It is the largest – and one of the most glittering – annual receptions the monarch holds at Buckingham Palace.
Little wonder, then, that the Duchess of Cambridge was determined to shine.
Arriving at tonight’s Diplomatic Reception in a chauffeur-driven Bentley, Kate sported in public for the first time since her wedding a dazzling tiara, believed to have been loaned to her by the Queen.
Regal: The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a diplomatic reception this evening at Buckingham Palace wearing a tiara
All dressed up: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are seen leaving Kensington Palace earlier tonight
With her long, dark locks swept back in a half-up half-down hairstyle to show off the delicate diamonds to their best advantage, the Duchess, 31, looked more regal than ever.
The Duchess was wearing a bespoke evening gown by Alexander McQueen.
Last night Kensington Palace confirmed that the tiara had belonged to Princess Margaret
It is a particularly delicate diamond tiara of fanned motifs crowned by floating diamond arches and studded with two pearls at the base and a central top pearl.
It was made from one of her wedding gifts, a necklace of a Greek key pattern with pendant diamonds and pearls given by her husband, the future George VI. Garrard dismantled it and created a tiara instead.
Glittering: The stunning tiara is thought to have belonged to the Queen Mother
Big occasion: It is thought to be the first time the Duchess has been seen wearing a tiara since the Royal wedding in 2011
The Queen Mother often wore it as a young woman before handing it down to her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, who also loaned it to Serena Stanhope for her wedding to Margaret’s son Viscount Linley.
Although Prince William and his wife have studiously avoided attending any state banquets since their wedding (when a tiara is obligatory), claiming they are left to senior working royals, tonight’s reception was something of a three-line whip.
There are 172 Foreign Missions currently accredited to the Court of St James’s in London, because St. James’s Palace is still the senior palace and official residence of the Sovereign.
Each year the Queen throws a lavish reception in their honour, where members of the royal family make a point of meeting and greeting each one.
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