Kate Middleton regularly wears showstopping jewels, but it's not often that she dons a piece tied to an important royal wedding moment. However, yesterday, on December 6, 2022, the Princess of Wales attended the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace in the Lotus Flower Tiara, which dates all the way back to the Queen Mother's wedding in 1923.
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon created the diamond-encrusted headpiece out of a necklace that she received as wedding gift from her husband, the future King George VI, in 1923, The Court Jeweller explains. Six months after first receiving a Garrard necklace from her husband, the Queen Mother took the piece back to the jeweler and had it transformed into the stunning tiara we know today. Eventually, the tiara was gifted to Princess Margaret. The lovely headpiece then made royal wedding history again in 1993, when Princess Margaret loaned it to her future daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope, for her wedding to Margaret's son, David Armstrong-Jones.
This isn't the first time Kate has selected the Lotus Flower Tiara, which is made from diamonds and pearls, for an event. She also wore the piece in 2015, during the state banquet for Xi Jinping, China’s president. Before that, the princess also sported the tiara for another diplomatic reception in 2013.
At the 2022 annual diplomatic reception, which welcomes members of the diplomatic corps every year, Kate paired the Lotus Flower Tiara with a long-sleeve red embellished gown by Jenny Packham, according to People. She also accessorized with a pair of diamond earrings that once belonged to Queen Elizabeth, a blue sash, and her yellow Royal Family Order.
Last month, on November 22, 2022, Kate donned another royal crown for a state banquet that honored South African President Cyril Ramaphonsa. For that occasion, she sported Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot tiara, which originally entered the royal family in 1913 after the jewelry company Garrard designed it for Mary to replicate a tiara that Princess of Augusta of Hesse owned, according to The Court Jeweller. Queen Elizabeth inherited the diamond and pearl diadem in 1953, and she wore the accessory throughout her reign. In 1981, Elizabeth passed down the piece to Princess Diana, and it instantly became a favorite of hers. Once she and King Charles filed for a divorce, Diana returned the crown to Elizabeth, Vogue reports.
Like the Lotus Flower tiara, the Lovers Knot tiara has become a staple in Kate’s wardrobe. Although that event was the first time the crown has made an appearance on her head in three years, she’s frequently worn the diadem to other diplomatic receptions. She sported the diamond accessory to the 2019 and 2016 diplomatic receptions and also donned the piece for a banquet in honor of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in 2018, People reports.