Buckingham Palace hosted on Tuesday the first state banquet since Charles III was proclaimed king following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September. Not since 2019, when then US president Donald Trump and Melania Trump visited the queen, has such an event been held. This time, the British royal family was hosting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Tshepo Motsepe. Not only was it Charles’ first state banquet as king, it was also the first dinner for Camilla and Kate Middleton in their new roles, as Queen Consort and Princess of Wales, respectively.
The royals used the occasion to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth. Camilla wore the late Queen’s sapphire and diamond tiara, with matching necklace and earrings, a collection sometimes known as the King George VI Victorian Suite. The jewels held great sentimental value to Queen Elizabeth, as they were a wedding gift from her father, King George VI. In a further tribute, Camila also wore a brooch, with a portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II.
This same brooch was worn by Kate Middleton, who also wore a pearl bracelet that belonged to Queen Elizabeth in honor of the late monarch. Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, Princess of Wales, also paid tribute to her predecessor, Princess Diana. She wore earrings belonging to Lady Di as well as a tiara known as the Lover’s Knot, which was one of the princess’s favorites. The tiara is more than 100 years old. It was requested by Queen Mary in 1923 to replace a similar one that belonged to her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel.
The Queen Consort and Princess of Wales were not the only ones to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth. The Countess of Wessex and Forfar, Sophie Wessex, also wore the same yellow-ribboned brooch with the portrait of Elizabeth II, as well as a diamond necklace and a pair of earrings that used to belong to the monarch. Queen Elizabeth loaned this set to her daughter-in-law in 2019, although they remain part of the Crown Jewels.