The Queen and the Princess of Wales pulled out all the stops at last night’s Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace, with a dazzling display in some of the royal family’s most cherished jewels.
But as Kate, 41, and Camilla, 75, donned stones once belonging to the Queen Mother and Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, were they sending a not-so-subtle message to a certain member of the family across the pond in Montecito?
Hours earlier on Tuesday, in Santa Barbara, Meghan Markle, 42, stepped out in a Bentley & Skinner diamond tennis bracelet costing approximately £4,900 – a gift given to her by King Charles, which she first wore on he eve of her wedding to Prince Harry. She also donned a watch previously owned by Princess Diana.
Meghan’s appearance in the bracelet came amid the fallout from a royal race row reignited by Omid Scobie’s book Endgame; which had to be pulled from shelves in The Netherlands and pulped when it appeared to name the royals alleged to have made comments about Prince Archie’s skin colour before he was born.
But as the Duchess is rumoured to have been extending an ‘olive branch’ with her 92-diamond bracelet as old wounds are reopened, did The Firm hit back with an even more dazzling display?
The Queen and Kate (pictured with King Charles and Prince William) put on a dazzling display in exquisite royal jewels last night at the Buckingham Palace Christmas Diplomatic Reception
The fallout from Scobie’s Endgame, and the alleged royal ‘racists’ named in the Dutch version of the book, has reopened painful wounds for the royal family after Harry and Meghan first made the allegations in March 2021.
Speaking to veteran interviewer Oprah Winfrey while the Duchess was pregnant with Princess Lilibet, Meghan claimed someone (or some people) in the royal family had expressed ‘concerns’ to Prince Harry about what colour Prince Archie’s skin would be when he was born.
Neither Harry nor Meghan would be drawn on who made such comments, however they did confirm it was not the late Queen or Prince Philip.
However, after last week’s translation mix-up in Mr Scobie’s Endgame, the royals alleged to have made the comments appeared to be named.
Media organisations around the world named the members of the family alleged to have made the comments as King Charles and the Princess of Wales.
Earlier in the day Meghan stepped out in Santa Barbara, California, wearing a £4,900 tennis bracelet from Bentley & Skinner gifted to her by King Charles
Standing for a portrait within the walls of Buckingham Palace last night, the new ‘Fab Four’, as they have been dubbed, shook off the row and looked regal in all their finery.
The Princess of Wales chose a glittering Jenny Packham ‘Georgia’ gown costing approximately £5,000, which was embellished with sequins. She previously wore the shimmering gold dress to attend the wedding reception of Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa of Jordan this summer.
She accessorised with diamonds galore, opting for her favourite tiara, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot, which was gifted to Princess Diana on her wedding day in 1981 and no doubt holds sentimental value for the royals.
Jewellery writer and author Josie Goodbody told FEMAIL the tiara was made by Royal jewellers Garrard in 1914 to Queen Mary’s personal design, from pearls and diamonds already in her family’s possession.
It was a copy of one owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, who married the first Duke of Cambridge, seventh son of King George III, in 1818.
In her will Queen Mary left the tiara to to the Queen who wore it frequently, including at an evening event in 1955.
On her ears, the royal mother-of-three wore the Greville Chandelier Earrings, which were often worn by the late Queen and had originally entered the royal family after being bequeathed to the Queen Mother by Dame Margaret Greville.
The diamond earrings, which are set in platinum, were made in London by Cartier, over a number of years as more diamonds were added over time. They were completed in February 1929.
In addition to these dazzling accessories, Kate also donned a sparkler with a little more mystery surrounding it.
The Art Deco brooch, worn on her sash, has appeared in Kate’s outfits a few times since she debuted the stunning jewel at the Remembrance Sunday service in 2022.
The brooch has a value of approximately £14,500 and was created by Bentley & Skinner – the very same jeweller who designed Meghan’s tennis bracelet.
It has previously been reported that Kate likely received the brooch from a family member as a gift for her 40th birthday on January 9, 2022. The person who gave her the stunning accessory has never been revealed – but given that he gifted one daughter-in-law a jewel from Bentley & Skinner on a special occasion, could King Charles have made a similar presentation to his other daughter-in-law?
Queen Camilla, on the other side of the royal portrait as the two women flanked King Charles and Prince William, looked equally dazzling in a cream embroidered evening gown by Fiona Clare.
To further add to the glamour, Her Majesty donned the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, as well as the Garter Sash and Star in family order across the gown.
The appearance was Camilla’s second in the tiara, which she wore for the first time to attend a business reception at Mansion House in the City of London in November.
The stunning diadem was first gifted to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck to mark her wedding to George V in 1893. Her late Majesty was known to be incredibly fond of the headpiece, and affectionately called it ‘Granny’s Tiara’.
Camilla added a touch of sentiment with The Queen Mother’s diamond brooch and the late Queen’s diamond bracelet.
In a first for the Queen, she also wore a stomacher, or devant de corsage, which is also thought to have originated from Dame Margaret Greville’s collection and given to the Queen Mother; and later passed down to the late Queen.