Why Duchess Kate's next state banquet gown will be very different

…in the best way!

The Duchess of Cambridge was bestowed a very special honour recently, which means we can expect something different from her outfits at state banquets going forward. Since Kate was granted the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order (GCVO) in April, she will wear new regalia at formal royal occasions such as state dinners and banquets – which includes a sash, badge and star of the order. Other members of the royal family to wear the special insignia include the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex. Fancy!

Kate at a Buckingham Palace state banquet for the Dutch royals in October 2018

Previously, Kate wore a yellow badge that indicated the Royal Family Order – another honour given to female members of the British royal family in place of the commemorative medals that royal men often wear. Since receiving her new title, Kate will wear a blue sash and star alongside this. How special is that?

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The awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen for services to the sovereign, so the decision highlights Kate's close relationship with the royal family. The Royal Victoria Order was first instituted by Queen Victoria in 1896 to reward personal services performed on her behalf. Kate was awarded the highest ranking from the award – with the ranks being Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO) and Member (MVO).

Duchess Camilla wearing her sash

The last time we saw the Duchess at a state banquet was in October 2018, when the Netherlands' Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander visited the UK – with the Queen holding a dinner in their honour at Buckingham Palace. Kate looked beautiful in a floor-length Alexander McQueen gown, her favourite Lover's Knot tiara and Princess Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings. Next time we see her at such a soirée, she'll match the likes of Duchess Camilla in her smart sash – that's a valid excuse for a party, we reckon…

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