Usually I like to start at the beginning of a day, but for this post we’re going to start with the headline news – the state dinner and the Duchess of Cambridge receiving the Family Order – and work back from there. The big takeaway is that after over seven years of marriage, Kate has finally been given the Elizabeth II Family Order.
Other recipients include the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal. Indeed, some have marked it odd in recent years that it’s taken so long for Kate to receive this honor given her relative seniority within the family, but we may actually have an answer to this from the physical order itself.
Coming in the form of a jeweled image of the Queen on a yellow ribbon, these have historically been made out of ivory. Kate’s is notably made of glass, no doubt in consideration of the Duke of Cambridge’s strong stance on conservation and banning the ivory trade. Identifying a workaround and then having it developed may well have been a laborious process and played a role in the relative delay of Kate appearing with the order.
Regardless, this is a big moment in Kate’s career and a nice moment of inclusion for her within the Royal Family. I’m also pleased to say that we’ve gotten far better images – and more quickly – of her and the state dinner this evening than I was imagining. Kate is wearing a ruched blue taffeta evening gown by Alexander McQueen featuring a drop waist and a little mermaid kick. I’m not going to lie – it’s looks like a prom dress from the ’80s and I’m going back and forth on whether it’s fun or a huge miss. Either way, it’s not my favorite.
The tiara – the Cambridge Lover’s Knot – looked fab, though.
Meanwhile, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima’s state visit to the UK is underway and now halfway over. The couple were greeted by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall alongside Prime Minister Theresa May and other officials this morning.
Luncheon was served at Buckingham Palace, after which the Queen led a tour of the Royal Archives with key pieces inclusive of the Dutch pulled out.
A tour of Westminster Abbey included a stop at the tombs of William III and Mary II (aka “of Orange”).
King Willem-Alexander addressed Parliament, while Queen Maxima looked on.
Then it was tea time with Charles and Camilla, as well as the obligatory photo call.
A peek inside BP at the state banquet:
The Queen, Willem-Alexander, Maxima, Charles and Camilla posed for a formal photo – the Duke of Edinburgh, per his retirement, bowed this one out.
Willem-Alexander escorted the Queen into the dining room:
Charles escorted Maxima:
Camilla was escorted by the Dutch Foreign Minister:
The Duke of Cambridge escorted the PM:
And as you can see above, Kate was escorted by Rear Admiral Ludger Brummelaar. Tomorrow will see another round of engagements, which we’ll cover here. In the meantime, more Fiji!