kate-banquet-sash

Duchess Kate stuns at Buckingham Palace state banquet - and debuts special new insignia from the Queen

That dress!

Fiona Ward

The Duchess of Cambridge looked totally stunning as she attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening, wearing a gorgeous white gown by her go-to designer Alexander McQueen. Kate joined husband Prince William, the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall to welcome the President and First Lady of the United States with the formal dinner. Of course, it was a special moment for the Duchess, too, as it was her first time wearing her new insignia as a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order (GCVO) - a new title that was gifted to her by the Queen in May. Suits you, Your Highness!

The Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the banquet on Monday night

Kate teamed her look with the Lover's Knot tiara once again, and wore her hair in a sophisticated chignon. The Duchess accessorised her outfit with the Queen Mother's Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Earrings. Her attendance at the banquet may have come as a surprise to some royal fans, since it wasn't officially announced by the palace in anticipation of the event.

Kate wore her new insigma from the Queen

Duchess Kate's most stunning state banquet gowns over the years

Monday night's dinner comes after a packed first day of events for Donald and Melania Trump, who touched down in London on Monday morning for a state visit to the UK. On arrival, the couple were officially welcomed by the Queen along with Prince Charles and Camilla in the Buckingham Palace Garden - before enjoying a lunch at the palace and a visit to the Picture Gallery, which showcased items of historical significance to the United States from the Royal collection. The President was then joined by the Duke of York for a visit to Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

The Duchess and Prince William on Monday night

Kate's last state banquet was back in October 2018, when the royal family held an evening in honour of Dutch royals King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, also in the UK on an official visit at the time. For the event, she chose a fitted taffeta gown by Alexander McQueen, worn with the Lover's Knot Tiara and Princess Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings.

Was Melania Trump inspired by Princess Diana for her visit to Buckingham Palace?