kate middleton and prince william laughing at garden party

Kate Middleton receives her Insignia from the Queen ahead of garden party

She was given the honour last month

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duchess of Cambridge made a cheery appearance at the Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday afternoon, and it seems she had extra reason to smile. The Queen had just invested Kate with the Insignia of a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour that she was officially given nearly a month ago. But it wasn't until this week that the private ceremony took place and Kate was presented with the regalia in person.

The awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen for services to the sovereign, so the decision highlights Kate's close relationship with her husband's grandmother. The Royal Victoria Order was first instituted by Queen Victoria in 1896 to reward personal services performed on her behalf.

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Kate was awarded the highest ranking from the award – with the ranks being Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO) and Member (MVO). Other members of the royal family who have been granted the same honour include the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex.

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Going forward, this means that Kate will be allowed to wear the special sash, badge and star of the order at formal royal occasions such as state banquets. The first time we'll be able to see her in full regalia will most likely be next month if she attends the state banquet held in honour of President Trump's official visit.

Kate will be able to wear the sash, badge and star at formal royal occasions

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On Tuesday, Kate joined Her Majesty and her husband Prince William at a garden party at Buckingham Palace. The mother-of-three looked pretty in pink, opting for an Alexander McQueen coatdress and a matching Juliette Botterill hat. Finishing off her look, she added nude suede pumps by Gianvito Rossi and a clutch by Loeffler Randall. Touchingly, Kate also chose to wear a pair of Princess Diana's pearl drop earrings, which had been given to the late Princess from Collingwood jewellers as a wedding gift.

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