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The History Behind the Duchess of Cambridge’s Stunning State Banquet Jewels

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Image: Getty

Over the past three months, the world has seen a dazzling array of Britain’s crown jewels, from the Duchess of Sussex’s Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau to Princess Eugenie’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara. Last night, the Duchess of Cambridge brought two more grand pieces out of the vault for a state banquet honoring the King and Queen of the Netherlands at Buckingham Palace.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson confirms to Vogue that HRH Catherine wore the Lover’s Knot tiara paired with Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace. They were first spotted on the duchess through the window of a Bentley, perched delicately around her head and neck. The Lover’s Knot tiara is quite the adornment, containing 19 diamond arches decorated with 38 drop-pearls. It was commissioned for Queen Mary in 1913, made by British jewelry house Garrard.

Eventually, it was passed down to Queen Elizabeth II, who later gifted it as a wedding present to her daughter-in-law Princess Diana. Throughout her time as Princess of Wales, Diana wore it often, so much so that it became one of the most recognizable tiaras of the British royal family.

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Image: Getty

HRH Catherine has continued its prominence. She wore it to diplomatic receptions in 2015, 2016, and 2017, indicating that, like her late mother-in-law, she has a special affinity for the jewel. This is the first time, however, that the Duchess of Cambridge has worn Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace in public. As the name implies, Queen Alexandra wore it on her wedding day to Edward VII in 1863.

Alexandra was a Danish princess who, at 16, was chosen to be the wife of the Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne. Throughout her time as Princess of Wales, and then Queen consort, she was world renowned for her glamour and fashion sense—which sounds a bit like Kate Middleton herself.

The duchess teamed the historic jewels with a Sarah Burton for McQueen dress, the showstopper resembling the silhouette of a classic Disney princess gown. With its fitted, ruched bodice, the shimmering silver number was certainly unexpected for the duchess, marking a new and exciting direction for her personal style.

Now Read: In Pictures: All the Duchess of Sussex’s Maternity Looks So Far

This article first appeared on Vogue.com

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