Hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended their first state dinner as newlyweds in Fiji, the Queen hosted a banquet at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the two-day visit of Dutch royals Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander. Both duchesses wore regal gowns in shades of blue: Markle chose a caped column from London-based brand Safiya, while Kate Middleton opted for a custom silk taffeta confection by Alexander McQueen topped off with a glittering tiara steeped in royal history.
Many expected Markle to wear her first tiara since becoming a member of the royal family, but instead she chose a pair of statement earrings on loan from the Queen. Although it is a matter of preference not protocol, Middleton’s glittering display can serve to inspire brides who are looking to create their own real-life princess moment down the aisle. And with designers from Vera Wang to Reem Acra sending out hand-crafted crowns and tiaras for Fall 2019, there’s no shortage of sparkling styles to choose from.
Royal watchers will recognize the exquisite 38-prop pearl headpiece (known as the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara) as the one so often donned by Princess Diana. With the Queen’s encouragement, Diana frequently dipped into the royal jewelry collection. She set a trend for chokers when she wore a necklace given to her by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on top of a black velvet ribbon, and showed the same directional flair for accessories when she wrapped a necklace around her forehead like a headband at a dinner in Melbourne in 1985.
Continuing Diana’s love affair with jewelry, Middleton added to the brilliance of the tiara with drop pearl earrings and a diamond-and-pearl necklace. The earrings were a wedding gift to Princess Diana, while the necklace belonged to Queen Alexandra before it was passed down to the late Queen Mother, who wore it constantly. Clearly, the Duchess of Cambridge is doing her part to keep the tradition alive.