The Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales donned poignant jewelery at a glitzy event at Buckingham Palace this evening.
King Charles hosted his first state banquet as monarch with over 160 prestigious guests in attendance.
The shimmering white tie affair was in honor of the visiting South African president.
King Charles tonight paid a moving tribute to his mother and her connection to South Africa, saying she admired ‘its people, their vibrancy, their natural beauty and their diversity’.
Camilla the Queen Consort and Kate, Princess of Wales also paid tribute to the late monarch as they stepped out in the jewels of Elizabeth II for their own first state banquet in their new roles.
Kate beamed in front of guests as she wore a white Jenny Packham evening gown with a cape and sparkling shoulder detailing, and her must-have lover’s bow tiara.
The headdress, encrusted with diamonds and pearls and made in 1914, was often worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.
Kate had also worn earrings that belonged to Diana, as well as a pearl bracelet that belonged to the late Queen.
Meanwhile, Camilla opted for the much-missed monarch’s diamond and sapphire tiara.
The sapphire collection, sometimes known as the King George VI Victorian Sapphire Suite, was of great sentimental importance to the late Queen.
Camilla was dressed in a royal blue lace evening gown by Bruce Oldfield, the Garter Sash, Queen Victoria’s Order of the Garter and the Order of the Family of the Late Queen.
She also wore a necklace that belonged to the late Elizabeth II.
The jewels were a gift from the late monarch’s beloved father, George VI, for his marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.
At his first state banquet this evening, Charles spoke of the sometimes troubled past relationship between the UK and South Africa which ’causes deep sadness’.
He also said “we must acknowledge the wrongs that have shaped our past if we are to unleash the power of our shared future.”
Strict star Johannes Radebe, from South Africa, was among 163 white-tie dinner guests, joining broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, interior designer Kelly Hoppen and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh.
High-profile national figures were also present, from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Lord Hain, the former Northern Ireland Secretary and anti-apartheid campaigner, and Andrew Bailey – Governor of the Bank of England.
Charles caught the attention of the President who said ‘wow’ when the King said ‘welcome’ in six languages spoken in South Africa.
The King went on to say: “The late Queen had the great pleasure of hosting Presidents Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma for State visits to the UK, at which I was present. On each of these occasions, she expressed her admiration for your country and its people, its dynamism, its natural beauty and its diversity.
“And she always spoke warmly of her return to your country in 1995, as a guest of President Mandela, after the momentous events – driven from within South Africa and supported by so many around the world , including here in the UK – who have brought democracy to your country.
The King added: “During one of my own visits to South Africa in 1997, President Mandela told me that he had given my mother a special name – Motlalepula, which means ‘to come with the rain “.
“I was reassured that this was a mark of President Mandela’s special affection for the Queen…rather than a remark on the British habit of taking our time with us.”
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