The Duchess of Cambridge has become all too familiar with dressing for formal state banquets in her eight years as a royal – and she never disappoints with her stunning choices of gown! Whether it's attending events abroad or welcoming guests at Buckingham Palace alongside the Queen, Kate is a pro in dressing to the nines – particularly with the royal regalia that's now pinned to her dress.
In May 2019, Kate was given a further honour from Her Majesty, who made her a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. This means that from now on, we'll see the Duchess wearing the special sash, badge and star of the order at formal royal occasions going forward. Before then, Kate wore a yellow badge that indicated the Royal Family Order. Let's look back at all her most stunning state banquet looks over the years – scroll on!
Kate debuted her new insignia at June 2019's Buckingham Palace state banquet, which was held in honour of the President of the United States, Donald Trump. The Duchess wore a beautiful Alexander McQueen gown with ruffled details.
In October 2015, Kate attended her first state banquet at Buckingham Palace to welcome the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and his wife Peng Liyuan to the UK. The Duchess' gorgeous red gown was by one of her favourite designers, Jenny Packham.
She accessorised with the sparkling Lotus Flower tiara, which once belonged to the Queen Mother. Wouldn't you love to see her wearing this one again?
At a state dinner in Malaysia in September 2012, the Duchess wore a custom gown by her wedding dress designer, Alexander McQueen.
The gown featured golden motifs of the hibiscus flower, which is the official flower of Malaysia. She wore her hair in a half-up style, and accessorised with gold jewellery from designer Catherine Zoraida.
We caught a glimpse of Kate arriving in the car to Buckingham Palace for a state dinner in July 2017, held in the honour of Spanish royals King Felipe and Queen Letizia. Her pink lace Marchesa gown was a favourite amongst fans, as is the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara – often worn by Kate, it of course once belonged to Princess Diana.
Her taffeta gown was another Alexander McQueen number, worn again with the Lover's Knot Tiara and Princess Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings - which she also teamed with Queen Alexandra's wedding gift necklace.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Royal Family Order for the second time. Its first outing was at the Diplomatic Corps reception in December 2017. The special gift from the Queen is made of glass, not ivory, unlike others.
Though not technically termed a state banquet, Kate dressed up for a formal dinner hosted by members of the Norwegian royal family in February 2018. William and Kate were the guests of honour – and the Duchess chose another beautiful Alexander McQueen gown for the occasion. She accessorised with the Queen's diamond earrings and matching diamond bracelet, which was given to the monarch as a wedding gift from Prince Philip.
There wasn't a gown in sight at a state dinner in Singapore back in 2012, when Kate wore a Prabal Gurung shift dress to meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.
She teamed the look with her signature glossy blow-dry, a diamond bracelet and a blue satin clutch bag. The dress was seen as a very edgy choice for the Duchess, who often sticks to more classic designs rather than prints – we love it!