The last and largest royal engagement of the year took place tonight in Buckingham Palace: the diplomatic corps reception. Every year The Queen hosts the white-tie event, with members of her family – Prince Charles and Camilla and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – also in attendance.
Approximately 1000 invites are issued to welcome guests including ambassadors, high commissioners, and government officials. It is an opportunity for The Queen to entertain members of the foreign Diplomatic Corps, with a show of splendour.
The function is the largest and most formal reception held at Buckingham Palace each year with only the most senior members of the Royal Family attending the ‘do.
Due to the formality of the occasion, guests adhere to a strict (and glamorous!) dress code. The “white tie and decorations” code means tailcoats for the gentlemen and full-length gowns for the ladies. Diamonds, tiaras, medals and Royal Orders are also showcased.
Unusually, tonight we got a glimpse inside the event, and a look at all those royal outfits and jewels!
Last year, Kate debuted the Royal Family Order – a personal gift from Her Majesty, which is effectively an endorsement of her position in the family. The Order is a special honour given to female family members as a thank you for their service.
The Duchess of Cambridge was in attendance at the Queen’s 2019 Diplomatic Corps Reception wearing the Lover’s Knot tiara she favours so much on State occasions. Her hair was sculpted back to showcase the tiara and accompanying dazzling jewels.
Catherine paired the tiara with shimmering, chandelier style earrings and a matching necklace, both part of The Queen’s own collection. We have previously seen the necklace on the Duchess in 2014.
The tiara is the one most worn by both the Duchess and Princess Diana. The tiara itself is over a century old and was commissioned originally by Queen Mary in 1913 from the jeweller Garrard. It is a replica of a tiara owned by Princess Augusta of Hesse, Queen Mary’s grandmother. Queen Mary left it to Queen Elizabeth II in her will who in turn gifted its use to Diana upon her wedding.