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Why the Queen wore a tiara during Fiji visit and Meghan Markle didn't

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended their first state dinner together

queen meghan fiji tiara
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
October 23, 2018
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It's been 65 years since the Queen and Prince Philip made an historical trip to Fiji during their six-month Commonwealth Tour in 1953. And now, their grandson Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan Markle have made the same one. The royal couple, who announced their baby news to the world last week, looked picture perfect after arriving at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva for a lavish reception hosted by the president of Fiji. For the black tie reception, the Duchess of Sussex dazzled in diamonds and a full-length cape blue dress by label Safiyaa, created by German-born London-based designer Daniela Karmuts.

meghan markle gown fiji

Prince Harry and Meghan on their way to their state dinner in Fiji

Although Meghan's outfit looked incredible, she was noticeably not wearing a tiara. During the British royal visit in 1953, the Queen dazzled in a beautiful blue and silver lace evening gown, which was teamed with her Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. Since state dinners are slightly less formal than state banquets, it's likely that this was one of the main reasons the former actress opted against wearing a diamond-encrusted headpiece. A royal source told HELLO! that there was no expectation for the Duchess to wear a tiara at the event, but said she was suitably attired for a state occasion.

MORE: Royal wedding tiaras - see the jewels worn by princess brides

What Harry and Meghan wore would have been determined by the invitation, which in this case is plainly black tie. Traditionally, women who attend black tie events are told to wear a floor length or mid-calf gown with evening shoes - and gloves are optional but must be removed for the meal, while gentlemen must wear a tuxedo, white shirt and a bow tie with black patent leather shoes.

the queen ball state visit fiji© Photo: PA

The Queen seen at her state banquet in 1953

If the night itself was a white tie event, then the royals would have been expected to wear the corresponding code; white tie or military uniforms for Prince Harry and an evening gown with orders and a tiara for Meghan if she has them. Black tie events usually do not include tiaras for the ladies. However, the past there have been exceptions as the Danish royals wore tiaras for Queen Margrethe's 70th birthday celebrations which was a black tie event. The Queen has occasionally worn a headpiece to state banquets abroad while everyone else was in black tie.

MORE: See the £750 a night hotel where Prince Harry and Meghan are staying in Fiji

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