22 October 2014

State Visit Jewels: Singapore State Banquet

The Singapore state visit turned up the glitter last night with a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted, and the guest list also included the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

As per usual at British state visits, the only royal who posed for photographs was the Queen. She wore the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the Coronation Necklace and Earrings, and diamond bracelets. The order she wears is Singapore's Order of Temasek, which she received in 1972; she's secured the sash with Queen Mary's Dorset Bow Brooch. She's also wearing the family orders of George V and George VI.

As far as the rest of the royals go, we've got to seriously squint to come up with much. As the second-ranking royal lady present, Sophie Wessex sat beside President Tan. She's wearing the aquamarine tiara from the Queen's collection, plus the Royal Victorian Order and the Queen's family order.

Princess Michael of Kent didn't have a particularly good seat at the banquet, but that means she's the only other royal lady we were able to see at all, really. (There are glimpses of shadowy figures that could be the Duchess of Gloucester or Princess Alexandra in the background of some images, but nothing clear.) Marie-Christine is the woman in the foreground wearing polka dots; she's also wearing the festoon tiara that belonged to her mother-in-law, Princess Marina.

We can get a better look at the Kent Festoon, plus the tiara worn by Princess Alexandra (the Ogilvy Tiara), thanks to Mark Stewart's photos of the Kent ladies arriving at the palace for the banquet. They really need to lower the seats in these cars so we get a better look a the tip-top of the tiaras!

I don't know about all of you, but every British state banquet makes me grateful for the Swedes and their table-side jewel photography. Much less squinting involved.