Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Duchess Sparkles in Tiara & Jewels for Annual Diplomatic Reception!

It's one of our favourite events of the year for a very sparkly reason...


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined senior members of the Royal family tonight for the annual white-tie Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace. Hosted by Her Majesty, the reception is one of the most glittering events on the royal calendar with tiaras, jewels and royal orders on display.


Royal photographer Mark Stewart reports William and Kate were a tad distracted upon arrival:

'Looks of concern from the Cambridges as they had just witnessed one of their motorcycle outriders coming off his bike at speed.'

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving.

Embed from Getty Images

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 Her Majesty throws a reception in their honour and members of the Royal family in attendance make a point of meeting with each one. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed to the palace ballroom. At 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m high, the ballroom 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. It is used by the Queen for state banquets. Below, a look inside the ballroom at the 2015 state banquet William and Kate attended.


It is an event kept very much under wraps and photos are usually not released from inside the reception for a variety of reasons including security and certain political sensitivities. Attendees are not confirmed in advance either, meaning we never know until the night which royals will be present. We saw a rare video from the 2015 reception for the Our Queen at Ninety documentary.


And last year, coinciding with the Queen's 90th, Buckingham Palace released a photo from inside the reception with the six senior royals. It was a lovely opportunity to see the monarch with two heirs and their spouses together at such a formal event - the present and future of the Royal family. Reporters described the decision to release the photo as "remarkable". It was wonderful to see a high-res photo from the reception. Unfortunately, I very much doubt we'll get the same luck tonight.


The Duchess dazzled in what is fast becoming her signature tiara - the Lovers Knot.


A closer look at the piece tonight.


The tiara, which is steeped in royal history and is so closely associated with William's mother, looks beautiful on Kate. It's a stunning piece and one I expect we'll see the Duchess wearing throughout her life. The tiara features elements of the Gothic Revival style. The circle of the Lovers Knot is made up of a lower semi-circular band, set with a row of brilliant cut diamonds. Where two adjacent arches meet, a pillar-like structure is formed that rises up and ends in a round diamond, forming a diamond spike. There are nineteen diamond spikes of this nature and the size gradually decreases from the centre towards both ends.


Kate most recently wore the stunning piece for the State dinner in honour of the King and Queen of Spain last July.


Once again, Kate teamed the tiara with Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings.


Below, Diana wearing the tiara and earrings together.

Embed from Getty Images

The sparkle didn't end there. Take a look at Kate's beautiful necklace..


The piece is on loan from the Queen. The amazing Order of Splendor notes: "So the Duchess of Cambridge has a new diamond collet/riviΓ¨re necklace tonight, must be on loan from the Queen. There are a few in the collection and they’re very hard to tell apart." Below, Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra and Her Majesty wearing various collet necklaces.

Her Majesty's Jewel Vault


'Any good royal collection has at least one diamond collet necklace - a basic necklace with single round diamonds (of considerable size on their own) in a single row. Queen Mary was a huge fan, often piling on multiple necklaces so as to create almost a diamond turtleneck for herself. She also kept a collection of loose collets at Garrard to vary the length of these "basic" necklaces. The Queen also wears collet necklaces, but she tends to stick to one at a time. According to Hugh Roberts in The Queen's Diamonds, Queen Mary had 8 collet necklaces, and 2 of those were left to the Queen.'

A look at Kate's updo, it appears she wore a hairnet to keep it in place.


Kate wore a new white gown with distinctive embellishments and hand-beading. It looks like a show-stopping piece from what we can see; likely bespoke from either Jenny Packham or McQueen. Hopefully we will see it in its entirety at a later date.


The lovely Laura shared a comment from Order of Splendor with more information on the dress. It sounds beautiful.

Lesley C/Order of Splendor

It was a treat as always to see the arrival photos from the reception. White-tie events are in short supply and this one is always worth waiting for. The combination of the tiara, earrings, necklace and new gown no doubt made for a memorable look.

See you all tomorrow when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the Children's Global Media Summit at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

96 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2017 at 20:35

    Wonderful to see them attending once more! A rare tiara sighting! And that necklace!! Some honking diamonds right there! I wonderfully regal look! Seems like she's following Camilla and the Queen and wearing white for white tie? Hope she doesn't fall into that trend too hard though. I can see it being practical but it's so fun to see colours! I wonder if we will get a picture inside this year (doubt it!) or if last year was a rare one off! She looks absolutly splendid, regal, serene and beautiful! WOW!

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    1. I am so hoping for a picture. I want to see the whole look.

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  2. Ooh, a new dress?! I wish would could see it!! And a nice surprise to check twitter and discover Charlotte's 'First Look' post.

