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Queen Camilla models royal wedding present in poignant tribute to King Charles' late mother

The royal stepped out in Salisbury in a royal wedding present dating back to 1893

Queen Camilla in a white coat with flowers in her hand
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Despite travelling from London to Sandringham in Norfolk with King Charles following his cancer diagnosis at the start of the week, Queen Camilla once again traversed across the country to attend a royal engagement at Salisbury Cathedral on Thursday.

The thrifty royal oozed understated elegance in a head-to-toe recycled outfit as she arrived for the musical evening, which celebrated the work of local charities including The Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the regimental charities of The Grenadier Guards and The Rifles. 

Camilla's Fiona Clare Couture white coat was layered over a black and white midi dress, while her trusty £445 knee-high black suede boots from Russell and Bromley kept the wet weather at bay. Alongside her £1.4k Launer London leather clutch and her pearl drop earrings, she accessorised with a small sparkly brooch pinned to her jacket which has a sentimental backstory.

The Queen was all smiles as she arrived© WPA Pool
Queen Camilla attended a musical evening at Salisbury Cathedral

As the name suggests, Queen Mary’s Diamond and Emerald Celtic Knot Brooch is thought to have been given to Maey as a wedding present by Emperor Nicholas II of Russia in 1893. Made out of a cabochon emerald and diamond knot, the brooch was used as an embellishment to Mary's high-neck dress in the 1890s, while she later passed it down to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II who wore it in a traditional lapel location on her dresses.

 Queen Camilla shakes hands with a representative of the regimental charities du© Chris Jackson
Queen Camilla wore a brooch previously owned by Queen Elizabeth II

In 2014, the late monarch memorably modelled the sparkly brooch on her sash at the Irish state banquet at Windsor Castle. She wore it on a handful more occasions, most notably in some of her final pictures before her death in September 2022.

Queen Elizabeth was pictured arriving at Balmoral Castle in a yellow coat, the brooch and sunglasses in July 2022 for her annual summer break.

Queen Elizabeth II in a white sparkly dress and brooch for a state banquet in 2014© AFP
Queen Elizabeth II wore the brooch for a state banquet in 2014

This week was not the first time that Camilla has chosen to pay tribute to her late mother-in-law. She pinned the brooch to a green coat for a visit to Northern Ireland in May 2023, which she wore alongside gold jewellery.

It's possible that Camilla wanted to make sure her family were close to her heart as she made her latest royal outing, which marked her first public engagement since the King announced his cancer diagnosis.

King Charles and Queen Camilla cut coronation cake© Getty
Camilla previously wore the accessory in Ireland in 2023

Her Majesty gave an update on the King's health, telling Wiltshire Air Ambulance critical care paramedic Ben Abbott: "He’s doing extremely well under the circumstances, he’s very touched by all the letters and the messages the public have been sending from everywhere – that’s very cheering."

After being admitted to the London Clinic for treatment for an enlarged prostate in January, doctors noted a "separate issue of concern". Tests from this discovered that it was a form of cancer, which Buckingham Palace confirmed wasn't prostate cancer.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla wave as they leave by car from Clarence House in London © Getty
King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelled from London to Norfolk earlier this week

HELLO!'s royal editor, Emily Nash, explained that Queen Camilla will be a crucial part of Charles' support network as he receives treatment as an outpatient. 

 "The Queen will be a tower of strength for the King as he goes through cancer treatment. She understands the issue well from her work with Maggie's cancer centres and she will be at his side every step of the way," she said.

LOOK: King Charles and Queen Camilla's love story: from that chance meeting at the polo to their eventual marriage

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