This evening, William and Catherine made their debut at a State Banquet for the Chinese President.
Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were the evening’s guests of honour for the dinner held at Buckingham Palace by The Queen. State Visits are undertaken help enhance relations, in this case, Anglo-Chinese.
The Chinese couple are also the guests of The Queen, staying at Buckingham Palace for the duration of their visit.
For The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, this is their first State Banquet. Prince William was likely asked to attend due to his highly successful visit to China earlier in the year, having met with the President back in March, also meeting with him at Buckingham Palace earlier this afternoon.
Catherine chose a red sequin-embellished Jenny Packham dress, the colour a nod to China, and the Lotus tiara, another nod to the guests of honour, for whom the Lotus flower is a popular symbol in their culture. The tiara belonged to The Queen Mother, and was also regularly seen on Princess Margaret.
Despite speculation, the Duchess was not awarded the family order – a personal gift from The Queen to family members for their service.
The Duke of Kent, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra also attended, sitting near the top table.
The Queen, dazzling in sapphires, delivered a speech highlighting the increased friendship between the UK and China, as well as referencing Prince William’s visit there in March. She called it a ‘defining moment’ in the countries’ relationship.
President Xi then made his speech, with guests given a translation so they could follow. The National Anthem was performed by the orchestra for the guests to sing to, then toast was then made The menu included turbot, and Balmoral venison, with a chocolate, mango and lime dessert.
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) October 20, 2015