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  3. Wow, I guess the date correctly! And we have a tiara and a NEW necklace and seems to be a NEW dress! ! !

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2017 at 20:43

      I guessed today as well but somehow had forgotten I did so by the time it came around so it was a wonderful surprise to refresh twitter and see Kate in all her splendor!

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    2. Me too. We usually get at least some rumbling on twitter and such, but this time there was nothing, so I assumed it was next week.

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  4. Hooray! And a new gown by the looks of it! Does anyone else remember the pale pink Alexander McQueen with the bell sleeves? I don't think there's been a tiara sighting since, has there?

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    1. Duchess fan from Downunder5 December 2017 at 22:08

      That dress wasn’t McQueen.

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    2. That was a test, Duchess fan from Downunder! You passed! ;)

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    3. That gown was Marchesa and considering the recent scandal, I think we may not see it again.

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  5. She looks stunning, then again I always think she looks her best with her hair in an updo! I hope we see the full gown?!

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  6. I am really blown away and it's just a picture from her neck up! That dress looks gorgeous. I am a sucker for a white evening gown. And her hair - perfect, tiara - obviously perfect, necklace - insanely beautiful and shiny, and earrings - perfect!

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  7. Kate is very regal looking, hopefully we will get another photo showing her dress......and maybe the family order?

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  8. Seems to be a very regal look... Love that it's white and sparkling and its perfect for this season ✨

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  9. Didn't get my wish for a "new" tiara, but look at that necklace! Kate definitely looks regal tonight! Can't wait for the longer post.

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  10. Wow, she looks absolutely beautiful and radiant!! Always love a tiara, but looks like a new necklace and a new dress....very regal indeed!!! She looks every bit a royal English rose!! cc

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    1. Beautiful Royal English Rose she is, CeCe. 🌹

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  11. I think those are different earrings, too.

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  12. So excited!!!! I love tiara appearances. It looks like she is wearing one of the Queen's Collet necklaces.

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    1. I have always loved this style of necklace and did not know it was called a collet. I think they are one of the most elegant necklaces, simple, yet a statement. cc

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  13. First impression: Fabulous, Kate looks like a queen, just beautiful. They both look gorgeous. Hope we get a picture from inside.

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  14. That necklace is incredible and I love the detailing on that neckline!! Wish we got more photos of this event!!!! Here's hoping she wears that dress again in the future!!

    Kate hasn't made my jaw drop lately....... this was a great way to do so!!!

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  15. I wonder if Kate has a new ribbon to put on that white gown, finally got her “Elizabeth”?

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    Replies
    1. oh. nm. :). That's the royal order thingy.

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  16. Elegantly beautiful all around from the neck up as is available right now. The tiara recalls PD. I am curious about the necklace.

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  17. Charlotte-This blog's community knows and appreciates how swift and professional you are. I think You happen to post the answer to my question by sheer coincidence immediately after I posted the 21:23 comment. I was just about to leave the PC for other tasks when I clicked again, and found your up dated posts, which was a pleasant surprise. TY

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  18. Kate does look stunning and I wish we were able to see the dress in it's entirety! That necklace and I have ALWAYS loved the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara. (Loved it so much--I wanted a replica to wear for my wedding--no luck!) Now I need to be educated. I noticed that Camilla has a blue sash with red--- what is that for and why doesn't Kate have one? I do hope she has received her ribbon.

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    1. HRH Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall is wearing a riband of the Royal Victorian Order. This is an Order given / granted by HM The Queen at her discretion. HRH Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge has not been given this Order to date. Reasons for, why, and when are not often discovered until much later dates, if ever.

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    2. Thank you Marina IJ. I try to follow as best as i can. :)

      Delete
  19. Lovely surprise! I forgot we had this coming up. I like the length of this beautiful necklace. Hope we get to see the dress in full soon.

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    1. Zora from Prague6 December 2017 at 12:30

      Same with me, Erika! That's one good thing about forgetting - the pleasant surprise afterwards πŸ˜„

      Delete
  20. I always love a good tiara sighting and I’m so happy that Kate is using the Lover’s Knot as her signature go-to piece. It looks lovely on her when she’s wearing it with a good hair style. Is it weird to be excited over a sleeve? The sleeve looks very pretty with the sparkle and I’m thinking that dress is probably equally as wonderful. Hopefully we’ll get to see it soon. That necklace - oh my word - it’s all kinda of amazing - lucky girl.

