To sparkle up your Monday, we can expect to see Tiaras and jewels galore on Wednesday night at the Spanish state banquet. Attendance for the dinner is not confirmed in advance, however, several very reliable royal reporters are quite certain the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will be there. Whilst William and Kate do not have a formal role during the visit, their presence at the banquet is expected "due to the closeness between the British and Spanish royal families".
Richard Palmer shares more on this with information on Harry's role - it will mark the first time he has participated in a state visit:
'Harry, 32, has joined his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in making himself available for such visits, the highest form of bilateral diplomacy between two nations, from now on. The Prince will accompany King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia on a visit to Westminster Abbey, where the King will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, a traditional fixture of state visits, on July 13.
He, William and Kate are also expected to take part in a glittering state banquet at Buckingham Palace the night before, although in keeping with tradition, palace officials have not confirmed their attendance yet.'
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know I simply love a tiara appearance. Once reports emerged of Kate's likely attendance, the first question I pondered was which tiara will Kate wear? There are very few white-tie royal occasions on the calendar which call for one to be worn. For William and Kate the annual Diplomatic Reception and state banquets are the ones to watch. Kate attended her first white-tie gala with William when the couple made their debut at the aforementioned Diplomatic Reception in 2013. Royal watchers were delighted to see Her Majesty lent Kate the Papyrus tiara, also known as the Lotus Flower tiara. The Duchess sparkled in the piece which was created from one of the Queen Mother's wedding gifts in 1923 - a necklace of a Greek key pattern with pendant diamonds and pearls given by her husband. It was teamed with a bespoke lavender McQueen gown and the Queen's Chandelier earrings.
In October 2015, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended their first state banquet in honour of President Xi of China. The Duke and Duchess joined Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and around 170 guests in the palace ballroom, where they took their places at a beautifully laden horseshoe-shaped table. Kate was seated next to the President.
An overview of the ballroom. We can expect similar scenes Wednesday night.
Kate wore the Papyrus tiara once again which could be seen in its full glory at the banquet teamed with an elegant updo and a bespoke red Jenny Packham gown.
The glittering effect was amplified with the Queen's chandelier earrings and two bracelets from the royal vault. One was originally a choker Queen Mary wore circa 1920 and the other was a gift Prince Philip gave the Queen as a wedding present. It is encrusted with diamonds from a tiara which belonged to Philip's mother.
Two months later, Kate surprised us all when she arrived at the Diplomatic Reception wearing Diana's iconic Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara.
It was a huge surprise as royal experts had predicted Kate wouldn't wear it for years, if ever at all. There had been speculation it would remain in the royal vaults and perhaps be worn by Princess Charlotte down the line. The Cambridge Lovers Knot was the signature tiara of the Princess of Wales, and it seems only fitting to see Kate, a future Princess of Wales wearing it now. It will potentially become Kate's signature for many, many years of her royal life. Kate chose a simple updo, her lavender McQueen gown and once again the Queen's chandelier earrings to complete the look.
And last December, the Cambridge Lovers Knot was Kate's choice of tiara again for the Diplomatic Reception. This time teamed with her red Packham gown and the Queen's diamond pendant earrings.
Which tiara would you like to see Kate wear Wednesday night? I would love to see the Cambridge Lovers Knot as we haven't seen many photos of Kate wearing it thus far; the banquet offers far more photographic opportunities for the public than the Diplomatic Reception. Will Kate debut a new gown on the night? What jewels will she wear and will she debut the Royal Family Order? It will also be interesting to see jewels chosen by the other royal ladies present, and of course Queen Letizia.
This week, we look forward to hosting the King and Queen of Spain - the first #SpainStateVisit to the UK since 1986 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/Do092MMbWy— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) July 9, 2017
You can view the full itinerary for the Spanish State Visit here.
In fashion news, you may recall the Cambridges were photographed en route to Pippa's wedding from Kensington Palace. In the car photos we could see Kate wore a floral print blouse or dress. Following many fruitless searches, I asked the wonderful Kate's Closet - who discovered it is a past season maxi dress from ZARA within minutes. Elizabeth who runs Kate's Closet also writes Queen Letizia Style - a great resource for those following the state visit.
|Kate's Closet Twitter Feed|
A closer look at Kate's ZARA dress. Hopefully we'll see it again in its entirety.
Also in news, Kate's red Marchesa Notte dress has been re-released. It's available in sizes 0-16 at FarFetch where it retails for £1,418. Kate wore the pretty dress in April for the opening night of 42nd Street.
The 1950s style tulle dress is detailed with tactile lattice and rosette motifs. Partially lined to create a sweetheart neckline, the fit-and-flare design has flexible boning and a defined bead and crystal-embellished waist.
We are just one week away from the Cambridges' royal tour of Germany and Poland. We're all looking forward to the tour and Kate's sartorial choices during the five-day trip. We do tend to see the Duchess stick to tried and trusted labels with one look paying tribute to the host country she's visiting. Our reader Marta lives in Poland and emailed me with information Polish designer Sylwia Romaniuk revealed Kate's assistant contacted her before eventually ordering the designer's Diana coat. Described as: "A very effective, tailored coat with an extended back. Colour ecru. Pleated front. A very elegant and effective design that will make every woman look fabulous." One could certainly envisage the Duchess choosing such a piece, perhaps having the high-low effect altered, however, its a very 'Kate piece'. We have seen instances in the past where items were ordered for tours and later not worn. A possible reason for this has been the fact the brands revealed the news before Kate actually wore their pieces, so we'll wait until next week...
Ahead of the tour, several pages on the blog have been updated over the past week including:
- The Royal Tour Poland/Germany page is live. For those following the tour next week all posts relating to engagements in Poland and Germany can be found there.
- A detailed tour itinerary has been added to the Kate's Calendar page.
- The Shop Kate's Style page had been updated to reflect pieces worn by Kate still available.
- The Repli-Kate page has been updated.
- And the Prince George and Princess Charlotte page is up to date.
We leave you with a look at the trailer for Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. The documentary features William and Harry speaking openly about Diana as a mother for the first time. It airs on ITV later this month. In the trailer, William discusses how "informal" and "fun" she was. Harry adds: "She was our mum, she still is our mum, you know, and of course as her son I would say this, she was the best mum in the world. She smothered us with love, that's for sure."
We expect to see you Wednesday night for the state banquet. It's week two of Wimbledon; I imagine Kate will attend at least once this week.