The Princess of Wales stepped out at the annual Diplomatic Reception in a look she's worn before
Kate Middleton is squeezing another tiara moment into 2023!
The Princess of Wales, 41, joined Prince William, King Charles and Queen Camilla at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening for the Diplomatic Reception, with the foursome posing for a portrait together in the 1844 Room. The annual event welcomes hundreds of members of the Diplomatic Corps to the royal residence.
For this year's event, Princess Kate chose a special tiara: the Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara. It's the royal headpiece that she's worn the most during her royal life — she's now sported the accessory 12 times dating back to 2015.
The piece was also a favorite of her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, who wore it on multiple occasions. According to the Court Jeweller, the stunning sparkler is more than a century old and was originally commissioned from the jeweler Garrard by Queen Mary in either 1913 or 1914. It is a replica of a tiara owned by Mary's grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Kate most recently wore the Lover's Knot Tiara in June at Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa of Jordan's royal wedding banquet — and she recreated her entire look from the summer nuptials at the palace reception. In addition to repeating her tiara, she also sported the same pink gown by Jenny Packham.
The Princess of Wales even kept her earrings the same, sporting the Greville Chandelier earrings. The stunning jewels, worn by Kate for the first time at the Jordan royal wedding in June, were a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth, who received the earrings as a wedding present from her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother when she married Prince Philip in 1947, according to the Royal Collection Trust.
For the palace event, Princess Kate wore the blue sash of the Royal Victorian Order as well as the Royal Family Order featuring Queen Elizabeth (one for King Charles has yet to make its debut).
Queen Camilla also wore a tiara for the reception. Just two months after making her debut in the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, an accessory closely associated with Queen Elizabeth, she sported the piece again.
Princess Kate's latest tiara wear came just two weeks ago when she helped host President of the Republic of Korea Yoon Suk Yeo and First Lady Kim Keon Hee for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. And her choice of headpiece was a complete surprise — one that hasn't been worn in public since the 1930s.
Kate wore the Strathmore Rose Tiara, and the debut marked the fourth tiara worn by the Princess of Wales during her royal life.
The floral headpiece, not seen in nearly nine decades, was part of the Queen Mother's collection. According to The Court Jeweller, the accessory's name comes from the Queen Mother's father, who was the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and was a wedding present when she married Prince Albert (the future King George VI, Queen Elizabeth's father). Following the Queen Mother, Princess Kate is only the second person to wear the Strathmore Rose Tiara in public.
"Kate has always signaled that she'd like to emulate the Queen Mother's royal role, and wearing her jewels is an important symbol of that continuity," Lauren Kiehna, founder of The Court Jeweller, tells PEOPLE. "It's fitting that Kate — likely with some assistance from King Charles — would choose to wear the tiara exactly a hundred years after the Queen Mother originally received it. The piece is an antique that wasn't fashionable for many decades, but many jewels once considered fussy or unstylish have now been embraced again."
"The tiara comes with two frames, allowing it to be worn either across the forehead or on top of the head. The Queen Mother used it both ways, and Kate chose the more traditional setting for the banquet," adds Kiehna.
King Charles was famously close to his grandmother, who died in 2002, and Princess Kate bringing the tiara back into the public eye is likely a nod to her bond with the monarch. Just recently, the King referred to Kate as "my beloved daughter-in-law."
Last year the Diplomatic Reception, Princess Kate also reached for a surprise tiara — the Lotus Flower Tiara.
Although Kate previously wore the headpiece, last year's event marked the first time she's sported it since 2015. She had already donned the sparkler at the 2013 diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace as well as the 2015 state banquet for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Queen Mother created the Lotus Flower Tiara out of a necklace that was a wedding gift from her husband, the future King George VI, according to The Court Jeweller. Their daughter Princess Margaret later wore the piece — and Princess Margaret loaned the piece to Serena Stanhope when Serena married Margaret's son in 1993.
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Princess Kate has also worn the Cartier Halo Tiara (just once, on her wedding day to Prince William in April 2011).
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