Cover Princess of Wales Kate Middleton at the recent state banquet at Buckingham Palace (Photo: Getty Images)

For her first state dinner as Princess of Wales, the royal makes a bold jewellery statement with a diadem that’s over a century old

Despite her royal status, Kate Middleton has been known to favour an elegantly understated style, reserving the sparkling crown jewels for special occasions—like the recent state banquet at the Buckingham Palace.

Held to welcome the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, the state dinner marked the first one under King Charles III’s reign. It was also the first black-tie appearance that Middleton has made since being named Princess of Wales, following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing in September.

Middleton certainly made a memorable debut as Princess, attending the dinner in a regal white cape gown by Jenny Packham, replete with shimmering embellishments. But even more dazzling was her headpiece: the Lover’s Knot Tiara.

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The lavish pearl and diamond diadem is heavy with history: it was first commissioned from the House of Garrard by Queen Mary in 1913, and later inherited by Queen Elizabeth II. The latter eventually passed the tiara to her daughter-in-law, Princess Diana, who frequently wore it to state dinners and official events around the world.

Through these publicised appearances, the extravagant jewel became associated with the “people’s princess”. However, upon her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana’s beloved tiara was returned to the Queen. The late monarch would then bestow the jewel to Middleton when she married Prince William in 2011.

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Still, Middleton didn’t start wearing the Lover’s Knot Tiara until a few years later at the 2015 Diplomatic Reception. Over the years, she would wear the historic jewel sparingly, reserving it for formal occasions. The last instance was the 2019 Diplomatic Reception, when she paired it with dangling diamond earrings.

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For her latest appearance at the Buckingham Palace, the princess’s jewellery choices were much more significant. While Middleton honoured Princess Diana through her choice of headpiece, she paid tribute to her late grandmother-in-law by wearing the latter’s Bahrain pearl drop earrings and pearl bracelet.

The Princess of Wales has left her mark as a modern-day royal in spectacular fashion—and Princess Diana would have approved.

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