Kate Attends Her First State Dinner Wearing The Lotus Flower Tiara

kate middleton smiles president china state dinenr

Dominic Lipinski/WPA-Pool

With every state visit made to the UK, a white tie banquet is part of the itinerary.  As the final touches are put on everything from the distance between plates to the color of each floral bouquet, Her Majesty comes in to approve the staff’s work before putting on her jewelry and welcoming her official guests.

Tonight’s event, however, was a bit more exciting than most since it marked the Duchess of Cambridge‘s very first state dinner.

kate middleton smiles toasts chinese president

Dominic Lipinski/WPA-Pool

Catherine, who returned to work this fall following maternity leave, wore a bespoke red Jenny Packham gown with glittering bracelets and the Lotus Flower tiara, on loan from the Queen, and previously worn by Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.


The historical piece is also referred to as the “Papyrus Leaf” tiara, according to The Royal Post, and originally belonged to Queen Mary, King George V’s consort. 

kate middleton red jenny packham gown state dinner china

Dominic Lipinski/WPA-Pool

In December 2013, Catherine wore the same tiara to a private diplomatic reception in London.  Before that, Catherine wore the Cartier Halo tiara at her wedding on April 29th, 2011.

kate middleton tiara diplomatic reception london 2013

Jesal / Tanna / Splash News

Catherine’s chandelier earrings – first worn at a July 2011 BAFTA reception in LA, as well as at the 2013 reception – are believed to also be on loan from the Queen.

According to What Kate Wore, Order of Splendor and Anna N., one of Catherine’s bracelets was once worn by Queen Mary as a choker.

The other bracelet, Anna N. tweeted, is a wedding gift from Her Majesty.

Inside the Ballroom, Catherine was seated next to President Xi Jinping, a spot that royal commentator Victoria Arbiter tweeted was usually reserved for the Duchess of Cornwall, who was unable to attend the event.


Her Majesty posed alongside Peng Liyuan, who looked super-chic in a navy belted shirt dress.  The Queen wore her George VI sapphire set, given to her as a wedding present from her father, according to The Court Jeweller.  In 1963, the Queen acquired another blue sapphire necklace, one belonging to Princess Louise of Belgium, and had it made into a tiara.

Peng Liyuan queen elizabeth chinese state dinner

Tony Melville/WPA-Pool

Related Posts: Jewelry Talk with The Court Jeweller

Tomorrow, William and Catherine will meet at Lancaster house for a creative industry event, according to Buckingham Palace’s site. The event has been put on to “celebrate cultural collaboration, existing and future, between the UK and China.”

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