Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh makes touching nod to Kate Middleton as she dons Lotus Flower Tiara - last worn by the Princess of Wales in 2022 - during glitzy state banquet for Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako of Japan

Jun 26, 2024 IDOPRESS
The Duchess of Edinburgh, 59, appeared to pay a touching nod to her nephew's wife Kate Middleton, who is currently undergoing treatment following a cancer diagnosis.

The Duchess of Edinburgh was the vision of regal elegance as she donned the Lotus Flower Tiara - originally made for the Queen Mother 1923 - at last night's glitzy state banquet.

Sophie,59,channelled sophistication in the historic piece of jewellery,which was also a known favourite of Princes Margaret's throughout the 1960s.

And she also appeared to pay a touching nod to her nephew Prince William's wife Kate Middleton,who is currently undergoing treatment following a cancer diagnosis,and was the last one to wear it for a 2022 Diplomatic Corps reception at Buckingham Palace.

The Princess of Wales also sported it in 2015,at her first state banquet to welcome the Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

The delicate diamond tiara has fan motifs crowned by floating diamond arches and is also known as the Papyrus Tiara; it was created by British jeweller Garrard from one of the Duchess Elizabeth of York's own necklaces. 

Serena Stanhope also wore it in 1993 - when she married David Armstrong-Jones,Viscount Linley,who is Margaret's son. 

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Charles,75,ditched ivory in favour of having his portrait painted – in oil by miniaturist Elizabeth Meek – on synthetic polymin. Camilla wore her new Family Order,along with the one she was given by the late Queen Elizabeth,on a cream silk crepe embroidered dress by Fiona Clare.

Also in attendance was Prime Minister Rishi Sunak,44,and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey,58,who,unintentionally,sat on the right leg of the banquet table,with Labour's Sir Keir Starmer,61,on the left.

Mr Sunak did not take part in the official royal procession as he has done in previous years,though his wife,Akshata Murty,did. 

Last night's banquet rounded off the first day of the visit which started with the Prince of Wales – without his wife,Kate,who is still undergoing preventative chemotherapy – escorting the emperor and empress to Horse Guards Parade to meet Charles and Camilla,76,at the Royal Pavilion. 

Standing before them was Welsh Guards Guard of Honour,the magnificent Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry and four divisions of the Sovereign's Escort – involving more than 1,250 soldiers,250 Army musicians and 240 horses. 

Dignitaries also included Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron and Home Secretary James Cleverly.

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