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The Queen gifts Kate Middleton a special family honour

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the lavish state banquet with the Dutch royal family on Tuesday night

Hanna Fillingham

On Tuesday night, the Queen threw a lavish state banquet to honour King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima during their visit to the UK. The black-tie event saw many members of the royal family attend, including Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge – who not only paid tribute to Princess Diana with her choice of earrings – but also the Queen herself. The brooch pinned to Kate's dress was the Royal Family Order, a personal gift from the 92-year-old monarch, which is painted with an image of the Queen, and made from glass, rather than the traditional ivory. This was the second time that Kate had been seen wearing the special gift – the first being in December when she attended the Diplomatic Corps reception.

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The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Royal Family Order pinned to her dress

The Royal Family Order is a special honour given to female family members as a thank you for their service. Princess Diana also received one during her marriage to Prince Charles, wearing it to occasions such as a state banquet in Brisbane, Australia in 1983 during her official visit there.

MORE: Royal family dazzle at the Queen's lavish state banquet - live updates

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A close up of Kate's stunning jewellery

At the banquet, which was also attended by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Kate looked stunning in a blue Alexander McQueen gown, which she accessorised with Princess Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings, and the Lovers Knot tiara. The mum-of-three completed her outfit with Queen Alexandra's wedding gift necklace. Queen Maxima too, looked beautiful, opting for a blue gown like Kate, which featured sheer sleeves and a floor length skirt. Maxima also wore an extra-special headpiece - the Stuart tiara featuring the Stuart diamond - which made its first appearance since Queen Juliana's 1972 State Visit to the UK.

MORE: Prince Louis pictured with parents Prince William and Kate on special milestone

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The banquet was in honour of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima's state visit to the UK

Earlier in the day, Kate and William had been spotted arriving at Kensington Palace by helicopter with their youngest son Prince Louis, having travelled from Norfolk, where the family spend the school holidays. Prince George, five, and Princess Charlotte, three, stayed at Anmer Hall with their nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. While his parents were at the banquet, it is thought that Louis was being looked after by his grandmother, Carole Middleton.

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