklace and used the diamonds and pearls to create this tiara.
Below, the Queen Mother wearing the piece. The Royal Order of Splendor writes, “The then-Duchess of York wore it in the fashionable bandeau style across her forehead, but it is equipped to be worn in traditional style at the crown of the head as well.”
The Court Jeweller reports, “Margaret received the tiara from her mother in 1959, just before she married Antony Armstrong-Jones. Along with the Poltimore, it became one of her most frequently worn tiaras.” Below, Princess Margaret wearing the piece.
The Princess wore Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Frame Earrings, the art deco Bentley and Skinner brooch first seen at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service, and Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Family Order, personally bestowed by The Queen to female members of the Royal Family.
Below, the late Queen wearing the earrings for the State Opening of Parliament in 2012 and the Duchess wearing them for a Place2Be engagement in 2016.
The Princess also wore the sash, badge, and Maltese Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, also awarded to her by the late Queen. (They are shown below as worn on another occasion.)
Below, a look at several of the more recent diplomatic reception ensembles worn by the Princess of Wales. The 2016 and 2018 gowns are by Jenny Packham, while the 2019 style is an Alexander McQueen design.