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Queen Camilla in a white dress and hat© Chris Jackson

Queen Camilla teams bridal dress with sentimental nod to King Charles' late mother

The King's wife paid a subtle tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
June 7, 2024
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Queen Camilla put a lot of thought into her carefully curated outfit for the D-Day 80th anniversary event, which she attended alongside her husband King Charles.

The royal, 76, stepped out in a gorgeous bridal white dress by her wedding dress designer Anna Valentine. Long split sleeves were finished with delicate silver embellishments that matched the collar of her tailored midi coat dress, which was finished with a nipped-in waist and a swishy pleated skirt – not unlike her first wedding dress by the designer.

line of people holding red poppy wreaths© Getty Images
Camilla looked stunning in a bridal white dress by Anna Valentine, her wedding dress designer

One small detail of her outfit that may have gone overlooked was her poignant accessory, passed down by Charles' late mother Queen Elizabeth II. Pinned to the ivory jacket was the Diamond Shell Brooch, a scallop shell made up of brilliant pave diamonds, a single pearl and five diamond pampilles.

Made in 1919 by Sir Courtauld Thomson for his sister, the accessory was passed to the Queen Mother, who was pictured wearing it on several occasions before passing it down to Queen Elizabeth II following her death in 2002.

Queen Camilla wearing the late Queen's pearl and diamond brooch© LUDOVIC MARIN
The royal added the late Queen's brooch

Camilla wore her poignant brooch alongside her go-to Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery, beige heels and a hat by Philip Treacy – who also designed her bridal headwear.

Queen Camilla's two wedding dresses

Charles wore his beloved signet ring on his wedding day© Getty Images
The bride looked elegant in a coat dress by Anna Valentine in 2005

Anna Valentine worked with Antonia Robinson to bring Camilla's wedding dress vision to life. They created a cream coat dress for her civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on 9 April 2005, which she paired with a matching wide-brim hat by Treacy.

Camilla and Charles later had a religious blessing with the late Queen in attendance. Camilla had changed into a blue and gold embroidered coat dress and a gold crown by the same designers.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles walk ahead of Queen Elizabeth II on their wedding day© Tim Graham
Camilla changed for her religious blessing

Buckingham Palace had originally announced their plans to marry on 8 April, but the wedding was postponed so Charles could represent his mother at Pope John Paul II's funeral in Vatican City.

Camilla and Charles' love story

They say the path to true love never runs smooth, and that was certainly the case with Charles and Camilla's relationship.

The couple met at a polo match in 1970 aged 23, but they ended their romance after the King-to-be was called away on naval duties overseas. 

Camilla went on to marry and have two children with Andrew Parker Bowles, while Charles wed Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981 and welcomed children Prince William and Prince Harry.

Charles and Camilla remained friends throughout their separate relationships, and the monarch later admitted he had an affair with Camilla while still married to Diana.

Camilla split from her husband in 1995, and Charles got divorced from Diana the year after. The couple officially rekindled their romance and focused on rebuilding their public image. 

They made their first joint outing in 1999 before moving into Clarence House in 2003 and announcing their engagement on 10 February 2005. 

D-Day event

royal couple walking outside in smart clothes© Getty Images
King Charles III and Queen Camilla attended a commemorative event at the British Normandy Memorial

As Patron of the Royal British Legion, King Charles and Queen Camilla joined actor Martin Freeman, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the President of France Emmanuel Macron and more at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer.

Charles delivered a heartfelt speech paying tribute to those who fought in the D-Day invasion. "It is with the most profound sense of gratitude that we remember them and all who served at that critical time", he said. "We recall the lesson that comes to us, again and again, across the decades: free Nations must stand together to oppose tyranny."

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak also praised the veterans who "freed a continent and built a better world". 

READ: Princess Theodora of Greece's royal wedding date is imminent following four-year delay

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