Kate dazzles with diamonds at King’s first state banquet

She joined hundreds of guests at the glamorous event (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales and the Queen Consort both donned poignant jewelery at a glitzy event at Buckingham Palace this evening.

King Charles hosted his first state banquet as monarch with over 160 prestigious guests in attendance.

The shimmering white tie affair was in honor of the visiting South African president.

King Charles tonight paid a moving tribute to his mother and her connection to South Africa, saying she admired ‘its people, their vibrancy, their natural beauty and their diversity’.

Camilla the Queen Consort and Kate, Princess of Wales also paid tribute to the late monarch as they stepped out in the jewels of Elizabeth II for their own first state banquet in their new roles.

Kate beamed in front of guests as she wore a caped white Jenny Packham evening gown with sparkly detailing on the shoulders, along with her must-have lover’s bow tiara.

The headdress, encrusted with diamonds and pearls and made in 1914, was often worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.

Kate had also worn earrings that belonged to Diana, as well as a pearl bracelet that belonged to the late Queen.

Meanwhile, Camilla opted for the much-missed monarch’s diamond and sapphire tiara.


LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: (L-R) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England.  This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit by a South African leader since 2010. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images )
The evening marked the visit of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Catherine, Princess of Wales during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England.  This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit by a South African leader since 2010. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images )
Catherine, Princess of Wales at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The sapphire collection, sometimes known as the King George VI Victorian Sapphire Suite, was of great sentimental importance to the late Queen.

Camilla was dressed in a royal blue lace evening gown by Bruce Oldfield, the Garter Sash, Queen Victoria’s Order of the Garter and the Order of the Family of the Late Queen.

She also wore a necklace that belonged to the late Elizabeth II.

The jewels were a gift from the late monarch’s beloved father, George VI, for his marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.


Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort, smiles during the State Banquet held at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (Chris Jackson/Pool via AP)
Britain’s Camilla, the Queen consort smiles during the state banquet (Picture: AP)

At his first state banquet this evening, Charles spoke of the sometimes troubled past relationship between the UK and South Africa which ’causes deep sadness’.

He also said “we must acknowledge the wrongs that have shaped our past if we are to unleash the power of our shared future.”

Strict star Johannes Radebe, from South Africa, was among 163 white-tie dinner guests, joining broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, interior designer Kelly Hoppen and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh.

High-profile national figures were also present, from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Lord Hain, the former Northern Ireland Secretary and anti-apartheid campaigner, and Andrew Bailey – Governor of the Bank of England.


President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and King Charles III toast at the State Banquet held at Buckingham Palace, London, during the South African President's state visit to the UK.  Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story ROYAL South Africa.  Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and King Charles III toast (Picture: PA)

The Princess of Wales with guests at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, London, for the state visit to the UK by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.  Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story ROYAL South Africa.  Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
The Princess of Wales was a vision in white tonight (Picture: PA)

Charles caught the attention of the President who said ‘wow’ when the King said ‘welcome’ in six languages ​​spoken in South Africa.

The King went on to say: “The late Queen had the great pleasure of hosting Presidents Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma for State visits to the UK, at which I was present. On each of these occasions, she expressed her admiration for your country and its people, its dynamism, its natural beauty and its diversity.

“And she always spoke warmly of her return to your country in 1995, as a guest of President Mandela, after the momentous events – driven from within South Africa and supported by so many around the world , including here in the UK – who have brought democracy to your country.

The King added: “During one of my own visits to South Africa in 1997, President Mandela told me that he had given my mother a special name – Motlalepula, which means ‘to come with the rain “.

“I was reassured that this was a mark of President Mandela’s special affection for the Queen…rather than a remark on the British habit of taking our time with us.”

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Sarah C. Figueiredo