Queen Camilla’s crown was Elizabeth II’s favorite tiara

Destiny sometimes takes you in directions that you would never have imagined and it is probable that this feeling, from time to time, also perceives the lady who the whole world had known as Camilla Parker Bowles when she finds herself on occasions such as her first state banquet which she attended on 22 November wearing one of Elizabeth’s most beautiful and legendary tiaras, the Queen’s Belgian Sapphire Tiara. The King Charles III and the 74-year-old queen consort Camilla, together with Princes of Wales William and Kate in fact, they hosted President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa, a “first time” also for the new king after the death of Queen Elizabeth, and also the first state dinner for Kate Middleton in a long white dress by Jenny Packham, and with the Lover’s Knot tiara on her head, a favorite of Lady D.

london, england november 22 camilla, queen consort and king charles iii during the state banquet at buckingham palace on november 22, 2022 in london, england this is the first state visit hosted by the uk with king charles iii as monarch, and the first state visit here by a south african leader since 2010 photo by chris jacksongetty images

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla at the State Banquet on 22 November 2022.

Chris JacksonGetty Images

The royal couple and the heirs to the throne presided over the ceremonial welcome at Horseguards Parade and the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, and in the evening in the ballroom of the royal palace in London they received the guest in a sumptuous state banquet, in which Camilla practically took an exam that she seems to have passed brilliantly. For the protocol of the British monarchy, state banquets to welcome a high-level guest, such as another ruler or a head of state such as the president of South Africa, have a very strict dress code and very, Very tall. Members of the royal family are expected to wear ceremonial attire and all their most dazzling vestments, medals, badges and jewels. Queen Elizabeth often exploited this custom to send encrypted messages of approval or disapproval towards the guest, but the late sovereign was a living monument and she could afford many things that perhaps we will never see her successors do with her again. Therefore, we can appreciate the whole of the outfit adopted by the queen consort Camilla by examining each part. First of all the dress, in the color that the Anglo-Saxons call royal blue. Long and covered in lace, transparent only on the arms, it was created by Bruce Oldfield, the 72-year-old designer whom Lady Diana loved very much in the early days of her court life because it allowed her to indulge in a little extravagance on official evenings.

london, england november 22 camilla, queen consort during the state banquet at buckingham palace on november 22, 2022 in london, england this is the first state visit hosted by the uk with king charles iii as monarch, and the first state visit here by a south african leader since 2010 photo by chris jacksongetty images

The fabulous sapphire set worn by Camilla to receive the President of South Africa.

Chris JacksonGetty Images

Camilla accompanied theOldfield dress with one of the late Queen’s most legendary sapphire suites, consisting of a necklace, bracelet and earrings that Elizabeth had received as a wedding gift in 1947 from her father, King George VI. The set was made around 1850 with what have been described as “the largest sapphires ever seen”. To the three pieces of her received from her father, Elizabeth added the Belgian Sapphire Tiara in 1963, when he personally bought it. It is therefore not part of the Crown Jewels, even if it is kept together with them. This spectacular tiara was obtained with a nineteenth century sapphire necklace that belonged to the ill-fated Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who had to auction it off due to financial problems. The last purchaser of the necklace was Queen Elizabeth, who had it mounted upside down on a frame to convert it into a tiara. Unfortunately, the operation was carried out in such a way that it could never again be worn as a necklace, a dual use that Elizabeth would have loved. But the effect has always been so spectacular as to console her, and she would probably also be happy to see how her son’s second wife, the Camilla who gave her so many headaches in the past, today wears it with great dignity on that fluffy hair that make it unmistakable from the 70s.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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