    I do have one question, slightly off topic - in the photo of the three couples, why is Camilla’s sash facing a different way? I’m assuming the color and size difference has to do with being a blood relative but it looks out of place to me because it’s not uniform with the rest of them. Maybe I just pay too close attention. Lol

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    1. HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales, and HRH The Duke of Cambridge are wearing the riband of the Order of the Garter (notice that it is wide solid blue color), which is worn in this direction from the left to the right (on the person). HRH Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, is wearing the riband of The Royal Victorian Order (notice the tri-color stripe) which is worn from the right to the left (on the person). Orders are not worn to be uniform, a person given an order, wears their highest order to events such as the Diplomatic Reception, and they are worn in the manner of precedence given within the mandates of the order. Camilla has not been granted by The Queen The Order of the Thistle, therefore she is wearing her Dame of the Royal VIctorian Order, her highest Order. The other members are wearing other Orders, but in different forms (the large badges pinned to the garments, the collars (the necklaces on ribands under the bow ties on the gentlemen, etc). As well as the women are wearing jewelry (tiaras, necklaces, rings, etc.) that are not related to the Orders, and are mostly loans from HM The Queen to the women wearing them.

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    2. Alaina, I think the Cambridge Lover's Knot was meant for Kate!! cc

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    3. me too, Alaina and CeCe. It just looks so right on her. :)

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    4. wow. love the protocols. Thanks for the info, Marina. :)

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    5. Thank you for the explanation, Marina. I had no idea so much went into how/where things are worn.

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    6. It's nothing to do with being a relative. Different orders are simply worn in different ways. The Garter sash (on the Queen, for example) goes over one shoulder, the RVO sash (on Camilla) goes over the other.

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  21. Once again the Duchess rises to the occasion, totally amazing, proving beyond doubt that diamonds are a girls best friend, serene, elegant and beautiful. Im my opinion the reason the Duchess dosent wear the honour broach is because traditionally they are painted on ivory and this would not be in keeping with the stance taken by Prince William on rhino conservation.

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    1. diamonds are nice, aren't they. (properly mined and sourced of course.) and how remiss of google ......
      they don't have a tiara emoji. :)

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    2. πŸ‘Έ....will a "princess with tiara" emoji work surfer girl? :) cc

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    3. She doesn't wear a family order because she hasn't been given it yet. If she had it, she would wear it.

      Delete
  22. Hooray, a tiara sighting! And her necklace is stunning!

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  23. Sarah Maryland USA5 December 2017 at 23:00

    Dying to see the dress! Also, why do you think Kate isn’t going the star wars event Isn’t she a patron of the foundation? She doesn’t seem to have anything else on her calendar

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    Replies
    1. Orange County Grandma6 December 2017 at 01:12

      I was thinking the same thing.😒😒😒

      Delete
  24. I love how the papers are describing Kate's outfit in minute detail as much as they can. And then they go, 'And William was in the back seat wearing a white tie'. lol

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    1. Anonymous in Colorado6 December 2017 at 05:03

      πŸ˜‚ Isn't that hilarious, SG?! Poor William.

      Delete
  25. Queen Mary's "turtleneck of diamonds". lol
    I like simple, but then there are times....

    I hope and pray that Charles and or William, etc. will never do away with white tie events. What a nice way to esteem the 170 missions.

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  26. I wonder why you can see so much more of the Duchess of Cornwall in her car than you can of the Duchess of Cambridge in her car?

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    1. Looks like the couples choose two different makes and models, with the Cambridges having shorter windows and lower seats.

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    2. I believe the Cambridge's are in a Jaguar and C&C are in a Bentley. See the difference in the windows? Much lower in the Bentley. But oh what a direct gaze at the camera on Camilla's part. Never misses an opportunity.

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2017 at 10:40

      Different cars. William and Kates are more normal ones while Camilla and Charles are ones with extra windows used when the royals are more "on parade"

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    4. Zora from Prague6 December 2017 at 12:32

      Royalfan, I have to admit that seeing Camilla I thought of you and suspected you would make this kind of comment πŸ˜‰
      Kate looks so beautiful!!

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    5. Zora, I have no idea why you would think that πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜„πŸ˜€πŸ˜œ

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    6. Zora from Prague6 December 2017 at 15:53

      πŸ€”..., royalfan... πŸ˜‰

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  27. Thank you Charlotte, what a surprise! Was doing more Christmas baking and getting ready for a Toastmasters meeting and my gmail pinged with a message. There you were with a fabulous post!

    Wow a fairytale princess. You SHALL go to the ball! That necklace is absolutely gorgeous, love the photo where the diamonds look like they are on fire.

