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The story behind Kate's favourite tiara and why she wore it again

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The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, opted for a familiar tiara for her first state banquet on Tuesday evening. The 33-year-old, who had several options to choose from amongst the Queen's personal collection, dazzled in the Lotus Flower tiara which once belonged to the Queen Mother.

It was the second time that Kate had chosen the dazzling piece – she also wore the dainty design to the Queen's annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace in 2013.


kate banquet  © Photo: PA

Kate dazzled in the lotus flower tiara on Tuesday evening

Kate paired the stunning diamond-and-pearl encrusted headpiece with a beautiful red Jenny Packham gown, which was a perfect nod to her guests' home country. Red is not only the colour of China's flag but an important colour in their culture, symbolising good fortune and joy. It is found everywhere during Chinese New Year and other holidays and family gatherings.

The much-loved tiara Kate selected for Tuesday's banquet started out as a necklace – a wedding gift to the then Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon from her husband, the Duke of York. A few years later, she commissioned jewellery house Garrard to transform it into a tiara which was crowned by diamond arches and studded with pearls.

queen mother lotus © Photo: Getty Images

The tiara originally belonged to the Queen Mother

In the 1950s, the Queen Mother gave the tiara to Princess Margaret and it quickly became one of her favourite pieces, worn on a number of occasions up until the 1990s. The Princess also lent the tiara to her daughter-in-law Serena Stanhope for her wedding to Margaret's son Viscount Linley in 1993.

While the design was not seen again in public for another 20 years, it has since been given a new lease of life by Kate, who has now chosen the lotus flower headpiece for two out of the three times she has been pictured wearing a tiara in public.

princess margaret lotus © Photo: Rex

Princess Margaret wore the tiara on a number of occasions

Kate was able to choose from a number of tiaras in the royal collection including the Cartier 'Halo' Tiara that she wore on her wedding day, and the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, which was the Queen's gift to Diana, Princess of Wales on her wedding day.

The historic headpiece is not the only accessory Kate borrowed for the event; she also wore earrings and two bracelets from the Queen's collection. One of the stunning bracelets was one of Prince Philip's wedding gifts to the Queen and was made from diamonds belonging to Philip's mother, Princess Alice. The other dazzling design was fashioned into a bracelet from a diamond choker that once belonged to Queen Mary.

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