Queen Camilla wears her first tiara in her new royal role.
The Queen Consort, 75, shimmered in the Belgian sapphire tiara, her first tiara moment since King Charles III, at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
Camilla produced the dazzling play for Charles’ first state visit as King, welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the UK. The tiara was previously owned by the late Queen Elizabeth II during China’s state visit to the UK in 2015.
Queen Camilla continued to wear royal blue as earlier in the day, looking regal in a lace evening dress by Bruce Oldfield and royal insignia – the Blue Order of the Garter and star and sash of the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. She also accessorized her with the matching Belgian Sapphire Tiara necklace and bracelet.
Chris Jackson/Getty; Toby Melville – WPA Pool /Getty Queen Camilla; queen elizabeth
While Camilla chose not to wear the earrings provided, the entire set is collectively known as the King George VI Victorian Suite. King George gave his daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, the tiara, necklace and earrings as a wedding gift in 1947. The jewels are thought to date from the mid-18th century, with the bracelet being added to the suite in the 1960s.
TIED TOGETHER: Queen Camilla pays tribute to her late mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth: ‘So much missed’
Chris Jackson/Getty Queen Camilla
The Queen Consort has historically had bolder tastes in tiaras than Kate Middleton, who flaunted her favorite Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot tiara for the state banquet. While the Princess of Wales wore Queen Mary’s lover’s knot and lotus flower on previous state occasions, Camilla chose the larger Delhi Durbar and Greville tiara for diplomatic dinners.
Wearing tiaras is a first for the British royals in almost three years. Due to delays caused by the pandemic, the South African state visit is the first hosted by the British royal family since then-US President Donald Trump came to the UK in 2019.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty, Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty
Intrigue continues to shroud what crown Camilla might wear for her husband’s coronation this spring. Buckingham Palace previously confirmed that the Queen Consort will be crowned alongside King Charles on May 6, 2023.
The obvious choice – the crown made in 1937 for the coronation of the last Queen Consort, Charles’ grandmother Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother to avoid confusion with her daughter Queen Elizabeth II) – contains the controversial Koh-i- Only diamond as centerpiece. The 105.6-carat gemstone was originally acquired by the then East India Company and brought to Britain, where it eventually became part of Queen Victoria’s collection. Demands for the return of the magnificent diamond have been growing in India, and the Koh-i-Nûr is also subject to property claims in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Because the gem is fully removable (like the velvet cap typically worn for the coronation service), King Charles and Queen Camilla could choose to remove the controversial gem entirely. It is also possible that they will opt for a completely different crown.
Daily Herald Archive/National Science & Media Museum/SSPL via Getty; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty The Queen Mother and Queen Consort Camilla
TIED TOGETHER: Kate Middleton wears her first tiara in almost 3 years for the banquet at Buckingham Palace
A royal source confirmed that President Ramaphosa’s three-day visit was on the calendar before Queen Elizabeth died “peacefully” on September 8.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 40, received the South African leader at London’s Corinthia Hotel on Tuesday. They then traveled to Horse Guards Parade, where all the pomp of the British state was on display when King Charles III. and Queen Camilla performed the official welcome.
Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool/Getty Images
The royals then took part in a royal carriage procession through London to Buckingham Palace, where a private lunch was held and President Ramaphosa viewed an exhibition at the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection related to South Africa.
In the afternoon, President Ramaphosa visited Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and take a tour, including viewing the memorial stone to Nelson Mandela, who was President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
Carl Court – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Ramaphosa also visited the Palace of Westminster, where he addressed Members of Parliament and other guests in the Royal Gallery.
Courtiers shared a glimpse of preparations for the state banquet on social media on Monday. Royal Family Twitter Posted Footage of the kitchen team at work showing a chef turning South Africa’s national flower, the protea, into sweet confections to be served at the end of the evening.
The diplomatic dinner menu has also been circulated, and guests are in for a treat. The Palace serves grilled brill with wild mushrooms and truffles with sorrel sauce, followed by Windsor pheasant ballotine stuffed with artichokes, quince compote and port wine sauce. Vegetable sides include a selection of Chantenay carrots, kale with roasted butternut squash and braised fondant potatoes, and salad.
For dessert, an iced vanilla parfait with caramelized apples is served alongside coffee, petit fours and the edible sugar blossom protea. A selection of French wines will flow throughout the evening.
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In a sustained nod to the season, the royal family took to Twitter peek in preparation for the floral arrangements that adorn the tables in the ballroom. Foliage is from the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and crab apples from Kent.
As seen in a quick clipthe king and queen even came into the ballroom before the banquet to see the splendor for themselves.