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  28. Hmm i love the tiara sighting Hmm the duchess look good and glam up even we do still The whole outfit but im going too bet one day will see that i love the necklacs

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  29. Marna from Texas6 December 2017 at 00:37

    Thank you so much for the excellent coverage, Charlotte!! Do you think the Duchess of Cambridge will receive a Royal Order for the Scandinavian tour? I am not up to speed on the rules of these things but would love to have the Duchess receive one sooner rather than later!

    Thank you for the beautiful photos & details.

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    1. Hello Marna,

      Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately, there is no announcement when they are awarded. They are given at the Queen's discretion. We won't know until the next white-tie event - either a State Dinner or the next Diplomatic Reception :)

      Delete
  30. Charlotte, isn’t this tiara technically the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot? (Apologies if you’ve addressed this is a past post.)

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  31. Daily Mail has a great photo from the Duke's side of the car, and you can see more of the Duchess' neckline from that angle. Still a slight chance that she's got her "Elizabeth" on her left side, but I doubt it. This dress looks like it could be a great option for the state opening of Parliament one day!

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  32. Is anything known about how the motorcyclist is doing, if he or she is all right? I hope so. This is a fun sighting, and that gorgeous diamond callet is to me the epitome of elegance. Catherine's choice of the tiara with Diana's earrings is perfect.

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  33. any word on the motorcyclist?

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  34. Even though the pic is from the neckline up, this looks stunning!! I really liked how she paired it with that gorgeous necklace. It looks perfect with the dress, not overdone. Beautiful.

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  35. Rhonda - Wisconsin6 December 2017 at 02:34

    Holy wow!!! The tiara, that necklace! I am in sparkle heaven!!! Kate looks amazing, regal and definitely regal! I like many others am dying of curiosity to see the dead. It is so cool that Her Majesty loans these jewels out for all of us to drool over! LOL. Very beautiful tonight Kate - you rock!!!

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  36. Tammy from California6 December 2017 at 02:36

    I am floored the hairdresser put a net in Kate's hair. I mean FLOORED.

    Camilla's Honeycomb Crown and her earrings command drool out of my mouth every time I see them. If I got to choose, that'd be my choice for crown. I do think it's totally apropos that Kate wears the Cambridge Lovers Knot though.

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    1. I have always loved that crown on Camilla as well. That's the one I would want also - it's go to fit your face and both crowns looks appropriate on both ladies.

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  37. Kate looks absolutely gorgeous as usual. And that tiara never gets old no matter how many times she wears it. She really has the grace and dignity worthy of a future Queen. Thanks for the post, Charlotte.

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  38. Anyone else noting similarities in the neckline of this dress to the royal blue one that she wore to a gala in India? There was a photo taken from Wills’ side witha not more detail that confirmed it for me. That’s my guess and i’m sticking to it!

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    1. Could be Shannon. That did have an empire waist - which Kate would need at this point.

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  39. I wish the royal family would find a way to avoid car shots, that are less than satisfactory to royal watchers, unflattering to royals and unpopular with royals, especially William (who seems fine here but often looks tense.) Allowing a photo/video of royal arrivals as is done I believe in Denmark at otherwise private events would be a possibility. The fact a video for the queen's birthday was taken at the Diplomatic Reception and last year a formal photo shows there is no reason why limited photos can't be taken.

    Kate's dress looks lovely from the bit we can see and I hope we will be able to see more. Of the borrowed necklaces she has worn, I like this the best. The Nizam was too short and too fiddly. Whilst I had been eager to see her in the ruby bandeau, it looked constricting on her. The choker looks promising but wrong for the neckline. But this classic and magnificent necklace looked perfect on Kate, confirming my view that simpler is better on her. I love the sparkle of the necklace.

    Always lovely to see the Lover's Knot tiara and I like her hair up with it.

    The car shot is unflattering particularly for Charles and Camilla. I have questioned before whether Camilla should have been awarded the Royal Victorian Order since it was never given to Diana in spite of much more important royal work - but for now will just say that I would expect Kate to be given the queen's family order before receiving that - and continue to wonder why the delay - whether it is the issue of amount of actual royal work or the ivory issue.

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    1. Julia, if they avoided car shots, we may not have any photos from occasions such as this. Is that preferable? I don't see how...

      Regarding Camila and the Order, well, I think the queen has done her best to throw her weight behind this union for obvious reasons. In my opinion, the queen is concerned about a peaceful transition in the future; I don't see this as being a personal statement. HM simply needs to be seen as being behind Camilla as a member of the RF. Similarly, I don't believe that Kate not having one represents anything personal. The Queen's personal jewelry that Kate has worn speak volumes in my opinion.

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    2. On car shot - I wasn't thinking of them ending without being replaced by something better - my hope would be possibly full-length arrival photos, more flattering to royals, less traumatic than flashes into car windows, and more satisfactory to royalists who would like to see full length gowns. I'm dreaming of course.

