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Kate Middleton wears Princess Diana's tiara and earrings — but it's her brooch that has a special hidden meaning

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the queen and the royal family at a state banquet for the king and queen of the Netherlands on Tuesday evening. Kate wore a blue Alexander McQueen gown and an iconic royal heirloom: the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, which once belonged to Princess Diana.

The diamond-and-pearl headpiece dates back to 1914, when Queen Mary commissioned it from Garrard. It was passed down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, who then gave it to Princess Diana as a wedding present in 1981. 

Princess Diana wears the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara at a dinner in Washington, D.C., in 1985. (Photo: Getty Images)

Kate teamed it with Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl-and-diamond drop earrings. They were given to the Princess of Wales as a wedding present from Collingwood jewelers, and she wore them for numerous balls and engagements. 

The duchess also wore Queen Alexandra’s wedding necklace — a new loan to her from the queen.

The Duchess of Cambridge attends the Netherlands state banquet wearing the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara and an Alexander McQueen dress. (Photo: PA)

According to From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault, the pearl-and-diamond necklace is part of Queen Alexandra’s wedding set — a gift from her husband, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (son of Queen Victoria and the future King Edward VII), in 1863. 

Queen Mary gave the necklace to the Queen Mother, who wore it constantly. The necklace was finally reunited with the brooch and earrings when the queen inherited it in 2002. She has never been seen wearing the tiara in public. 

The duchess wore the Royal Family Order brooch for a second time — a personal gift from the queen. The pin features an image of the queen, and Kate’s is made of glass, not the traditional ivory. This, according to Majesty magazine, is a symbolic gesture from Kate toward her husband, Prince William, for his efforts to ban the use of ivory.

Queen Maxima at the state banquet. (Photo: Getty Images)

Queen Maxima also wowed in the Stuart tiara for the dinner. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands are on a two-day state visit to the U.K. They were welcomed by Her Majesty and the Prince of Wales and received a ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade on Tuesday morning.

During their busy first day, the king and queen also visited Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior and the Houses of Parliament.

The last state visit from the Netherlands was by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in November 1982. 

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