Queen Camilla paid a glittering tribute to her mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II this evening, by wearing a tiara long thought to be Her late Majesty’s favourite.
Camilla, 76, accompanied King Charles, 75, and the Prince and Princess of Wales to the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace in London.
Looking effortlessly elegant in a cream embroidered evening gown by Fiona Clark, the Queen added a sentimental touch by wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.
The stunning diadem, worn by the late Queen in her accession photographs, was first gifted to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck to mark her wedding to George V in 1893.
Her late Majesty was known to be incredibly fond of the headpiece, and affectionately called it ‘Granny’s Tiara’.
Queen Camilla (pictured left) stunned in a cream embroidered evening gown by Fiona Clark at the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace this evening
It takes its name from the committee of women who raised money to create it. Made of diamonds set in silver and gold, it was topped by 14 pearls but they were replaced with 13 brilliant-cut diamonds.
It is thought to have been one of Her Majesty’s favourites, as she was often seen wearing it, and is even pictured wearing it on some bank notes.
Camilla is the third queen to have worn the tiara, which was a wedding present in 1893 for Queen Mary, who passed it on to her granddaughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, when she married in 1947.
Queen Camilla first sported the sparkling headpiece in October 2023 when joining the King at the City of London banquet.
For tonight’s outing, Camilla further added a touch of sentiment with The Queen Mother’s diamond brooch and the late Queen’s diamond bracelet.
Adding to the look, Camilla opted for simple yet sophisticated makeup, complete with a classic nude lip colour. The royal wore her blonde dresses in blow-out curls – her typical yet stylish look.
The white-tie event is held every year and sees more than 500 members of the Diplomatic Corps hosted in the palace’s state rooms.
Royal women traditionally wear tiaras and other jewellery pieces for the occasion – a highlight of the royal calendar in the run-up to Christmas – and royal watchers were not disappointed.
Looking effortlessly elegant in a cream embroidered evening gown by Fiona Clark, the Queen added a sentimental touch by wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. Pictured, Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, wearing the tiara
The Queen added a sentimental touch with a Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara with a diamond brooch which belonged to the late Queen Mother and a diamond bracelet which belonged to the late Queen
The diplomatic reception is usually held every December, but there was a pause in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. The reception traditionally includes a buffet supper and dancing.
Elsewhere, the Princess of Wales looked as radiant as ever as she attended the reception this evening.
Accompanied by King Charles, Queen Camilla, and the Prince of Wales, Kate, 41, took centre stage in a rose gold Jenny Packham ‘Georgia’ gown costing approximately £5,000, which was embellished with sequins.
Kate paired the stunning ballgown, which she has previously worn to attend the wedding reception of Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Princess Rajwa in June 2023, with a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order sash.
To add to the glamour, Kate sported the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara. The dazzling diamond and pearl tiara was once owned by Prince William’s mother Princess Diana.
The tiara, which Kate’s mother-in-law said was so heavy it gave her headaches, was kept in a safe at Buckingham Palace after Princess Diana’s 1997 death before it was handed to William’s wife.
It was made by Royal jewellers Garrard in 1914 to Queen Mary’s personal design, from pearls and diamonds already in her family’s possession.
Queen Mary had commissioned it to replicate her grandmother, Princess Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge’s, early 1800s Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, according to jewellery historian and novelist Josie Goodbody.
This evening’s royal show of unity will be seen as a sign of solitary following the furore of Omid Scobie’s new book on the monarchy after it emerged that a Dutch-language version contained the names of two family members accused by the Duchess of Sussex of ‘unconscious bias’.
The Princess of Wales put on a dashing display in a gold Jenny Packham ‘Georgia’ gown costing approximately £5,000, which was embellished with sequins at an evening reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace in London
Kate looked naturally charismatic as she entertained Diplomatic Corps at tonight’s glamorous event
The royal mother-of-three opted for a glamorous makeup look for tonight’s event, complete with smokey eyeshadow
The Princess sported her favourite Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, which was a wedding gift to Princess Diana
The book claimed Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, 42, had named the King himself as well as his daughter-in-law, Kate, 41, in letters she wrote to him on the issue.
Buckingham Palace has not commented publicly, but aides have made clear that the King and his senior advisors are ‘considering all options’ open to them over the unsubstantiated claims, including the possibility of legal action.
They have, however, been comforted by the sympathetic public reaction they have received to ‘revelations’ in the poorly-reviewed book and may decide to let that speak for itself.
Tonight’s event saw the King, his heir and their wives greet the great and good of the Diplomatic Corps – Ambassadors, High Commissioners and the like officially registered to the Court of St James’ – for pre-Christmas drinks in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.
As Head of State, The King plays a vital role in UK diplomacy, supporting the work of the Foreign Office at home and abroad.
The event will also have been the first time the King has been able to talk personally to his son and daughter-in-law since the latest row around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke.
Sources have told the Mail that the family will be in ‘no rush’ to make their ‘carefully considered’ decision about how to progress.
Earlier in the day they were also out and about in force on a series of engagements.
William surprised shoppers when he was spotted selling copies of the The Big Issue at a Tesco in Hammersmith, west London.
The prince was reunited with magazine seller Dave, whom he has met on several previous occasions, even exchanging Christmas cards.
Vendor Dave Martin told Mail Online: ‘William came down in the morning and helped me sell some magazines. He is a very nice man.
Prince William looked genuinely pleased to greet guests at the reception this evening
Look of love! Kate was all smiles as she attended the glitzy event with her husband Prince William
‘Helping me sell the magazines was a kind gesture. It’s very good that he’s helping the homeless. You can tell he does it because he cares.’
Meanwhile his wife met a little girl whose space-themed designs for a new children’s day surgery unit were inspired by her late father, who she says has now ‘gone to the stars’.
The princess chatted to Ella Moth, nine, who won a competition to design the artwork for the new unit at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.
She took her inspiration from the tragic death of her father, Piers, who died of brain cancer in 2021.
The Princess, who is patron of Evelina London, asked Ella: ‘How does it feel to have your design on the wall for other children to enjoy, being an inspiration for loads of other kids? Ella replied: ‘I didn’t think it would ever happen!’
The new facility, which cost £55million to build, allows children to be treated in one location on the same day, reducing the stress caused by numerous hospital visits.
In the recovery area she met Saya Stephenson, four, who was resting in bed after an operation that morning to remove excess skin for her ears.
The Princess hugged her mother, Miwa Stephenson, who said she had been anxious about the surgery despite it being a relatively minor procedure.
Kate replied: ‘It’s always a worry though for a parent. We have to keep our cool. It’s so hard.’
Evelina’s Chief executive Gubby Ayida said: ‘With everything happening with the NHS at the moment, including long backlogs, the Princess’s visit has brought a feel-good factor to every room she visited and to all the staff.’