Kate Middleton Stuns in a White Gown and Tiara

Chloe Foussianes
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From Town & Country

Just this morning, the Duchess of Cambridge was hosting a Christmas Party on the grounds of Kensington Palace, sporting a festive plaid skirt and cardigan. Hours later, she's reemerged-this time, all glammed up.

She and Prince William traveled to Buckingham Palace this evening for a white tie diplomatic reception. In the car ride over, royal watchers got their first glimpse of the Duchess, and it was clear that Kate was dressed for a particularly fancy event. She was wearing the Lover's Knot Tiara-a favorite sparkler that the Duchess frequently borrows from the Queen-and matching pearl earrings.

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When images from inside the palace arrived, the full effect of the outfit was apparent. Kate had paired her heirloom jewels with an equally sparkly gown by Jenny Packham. The gauzy fabric itself had a shimmer, but clusters of silver embroidery took the dazzle to another level.

In the glittery mix of accessories (a bedazzled clutch, a jeweled ring, and of course, the tiara among them), one detail stood apart. Kate's baby yellow badge. We first got a peek at the piece, known as a Royal Family Order, at a state banquet this October. Orders are awarded by the Queen to royal family members as a reward for their service, and as Kate has joined the House of Windsor relatively recently, she's just now acquired one.

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In the center of the yellow ribbon lies a brooch with a picture of Queen Elizabeth. Interestingly, "unlike other examples of the family order, the Duchess of Cambridge’s is made of glass rather than ivory," Majesty Magazine reported. As Royal Central speculates, the change in material is likely related to Prince William's fight to end the ivory trade.

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