      Car shots are better than nothing.

      I agree on Camilla, always have. I think Charles pushed hard for it. All it shows is that ribbon is just that - a ribbon. I'm not sure I think the loan of jewellery means that much - the queen has loaned jewellery to most of her female family members including Diana - but I do think there may well be some other reason for Kate not having the family order.

      I still lean towards the ivory issue - that the queen doesn't want attention called and issues raised for the other ladies in her family who wear ivory orders but that William doesn't want Kate to wear ivory. So there may be a stalemate. Having said that - I can't imagine Kate won't have the queen's order eventually - it would seem wrong. So I don't know - we continue to wait and see.

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    3. I agree that the car shots are really less than ideal. Perhaps when Charles becomes King he will change it so that the RF does the kind of arrival photographs like the European royals do. I doubt it would ever stop some paps from taking photos on the fly but at least if he worked with the regular Press we could end up with nicer, more modern photos.

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    4. Caroline in Montana6 December 2017 at 23:47

      Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but what happens to the Royal Order when someone dies?- i mean what happened to Diana's from the queen? Cant they "recycle" that for Kate and then King Charles can make his family order out of something besides ivory? that way there could be less fuss over the ivory?

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    5. Julia, arrival shots would be fantastic. No argument.

      And, yes, I'm sure Charles did a bit of campaigning on his wife's behalf with the Queen going along with it for the sake of the Firm. Again, nothing personal IMO.

      But I do think that when Kate shows up with a bracelet given to HM by PP, it means something. There are many things she can loan, but something so personal has even more value to it.

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    6. PS Another thought on arrival photos ... do the European royals have scenarios like BP where they arrive in a courtyard setting?

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  40. Kate looks very pretty, her makeup is stunning. I just wish her hair dresser would not use a hairnet, it spoils the up do! With a tiara I think she should have her hair down or a very soft up do. Cant wait to see the whole dress :)

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    1. I would like to see a softer updo with the tiara the next time she wears it.

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    2. I agree with you about her hair, Nina. So many missed opportunities arggg. Frustrating.

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    3. Caroline in Montana7 December 2017 at 00:01

      I did not even notice the hairnet until it was pointed out! i thought her hair looked great:)

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  41. Wow...those diamonds sure are dazzling! I love it when the Queen wears a necklace like that. Can't wait to (hopefully) see the white dress in full at some point. I bet it's Jenny Packham, judging by the embellishments. Kate's hair looks nice...the CLK tiara really stands out against her dark hair. I hope the motorcyclist is OK :(

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    1. yes, Kiwi Gal. I hope they mention about his condition and that he is okay.

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  42. Seems like the Duchess became part of the 'white dress gang' for the diplomatic reception this year. I am sure that it must look very fairytale like with the wonderful Queen Mary Lovers Knot Tiara (the actual Cambridge Lovers Knot was sold in the 80s) and the stunning diamond necklace - hopefully she will wear it again soon, so we can see it in all its glory

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    1. Had to google the difference between the two tiara's and found this article. Alas, it isn't called the Cambridge Lover's Knot and it is the Queen Mary Lover's Knot, or at least according to this. At any rate, it is a Lover's Knot and it was Diana's....love that Kate is using it as often as she is, it looks great on her. cc

      http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2017/07/lovers-knot-tiaras-cambridge-vs-queen.html

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  43. I sot of gave up on being able to see three women in white night gowns for white tie diplomatic dinner.

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  44. I hope previous post said, evening gowns, and not night gowns. If not, with apology, correction is evening gown.

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    1. I think white night gowns would be more interesting.

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  45. Susan in Florida6 December 2017 at 17:32

    As a person with really thick hair , I will vouch that a hair net is necessary for updo’s. The net keeps every hair in place. It keeps you from worry if what to do if a hair gets loose.

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  46. Fantastic! How exciting that they attended this year again. And I too love that Kate wore white. But I fear we won't see this dress in full view. Is there another event of this magnitude during her pregnancy?

    I'm loving the necklace. I can't even imagine what it's like to put that on and think about the history, the women that have worn it, everything. Overwhelming would be my feeling.

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    1. Hopefully it will be a dress that can be altered to a smaller size if needed after this pregnancy so we can enjoy it in full view!

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  47. I remember a picture taken last year or the year before. It would be nice to get a picture showing exactly what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. Thanks Charlotte for the info you have gathered.

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  48. Wow Charlotte Kate looks stunning I adore her in this tiara of Diana's.

    Her hair is exquisite

    Thanks for all you do Charlotte

    Mellie

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