23 October 2018

Dutch State Visit to Britain: State Banquet Jewels

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We were hoping for some sparkle at tonight's Buckingham Palace state banquet, and man alive, did the Dutch and British royals deliver! Here's a look at what we saw sparkling away tonight at the palace.


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Queen Elizabeth II, the host of the evening, stuck to tried-and-true jewels for the banquet. She paired her very favorite sparkler, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, with her Diamond Festoon Necklace, diamond earrings, and a diamond and pearl bracelet. (More on the tiara over here, and the necklace over here!)

She also paid a sneaky bejeweled tribute to her guests by wearing the Cullinan III and IV Brooch to secure the sash of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. You may remember that the Cullinan Diamond was cut in Amsterdam by Joseph Asscher in 1908. When she visited the Netherlands in 1958, the Queen got to go with the Dutch royal family to the Asscher workshop to see where the brooch was born -- and of course she wore it on that outing, too. (Much more over here!)


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The stunner of the night, of course, was Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wearing the full Stuart Tiara, including the magnificent Stuart Diamond. It was a sensible tribute to her host nation, as the diamond originally belonged to Britain's King William III and Queen Mary II. (Much more on the tiara here and on the diamond over here!)


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She also wore the full devant de corsage from the Stuart Parure, as well as diamond earrings that belonged to Queen Juliana and one of the Dutch East Indies Bracelets.


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The Duchess of Cornwall glittered in the Greville Tiara for the banquet, paired with her pearl drop earrings and her pearl choker necklace with the wonderful diamond and pink topaz clasp. (See the tiara up close over here!)


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The Duchess of Cambridge wore two of her favorite pieces -- Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara and the Collingwood Pearl Earrings that belonged to the late Diana, Princess of Wales -- but her ensemble also included two notable additions. First, the necklace from Queen Alexandra's Wedding Gift Parure, which was a great favorite of the late Queen Mother. It hasn't been worn in public since her death in 2002. (Learn more about it here!)


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Second, (finally!) Kate's got the Queen's Royal Family Order. As she and William have campaigned against the use and trade of ivory, Kate's RFO is made of glass. According to palace press info, she received the order in December 2017. (She wasn't the only one wearing a new honor tonight -- you'll note at the top of the post that King Willem-Alexander is now a Knight of the Garter!)



Cameras also snapped the Duchess of Gloucester (wearing the Cartier Indian Tiara) and Princess Michael of Kent (wearing the Kent Pearl Festoon Tiara) as they arrived at the palace for the banquet.


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Here's quite a clear view of Princess Michael's jewels as she arrived with the royal family for the banquet.


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There were a few other royal ladies in attendance, too. Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau (who lives in London) was present, walking on the arm of the Archbishop of Canterbury. She wore the family's Sapphire Necklace Tiara and additional sapphire pieces from the family's collection.


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Thanks to the photos of the entire banquet table, we can play "Where's Waldo" and find a few more members of the family. You'll spot the Princess Royal here wearing one of her low-profile tiaras, either Princess Andrew's Meander Tiara or her own Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara.


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The Countess of Wessex is visible in the center of this photo. She wore the aquamarine tiara loaned to her by the Queen.


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Here's another look at the Duchess of Gloucester in the center of this photo.


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And a royal cousin was also present at the banquet: Lady Elizabeth Anson, a great-niece of the Queen Mother and a cousin by marriage of the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Belgian, and Luxembourgish royal families. (Her mother, Anne Bowes-Lyon, was first married to Lady Elizabeth's father, Viscount Anson, and then, after their divorce, married again to Prince George Valdemar of Denmark, the son of Prince Axel of Denmark and Princess Margaretha of Sweden. George's aunts were Crown Princess Martha of Norway and Queen Astrid of Belgium.)

As she did in 2017 for the Norwegian royal birthday celebrations, Lady Elizabeth wore her diamond wedding tiara, a legacy from her mother.