Royal Tiaras at the State Banquet for the South Korean Delegation

 Tiaras at state banquet

State banquets hosted by royals during an official state visit of a foreign head of state offer a great opportunity for royal enthusiasts to watch royals in their full court regalia which of course includes wearing sparkling tiaras.

Yesterday, King Charles III hosted a state banquet for the South Korean delegation in honor of the state visit of South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, and his wife, Kim Keon-hee. 

Tiaras at state banquet
At the state banquet: The Queen, The Princess of Wales, and The Duchess of Edinburgh

The foreign delegates and UK royals and guests walked on the red carpet on their way to the state reception hall in Buckingham Palace, wearing their finest evening gowns and tuxes. 

But what really made the whole evening magical was the sight of the glittery tiaras worn by the royal ladies, which we always looked forward to during this event. 

Tiaras at state banquet
The Princess Royal and The Duchess of Gloucester

The Duchess of Edinburgh wore her Aquamarine Tiara which also can be worn as a necklace, The Duchess of Gloucester wore the Diamond and Emerald bandeau which originally belonged to her mother-in-law, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, while The Princess Royal wore her Diamond Festoon Tiara.

State Banquet for South Korean President
Anne, The Princess Royal 
Tiaras at state banquet
The Duchess of Edinburgh wears her Aquamarine Tiara

Queen Camilla wore for the first time the Burmese Ruby Tiara of Queen Elizabeth II and the matching Ruby necklace and earrings. The Tiara was one of the late Queen's favorite royal head sparklers, wearing it on numerous occasions during her long reign, including on official portraits. 

Tiaras at state banquet
Queen Camilla wears the Burmese Ruby Tiara

Unlike most of the tiaras in the royal collection, Queen Elizabeth II did not inherit this Burmese Ruby Tiara from her ancestors, it was made for her in the early 1970s by the crown jeweler, Garrard, using the rubies gifted to her by the people of Burma on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. So this tiara has a sentimental value to the late Queen.

Diamonds from the dismantled tiara of Queen Elizabeth were also used in the creation of the Burmese Ruby Tiara. What made this tiara look more beautiful was how Garrard designed the tiara. The diamonds were formed like flower scrolls and the rubies were formed like flower buttons inserted in the scrolls.

Tiaras at state banquet
The Queen's Ruby Burmese Tiara

Catherine, The Princess of Wales, wore the Strathmore Rose Tiara for the first time. And it was quite surprising that she wore something that had not been seen in almost a century!

This Strathmore Rose Tiara was originally a wedding gift of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne to his daughter, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Albert, Duke of York, in 1923. The Duke of York would become King of the United Kingdom as George VI in 1936.

Tiaras at state banquet
Kate wears Strathmore Rose Tiara

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who became Duchess of York following her wedding to Prince Bertie, wore this tiara in the form of a bandeau and a forehead ornament. In the early years of her marriage, she would wear it for her official portraits but rarely during state occasions. 

The last time she wore it was in 1935, just over a year before she became the Queen Consort on the accession of King George VI in December 1936. 

During her lifetime as Queen Elizabeth (who became the Queen Mother in 1952), she was not seen wearing this tiara and no family members of the British royal family, not even the Queen, ever wore it. 

Tiaras at state banquet
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, wears her Strathmore Rose Tiara

The reason was unknown, but some royalists speculated that, perhaps, due to how this tiara was worn (a forehead ornament) which looked very ancient, and so did not appeal to the British royal family members. 

The Queen Mother opted for other tiaras in the royal collection that looked grander. Her two daughters, Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Margaret, and her two granddaughters, Princess Anne and Lady Sarah Chatto, were also not seen in public wearing this tiara.

Eventually, the Strathmore Rose Tiara rested in the royal jewelry vault, like forever, almost destined never to be worn again. Until Catherine pulled it off for the state banquet yesterday. 

Tiaras at state banquet
Catherine, the Princess of Wales, wears the Queen Mother's tiara

The Strathmore Rose Tiara is made of diamonds and has flower buttons that can be removed and worn as brooches. It has two frames, one for the bandeau, and one for the original setting, so it depends on the wearer how she would style it. 

Queen Elizabeth II inherited the tiara in 2002 upon the death of her mother but she was not seen wearing it in public and was not also loaned to any members of the family.

The Queen Mother had a clear preference for wearing it as a bandeau or as a forehead ornament, but Kate chose the traditional setting - wearing how a tiara should be worn. And it looks stunning! This year also marked the 100th anniversary since the tiara was purchased in 1923.

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