Part 2 of Day 1 of the Spanish State Visit to the UK – you can view part 1 here. There were so many British royals who came out for the State Banquet tonight, July 12, and so many tiaras! Queen Letizia brought out the big guns, Queen Elizabeth brought out the aquamarines, and Kate Middleton brought out more loaned jewelry from HM but also from Princess Diana.
[Casa de S.M. el Rey]
Let’s start at the top with Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Letizia wore a a red, embellished, off-the-shouler Felipe Varela gown and the biggest tiara in the Spanish collection: the Spanish Fleur de Lys Tiara. Letizia wore large diamond earrings and one large diamond bracelet from the joyas de pasar. Letizia did not receive any British orders, and instead wore the Order of Charles III (Spain). Gorgeous!
Felipe, however, did receive a British order from HM yesterday – the Order of the Garter (Britain) – which he wore with his white tie and tails.
Queen Elizabeth wore a white gown with blue embroidery which perfectly set off the Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara with matching earrings, necklace, and bracelet. Prince Philip also wore the Order of Charles III (Spain).
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance. It was business as usual for Cams with a repeated white gown, the Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara, pearl choker, and the Royal Victoria Order (Britain) and Royal Family Order. She did switch things up a bit, adding to her jewel collection these Van Cleef & Arpels Snowflake Earrings which cost $138,000.
Next, let’s talk about Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge. Kate really blinged it out. She wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings, and the Queen’s Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace.
Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings were a part of Diana’s private jewelry collection, having been a wedding gift from Collingwood Jewellers. Outside of her engagement ring, this is the first time that Kate has worn any of Diana’s jewelry.
The Queen’s Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace was a wedding gift to HM from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in 1947. The necklace is part of the Greville bequest – a collection of jewelry left to Queen Elizabeth by the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville when she died. This necklace, which was purchased from Boucheron in 1907, features single rubies set between diamond flowers in a bandeau setting with a deep v-shape and a diamond pendant.
Kate wore a pink Marchesa gown with lace and flared sleeves which I can’t get on board with. I dislike the flared sleeve trend. I probably would have liked this one had it had non-flared sleeves.
I think Kate may also be wearing a bracelet, but it’s hard to tell. There aren’t any good quality photos of Kate since she was sitting off to the side. One thing we can clearly see is that Kate is not wearing the Royal Family Order meaning she has not received it yet.
Prince William and Prince Harry were also there. This was Harry’s first State Banquet. There aren’t any good quality photos of them either since William was at the far end of the head table, and Harry was far down on one of the side tables.
Felipe and QEII both gave speeches. You can read QEII’s speech here, and Felipe’s speech here.
The menu consisted of:
Poached fillet of salmon trout with fennel in a white wine velouté sauce. Medallion of Scottish beef with bone marrow and truffle with a Madeira sauce. Fondant potatoes, yellow and green courgettes, runner beans with sauteed radishes. Dark chocolate and raspberry tart. Selection of seasonal fruits. Coffee and petit fours.
Princess Anne was also there, in an aquamarine tiara.
Princess Michael of Kent was there, too. PS. Sophie was also there but there aren’t any photos of her.
Here is a video of the banquet. The royals enter at 20:20.